Black History at Alta Loma Elementary

Since Alta Loma Elementary is rehearsing for an assembly to celebrate Black History Month, we’ve been learning about George Washington Carver who was known as the “plant doctor” when he was a young boy. We learned that he loved to observe nature, especially plants and soil.  When he grew up, he became a botanist and…

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Meeting Garden Friends at Bushnell and El Sereno Elementary

This session of garden class at Bushnell Way and El Sereno Elementary is all about garden friends and garden foes. During the first week I introduced the students to a couple foes that I brought from my home garden, aphids and green cabbage worms. Last week they met some important friends of the garden, ladybugs!…

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happy Valentine’s Day

How wonderful it is to receive a letter, postcard or a note. Nothing can compare to the feeling one gets when someone hand writes a message for someone special. Students at Eastman did that. they made their own cards and adorned them with flowers, seeds, and herbs.

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Frank Del Olmo Gardeners Get Creative!

The little hands at Frank Del Olmo have been put to work! While learning about the different parts of a plant, each student used pipe cleaner to create all the different parts – resulting in a colorful garden that they could bring back to their classroom to enjoy! .   And after the rain early in…

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Bryson Gardeners Plan Ahead!

Our Bryson Elementary garden is thriving, but not without serious help from our mini gardeners! This shady garden has caught the eye of the neighborhood squirrels – but have no fear, we have a plan of attack. The kids loved getting creative with ways to lure the pesky squirrels to the park instead. .   …

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Multnomah Street Elementary tips the 400lbs scale

400+ lbs of greens Last week marked the end of the third grade rotation at Multnomah Street Elementary. Since September, each grade has participated in a “composting challenge” where they spend 5 weeks collecting their organic breakfast scraps. This past week upon finishing the 3rd grade lessons, the three classes combined weight  totaled a whopping 115…

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Carrots @ Eastman E.

The cool season is in full swing and Eastman E. has carrots-lots of them. Students planted carrots seeds last autumn,  many of those seeds have sprouted and grown into yummy carrots!  Now carrots are the talk of the town, students come to garden classes eager to learn, and others volunteer their recess or lunch to…

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What do the colors of our fruits and vegetables mean?

Changing the way we talk about  vegetables Today at West Vernon we focused on the colors of the vegetables in our garden and how they help our bodies. Often we find that when we change our tone from “must eat” to “we eat these when…” even the pickiest eaters are enthusiastic to try something new.…

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Design Your Own Garden

This week at Rio Vista Elementary school, the fourth and fifth graders learned about the importance of biodiversity in the garden, specifically within Polyculture and Permaculture practices. We introduced this topic by thinking about food webs in nature, and how many different plants and animals both above and below the soil interact with each other.…

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No Peaking!

This week at Selma Avenue elementary school, the Kindergartners got the chance to live life like a plant…no eyes. We began class reviewing our physical senses; taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. We added a “secret” 6th sense of balance, and the kids all practiced balancing on one foot. Next, we tried to balance on…

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Pollination Station

This week at Toluca Lake Elementary school, students in the first and second grade learned about pollination, and the importance of pollinator animals. We started the day with our calming “bee breath,” where we make a humming sound like a bee as we exhale our breath. This breathing technique helps to soothe the nervous system…

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Angeles Mesa appreciates good soil

The Kindergardeners at Angeles Mesa delighted in digging when the soil was soft, but struggled with the hard packed clay. They could see and feel the difference, appreciating the better conditions for plants and animals.

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42nd Street students value the soil

As the students of 42nd Street Elementary School learned the necessity of healthy soil to grow our food, they had opportunities to personally handle the different components and feel the ease of digging with tools.

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Audubon students enjoying the benefits of insects

The students at Audubon Middle School were getting down and dirty learning about the beneficial insects, helping the decomposers make compost, petting live worms and keeping the soil moist for both the plants and bugs. Getting to know the worms that help is grow plants Sorting insects by how each benefits us Teamwork in keeping…

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Worm Lab at Aspire Firestone

“Why learn about worms?”, I asked the kids. It’s quite simple really. Worms are fantastic decomposers! We learned so much about these wiggly creature from what they like to eat and what they don’t eat. We also learned that vermi-compositing is a way of making great soil using worms!  

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The Ins and Outs of Gardening ~ Aspire Gateway

Sometimes the garden just needs to be refreshed. Out with the old and in with the new! That is just what we did at Aspire Gateway, and the kids got all into it… Literally! While we pulled out woody kale and very old Swiss chard, we discovered snail colonies and habitats.   Q   We…

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LEAFY GREENS

Students at 10th St Elementary are busy taking care of the cool-season garden. The 3rd graders looked for hungry caterpillars, worms, and aphids.  They washed the leafy greens and added fresh healthy soil around the plants in need.    

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Winter Garden Bounty and Seed Saving at Bushnell Elementary

Last week Bushnell third graders explored the garden and looked for plants that had gone to seed (lavender and Basil) and others with visible seeds (strawberries and snap peas). We then talked about the practice of seed saving. the students were eager to try for themselves! I passed out dried sage and lavender flowers and…

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All About Cilantro at Aspire Gateway

Yes, cilantro is a common herb that most of the kids know is used in the Latin American cuisine. They definitely knew a sprinkling on a taco, pozole or rice gives food a punch of flavor…yum!  But what they didn’t know is that cilantro in also used heavily in the Philippines, Thailand and India. We…

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A Bountiful Harvest

Atwater Elementary is booming with so many plants that are ready to harvest, so the 3rd graders and 5th graders spent their classes making a delicious salad and having a harvest party! We harvested mustard greens and leafy lettuce, chopped them up and put them in a big bowl. We harvested the broccoli and Chinese…

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Warm and Cool Season Planting

The 5th graders had a lesson about our climate, which is a Mediterranean climate. This means we have mild winters and hot summers. So we really have two planting seasons, a warm and a cool season. So it’s easy for us to grow food all year long. The warm season crops, which we plant in…

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Worms!

The 5th graders were so excited to study worms! We discussed the main jobs of a worm — to make tunnels in the soil, eat rotten food, and make soil. We talked about where worms live, their senses, their anatomy, and their diet. Worms do not have eyes. They are very sensitive to bright light…

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Brand New Garden at Erwin Elementary

Erwin Elementary has a brand new garden! The first rotation of garden classes started with three 5th grade classes. Their very first lesson was learning the parts of a seed. We discussed the seed coat which has the job of protecting the seed. We talked about the food storage that gives the seed the nutrients…

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Seed Saving

The 3rd graders spent their class learning how to collect seeds from plants. We discussed that it is important to save seeds to ensure bio and genetic diversity and long term success of a species. We also talked about how early agricultural civilizations saved seeds to plant crops because they did not have a store…

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Loving Leaves at Valley View

Our last class of 2019 was held on a sunny and brisk day at Valley View Elementary.   First graders spent a lot of time discussing the importance of leaves and how they are the plant’s food source and large reason for growth!  We ended our discussion by selecting leaves from mature plants in the…

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Lettuce Tacos

This week at Selma Ave Elementary, the 1st graders got to harvest some lettuce leaves and make tasty tacos! Since this was the last class of the semester, the students got to enjoy a harvest day to celebrate all they had learned over the past 5 weeks in garden class. Students went into the garden…

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Plants Can Climb

This week at Toluca Lake Elementary we learned about plant adaptations, specifically, plant’s ability to climb. Class started with a discussion on what an adaptation is, and some different examples such as cacti adapting to dry environments, or plants who live in windy places with seeds that fly like helicopters. After our introductory discussion, we…

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Green Energy ~ Woodlawn

For the past four weeks I’ve been blessed to have two Nutrition students from Cal State LA, assist me in my garden lessons here at Woodlawn elementary.  These two were such an asset to the program.  They were excited to dive in and research nutritional aspects as well as help me with garden tasks. Here…

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Radish Hunt~Woodlawn

Radishes are a great seed to plant year round.  Here in Southern California, these little seeds germinate quickly during Spring, Summer and Fall.  They can be tricky to to grow though. Sometimes they only grow leaves and fail to produce a bulbous root.  Mostly this is due to root disturbance during the time when the…

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Winter Harvest~ Ramona

The Ramona Elementary garden is small but it sure can produce a fair amount of produce. Broccoli and collard greens are abundant right now. So are the mint, lemon balm and snap peas. The office and staff got most of the harvest but we used some of the ingredients to make a Winter salad.  We dressed…

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Butterfly Life Cycle at Ramona

Sometimes you have to let the garden do the teaching!  When I saw all the monarch caterpillars in the milkweed, I knew I had to take this opportunity to teach the kids about caterpillars and monarchs . All the kids were gentle and kind to the caterpillars.  I explained that we need to make sure…

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Capture and Release Bug Hunt~Aspire Firestone

Bugs are so much fun to learn about.  And with a diverse organic garden as a home for so many insects, the kids had a great time hunting and gently capturing them.   After observing the insects closely and drawing a quick sketch and writing down some observations, the kids released them back into their…

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Native American Traditions

This week at Rio Vista Elementary School, the 4th graders learned about the different native herbs that are in the garden. To do so, we learned how to make herb bundles, otherwise known as smudge sticks in Native American traditions. To connect to what the class is currently learning about in social studies, we began…

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It’s In The Roots ~ Aspire Gateway

Root vegetables are fascinating to kids. It’s something about eating something that is harvested by digging in the dirt! I explained to the kids that roots that we eat are a food storage area for the  plant…kind of like our refrigerators store food for us. For our activity, we planted potatoes.  I showed the kids…

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Kale Chips for All! ~ Aspire Gateway

The kids at Aspire have had their share of fresh crisp kale and they love it!  But I wanted to change things up a bit and really take a look at how cooking a vegetable changes texture, flavor, color, and nutrient content.   The kids harvested, washed and prepped the kale for the chips, then…

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Slow down, and the garden comes to life!

This week Castelar students were taken for an observational walk in the garden since it’s been raining most weeks during class. Students used the knowledge they learned over the semester to identify plants and scratch & sniff things that have wonderful aromas. There were insects climbing around, and one in particular was a sure show-stopper!…

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Enrichment at St. Patrick’s School

The last few weeks at St. Patrick’s School we have been utilizing our rich and fueled compost throughout the garden.  The younger and older students have been breaking down what really makes a perfect amendment to our already fertile garden beds.  We also made sure to plant plenty of beneficial plants to our space such as…

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Sweet Potato Harvest at Lassen

It was time to harvest our bed of sweet potatoes! Pre-K had a blast pulling the sweet potatoes out from the soil. They were shocked at how big some of them were! We learned about some of the health benefits of sweet potatoes- they are packed with fiber and antioxidants. The students and teachers were…

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Digging Deeper at Arroyo Seco

The Third Graders had been learning about worms in their Science class, so we dug a little deeper in the garden today. We began by learning about the anatomy of earthworms, and some fun facts about them. We then put some worms out on a damp newspaper and looked at them closely with a magnifying…

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Planting Seeds for the Cooler Season

We have been busy planting seeds and seedlings for the cooler season at Garvanza Elementary. Lots of lettuce, broccoli, kale, cabbage, arugula, beets, and radishes! The students are enjoying beans right off the vine from the garden. So yummy! Look at the huge grasshopper! The older grades worked on a Venn diagram using cool and…

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