Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club funds San Pasqual Academy Agriculture Program

San Pasqual Academy is a first-in-the-nation residential education campus designed specifically for foster teens. The Academy is located in Escondido and provides foster teens with a stable, caring home, a quality, individualized education, and the skills needed for independent living. The school’s Agricultural Program that was initiated as a class in agriculture has grown to be that plus a work readiness program for currently enrolled Academy foster teens and alumni who return to the campus during breaks and summer vacation. The program teaches the kids about running a business as well as producing a product. The classroom is a 14-plus-acre organic field where watermelon and assorted fruits and vegetables are grown.

Recently, members of the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club visited the campus to see progress of the Academy’s Agriculture Program. Funds for this year’s program were obtained, in part, from the RSF Garden Club’s grant program. An award of $9,000 was given to fund seeds and fertilizer, tractor equipment and maintenance supplies, trees and plants, and irrigation materials. The RSF Garden Club grant was matched by the Friends of San Pasqual Academy, totaling $18,000 for the Agricultural Program.

Debby Syverson, the Development Liaison at San Pasqual Academy, commented on the value of the farm for the students: “The farm provides a unique opportunity on campus to provide students with work experiences which has also seen improvement in their school work. When students who have work experience go out into the world after graduation they are more prepared for either college or work. This is an exciting time for the program to provide a true project-based learning program for the students and for the students to have an opportunity to run a business with all the challenges and rewards.”

You can support San Pasqual Academy by buying their organic produce labeled “Dragon Organics” at Whole Foods.

There will be more updates in the future on how the RSF Garden Club is contributing to the community, as well as surrounding communities, through charitable horticulture and charitable conservation.

The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, call 858-756-1554, visit, or email: