Student Spotlight:
Siena Heid 
    Meet Siena Heid. Siena is a 3rd grader at Farallone View Elementary School and recently graduated from The HEAL Project’s 26-week Intensive Garden Program (IGP). Siena is a big fan of the garden and enjoyed her time planting vegetables and making recipes during class. Her favorite recipes were salsa and stir fry. She recalled the salsa had basil in it and her favorite, jalapeños. She loves spicy things and was happy to learn that you can put the jalapeño seeds in the salsa to make it even spicier.  

    While in the program she learned the hard lesson that many gardeners face, pests eating your plants. Voles have troubled the garden for years but educator, Laurel Bigelow, takes the opportunity to teach her students problem solving skills. Siena explained that if you cover the baby plants with a cup, the voles can’t get to them and once they get big enough you can remove the cup and the voles won’t eat them.

    Siena took her interest in gardening further with the classroom aquaponics tank and even wrote a book about it. Aquaponics is a sustainable method of food production in which the waste produced by fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.

    Siena explained, fish poop created a good fertilizer for the plants and that plants helped to clean the tank for the fish. What she liked most was that the system helped both the plants and the fish. She also had an astute observation that not all animal relationships are symbiotic and she wasn’t just talking about predators and prey. She explained, “Caterpillar eat your plants but then they turn into butterflies and help your plants by pollinating. I think that’s pretty interesting.”, I agreed.  She says her biggest takeaway from the program and why she loves it so much is that “Plants, people and animals are all connected!” She even started her own garden at home and has taken many of the IGP lessons home with her, particularly picking the right kind of soil and what grows well locally.

Congratulations, Siena on graduating the IGP Program! We are so proud that you have taken the knowledge from the program home and are sharing it with others. Happy gardening season!
Thank you to our talented volunteer Kira Maritano for creating this beautiful illustrated map of the San Mateo County School Farm. Check out the full map here and next time you are at the farm try out the self-guided tour.
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers for painting signs this past Community Farm Day, they have brighten up our fields!

Community Farm Days run from 9 to noon on the second Saturday of the month during Farmers' Market season (April - December) and are open to volunteers ages 10 and over. RSVP and join us on our next Community Farm Day on Saturday, June 8. Sign up below!
RSVP here!
Snag the last spots of Summer Camp! We only have a couple spots left in Sessions 3 & 4 
Register Here
May Book Recommendation 
Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World
by Josh Tickell

Discover the hidden power soil has to reverse climate change, and how a regenerative farming diet not only delivers us better health and wellness, but also rebuilds our most precious resource—the very ground that feeds us.  Learn more..


Summer Squash, Corn & Egg Casserole

Prep time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hr, 15 min
Yields 8 servings

Photo and recipe adapted from
Eating Well



5 cups zucchini and/or other summer squash, shredded

2 tbsp butter or olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

1½ cup corn kernels

1½ cups cottage cheese (look for no salt added)

1 cup feta or blue cheese, crumbled

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp baking powder

10 large eggs, beaten lightly

Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F

  2. Grease a 9x13 in baking dish

  3. With a clean towel, squeeze out extra liquid from the shredded squash.

  4. In a large skillet, heat butter or oil on medium heat. Add onion, and cook until golden brown (~5-7 minutes). Add shredded squash, and cook for ~4 more minutes, or until squash is dry.

  5. Transfer into a large bowl, and mix in corn, cottage cheese, feta or blue cheese, dill, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, and eggs.

  6. Pour into the baking dish, and bake for about 40 minutes. When it is done, the edges will be lightly browned and the center set.

  7. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Did you know?

Corn is a good source of phosphorus and niacin: one cup of corn has 20% of the recommended dietary allowance for both nutrients. Phosphorus is important for bone and teeth health, growth, cellular repair, and energy storage. Niacin, or vitamin B3, is important for digestion and metabolism, skin health and our nervous system.

Riddle of the Month

What kind of vegetable is the most likely to be a rock and roll fan? 
Show Answer!
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