DYGUP / Sustain is our premier community program to give direct "working with your hands" training to local students attending Las Cruces High School. Together they learn to build, grow and operate an urban farm conveniently located to their campus. There’s over 100 teenagers involved in our program this year.
The student's completed one Compost BioReactor with planning for a second before the end of the year. They Installed drip irrigation. Student's learned how to make BioChar and to incorporate it into our desert soil. We take clean wood and burn it and use it as a soil amendment, causing the soil to improve from the pure heavy clay desert soil and make it more porous and arable. Roots grow easier. As the char breaks down it is healthy soil. This allows us to terraform small areas of desert into arable farmland, ready for cultivation.
Students planted spinach, kale and Swiss chard. They are planning for lettuce and carrots to be cultivated as well. We started with species that germinate in cooler weather. We are also building a chicken coop to house 6 chickens. Learning to raise chickens and harvest eggs. In a few weeks they will be up. The food from the harvest goes to the First Christian Church for their Food Pantry. They don’t have any fresh vegetables and this fulfills a huge need. The food pantry serves HIV patients who require healthy sources of nutrition.