There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!
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!
The El Sereno Garden has given us a lot to be thankful for. A delicious bunch of eggplants, sweet red tomatoes, green tomatoes perfect for pickled tomatoes and fresh aromatic basil.
In this week’s seed sowing lesson, 8th grade students get to check out fall-season seedlings like brussel sprouts, lettuce, kale and broccoli at the comfort of their garden seats. As part of our seed sowing lesson, they learned about the seed embryo (first leaves and root) and sow kale seeds in individual cups.
In lieu of Thanksgiving, students incorporated garden personality and art by making thankful notes using various leaves found in the garden.
To start things off, South Gate students got to try something new this week: tasting fresh fruit from the garden! We picked out the zucchini from the garden so big there were enough cuts for every student. A few of the students were very hesitant to try this garden fresh fruit. Most of the students were all smiles after taking their first bite and taught the zucchini had a delicious sweet flavor. Seconds please!
And now, time for work! More than month ago, students sowed lettuce seeds in their designated garden beds. Seedlings are at good size but they are too close to each other and need more space to grow. We taught students how to gently transplant lettuce seedlings. Now that seedlings have more space between each other, they can grow into full heads. Will they be big enough by Christmas break?
Visible in the SGMS farm are also fruits! A few weeks ago, some bananas were ready for munching down. Seen here are students curiously looking into the bananas and ready for a big bite in.
Student are thrilled when they have the opportunity to have a garden snack. Each student had the chance to make to create a colorful garden kabob to as a treat on their last garden class. It seems that when students have a chance to create something fun, or playful with their food, they are much much inclined to enjoy and appreciate it. Even while their kabobs were made of healthy fruits and veggies, they still clamored to get in line to make them.
Today our students also learned what parts of the plant we usually eat, whether it be the seeds, flowers, or stems of a plant. The most surprising to many people is that broccoli is actually a flower! This lesson focused on the parts of the plant, and how all the beautiful fruits and veggies that we get to enjoy are formed as a result of pollination from a flower. Often our students are amazed when they learn that a small flower can turn into a glistening purple eggplant, a huge, mouth-watering watermelon, or a plump tomato. They become a little more hesitant to ravage through the garden pulling off flowers with thinking twice, once they learn about the beautiful cycle of a plant that provides us with both wonder and sustenance.
Garden Ranger Hanna now has a traveling worm bin to take to the schools for the bug lesson. It is simply two small storage containers stacked on top of each other with air holes drilled into the side and bottom. The bin is filled with 50 red worms, veggie food scraps, dirt, and damp paper (no citrus, dairy, or meat). The rich compost or “vermicompost”, made by the worms, will then go into our school gardens.
Yesterday at Alta Loma the pre-k students took a break from their Thanksgiving party to learn about the bugs that live in the garden. They learned that worms don’t have eyes and have to feel and wiggle their way through the dirt-they all practiced wiggling like worms too!
The 1st grade students got to be bug detectives and they all searched for the friend bugs (the bugs that eat the foe bugs and help the garden flourish) they also found some harlequin bugs (a foe bug) eating away at the lettuces. It sure was fun getting to see all the bugs that live in the garden!
The Woodchucks were ready for the old tomatoes and overgrown zucchini to go. The November rain reminded everyone that it must be time to get in those cool-weather seedlings.
Kale, green onions, carrots, red cabbage and lettuce(s) went into the beds by the masses. Over 100 students paired up to plant nearly 60 news seedlings in the garden. The seedlings were handled and planted with care…One student, German was overheard helping his classmate. He said, “be sure to loosen the roots or it won’t live.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Way to go little gardeners!
Today marked the second day of the EnrichLA After-School Program at Hollenbeck Middle School. The rain cleared up just in time for us to give students a little tasting of the yummy food-to-come in the garden.
Julia, the wonderful Garden Ranger at Hollenbeck Middle School (pictured here) made a delicious salad. Filled with chard ribbons, carrots, sunflower seeds and cranberries, students huddled around for seconds. The other tasting was Asian pear and apple slices with pumpkin yogurt dip. A healthy pie substitute, just in time for Thanksgiving!
After the tasting students transplanted seedlings, sowed seeds and practiced their repurposing skills. Old jars and magazines were used to make vases for the upcoming holiday meal.
For the younger grades we introduce the idea of soil as a living component of the garden, composed of many beneficial fungi, bacteria and invertebrates. Students learn about the four primary types of soil (and their particle size): sand, silt, clay and loam. They conduct a ribbon soil test to determine which type exists in their garden. They learn that loam is the most preferable because it allows (1) vegetables to grow strong roots and (2) water to percolate through.
For our middle school students we go over similar material, have them conduct the ribbon soil test and do a soil contamination exercise. They discuss different types of pollutants (i.e. pesticides, insecticides, chemicals from fracking, etc) that end up in our water and soil.
Our high school students explore the pH of the soil in the garden and determine, based on the results, what the appropriate next steps should be. For example, if the soil is too acidic adding compost will make it more alkaline.
The Markham Middle School garden has been the recipient of a lot of love. MKG, a marketing firm with an office right here in Los Angeles was the most recent group to visit the Markham Garden.
Boy oh boy, did they make their visit count?! They dug, cleaned, hauled and overall spruced up the 1 acre garden.
Thank you so much MKG! You were great.