Date: Oct 22, 2013
Mike Martin watches as Mrs. Manning teaches 2nd graders

Calpine Containers and Western Growers Foundation (WGF) presented St. Francis Parish School with a check of $1,700 for its school garden earlier this month. Calpine Containers generously donated funds to WGF, to assist St. Francis Parish School grow and sustain its garden. The check was presented to Pam Manning a 2nd grade teacher at St. Francis who is the school garden coordinator and one of the garden’s biggest supporters.

“Calpine Containers wanted to assist St. Francis School because many of the local farmers who are Western Growers members have children going to this school or because they are past alumni,” said Mike Martin, South Valley Sales Manager at Calpine Containers. We thought it would be a great idea to help out Mrs. Manning by providing money for a garden since she has always used her own money for it.   We’re very glad that we could do that.” he added.

During the visit, representatives from Calpine Containers and WGF watched as the 2nd graders participated in different gardening activities, including making newspaper pots for planting. The 2nd graders are doing research to plan the type of garden they would like to grow.  And just like their larger farming counterparts, the children will soon be planting winter vegetables. The class plans to harvest the salad greens sometime in January or February to make a salad for everyone.

“They’re excited about growing salad, and that’s great for 2nd graders to be excited about.” said Mrs. Manning. “We have reading, science, math, social studies, but it’s wonderful for them to be able to get hands on experience instead of just reading it from a book,” she added.

WGF would like to thank Calpine Containers for its generosity and for helping the WGF in its endeavor to bring an edible school garden to every willing California and Arizona school. For more information on Western Growers Foundation, visit

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