AP PHOTOS: Woodlake botanical gardens, portraits


Here are a few portraits of the students involved in creating the amazing Woodlake, Calif. botanical gardens — a 14 acre farm of unique collector varieties of fruit trees, vegetables and flowers that also doubles as a gang prevention program. It’s one of the most beautiful, mesmerizing places in the region thanks to these teens and children and to a local couple, Manuel Jimenez and his wife Olga, who dreamed up the gardens. Read my story about the gardens here.

15-year-old Gerardo Perez cuts the line which held up last season's tomato plants.

10-year-old Roman Ramirez takes a break from clipping tomato plants at the botanical gardens in Woodlake, Calif.

15-year-old Jose Reyes cuts the line supporting last season's tomato plants.

Manuel Jimenez, a farmworker-turned-agricultural engineer, and his wife Olga (on left) dreamed up the Woodlake botanical gardens, enlisted hundreds of youth volunteers and transformed 14 acres of barren land into one of the most beautiful gardens/farms in California.

The garden's banana grove.

10-year-old Roman Ramirez carries some bananas from the grove in the Woodlake gardens where he volunteers.

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