“I want to express how much I appreciate you coming out to see the garden,” said Steve McCracken to Kent Delperdang of Walmart Distribution Center, who was looking at the thriving vegetable, fruit, and flower garden at Terra Bella Elementary School on Wednesday.
Walmart gave a donation of $2000 to McCracken for garden supplies. McCracken uses the garden to teach children not just about growing vegetables, fruits, and flowers, he uses the process of planting and growing things to teach the kids about math, language, and history.
McCracken showed Delperdang and his colleague Tony Robison growing peppers and asked them to identify which one, after he broke off the seed end, the male pepper, or female pepper had the most seeds. Quite fascinating. The male pepper had the most seeds, you can tell from the pips on the end of the pepper near the top.
Robison is the lead maintenance man at the school, and said, “Steve asked me about making the garden, and I said I would start by making planter boxes. Steve got donations of wood, and then things started coming together. Many donations, plus we just received the $2000 donation from WalMart.”
McCracken, Delperdang, Robison, and volunteer student Alex Ramos who was helping around the garden, all looked at the thriving plants and looked at the variegated Bell Peppers.
It’s been about 40 days since McCracken and the students planted the “Big Bertha” Bell pepper plants, and the peppers are now mature. Carrots have been planted alongside the pepper plants because “they are supposed to be buddies.”
“I appreciate that we are extending education outside the classroom,” Delperdang said, “this is a lot of work out here, and many people don’t understand where food comes from.” Originally from Iowa, Delperdang really got a kick from the garden, because he grew up on a farm.
“This is just fantastic for the kids,” McCracken said. He explained the Terra Bella Elementary school garden project was one in 1500 applications for garden supplies to WalMart, “and we received the $2,000 grant courtesy of WalMart Distribution Center in Porterville. I didn’t think it would happen.
Thank you for the vast amount of donations gifted to us for the garden. We certainly couldn’t have done it without people’s help.
“A huge thank you to WalMart and Kent Delperdang, who said they would bump up the donation in 2020.”
“All of the plants are doing well,” said McCracken, and he joked, “this is where opportunity meets perspiration,” as he, Tony, and Alex got ready to finish up since it was getting hot in the full sun.