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Pictured above is a 6th grade student in Mr. Garret’s class at Markham Middle School. He’s cutting carrots, one of the colorful ingredients in the Sweet Green Salad. His classmates helped prepare the remaining components of the salad.
As you can see there’s also pomegranate, feta, apple and cranberries. Other students harvested vegetables from the garden. They picked beets and greens like lettuce, kale and chard. They rinsed them, cut them into ribbons and dropped them in. The last step was the homemade dressing. One student added new ingredients as the other whisked in each ingredient. Great example of teamwork!
Interested in trying this at home? This recipe serves 2 for a meal and 25 students for a tasting!
Sweet Green Salad
5 cups mixed greens, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1 small (2″) beet, sliced
1/3 pomegranate, seeds separated
1/4 cup cranberries
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Juice from 1 clementine
1 T rice vinegar
1 t olive or flaxseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all salad ingredients, mix thoroughly and add dressing.
After a rainy day brought our class indoors last week, students at Gardner Elementary were excited to have their first session in the garden this week. The rain gave us a good opportunity to introduce student to some of the guidelines for coming to the garden, and the importance of what they will be learning for the next few weeks. Last week, our students also had the opportunity to learn about the life-cycle of a seed, from endosperm to eggplant, as well as the gardener’s role in this cycle. We were thrilled to learn that one of our classes had already been observing this process, with their very own avocado tree sprouted from one of the seeds a student had brought from his family tree. Although we are not sure of the exact cultivar, we knew it was time to give the avocado a larger home. This week, we helped the students transplant their avocado into a pot of soil, so it can continue growing and obtain much needed nutrients.
Also known as “alligator pears” because of the rough skin on some species, avocados have a rich history and mythology of Latin American origin, as Aztecs considered avocadoes a “fruit of the kings”. This is with good reason, as avocados are not only luxuriously delicious, but have many health benefits. Research has shown that avocado oil helps protect against many diseases, helps lower cholesterol with good fats, and is good for your hair, skin and more.
The students at Utah Street School really know their garden insects! They were superstars at the game “Friend or Foe?” in which the students explain which animals are friends and which are foes and why.
They were also experts at finding evidence of friends and foes in the garden. They found traces caterpillars on the leaves, they found spiderwebs, some students even found the teeny tiny aphids on the backs of some artichoke leaves. These students gathered to admire a couple of friendly earthworms.
Then we gathered at the picnic tables where the students showed off their artistic abilities. Here are some of the wonderful creations:
This week was sure fun! Students explored the different properties of the four primary types of soil in the garden. Clay, one of the types of soil they discussed isn’t great for growing vegetables but it sure is great for making seed bombs. The activity was messy, no doubt but students learned why clay isn’t ideal for planting vegetables.
We heard the same word all day. “Sticky!” Nearly every student exclaimed. That was the word for the day. Since clay has the smallest particles water can’t easily pass through it.
After the seed bombs, children explored the garden and spotted some new colors that evolved over the break. Check out this beauty!
Students at Hollenbeck Middle School stepped into a new learning environment this week- their school garden! It was the first time these eleven year-olds had visited this space.
The picture above shows one of the scavenger hunt cards. Broccoli, as the students learned, is high in iron and strengthens memory. Julia led them through the garden, showing the students the fig tree in the small orchard, bunch onions, fava beans and all the other young plants growing in the garden.
The planting with the adorable 3-5 year olds at U.C.L.A. was a great success. The seedlings that were planted just a few weeks ago are much, much bigger now! As you can see, each child put a plant label next to the seedling they planted.
This week the planting and learning continued. We sowed beans of all varieties and learned how they are good for the garden and for us! We planted fava beans and green beans, dissected a garbanzo bean and wrapped up the day with a black bean (dip) tasting.
What a fun Friday with the little ones!
Today we were sooo happy to see the Kale in all it’s beauty dripping with the morning dew.
Today kinder and pre-k ate leaves of lettuce and kale and came back for seconds- “look I’m a rabbit!”
-they said as they munched on their Kale and stuck out their tongue to show me their green coated tongues.
So much giggling and excitement to see everything growing.
This week at West Vernon Elementary, we learned the six parts of the plant and their functions. The students were surprised when they discovered that broccoli is the flower part of the plant. Other students learned that they had been eating roots quite often in the form of carrots!
Then we enjoyed some yummy and fresh garden tacos!
Today at Wilshire Park and Wilton Place Elementary we braved the cool morning and got our hands in the dirt.
We learned some new science vocabulary that make up soil: Sand, Soil, Silt, and Clay.
On their own, these soils would make it difficult for our veggies to grow in. However, when these soils combine, they make Loam!
Loam will stick together when you squeeze it, but when you poke it it falls apart into big chunks. This tells us that the soil will maintain it’s moisture and will allow the roots a loose soil to spread into.
Today at Wilton Place Elementary we found that after just 2 weeks our salad lettuce seeds sprouted! They were starting to crowd each other, so we pulled (thinned) some of the small lettuces out to give room for the others.
Instead of throwing the thinnings in the trash, we passed them out to the students to try and they loved them! The kindergarteners were so surprised that they were eating the seeds they had planted just two week prior! Wow! The Kinder students even learned a new word “thinnings.”
Before leaving, we assembled our garden signs that were painted and then weather proofed with a sealant! They are so colorful and add so much character and spirit to the garden beds.
Summit View School located in North Hollywood, received a new school garden less than a month ago and garden class began this week with Lesson 1. During Lesson 1 we take a tour of the garden, learn about the irrigation, and learn what the word “seedling” means.
The 6th and 7th grade students learned how to dig their holes for their seedlings and how to massage the roots to tell the plant it is moving into a new space.
At first, the students were nervous about getting their hands in the soil, but once they started it was near impossible to leave working in the soil.
We had a lot of fun learning new things and many of the students commented that they like gardening and we were all smiles by the end of they day .
We Are Ready to Plant at Avalon Gardens Public Housing Community Garden
Over the past two weeks the garden at King Middle School received some much needed water and cool weather. Check out these happy plants!
The beautiful hues of fall are showing, especially given the overcast backdrop of the day. The grey sky is a friend to many of these veggies.
The planting will no doubt continue throughout the season. Can anyone get enough of these healthy winter veggies?! Not the students at King Middle School!
Friday before Thanksgiving break, K-5 students prepared their own garden fresh salad made of cool season leaves: swiss chard, kale, and collards. Plus, carrot peels and a couple bites of green beans.
As for the dressing, olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon!
As usual, getting our young ones to try the garden fresh salad can be difficult. Some were brave enough to try a bite or two. For most of the students they were happy to have the meal and were glad they got to experience making food fresh from their garden. “Has anyone ever done this before?” Most hands went up waving in the air. At the end of the lesson, students were in upside down smiles to know garden classes were over but right back into smiles when they knew they would still come out to water the garden everyday!
Here are more pictures of garden fresh edibles growing strong at Bryson Elementary School:
This week’s rain brought Roosevelt ESP garden lessons inside the classroom. Instead of students exploring and working outdoors, vegetables and herbs were brought to the students inside the classroom to touch, smell, and taste. The lesson in Ms Russom’s class was geared towards the idea of gardens in a community and how they can benefit a community physically, socially, and economically. Students engaged in discussion about how a garden can help build community and set foundations for the future. The garden at Roosevelt ESP is a great way for students to enact change in their community, a principle of the school’s mission.
The beautiful new garden at Hollenbeck MS is now welcoming students! 6th period classes as well as after school students have now come to the garden two weeks in a row to learn about seed sowing, decomposition, transplanting, as well as craft repurposing skills (see previous post about the awesome collage-jars brought by Liz!). The garden beds are quickly getting planted by students and EnrichLA staff. Fall is a great time to put lots of work and love into a garden and that is exactly what is happening at Hollenbeck. All students who participate in the after school garden program receive community service hours and extra credit through their science classes.
How many tomatoes does one tomato seed produce? How much do tomatoes cost per pound at the market? How much does a seed pack of 25 tomato seeds cost? These are the questions presented to the students of Luther Burbank MS during their farm economics lesson over the past few weeks. Students used their saavy long division skills to break down how much a seed costs from your average seed pack. Students compared prices in a super market with the amount it would cost to grow our own food from seed. Everyone was amazed at how economical it really is to grow our own food! Knowledge is really the most valuable resource.
With fall fully underway the Roosevelt HS garden is growing fast. Since the beginning of the school year plants and relationships have been growing in the Roosevelt Garden. For many students who have never seen a radish grown before, this is an exciting time! Through garden club and 5th and 6th period class visits, this garden is opening up and community is growing. This week we tied up our sugar snap peas, a vegetable that is growing particularly rapidly at this garden. Not only will these peas taste delicious, but they are improving the soil, too!