(Photo by by Samantha Tzec)

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Augustus F. Hawkins High School healing and ancestral garden

Augustus F. Hawkins High School for Community Action Garden has been opened to students and staff since 2017. Soon after, the Garden Club was created for students and families to interact and learn about seeding, planting, watering, and about how to tend it. Ms. Englander, a former Hawkins teacher, got the garden boxes donated in…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/samtzec/" target="_self">Samantha Tzec</a>

Samantha Tzec

October 31, 2021

Augustus F. Hawkins High School for Community Action Garden has been opened to students and staff since 2017. Soon after, the Garden Club was created for students and families to interact and learn about seeding, planting, watering, and about how to tend it.

Ms. Englander, a former Hawkins teacher, got the garden boxes donated in 2015. But it was a parent and community leader, Ms. Gigi Casey who co-started the garden with Miguel Casar around 2017.

Achillea moonshine yarrow (Photo by Rubi Gutierrez)

The origins of the campus garden

Gina Kim started the Garden Club in room 325 where the current nine members can find garden supplies and may take seeds to their homes and grow plants themselves. Students are also asked to donate seeds and many other things, like sheers, gloves, tools for members of the club to take and use. 

Ms. Polanco, who is one of the Garden Club advisers with Ms. Kim, spoke about the Graffiti Club planning to create a mural for the garden club to be placed on a wall right behind the garden. The club meets every Tuesday, during lunch in room 325, where they communicate about the garden and learn new gardening information and of course go downstairs to harvest the strawberries, lemongrass and squash pushing up through the earth.

The types of plants in the garden

Echeveria (Photo by Samantha Tzec)

There are many herbs and flowers planted in the garden, including achillea moonshine yarrow and echeveria.

“The majority of the plants in the garden are ancestral food plants that are familiar to the Black and Brown traditional foods,” Ms. Polanco said.

There are herbs you are able to create tea with, such as lemon balm, holy basil, borage and more. In this picture, the herb is called Holy Basil, an herb which reduces stress and anxiety, promotes appetite and eases discomfort.

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