In honor of Earth Day, on April 25 Sullivan Solar Power’s Community Development team spent the morning volunteering at The Ecology Center Farm Lab in Encinitas. The Farm Lab opened in April of 2018 in partnership with the Encinitas Union School District, of which Sullivan Solar Power has installed solar panels on six out of nine elementary schools. The Farm Lab is designated not only feed the students, but also to be a place of learning. Last year, the farm produced over 20,000 pounds of organic food.
This living laboratory hosts fruit trees including apples, peaches and plums, as well as citrus fruits and a vegetable garden. In true farm-to-table fashion, Carter Wallace, the Farm Manager, proudly shared that the sauce the students enjoy on Pizza Day is made from the tomatoes and peppers grown on the farm.
Students in the Encinitas Unified School District learn real life skills and fine tune their work ethic at the Lab during their required time for their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes. Not only do they work the land, they find pride in growing the food that they will eventually enjoy eating. The organization focuses not only on the students' connection to the land, but also on conservation, and best water practices.
Under Wallace’s guidance, the Community Development team laid down and spread compost and mulch to ward off weeds and to prepare for more fruit trees to be planted. The team worked hard to evenly distribute the composted earth to cover over one quarter of an acre, while honoring the trenches that will collect and save rain water.
The Sullivan team enjoyed their day of hard work and supporting this incredible organization that gives future generations hands-on farm experience, an understanding for sustainability, and a stronger connection to the food that they eat. Sullivan Solar Power and the Encinitas Farm Lab find common ground in working hard towards building a brighter future for generations to come.