Ramona’s Farm: Community Building Sustainable Living

Ramona’s farm brings us one step closer to offering students and others in our community an opportunity to have fresh, non-processed produce. With the growing rate of health problems, many students are beginning to realize the benefits of nutritious food. Our farm will allow Ramona students to truly appreciate the natural food that we often take for granted. We hope that building a farm may influence our community to make at least one choice each day a healthy choice and provide a variety of fruits and vegetables to those who may not have the option to choose whole foods.

The biggest challenge of choosing fresh food is time and convenience. As a student, it can seem difficult to find time to prepare a healthy meal when juggling AP classes and extra-curricular activities, but it might also be the easiest problem to answer compared to all the homework questions. It could be as simple as adding berries to breakfast or some carrots to lunch, but now, we will have the opportunity to get these foods straight from our campus. Our farm will provide nutritional food that is also free from pesticides, which often cause more harm to the body. Instead of spending that dollar on one bag of empty calorie chips, we will be able to make the choice of having fresh fruit from our own farm.

This is not the first time that Ramona will have a thriving farm. As the celebration of our 125th Anniversary continues, we recall among all the events of Ramona’s history that it was once home to a luscious orange grove and olive garden. Although we cannot bring back the cattle that used to roam the campus, we can definitely plant some orange trees. We are bringing back a special part of Ramona’s history, while providing an environmentally friendly method of acquiring organic, energy packed foods.

Many generous members of our Ramona Convent community have offered money, equipment, and time to this project. Mrs. Kay Paietta, a member of our Board of Trustees, has donated money in order to secure tools and other gardening supplies. Mr. Gil Vargas (Josephine Vargas ’18) has donated his time and equipment assisting us in our efforts to rehabilitate the land located behind the pool and gym. Jessica Franco ’15 and Kendall Alvarez ’16 have volunteered their leadership. 87 students have signed up for our new agriculture club and many faculty and staff have volunteered their time and sweat equity in order to help this farm project get off the ground. Our President, Sr. Kathleen Callaway, SNJM, and our Principal, Ms. Mary E. Mansell, have been generous with their advice, mentorship, and enthusiasm. Mrs. Aulikki Flagan has contributed her grant-writing abilities in order to secure much needed funding.

This does not mean, however, that we have everything or everyone that we need. Mr. Francois Laborie, Retreat Coordinator and Theology teacher is creating a planning committee to ensure that this project receives consistent support and attention in order to thrive. If you feel you have the time and talent to share, then please contact Mr. Laborie via e-mail flaborie@ramonaconvent.org.

Ramona Convent Secondary School, 1701 West Ramona Road, Alhambra, (626) 282-4151 or visit www.ramonaconvent.org.




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