Students' dreams grow in honored garden

September 23, 2009 4:30:27 PM PDT
Kids at Saul High School in Roxborough have done something very special. Organic Gardening Magazine and several sponsors chose Saul High School's "Henry Got Crops" Community Garden, along with those in Chicago and Atlant,a to participate in its 2009 Water Works Project.

"As soon as we got the application from the school and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society connected us with them, we thought this is a no brainer of a project. We're really happy to be here!" Tammy Hobar of Organic Gardening Magazine said.

The school receives a water conservation system and a $35,000 grant to help further improve its garden's vitality and sustainability.

Saul is the largest agricultural high school in the nation; it's an inner city public magnet school that sits on 150 acres in Fairmount Park.

Students learn every aspect of farming and gardening, including canning and jarring.

"Working with real world farmers, they have the ability to get industry standard work and it's invaluable; when they leave here, they know what they're doing," Saul agro-ecology teacher Jessica McAtamney said.

"A lot of people don't know what's going on and basically, here, we get a better sense of what's going on in the world," Saul senior Dante Frederick said.

Some students chose Saul because agriculture follows their family history:

"My grandfather, he's very interested in agriculture, has his own garden," junior Ismael Rodriguez said.


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