School Garden Hero: Jennifer Lee Segale of Dirty Girl Gardening

Feb 20, 2012
Jennifer Lee Segale is a professional in the fields of natural science. She owns Wildflower Farms, an organic landscape design company, based in the SF Bay Area. WFF specializes in organically sustainable gardens. Jenn also owns Dirty Girl Gardening, a “horticulture collective” with the brand Garden Apothecary. Garden Apothecary offers organic, whole botanical bath and beauty products, made in small batches.
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Jenn is 29, and lives in Half Moon Bay, CA – with her two dogs, a gaggle of chickens and all the plants a dirty girl could desire.
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Tell us a bit about yourself and your work with the HEAL program and Pilarcitos School.
Pilarcitos Alternative High School is a small school, located in Half Moon Bay, CA. The students are considered “at-risk”, facing problems ranging from lack of income, pregnancy, and health challenges. Pilarcitos has teamed up with the HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture Learning) Program – who bring hands-on curriculum, focusing on health, the environment, and local agriculture to students. I have always had a passion about giving back to the community that has fostered and helped develop my landscape design business, Wildflower Farms. The local schools I have been helping have been schools I have attended and loved, and I hate to see our local budget cuts effect the kids education and surroundings. Half Moon Bay has so much agriculture abundance, there is no reason why all of our schools can’t have more in-depth agriculture education and food/health curriculum. Since funding is always a big hurdle, using Woolly Pockets has been a fantastic answer to our challenges with growing veggies. The pockets we put up at the Pilarcitos school are growing with strawberries HEAL has donated, and other veggies I planted. I focused on things the kids can walk by everyday, grab and taste, smell, and feel – right before they walk into the classroom.
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What is your favorite vegetable to harvest? Why? 
Although it’s hard to pick just one… I think my favorite vegetable to harvest is garlic. It’s such an easy crop, versatile and so gratifying to harvest. Just tug on the thick, blue/green leaves and up it pops!
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What inspires your work? Your mission? 
Nature inspires my work. I know it’s so cliche, but it really does. If I’m not outside, around soil, plants, bugs and the like – I feel pretty lackluster. Finding a new insect, growing a new herb or simply getting my hands unreasonably dirty energizes me. And seeing or hearing of folks who don’t resonate with those simple wonders, inspires me to do more to connect people with nature… even in small ways that could possibly inspire them.
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Thank you Jennifer for inspiring us today! Do you know a School Garden hero? Email us at schools@woollypocket.com.
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