What’s new in the Presidio Heritage Garden?

by Neeva Pradhan and Kelly Hu

Presidio Heritage Garden Interns. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Hello! We are the Presidio Heritage Garden interns, students at Anacapa School. This semester we have four students helping out: Neeva, Kelly, Nichole, and Jae Heun. We are quite an interesting group and very diverse. Kelly and Jae Heun are international students. Neeva is from Nepal and Nichole is half Colombian. Three of the interns are finishing up their last semester at Anacapa School.

Mike Imwalle tending the baby chicks destined for the Presidio chicken coop.

Over the past few weeks, we have planted many vegetables such as squashes and corn. We harvested fava beans and some Christmas lima beans. We also cleared out weeds for the highly anticipated chickens which are going to arrive in July.

We got to help set up for the Presidio by Candlelight program, when we put up over fifty luminarias around the Presidio. We were very excited for the Presidio’s Early California Days program when Neeva and Kelly dressed up in traditional clothing.

A shoot on the grape vine in the Presidio Heritage Garden.

One of our projects was planting clippings from the grape vines. First we cut the small branches and peeled a strip of bark from the base of each branch to expose the cambium. Then we cut the branch bases at a diagonal angle. Finally, we rolled each branch in root growth hormone powder and potted them individually.

Although we have had times where we might be missing a few interns, we are never short on enthusiasm.

We got to watch the squash and watermelons grow. Recently, a new batch of bananas have started to grow. We planted marigolds, which added some golden colors to the Presidio. We were lucky to have worked at the Presidio during spring and summer because we got to enjoy all the fruits and vegetables that had grown. We got to eat Valencia oranges, lemons, avocados, cabbages and carrots.

Master gardener. Photo by Elise Goodell.

We’ve enjoyed working with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation these past few months, and were be sad to go after our last few weeks in May. We appreciate Mike Imwalle for making the last few months of senior (and junior) year fun for us all.

Every year the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation welcomes several interns from Anacapa School to work in our heritage gardens.  During their internship they get plenty dirty and learn a lot about crops and gardening in Early California!   


(805) 965-0093  •  123 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101-2215

© 2021 Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. All rights reserved. SBTHP is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.