In April, 2011, the President of the Organic Garden Club at that time, Darcey Lober, walked into the office of the Casa Pacifica School in Camarillo and offered to start a garden for them at the school. As it happened, the infrastructure for a garden had just been put in, but no one there knew what to do and the staff welcomed her with open arms. Christopher Smith took over tending the 6 fruit trees that Johns Nursery had donated. Darcey Lober brought 100 heirloom tomato plants left over from the Organic Garden Club’s Earth Day Event in Thousand Oaks. The students at the day school helped Darcey and Chris to plant them and the garden grew and matured.
Directing children to pick a flower bouquet and to bring it to their moms or teachers is a very easy way to get troubled kids positively focused. A gallon container of showy milkweed was planted and it spread its seeds throughout the garden. Lovely wildflowers are now sprouting from seed, so when the school kids wander in they always have something to pick. Since the only food for the monarch butterfly is milkweed, butterflies surround and inspire the kids and volunteers when they are planting veggies in the garden.
The garden at Casa Pacifica School still remains a major work in progress. Volunteers from the Organic Garden Club have donated time, talent, and materials throughout the years. The mainstay of the garden has been Darcey Lober, who arranges for donations or buys most of the garden staples and is an inspiration to all the students.