Santee H.S. Garden

santee big perspective

The Carver Garden, run by Carver Middle School students, helps feed Carver students at every cafeteria meal. Your participation made the Carver Garden possible.

We have an exciting new project, a large hydroponic garden at Santee Education Complex. Santee serves a population of about 2,100 high school students; about 73% qualify for free or reduced fee lunches.

What will the Santee students grow?

At first, the garden will grow tilapia and/or catfish, leafy greens and herbs. As the garden matures, tomatoes, peppers and other fruiting plants can take some of the space. Tree People have generously agreed to furnish 6 fruit trees, which we plan to grow in re-purposed, used wine barrels. We will be putting in benches as well. All of this will convert bare concrete into a student-friendly food production and rest area.

Is it eco-friendly?

It’s very eco-friendly. The aquaculture garden will be a closed mini-ecosystem, using about 90% less water than growing conventionally.

How can I participate?

There are three ways YOU can Participate.

  • Financial – every dollar donated to the garden projects goes directly to the project. No salaries are paid with your donation dollars.

  • Materials – a list of materials needed for the garden can be found on this web page. If you have any of these items or wish to acquire them for us, we love and appreciate donations of materials
  • Time – we need volunteers to help build the garden and work on it from time to time as the seasons and crops change. You can volunteer individually or gather your friends, family, coworkers, and community members for a fun day in the dirt.

Tell other community members who may want to participate by donating or helping us build this efficient, modern system to help feed Santee students.

How much will this garden cost to build?

About $30,000 total in donations and in-kind trade of materials.


What parts will we have to buy? Check our list below. We happily accept donations of individual parts.

Click here for a list of helpful parts that can be donated.

Who is supporting us already?

Burners Without Borders has awarded us $500 to use for materials. Tree People will contribute 6 fruit trees. Armstrong Garden Centers will be furnishing most of the plants.

Los Angeles League of Arts (LALA) is providing free administrative and accounting services through Athena Demos with others to be named, free grant writing by Susan Bergemann, free garden design and implementation through Tom Cemo at Ecofficiency, free project oversight by Christopher Hennes, and free fun and building from YOU and your friends at our building parties.

If you would like to coordinate a fund raiser, please contact Thanks to everyone who supports the projects by attending these fun events.

We are applying for a Metropolitan Water Authority grant of $2,000. We are making many other grant applications taking tax-deductible individual and company donations, and seeking donations of building materials through our link above.

We still need the support of individuals. Small contributions add up. Donations are tax-deductible, and you can donate here.


Stay tuned for announcements about progress on fund-raising and building party announcements.




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