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#NeighborhoodHeroes: A garden for students and the community

A student at Indio High School is spending his weekends on a project building a garden that will help the students and the community. 

Farina Shatavyzadeh is a junior at Indio High School who is spending his free time building a garden on campus. “I think this a great opportunity for people to give back to their community and learn where the food comes from,” said Shatavyzadeh. He added that it’s not just putting a seed in the ground and hoping it grows. It’s also a lot of science, time, and knowledge that goes into it.

There will be ten raised garden beds 10x4 ft. that are 24 inches deep. There are six and a half of them made so far. On top of the garden beds, they are also going to have a row farm and vineyard. While showing us the area the row farm and vineyard will go, Shatavyzadeh said, “A little bit of imagination necessary but that’s where it’s going to go.”

He is hoping in the next year they can open a farmers market from the produce in the garden. “Plant wise it’s going to be up to the students who are planting and the community, what they want,” said Shatavyzadeh. “We’re for sure going to have some grapes so that’s going to be pretty cool because we are going to have the vineyard,” added Shatavyzadeh.

“Farzin is really getting sort of a foundation started for us as far as all our other projects we have planned,” said his agriculture teacher Mamie Powell. “We have plans for an area with some row crops, some trees, on the back side there should be a greenhouse,” added Powell.

Shatavyzadeh is hoping this project can give other students the opportunity to help make the school and their community a better place, while shining light on the importance of agriculture within the community. “Especially during COVID we have been sitting at home for the past year and a half and we’ve had nothing to do except stare at a school and with the introduction of hybrid school and kids coming back on campus this is a great opportunity to get people more involved into the school,” added Shatavyzadeh.

“His project will really open up the opportunity for not just the agricultural department but students all over campus to come in and be part of what’s happening at Indio High School,” said his mother Victoria Shatavy.

Shatavyzadeh mentioned how grateful he was for the help of the couple students that have been working with him, his AG teacher, and his mother. He also mentioned the enormous help of the community and donors to the project. The project isn’t finished yet though and they are asking for more help in the next one to two months to finish the project. If you are able to donate materials or your time, they are asking you to reach out to Indio High School.

You can watch the full story tonight at 5 p.m. from News Channel 3's Taban Sharifi on KESQ.

Celebrating #NeighborhoodHeroes

While the coronavirus crisis is keeping us apart, we know the Coachella Valley community is still coming together to help each other. We are looking for those who are lending a hand during this uncertain time. Do you know of any everyday people who are going out of their way to help others? Have you seen someone find creative solutions to the new challenges we all face?

News Channel 3 wants to celebrate these neighborhood heroes. Tell us about them here. Enter HERE or email or If you see good happening on social media, share it with us, and tag it #neighborhoodheroes for us to see.

We are all in this together. Help us showcase the good that's happening right here in the Coachella Valley.

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Taban Sharifi

Taban Sharifi is a Meteorologist and Reporter with KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News & Weather Leader. Learn more about Taban here.


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