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Elkus Ranch Seeks New Fruit Orchard Through Online Contest

Half Moon Bay project competing with groups nationwide through "Communities Take Root" program.

, an environmental education ranch located in Half Moon Bay, is one of two projects in the Bay Area — and five projects statewide — by the Dreyer's corporation's "Communities Take Root" program.

Projects will be granted funding from Dreyer's and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation based on the number of votes received by the public through online votes.

Voters can choose from projects across the country, and vote once a day. Fruit orchards are granted to those with the top number of votes in four rounds of voting which will be completed on August 30. At the end of each month, the five projects with the highest number of votes will get an orchard.

Elkus Ranch has competed in all rounds of voting, but has yet to receive an orchard. This month's round of voting will end on July 31. Currently in 7th place with approximately 7,700 votes at the time of publication, the summary of the Elkus Ranch project is described on the Dreyer's website as the following:

Collect fresh eggs. Brush a goat. Card wool from a sheep. Taste broccoli and edible flowers. These are just some of the possibilities for children visiting Elkus Ranch. Established to create opportunities for children with disabilities or financial hardships to learn about the origins of their food and fiber, Elkus Ranch remains a working ranch while hosting over 6,000 children each year in a myriad of programs that emphasize environmental stewardship and basic principles of plant and animal science. More than half of our visitors have special needs and programs for qualifying schools are offered without charge. While the University of California contributes to our operating budget, the ranch is still dependent on grants, donations and the support of volunteers to carry out its mission. The newest addition to our programming, “Lunch at the Ranch,” has students explore the ranch to harvest ingredients for an entire meal. The young chefs then head to the kitchen, don aprons and start chopping vegetables, rolling pizza dough and baking cookies. This program has become extremely popular and we have added staff hours to insure our gardens can meet the demand. A fruit orchard would be a wonderful gift. An ideal site sits between the ranch and the kitchen and the addition of pear, fig, persimmon, and citrus trees as well as a variety of berry bushes would insure year-round supplies of fruit to incorporate into our nutrition education. Your vote for Elkus Ranch will help thousands of children learn to live healthier lives.


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