Posts by Andrea Trujillo

Greens & Browns Make the Compost Go Round!

It’s a New Year at Kester Elementary and time to teach these kids about composting!  They are fortunate enough to have a compost tumbler, so we can see a more compact and accessible way to get it done. First, we went over the what compost is and why we should compost in the garden.  It…

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Cabbage Patch Kids at Stevenson

When you see a beautiful purple cabbage in the garden, you just have to make it the star of the show!  So, I let one of my students pick this beauty and had some other students pick some supporting roles for our snack today.  They added some white radish, snap peas, and nasturtium. I couldn’t…

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Rainy Day Salad at Stevenson

Although the rains have passed, the garden is still pretty wet and muddy so teachers opted for a “in-class” lesson today.  No problem!  I brought the garden to the classroom and made a “Parts of a Plant” salad.  Snap peas as the fruit & seed, green onions for the stem, Bibb lettuce for the leaves,…

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Giving Gifts in the Stevenson Garden!

It is the “Season of Giving” and our Mandarin Tree was loaded with beautiful little orange gifts to give!  I talked to the kids about what kind of gifts we can give back to our trees to say “Thank You”.  Fruit trees might not like bicycles and legos, but they sure like soil amendments and…

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Merry Go Round the Compost at Stevenson!

At Stevenson, today we got to talking about compost!  I talked to the kids about the beautiful harmony and cycle of compost, and how we can use the old and dying organic matter and turn it into new soil for new growth and possibilities in the garden!  While compost can be very complicated and some…

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New Class in the Garden at Stevenson!

It’s always so exciting to welcome a new class into the garden!  It is so important to utilize this time to go over garden rules and behavior, so we start things off right from the start.  I like to describe these rules as “agreements” because we are a team in the garden and we all…

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Soil pH is pHascinating!

We added to our garden journals this week with a very important topic: soil!  I talked to the kids about two important functions of soil: water retention and supplying nutrients to the plants. We got to really dig in there and feel the texture of our soil.  Is it spongy and moist or dry and…

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Soil is the Soul of the Garden!

At Stevenson, students got to dig into some soil and learn about soil chemistry!  I explained to the kids how important soil is in the garden.  Just like a healthy heart is important for your entire body, so is healthy soil important for the entire garden. We tested two important elements of soil: texture and…

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International Tour of Food @ Stevenson Elementary!

After teaching a lesson on food origins, I had students at Stevenson Elementary do some research on countries in their ancestry and native foods to those areas.  It was awesome to hear their stories and learn new food facts. As the final conclusion, I put all that information on a display for them to see…

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Surprising Sprouts at Kester!

Last week, I challenged the students to sprout seeds without soil.  We came back in the garden this week to find our answer and … the seeds had sprouted!  The kids were fascinated that with just air, sun and water, the pumpkin and sunflower seeds were able to sprout. It was a great opportunity to…

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Herbal Bouquets for a Thanksgiving Feast!

At Stevenson Elementary, we started off the day with the answer to our garden challenge:  Can seeds sprout without soil?  The answer is … YES!  The kids loved seeing all the sprout parts so clearly. Since, Thanksgiving was a few days away, we took the opportunity to collect herbs from the garden.  We were able…

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Challenging Ourselves in the Garden at Kester!

Today we started off with a Rainbow Challenge to see if we could find all the colors of the rainbow in the garden! Some colors, like green, are easier than others, like blue.  They loved seeing the blooming red pineapple sage in all its glory! We talked about doing this challenge at home when they…

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A Day of Garden Challenges at Stevenson!

Today we started off with a Rainbow Challenge to see if we could find all the colors of the rainbow in the garden! Some colors, like green, are easier than others, like blue. They loved finding bugs hiding in the garden with great, bright colors. We talked about doing this challenge at home when they…

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Witches’ Brew in the Kester Garden!

“I’ve got magic, alakazamakazoo!”  We were feeling witchy today in the Garden at Kester.  I told my students that during Halloween time, I turn in my farmer’s hat for a witches’ hat and make magic brew!  So while we toured the garden, I asked them to grab one mint leaf to add to the pot.…

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Studying leaves and photosynthesis at Stevenson Elementary!

Did you know that leaves not only make their own food, but breath and sweat?!  My students were fascinated to learn that leaves have small cells called stomata, that are like leaf “lungs” to breathe in carbon dioxide and create photosynthesis!  Leaves are also full of chlorophyll cells that absorb the sunlight and give leaves…

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Learning parts of a pumpkin at Kester Avenue Elementary

In celebration of the first week of Fall, we discussed pumpkins, all their parts, and their purposes.  The kids were fascinated with how big a pumpkin leaf and flower can get!  All the better to make food with and attract pollinators. We also talked about the changing season and how struggling tomato plants were going…

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Learning about our Family Seeds at Kester

Did you know that most of America’s favorite food, like oranges, apples and tomatoes, don’t originally come from here?!  That’s right! Our fruits and vegetables have such interesting stories to tell about how they migrated here and have traveled all over the world!  I bet you would be surprised to know that although the Irish…

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Seeds and Solutions at Stevenson Elementary!

At Stevenson Elementary, we studied the parts of a seed and related this stage in the plant life cycle to their beginning of a new school year.  I was so impressed how they used their poetic and deep thinking skills to make an analogy between a plant life cycle and a school year.  They took…

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Back to School & Beating the Heat!

It was so great to be back at Stevenson Elementary this week as school is getting back into action.  Being their new garden ranger isn’t the only change that has happened over the summer. Their garden space went through a lot of construction, in which, they gained some new space, but removed a dividing fence…

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Back to School Seed Study at Kester!

I am so happy to be teaching at Kester Elementary this year and back in my hood of the valley!  I love the idea of starting off the school year with a study on seeds because it relates so much to the beginning of the kids’ school year.  I explained to them how they are…

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