Healthy Earth Creates a Healthy Community in Local Hester School Garden

Healthy soil, healthy food, and a healthy community are all goals of the Hester School Garden.

by Louise Daviron and Enzo Ugolini

Have you heard about Hester School Garden? It’s been now almost seven years since the school allowed the California Native Garden Foundation to use and develop the space as an educational garden.

The goal for this garden, of less than 1/4 of an acre, is to use it to explore, study and show our vision of regenerative organic farming.

We are using native hedgerows to amplify the ecosystem benefits provided. We also want to maximize the space of food production—not only horizontally, but also vertically. Furthermore, we are testing technologies, through the aquaponic agriculture project, with the Engineers Without Borders from SJSU.

Lately, we have been applying concepts based on the syntropic agriculture philosophy, a movement coming from Brazil that is also called “agrofloresta.” This philosophy relies heavily on the idea that the health of the soil creates a healthy planet, which produces healthy food. Nutrient recycling, natural pest control and enhancing boosts to the ecosystem from native plants accomplish this.

In this last point, we have also been planting (and promoting) a lot of native edible plants in a way to diversify our production and to familiarize with the Native American culture of our region, since we believe this is our duty.

With the days getting warmer and the sun each day more present, the garden is thriving! Take a look:

on the ground you can see that we use the “waste” from a palm tree we cut as a path way. What can stay on the plot should stay on the plot !


we grant great importance to polyculture and believe in an agriculture of abundance where plants benefits from each other better than an agriculture of scarcity where plants are in competition

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