Future focus of the farm

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April Rios

With full stomachs, the chickens avidly await improvements pertaining to the organization of the farm. Mr. Houts and other staff members hope to enhance the relations between the farm and classes on campus.

Jessica Xilo, Parents & Teachers Editor

After a relaxing summer, a promising school year began with Mr. Houts’ and other staff members’ plans to make additions to the school farm.

 

Since last year, several changes and improvements were made. Over the summer, Mr. Houts installed an irrigation system which now provides water for trees. The staff has also begun to purchase fresh eggs for three dollars and fifty cents a dozen. Surprisingly, there is a special chicken that lays blue and green eggs. Their vibrant colors have made them more desirable for teachers because the pattern is very unique.

 

Incoming students are experiencing the farm for the first time.  Freshman Chanel Villanueva is one of many people happily aware of the animals.

 

“The farm is a great way for students and staff to learn to take care of animals,” Villanueva said.

 

As principal, Tom Houts cherishes the farm because it provides an atmosphere in which people and nature can coexist. “It calms people down,” Mr. Houts said.

 

In June, four turkeys joined the pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, and Carlos, the Mexican bunny. In order to keep everything clean and organized, there are Teacher Assistants that help with the work. Senior Katherine Alvarado is an official TA for Mr. Houts. She would like to become an animal control officer in the future.

 

“Farming inspires me to appreciate nature and the tough work,” Alvarado said. She is in charge of clipping wings, locking up the farm, putting out new hay, and writing the feeding times for the animals. She likes the fact that every student can interact with animals.

 

“The farm helps the school’s entire view,” Alvarado said. “Not only does it unite all kinds of races together but it gives a beautiful, iridescent view of God’s creatures.”

 

In addition to Alvarado, Junior Carissa Gama also takes care of the animals. Her job is to clean up after the animals and make sure they are happy and healthy. Gama believes that the farm has a positive environment.

 

“I’ve always loved animals,” Gama said. “Growing up, I always watched Houston SPCA [animal cruelty investigations] and ever since then I’ve always wanted to work for them and working on the farm really helps me to feel more comfortable around a variety of animals.”

 

Future improvements are being discussed among the staff. Woodshop will be making additional houses for the animals. Mr. Pittenger, the Botany teacher, hopes to develop an herb garden and a school wide compost program as other components to the farm.

 

Mrs. Lucke and Mr. Houts agree that there are as many animals as can be handled so there will not be any more added this year. The focus rests on getting the soil ready for spring, and hopefully, November and December will be favorable months to sell greenhouse plants and raise money for farm supplies.