Modesto Nuts pitch in for school garden in Vernalis

Bee staff reportsOctober 20, 2013 

— Al Almond went back to his roots, pitching in with the Modesto Nuts staff to help build a garden at Rising Sun school.

The workday on Friday loaded raised beds with soil and got a fall planting in place for the school’s vocational gardening program. The school serves young adults in special education, helping to train them for jobs with nurseries, plant maintenance and retail operations.

“We are developing for a program for our adult consumers,” said Philip Alfano, superintendent of the Patterson Unified School District, which runs the program.

“This has been a fantastic day,” he said. “We have Kellogg Garden Products and the Modesto Nuts teaming with us to help get our garden going, and we are very grateful for that.”

Rising Sun’s entry won a school contest held by the Modesto Nuts Professional Baseball Club and Kellogg. Students from 15 area schools submitted garden designs, said Michael Gorrasi, general manager of the Nuts.

The planting project went together easily, said David Benningfield, area manager for Kellogg, which donated the materials.

“We have had some excellent feedback,” he said. “The kids, the students and the teachers have all really come together and appreciated this.”

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