The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Green class beats budget cuts

Melanie Anderson photographs students Joshua Dikus, left, and Robert Thomas, right, for the Loaves and Fishes website. (Danielle Barcena)

Buying a flower bulb this month can help adaptive horticulture students continue to be productive members of their community.

Students and volunteers hope to raise funds for the class by selling flower bulbs like irises, lilies and daffodils through orders until Sept. 30.

The adaptive horticulture class is an outlet for students with developmental, physical and mental challenges.

Student ages range from 17 to senior citizens. They work as a team to raise plants from seed through to harvest.

Due to recent budget cuts, the class was nearly eliminated last semester. The students are hoping there will be a class in the spring.

During Friday morning’s session, students gathered around a table to put together fundraising packets, taking turns stapling and stamping forms.

“This is about our Bulb Fundraiser,” instructor Karen Talbot explained to the students. “Each semester, we sell bulbs.”

Fundraising is the only way to put money into this non-credit course.

Talbot teaches this class and an evening English 116 course. The passion she has for nurturing her plants transcends toward her communication with students.

“They do planting, pruning, harvesting and they learn skills. If they need assistance, it’s done together,” Talbot says of her students.

Charlene Scott, a student from Pinole, harvested purple Shiso, a Japanese herb that grows in the garden. Her face lit up as she filled her basket.”I did a good job,” she said.

Scott’s wheelchair is able to roll right up to the plant thanks to a local Boy Scout troop that helped design the garden to a heightened level of accessibility..

“Karen Talbot and her class are wonderful,” Cinthia Chavarria, the Norseman Café’s program coordinator said.

“They provide us flowers for our tables in the dining room and for catering events too, each semester. They do a nice job and Karen is always making sure we’re happy with their work and flowers,” she said.

The adaptive horticulture class helps DVC connect with the community. Loaves and Fishes, a non-profit agency that feeds the hungry of Contra Costa County in dining facilities, relies on donations of produce from the class to help their chefs provide nutritious meals to hundreds of thousands of hungry families every year.

Melanie Anderson, an office administrator at Loaves and Fishes, photographed the students working in the garden.

The organization wanted to feature the students on their website as a gesture of gratitude for their kindness.

“Our chefs really appreciate everything you give them,” Anderson told Talbot.

Talbot said that she and the students are grateful for everything that DVC does for the program.

All funds raised during the flower bulb sale will support the class.

For more information, contact Karen Talbot at [email protected] or call 925-685-1230 ext. 1554. The deadline for ordering is Friday, Sept. 30.

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About the Contributor
Danielle Barcena, News editor
News editor, fall 2011.

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Green class beats budget cuts