LOCKHART (KXAN) — Students at Pride High School have begun branching out to create a food forest.
Thus far, they’ve raised over $1,800 through community donations to purchase plants and transform a 3,000-square-foot fenced-in area across from campus into an edible landscape.
Ethan Peters is the principal at Pride High, a smaller specialized school offering individualized learning. He said their goal is to grow a garden for all four seasons.
“Basically, it’s just an ecosystem that’s mimicking nature as much as possible,” Peters said.
Over the last few years, he and his students have been working hard to build the food forest.
“This is not an instant gratification thing; you don’t just put a seed in the ground and tomorrow you got a fruit tree,” Peters said. “It takes some time and patience and dedication.”
Students like senior Emma Williams have immersed themselves in the edible landscape.
“Touching the dirt and getting out and breathing the fresh air is just amazing,” she said. “Knowing that you’re creating something is even better.“
Several seeds are in the ground and starting to spring up. This includes an array of native and adapted fruit trees, nut trees, herbs, veggies, berries and more.
Along with this wide variety, there’s also space for butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators to fly on in.
“It’s something good for Lockhart, something good that we need for our school,” Williams said. “It’s very small, not really well known, but this gives us a piece of something.”
Pride High junior Brandon Morales shares this prideful purpose.
“When most people do go grocery shopping, they don’t know where it comes from,” he said. “There’s just something about helping people do that process. It’s amazing as a Texas community.”
In its early stages, the food forest must be managed carefully. Yet over time, Peters believes it’ll grow into a forest full of fortune.
“I want this to be tied to a food truck eventually, a farmers market, cooking classes or just events in general,” he concluded.
Pride High is hoping to raise at least $2,000 to install an irrigation system, which would allow the garden to thrive during all seasons of the year.
To donate to their GoFundMe, click here.