Local News

Scouts on the SMARTS Farm

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The Girl Scouts got their hands dirty planting a new bed on the farm.
(Karen Billing)

Local Girl Scout Troop 3173 spent an afternoon on the Rancho Santa Fe SMARTS Farm on Feb. 24. The SMARTS Farm, run by mother-daughter team Susan Madden Lankford and Polly Lankford Smith at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe since 2018, offers a chance for kids and adults to learn about the art of farming and cultivate a love of nature.

The troop of fifth and sixth graders from R. Roger Rowe School had a productive day: Harvesting oranges and kumquats to snack on, planting seeds and getting their hands nice and dirty planting a new bed for the farm. The girls also made their own pizzas—chopping up veggies for toppings (cauliflower was a favorite), brushing their dough with olive oil using fresh rosemary from the garden and baking it up in the oven.

Making pizzas at SMART Farm.
(Karen Billing)

As SMARTS Farm lead teacher Tiffany Svorinic told the girls, they have been having issues with mice and rats eating up all of their plants so they got new metal planter beds to help scare them away. The girls learned about “lasagna gardening”, layering the bed with straw and soil. They then planted beets, spinach and marigolds in the new planter—while pretty to look at, Svorinic said the fragrance of the marigolds also acts as a deterrent for the rodents.


As they finished their pizza creations, the troop painted a new garden sign to mark their hard work on the farm that day.

To learn more about what’s going down on the farm, visit

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