Muir High School Students Grow and Sell Fresh Local Produce

July 19 Open House Launches Second Location for School Farm Produce Sale that Provides Jobs, Good Nutrition

Published : Tuesday, July 17, 2012 | 12:42 AM

Fresh, local produce that provides summer jobs for youth will be on sale at an open house Thursday, July 19 in front of Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) headquarters in downtown Pasadena as part of the Muir Ranch Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Ranging from Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes to nectarines and fresh cut flowers, John Muir High School students will provide free samples, offer cooking demonstrations and sell fruits and vegetables that they have grown and harvested as both a hands-on lesson in science and economics and as paying summer jobs. Starting July 19, Pasadena-area foodies can purchase monthly subscriptions for boxes of fresh produce at PUSD headquarters (Del Mar Blvd. at Oak Knoll Ave.in Pasadena) Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.in addition to Muir High School (1905 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena) Mondays from 9 a.m.-Noon.

Flowers, herbs and vegetables are grown at Muir Ranch, a 1.5 acre urban farm located on the Muir High School campus inNorthwest Pasadena. Students from the school’s three academies: Engineering & Environmental Science, Business & Entrepreneurship and Arts, Entertainment &Media earn internship and community service credits for working on the farm, where they apply classroom lessons on irrigation, organic farming and the workings of a business. The produce sold by the Muir Ranch CSA is grown at Muir Ranch and other partnered regional farms.

“The mission of Muir Ranch is to teach students important business and life skills and provide them with meaningful employment and improve access to fresh, affordable and locally grown produce for the community,” said PUSD Superintendent Jon R. Gundry.

The ranch began insummer 2011 when a team of volunteer teachers, students and urban farmers began converting land on the sprawling Muir campus into a working urban farm. In an area where 78 percent of the school’s students live at or below the federalpoverty level, Muir Ranch offers youth a chance to serve their community as entrepreneurs and as agents of change. The program is employing a dozen students this summer through jobs funded by sales of produce subscriptions.

Subscriptions are sold on a monthly basis as a full share (enough for 4-6 people) for $100 per month and a half share (enough for up to 3 people) for $60 per month. All boxes contain an assortment of 7-10 vegetable, fruit and herb types. Subscriptions to fresh cut flower shares are also available for $10, $15 and $25 per week, depending on the size of the bouquet.50% of all purchases are tax deductible because of the partnership between Muir Ranch CSA and the Pasadena Education Foundation.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/MuirRanch. To subscribe, send an email to johnmuircsa@gmail.com or visit the Muir Ranch CSA distribution locations Thursdays at PUSD Headquarters or Mondays at Muir High School.

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