Students trade blighted land for possibly the county's best classroom

Posted at 5:36 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 20:48:16-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - It may be the most useful classroom in San Diego County.  Food and Nutrition students at Chula Vista High School dedicated a garden Monday that will teach students more than the basics of farming.

The garden was originally a weed-covered lot.

“It literally used to be where we kept our trash bins and now look at it,” said junior Brenna McDonald.

The students cleared the lot located near a parking lot on campus and cultivated it for growing fresh vegetables.

“We learn about the importance of soil and how it’s really fragile,” said senior Marla Vazquez.

The vegetables in garden also teach the students about healthy choices and responsibility.

“It does taste good.  You don’t need to go to 7-Eleven for chips.  We have food all over,” explained Vazquez.

“In our community that’s what we’re fighting,” said Chula Vista High Principal MaryRose Peralta.  “We’re fighting that students have access to fresh food; that our students have access to nutritious food.”

Peralta explained that 50% of Latino and African-American students across the country will eventually be obese or develop diabetes in their lifetime.

“So, we’re bringing health to these people, to us, and to teachers,” said Vazquez.

“I’m so honored that this has come to fruition,” said Peralta.

The students hope to get approval to directly supply the school’s cafeteria with fresh vegetables from their garden.