El Estoque

Update: Matador Meadow presents new ideas for the future

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Update: Matador Meadow presents new ideas for the future

Catherine

Within a year, the garden has sprouted several new plants as MV Sprouts continues to plan for the next semester.

Over several periods throughout the day, students garden in the Matador Meadow by the B building. Whether they are part of MV Sprouts or one of science teacher Andrew Goldenkranz’s students, they are growing food right here on campus to be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.

“When we were asking students questions in class like ‘Where does your food come from?’ they were completely unable to trace their food back to the source, which is kind of a useful idea in life,” Goldenkranz said, “This helped connect the dots, even though its not a working farm.”

The lack of practical understanding of the material covered in his AP Environmental Science class inspired Goldenkranz to start the Matador Meadow. Goldenkranz hoped that the garden would allow his students to apply the information that they were learning from their textbooks.

He first came up with the idea five years, ago but construction throughout school was a constant obstacle that kept the garden project from going into effect. Last year, however, the administration gave permission — and Goldenkranz picked the spot beside the B building because of its access to sunlight. His only request was that the bushes and plants be removed from the area and he promised that all the money would come from funds raised by the biology department.

“Then an interesting thing happened,” Goldenkranz said. “The minute we broke ground, I started to get requests from students to form a club.”

MV Sprouts president sophomore Karen Shi, one of Goldenkranz’s biology students last year, heard about the project during class and volunteered to help plant the seeds with one of her friends for fun. After realizing that no gardening clubs existed at the school, Shi and her group of friends created MVHS Sprouts.

“The club started out as an excuse to meet up with friends,” Shi said. “But this year we are doing more advertising to bring more people to the club.”

MV Sprouts started with $1,000 that it earned from its TED talks presentation and has raised money through several fundraisers. The club spends its money on buying supplies for the garden such as fertilizer and the flower boxes, which cost about $800 collectively.

“Our money goes a lot faster than we think it does,” said sophomore Jan Chan, MV Sprouts public relations director. “One day we thought we had $1,000 in our account and found out we had $200, and we were frantic about Club Day approaching.”

The club has tried several tactics to gain recognition, including organizing a butterfly fundraiser in early September in which students could “adopt” a butterfly that was kept in a net by the garden. After the butterflies are released, the students can stop by the garden to see if any have returned.

Both Goldenkranz and MV Sprouts have been maintaining food that is to be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Goldenkranz hopes that when the cafeteria construction is finished due to the small space in the food trucks, their vegetables will be used for cooking student lunches.

“It’s something very tangible where you can see the things that are growing here,” secretary and vice-president sophomore Ada Chen said. “It shows the things we are doing for our community and that we can still make a big impact right here in our school.”