Garden founder Susan DiStefano and Sleepy Hollow Parents Club president Dana Chiappone were among the hosts of the Oct. 5 dinner.
Fifty people enjoyed a “farm-to-table” dinner at the home of Susan and Tony DiStefano on Oct. 5 in celebration of Sleepy Hollow Elementary School’s Learning Garden and in support of the Sleepy Hollow Parents’ Club that funds the garden each year.
Twenty years ago, the DiStefanos donated the garden when their children were attending Sleepy Hollow, and these many years later, they still grow seedlings in their home greenhouse to create starter plants for the students to tend at school. Each week, students visit the garden in support of their classroom curriculum, putting newly learned principles of math and science to the test as they study the plants and how they grow. Seasonal taste tests of the garden’s harvest are a favorite with students, sometimes leading to the discovery of a healthy new snack.
Reflecting on the gift, Susan DiStefano says, “It does my heart good to see the students enjoy their time in the garden. I had no idea 20 years ago when we built the garden area that the kids would be learning about composting, germination and patience. Gardening is not immediate gratification. It takes planning and the students get to enjoy salads from lettuce seeds they planted.”
With Sleepy Hollow’s garden well established, DiStefano says her next goal is to work with students at Miramonte High School.
In addition to the DiStefanos, the dinner was hosted by six Sleepy Hollow families, with Diablo Foods donating sushi and salmon and Belcampo Meat Company providing organic beef to complement the salads and fresh vegetables. Event styling services were donated by The Revelry Company, along with plates courtesy of Bamboo Compostable.
Lynn Kalmar, Orinda News
Photo Courtesy of Robert Schroeder Photography