Garden Areas: Vegetable & Flower Garden, Rose Beds, Native Plantings
Garden Leadership: Volunteer Garden Teacher Ms. Fangon
Ms. Fangon has led gardening efforts at Buena Vista since 1998. The 90 ft. by 30 ft. Buena Vista school garden is unique in its forest-like atmosphere and variety of plants. Banana, pomogrenate, and Chinese date trees grow along the edges of the garden. In 2010, the Eagle Scouts built an arbor in the garden that becomes covered in chayote vines by late summer. There is also a sugar cane plant and a blueberry bush planted along with a variety of more common vegetables. Gladiolas, geraniums and many other flowers are planted throughout the fenced area. Ms. Fangon always is rooting new plants to grow and share with the children and follow gardeners. Each year several children come to the garden to help plant, maintain, and harvest fruits and vegetables. Many of the children come to have lunch at the garden picnic table before undertaking their gardening tasks. On special occasions, students help prepare and cook the produce they have helped to grow. Meals have included chayote soup, stir-fries, and salads. Cooking activities provide an opportunity for the students to eat together and practice their table manners. Making art is another special part of the Buena Vista garden. Every year, Ms. Fangon works with the students to create submissions for the San Diego County Fair. The 2011 submissions included vegetable prints and fish-scale flowers. Most of the garden students are first and second graders although the fifth graders have been a helpful garden clean-up crew. Ms. Fangon often assigns small areas or plants to students so that they can be responsible for their own area of the garden.
In addition to the main vegetable and flower garden, Ms. Fangon maintains rose beds in the front of the school and native plantings along internal walkways. She notes that the school’s maintenance staff have been very helpful in caring for the garden areas over the summer months.