Santa Maria agricultural education program The Patch is kicking off its third season this week in partnership with the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department and Betteravia Farms.
The Patch provides free, career-oriented agriculture education to high school students in Santa Maria, leading up to the opening of a pumpkin patch during the Halloween season at Los Flores Ranch Park.
Preparations for the fall pumpkin patch begin Saturday, May 23, where students will gain experience with transplanting pumpkins at Plantel Nurseries from 10 to 11 a.m.
The Patch expects to return this fall to Los Flores Ranch Park, according to city spokesman Mark van de Kamp.
In order to give back to the community during the coronavirus pandemic, Patch students also will be offering free vegetable transplants to community members throughout Santa Maria and Orcutt.
These transplants will be offered in a drive-thru system on June 6, with more details regarding specific locations to come.
Since its start in 2019, The Patch has provided educational opportunities to over 300 high school students, raised nearly $200,000 for the community and provided $30,000 in scholarships for participating students.
For more details, contact The Patch program coordinator Corina Posada at 805-863-7709.
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Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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