School & Community Gardens
In early 2015, Foster created an extracurricular school garden project at the arts high school where he teaches. The project was designed to provide students with opportunities to learn about raising flowers, vegetables, and herbs on a small scale without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but it has also involved students in activities related to gardening, sustainability, and healthy eating. Since the August 2018 fire that caused the school to relocate to a temporary location, the project was rebuilt as a school garden and outdoor classroom on the site of what had once been an elementary-school playground.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has halted the project for now. After a rainy winter in early 2020, students were sent home from schools in March at about the time for planting. With the majority of students continuing online during the 2020–2021 school year, the school garden has been fallow since March 2020.
However, Foster remains active in the Old Cloverdale Community Garden, where he has a raised bed and tends a worm farm that produces fertilizer for the gardeners. His work in the community garden also began in 2015, helping to clear to the donated vacant lot so that construction could begin. Since then, he has been involved in regular maintenance and whatever tasks are needed.
To learn about the project and its history, click on the links below:
Dirty Boots: “Farm School Lessons and My Stubborn Optimism” from November 2019
A Moveable Feast: Fall Finally Comes to a School Garden from November 2019
A Moveable Feast: Daring to Plant in Mid-August! from August 2019
“Two MPS teachers selected to attend sustainability academy in Montana” in the Montgomery Advertiser, April 21, 2019
A Moveable Feast: Vegetable Beds for a Rebirthed School Garden from March 2019
A Moveable Feast: The Rebirth of a School Garden from January 2019
The School Garden, Year Three from September 2016
A mid-summer progress report on the school garden from July 2015
Humble progress at the school garden from June 2015
A few months later . . . voila— a vegetable garden from May 2015