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FUTURE FARMERS AT QUARTZ HILL HIGH WIN 5TH PATIO LANDSCAPING COMPETITION.

Byline: Daily News

Quartz Hill High School's Future Farmers of America chapter kept its lock on the Best of Show award for the Antelope Valley Fair landscaping competition.

For at least the fifth consecutive year, Quartz Hill's entry was judged the best of the patios set up by high schoolers in the Alfalfa Festival Building.

Mediterranean fan palms, windmill palms, Madagascar periwinkle, gold dust plants, heavenly bamboo and fortnight lilies filled a raised planter made from retaining wall blocks and surrounding a brick floor, all topped by a redwood patio cover designed and built by the seven teen-agers.

``Water conservation was the theme,'' said sophomore Kevin Van Ausdall, 15. ``They're all drought-tolerant plants.''

FFA adviser Neal Weisenberger came up with the basic design for the wall and patio, and gave advice on building the patio cover. The students picked the plants and how they should be laid out.

``We thought of what plants would look good in here,'' Van Ausdall said. ``We were going for a tropical look. Once we had a basic list together we picked out the drought-tolerant ones.''

The students spent about a week before the fair working on the patio, laying out the bricks on a bed of sand and mulch, stacking the retaining blocks into planters, and fitting in the potted plants. The material was donated by local businesses.

``It was a lot of work but it was worth it,'' said Mike Ake, a 1997 Quartz Hill graduate who remains active with the FFA chapter.

Laying the floor of bricks took several tries, as did cutting the bricks to shape with a chisel.

``You'd do them like five times before you'd get a good one,'' senior Kevin Cash said.

The teens learned the skills they needed for making the patio in part by a Quartz Hill High School landscaping course taught by Sharon Weisenberger, their adviser's wife.

But they also learned by traveling to FFA competitions against other high schools.

``You learn by experience,'' Cash said.

In addition to Van Ausdall, Cash and Ake, the winning teach included Doug Waschak, Ashley Brown, Nicole Cadmus and Shannon Waschak.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

Photo: (color) Quartz Hill students, from left, Mike Ake, Kevin Cash and Kevin Van Ausdall sit in their award-winning patio.

Jeff Goldwater/Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 30, 1997
Words:379
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