As states and school districts deal with major budget shortfalls, programs are being cut. Such may possibly be the fate of an innovative gardening initiative involving North Hollywood High School students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Here in this little-known oasis, Mud Baron and urban teenagers with a heretofore unknown penchant for rare flowers toil under a blazing sun to raise lemon verbena, tomatoes, lettuce and other greenery that hundreds of Los Angeles schools will use to jump-start their gardens this fall. They also cultivate exotic plants, including exuberantly colored dahlias the size of dinner plates, to sell at farmers markets.
Mud, known among administrators as Los Angeles Unified School District’s “Johnny Appleseed,” and his close-knit crew of North Hollywood High students are scrambling not only to help the district’s fledgling gardening program grow, but also to save it from joining other new programs in the compost heap.
Read more about it in this story from Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.