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Growing Together Winter 2022

From Classroom to Cafeteria

When Woodland High School ag instructor and FFA advisor Jerry Delsol started a small garden to aid in teaching his plant science class, he could not have imagined the opportunity it would create to engage his students and give back to the local community.

Woodland High School Greenhouse

Though it started out as a small garden, it began to flourish under the care of Delsol and his class, with the produce harvested going back to the school’s students and faculty. The Woodland High School principal began to take notice and presented Delsol with the idea of starting a “Farm to Fork” class. Two days later, Yolo Farm to Fork helped construct a classroom curriculum for the following school year and pledged to donate the tools, materials and anything else the class needed to sustain the new project.

The curriculum for the new class includes how to grow, maintain, harvest and clean crops, as well as basic plant science, pest management and soil fertility. Delsol built the curriculum around the idea of demonstrating the science of crop production and how his students can build school pride by giving back to their community in meaningful ways. “This class creates new windows of opportunity,” said Tara Mitchell, a senior at Woodland High School. “When I come back to the school to visit after graduation, I want to hear what the students have learned compared to what I learned in the class and see the impact that the class has made.”

Give to the community, and the community gives back

Since September 2021, the students and members of the Woodland community have grown and harvested over 640 pounds of produce that they’ve donated to the school cafeteria and the Yolo Food Bank.

Students and families have helped maintain the garden on weekends, and community members have donated time, resources and financial support. The “Good Neighbors of Woodland” Facebook group shares harvest updates and helps spread awareness of the program beyond the local community.

“If it wasn’t for our community and organizations like Yolo Farm to Fork, the Center for Land Based Learning, Woodland High School FFA Boosters, Woodland Joint Unified School District, the agribusinesses in our county, and the many volunteers, I doubt the greenhouse, garden and the Farm to Fork class would ever see the light of day,” said Delsol. “I have always known that our community would support educational endeavors, and it is my sincere wish that this program will produce students that someday will be employed in the plant and soil industry to give back to the community as it has given to us.” 

Growing food for the future

In the last three years, the class has grown from six students to thirty-eight, and one garden has expanded to five, including student-built hydroponic systems. Given the growth in participation and demand, Delsol plans to start a second Farm to Fork course with a curriculum focused on agribusiness and agriculture marketing.

“The ag department faculty is looking forward to what is to come in the program’s future,” Delsol said. “I hope this class inspires the new students and leaves the graduating students feeling motivated and excited about a career in the agricultural industry.”

Check out the Good Neighbors of Woodland Facebook group for updates on the Farm to Fork program.

From Classroom to Cafeteria

When Woodland High School ag instructor and FFA advisor Jerry Delsol started a small garden to aid in teaching his plant science class, he could not have imagined the opportunity it would create to engage his students and give back to the local community.

Though it started out as a small garden, it began to flourish under the care of Delsol and his class, with the produce harvested going back to the school’s students and faculty. The Woodland High School principal began to take notice and presented Delsol with the idea of starting a “Farm to Fork” class. Two days later, Yolo Farm to Fork helped construct a classroom curriculum for the following school year and pledged to donate the tools, materials and anything else the class needed to sustain the new project.

Woodland High School Greenhouse

The curriculum for the new class includes how to grow, maintain, harvest and clean crops, as well as basic plant science, pest management and soil fertility. Delsol built the curriculum around the idea of demonstrating the science of crop production and how his students can build school pride by giving back to their community in meaningful ways. “This class creates new windows of opportunity,” said Tara Mitchell, a senior at Woodland High School. “When I come back to the school to visit after graduation, I want to hear what the students have learned compared to what I learned in the class and see the impact that the class has made.”

Give to the community, and the community gives back

Since September 2021, the students and members of the Woodland community have grown and harvested over 640 pounds of produce that they’ve donated to the school cafeteria and the Yolo Food Bank.

Students and families have helped maintain the garden on weekends, and community members have donated time, resources and financial support. The “Good Neighbors of Woodland” Facebook group shares harvest updates and helps spread awareness of the program beyond the local community.

“If it wasn’t for our community and organizations like Yolo Farm to Fork, the Center for Land Based Learning, Woodland High School FFA Boosters, Woodland Joint Unified School District, the agribusinesses in our county, and the many volunteers, I doubt the greenhouse, garden and the Farm to Fork class would ever see the light of day,” said Delsol. “I have always known that our community would support educational endeavors, and it is my sincere wish that this program will produce students that someday will be employed in the plant and soil industry to give back to the community as it has given to us.” 

Growing food for the future

In the last three years, the class has grown from six students to thirty-eight, and one garden has expanded to five, including student-built hydroponic systems. Given the growth in participation and demand, Delsol plans to start a second Farm to Fork course with a curriculum focused on agribusiness and agriculture marketing.

“The ag department faculty is looking forward to what is to come in the program’s future,” Delsol said. “I hope this class inspires the new students and leaves the graduating students feeling motivated and excited about a career in the agricultural industry.”

Check out the Good Neighbors of Woodland Facebook group for updates on the Farm to Fork program.

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