Yozma brings urban farm to Milken

Urban garden group
Taking time to celebrate their hard work, from left to right: Shauna Shafai '14, Tristy Rashtian '14, Noa Kattler Kupetz '14, Rachel Kattler Kupetz '12, Zoe Lewin '12 and Alison Rollman '14. Photo by Ms. Kattler.

Ivy Schneider

Staff Writer

Passing the second floor of the fourth building just got a little more interesting. Ms. Elizabeth Kattler, Jewish Studies teacher, and the students of Yozma’s Green Team, Milken’s social action leadership club, spent two Sundays in October creating Milken’s Urban Farm. They made the palates and structure and later planted seeds in organic soil. The produce consists of butter lettuce, romaine, broccoli, rosemary, nasturtium (edible flowers), lemon thyme, kale and basil.

“We help with the farm by harvesting once a week and selling $4 bags of mixed produce to those who’ve ordered them. We’ve already started raising awareness throughout the community by giving ‘farm tours’ to ninth grade advisories and anyone interested,” Rachel Kattler Kupetz ’12 said. “The money is going to making a third palate, which will hold tomatoes and peppers.”

The ultimate goal of Yozma is to create a Jewish studies class that is focused around the environment and will be connected to the farm.

“I fully believe that this farm has raised an immense amount of awareness around campus. Before, people didn’t even know what an urban farm looked liked, let alone what the word ‘organic’ even meant. This farm has, thus far, exceeded all of our short-term goals,” Zoe Lewin ’12 said.

Students from Yozma’s Green Team say that the new addition to Milken has altered their outlook on life, from the environment to their meals.

“After having worked on the farm, I constantly find myself looking at different lettuces at grocery stores and thinking, ‘yeah, we plant that.’ It has also affected my eating habits, as I am beginning to eat more salad and lettuce than I normally would,” Donna Heikali ’14 said.

Having an urban farm at Milken brings a sense of community and unity to the students and faculty.

“It truly is a community school when we can provide food for the community, by the community,” Kattler Kupetz said. “Many people were involved in the process, creating something that can be ‘passed down’ for years and years to come in the future of Milken.”