Posts by Cindy Soto

LFCSA full of cool season veggies!

You can tell that the garden is really taking in all the compost it got during the volunteer work day on November 4th. At the end of November, the veggies and herbs are just full and green! Cauliflower, broccoli, and lemon balm. Kale with small arugula seedlings. Lettuce, beets, kale, artichoke and a white sage…

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Marigolds, the flower of Dia De Los Muertos

Our class at VBGC landed right on November 2nd which is Dia De Los Muertos! All the kids knew a bit about this Mexican holiday, and some shared with me that their parents had an altar at their homes. They shared with me what some of the items on the altar meant, like the water…

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Pumpkins,Flowers and Recipe Making at Delevan Drive!

In the first week of November, Delevan students learned that pumpkins are in the Cucurbita Family, which also includes butternut and spaghetti squash. I asked the students if they know of any traditions that revolve around the pumpkin or squashes, especially in the fall months when they are commonly found in stores.  After our discussion,…

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YOKA students make Bruschetta!

In the first two weeks of November, YOKA students learned a bit about FLOWER anatomy. Many students were surprised, and even amazed that flowers have female and male parts with different functions in the same flower. The following week, we focused on hands-on activities. Due to the heatwave in November, our basil plants are still…

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Talking about Pumpkins at Clifford

It’s the first week of November, and I brought along with me different kinds of pumpkins/squash. Some of the questions I asked the students at Clifford. “Why are there so many pumpkins on Halloween and November? What are some traditions used along with the pumpkins and other squash?”  We had one pumpkin vine that made…

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Rotation at LFCSA coming to an end

In the first week of November and week of Halloween, students at LFCSA learned about flower anatomy! I brought a lily along with me, so students can see the anatomy much better. I was able to use the white board to draw a big picture of a lily, and together we talked about what the…

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First Day at the Community Garden with VBGC members!

November 7th, 2017 marked the first day of teaching at the new Variety Boys and Girls Club garden plot at the White Memorial Community Garden. This community garden has been around for MANY years, with community members of Boyle Heights having their own plots. White Memorial Hospital donated one of the plots to the Variety…

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VBGC members smelling the Marigolds!

It’s October 26th, and for this day VBGC members used their 5 senses in the garden. We first started off by using our sense of TASTE, which was some delicious lettuce that was ready to be harvested. After tasting our lettuce, the class had some time to explore the garden on their own using their…

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CWC seed saves and plants seeds!

In the last week of October and first week of November, CWC students did many different activities. We learned a bit about seed saving, by harvesting basil seeds from our basil flowers, and then students got to draw all kinds of flowers they found in the garden. We ended with a snack of tomatoes from…

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New Rotation at Delevan Drive

For the new rotation at Delevan Drive starting in mid October, we started off by using our 5 senses while exploring the garden and seeing how it has changed since the last time they visited. With the 1st graders we practiced our two finger touch, while feeling, smelling and looking. All classes finished off with…

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YOKA students use their 5 senses in the garden!

Towards the end of October, YOKA students put their 5 senses to work by really exploring the garden, remembering the taste of the salad from the week before, and drawing them in their journals. The following week, all students learned about seed anatomy. As we “dissected” a lima bean, I explained each part of the…

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Seed Saving at Delevan Drive

It was all about seeds in the first week of October at Delevan Drive! Students learned a little bit about seed saving, and even saved some seed themselves! Most students got to save sunflower seeds, but we talked about corn seeds, heirloom seeds, and what might have happened if seeds were never saved. Class ended…

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Always planting seeds at YOKA

To start off with the first week of October, students learned about the flowering plant life cycle. Students drew the cycle in their journals so they can visualize it better. The following week, students learned about companion planting: what plants like to grow along with each other and which ones do not. With every lesson,…

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Using our 5 senses at LFCSA

On October 16th, students at LFCSA used their 5 senses in the garden. First, we explored the garden using our 5 senses. We then went to the class to sit down and draw about these 5 senses. Students had to draw 5 different pictures for each sense. They had the chance to volunteer and share…

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New rotation at Clifford

At Clifford Elementary, we had a new garden rotation starting on October 17th! To start off the first day, students got the chance to explore the garden and draw what they found in the garden or whatever stood out to them. For the second class of the rotation, we learned about seed anatomy with Lima Beans. Students…

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VBGC Members planting seeds

With tomatoes still giving us fruit, we are slowly moving into Fall season in the garden. Each week, we have been transforming the garden one bed at a time, getting it ready for fall. For this first week of October, the VBGC members helped by mixing in organic matter to the just-cleared bed, and finished…

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Hot day at CWC

October 23rd and it was still feeling like summer with this 100 degree weather! This is unusual for October, so we took our class indoors for that day. First, we did a simple seed anatomy with Lima Beans, and then we sat down to look at different kinds of seeds. After looking, all students got…

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Thanking Nature at Clifford

The first two weeks of October, students at Clifford learned about the flowering plant life cycle, while drawing it on their journals. They also wrote thank you letters to nature. In-between students helped with getting the garden ready for the Fall! Helping transfer compost to the beds, pruning off the dead leaves from some plants,…

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Cycles at LFCSA

At  Los Feliz Charter School, students started October by learning about the plant life cycle of flowers: Seed–> Sprouts –> Stems and Leaves–> Flowers–> Fruiting. With each step, students also learned and realized what happens during each step. The following week we talked about the water cycle, but we dug deeper into it. What happens…

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Flowers blooming at CWC

In the first two weeks of October the little ones of CWC have been learning about the life cycle, planting tons of seeds every week, and even making veggie bouquets from the garden! Our blooming flowers! Planting cool season seeds! Beautiful little bouquets! -Ranger Cindy  

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Seed Saving with VBGC members!

During garden class at the Boys and Girls Club, we discussed how the seasons are changing, and how the garden will be transitioning from warm to cool season plants. We also talked about how some of the plants in the garden will produce or have already produced seeds. I decided that in the last week of September,…

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YOKA Students learning about Parts of a Plant

On Wednesday it wasn’t just about, “this is the root, this is the stem,” it was about learning what each part does, learning that the leaf brings in food for the plant through photosynthesis and also learning the different parts of a plant that we eat, like a carrot, it’s a root that we eat…

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Getting the garden ready for Fall at Clifford

Fall is officially here, although this week it didn’t really feel like it did because it was hot all week. In the last two weeks we talked about planting seasons, what’s growing in the garden that will soon be gone because it’s a summer veggie, and how some plants will start to produce seeds, like…

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Fall is here at Delevan Drive

It might have been a pretty warm week during the last week of September, but Fall is officially here. Students at Delevan, learned about the planting seasons of Los Angeles. With the upper grades, we went into a deeper discussion about eating seasonally and locally, along with the planting seasons. And why it is important…

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LFCSA First day at the garden!

September 25th marked the first day of garden class at Los Feliz Charter for the Arts School! Since the first day of Fall had just passed a few days before, I thought it would be great to start off by talking about seasons with the 5th graders. We talked about planting seasons in the garden,…

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Planting seeds at CWC

With the seasons changing, this week we started planting all type of cool-season vegetable seeds all over the garden. Students got to plant cilantro, beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce, spinach and much more. We planted about 10 different seeds, and all students got to plant one of each of which they really enjoyed doing! Now we…

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Welcome to your new garden YOKA!

September 13th marked the first official garden class at Young Oak Kim Academy! I welcomed all the students to their new garden on campus and we talked about some general rules to make sure everyone treats the garden with respect. We also explored the garden, and got to smell and taste some herbs. Classes were…

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VBGC just keeps on growing!

We are back on to regular garden classes after Labor Day weekend on September 7th. It’s been a whole year since the garden has been installed, and it is just glowing and growing! On the first day back, we had TWO small watermelons for both classes! Watermelons on a rooftop garden? YES!, you heard that…

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CWC is back for another year!

September 11, 2017 Another year of garden classes at CWC starts for the new school year! I was greeted by many Kindergarten and new students for our after-school garden class. We began by talking about the rules we should follow in class, like”respect all living things” and using “2 finger touch” while in the garden.…

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Classes start back again at Clifford!

Happy to be back at Clifford for the second year on September 5th! To start with, all the students had the chance to explore the garden, and observe what was/is growing in the garden. All students picked one veggie they found to draw and share it with the class. For the second class we talked…

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Harvest Party at CWC

A couple of weeks back we had our last garden class of the year at CWC. We reviewed what we had learned in the past 8 weeks, planted seeds, and had a harvest party while making edible bouquets with the harvest! -Ranger Cindy  

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End of the year at Delevan

Our last garden class of the year was a couple of weeks ago at Delevan. Many Students were sad that they wouldn’t be coming to the garden until next year, but we ended with planting more seeds in the ground and with a nice yummy salad and cucumbers with tajin! I also planted another California…

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Seed Anatomy at VBGC

On June 1st we learned some seed anatomy! But first, we were surprised to see a beautiful cucumber that was ready to harvest, so we did and tried it! Everybody enjoyed it! To learn, we did a hands on activity, “dissecting” a bean seed. First, took the seed coat off, opened it in half and…

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Seed Anatomy at Delevan Drive

On June 1st we learned a little bit of seed anatomy. To learn, we did a hands on activity, “dissecting” a bean seed. First, took the seed coat off, opened it in half and saw the cotyledons and also the embryo or as I call it with the students, the “baby plant.” There are more…

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Seed Anatomy at Clifford

May 30, 2017 On Tuesday we learned a little bit of seed anatomy. To learn, we did a hands on activity, “dissecting” a bean seed. First, took the seed coat off, opened it in half and saw the cotyledons and also the embryo or as I call it with the students, the “baby plant.” There…

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Flower anatomy at Variety Boys and Girls Club

May 25, 2017 Today the club members learned about flowers, some anatomy and the reason for flowers. To learn the reason why there are flowers, I read a book called, “A Reason for a Flower”.  After reading the book we all learned that the reason for a flower is to make seeds, but also provide…

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Flower Parts at Delevan

May 25, 2017 Today was all about flowers! Learning why flowers are important and their reason, and also their parts. I started off with reading the book, “The Reason for a Flower” . In which the students learned that the reason for a flower is to make seeds! Then it was about learning a few…

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Flowers and Summer harvest!

May 23, 2017 Today, the students of Clifford learned about flowers, some anatomy and the reason for flowers. To learn the reason why there are flowers, I read a book called, “A Reason for a Flower”. The kids learned that the reason for a flower is, to make seeds. We went on to learn two…

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Flower parts and planting flowers at CWC

May 22, 2017 Monday was all about flowers! First, I read a book called “A Reason for Flower” in which students realized, “oh the reason for a flower is to make SEEDS!” After the book, we learned about the anatomy of a flower, but only two parts, the female and the male part of the…

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Corn is coming up at LFCSA

May 22, 2017 Monday was another day of some good garden maintenance. More seedlings were put in, more mulch was spread out and noticed that are corn are doing pretty well, and are starting to pop up! Some of the seedlings that went into the garden. I also planted a few more Sunflower seeds. Mulch…

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Compost in a bag

May 18, 2017 The Club Members learned about COMPOST on Thursday! The first group had learned about Worm composting in the past but not regular compost. So, it was a great lesson for both groups! First, we learned why composting is great. It’s great because instead of throwing away food waste, grass clippings, dried leaves…

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Making Compost piles at Delevan Drive

May 18, 2017 How can you return or recycle food waste back to the Earth?? By COMPOSTING! Instead of sending food waste, green waste (like freshly cut leafs for e.g.), and dead material to the landfill where it just sits, why not compost instead? Today, the students at Delevan learned about compost, the ingredients and…

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Companion planting at Clifford

May 16, 2017 A day about plants that get along when planted together, companion planting! Companions don’t just get along but typically benefit each other in some way or another. The Three Sisters, corn, squash and beans, is a good example of companion planting. One of the many benefits we talked about was, how the…

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Compost making at CWC!

May 15, 2017 Today I was prepping for our upcoming garden workday on Saturday the 20th. Harvested a few things, and cleared a few sections of  the beds in preparation of compost on the workday. Coming Monday, students will plant seedlings and seeds in the newly compost amended beds. So today was all about compost,…

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