Five hundred acres in the Kiln became a classroom when Coast Episcopal School students visited La Terre Farms on Tuesday, April 26. In keeping with the Long Beach independent school’s tradition of experiential learning to encourage students to appreciate the world around them, the youngsters who experienced the bucolic property are members of the school’s newly formed garden club.
The students were provided hands-on opportunities to appreciate the wide variety of plants in multiple gardens by La Terre’s Creative Director and Designer, Lisa Lamulle, who concluded the visit by providing the students with seeds for planting in garden beds their club will cultivate on the school’s 25-acre campus this spring.
Dormant for the past several years due to the Covid pandemic, CES’s garden beds will be tended by 40 students from transitional kindergarten through sixth grade who have volunteered to oversee the school’s agricultural endeavors.
Coordinated by CES faculty member Amanda Wood, the students’ visit came at the invitation of the Wyly family, who have owned the bucolic property for the last 40 years, and who, in the last several years, have been transforming the original timber farm into a multi-faceted enterprise of lush flower gardens harvested for online, retail and wholesale sales of cut flowers, garlands, and wreaths; luscious vegetable and herb gardens used for private farm-to-fork culinary events held on the estate; and the production of gourmet hot sauce sold at local farmers markets and online at laterrefarms.com.
“Coast Episcopal School holds a very special place in our hearts,” according to Teri Wyly, who explained that all three of her now-adult children attended the school in their youth. She added that her son, Connor, is her partner in overseeing the farm’s existing operations and future development.