Clovis East High School helping Sanger restaurant with crops

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At School House Restaurant and Tavern in Sanger, owner Ryan Jackson wants customers to have the best culinary experience possible.

"One thing we like to do is work with local farmers and local schools and get the freshest possible stuff we can," Jackson said.

Several crops planted, tended to, and harvested by local high school students are being prepared in the kitchen this week.

Lately, his effort to find the freshest produce has him looking very close to his restaurant; the fields of Clovis East High School, located just a few miles away.

There, students are learning everything from how to till a field, how to repair a drip line, manage weeds and harvest a crop.

"I've learned a lot of responsibility and how to take orders and follow them and do work without being supervised because our teacher can't be out here with us," says student Seraphina Bedoyan. "He has to be somewhere else on the farm."

Students in the plant production class learn not only what it takes to produce a good crop, but they also learn how to sell it.

"Probably more importantly, because we have such a diverse group of students, we realize they are not going to go into production agriculture or very few will, so we take it all the way to the market," says Ag teacher Steve Gambril.

The market they're digging into now is selling seasonal vegetables to restaurants.

At Schoolhouse, the produce is being used in a house-made gnocchi, soups, salads and side dishes.

The plants are mostly donated to the school's ag program by generous farmers and nurseries. Students take it from there.

Schoolhouse pays market value for the produce, and at the end of the year, students see their hard work does have a reward: a cash profit.
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