Posts by Judi McKee

Kale is King at Queen Anne Elementary

No words could be more delightful to a Garden Ranger than “I love kale!”  Most of the kids found out it was worth a try and now they can’t get enough of it!  Since we can’t meet the demand with our current supplies, more kale will have to be planted next year.  Especially the purple…

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Some Invited Friends at Carson Gore Academy

During our lesson on friends and foes, our assessment of the garden revealed a few aphids, a lot of ants and no ladybugs! (or earthworms, but that’s for another blog….)  Since too many ants will chase the ladybugs away, we needed to bring in some reinforcements.  So, the following week, the classes remedied the problem…

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New Garden at Queen Anne Elementary

Six new raised beds and and a few citrus trees transformed the cement quad at Queen Anne Elementary into a productive garden space.   The kids examined the irrigation system and determined where the plants need to be placed in order to get regular water.  Then they dug out a small piece of native, hardened…

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New Tumblers at Carson Gore Academy

Carson Gore Academy hasn’t had a tumbler up until now, but we’ve still been going over the fundamentals of composting.  The kids were eager to get started and our new green pails have been employed to help keep things separated.  Banana peels and apple cores from breakfast are being brought to the garden by the…

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Cilantro, Sage, Rosemary & Lavender at TAS

At this point in the late winter, we had more herbs and flowers than anything else.  So it was a good time for a lesson about aromatherapy and other uses for these kinds of plants.  The kids had to find three herbs or “smelly” plants by gently rubbing the leaves and finding plants with stronger…

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Thinning Carrots at The Accelerated School

The kids were excited to be back after rainy weather and work stoppages  kept us out of the garden for awhile.  But the garden didn’t take any time off and we had lettuces, broccoli, strawberries and radishes growing and growing.  Also, loads of crazy carrot tops.  So we thinned them out and had little carrot…

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“Turning” Trash into Compost at Alta Loma

As our session came to a close in December, we checked our compost tumbler for the last time.  We’d been adding and turning since school started, and it was getting almost too heavy to turn.  Looked good, smelled good, felt good.  So each student filled up a small plant container with some of the new…

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The Butterfly Effect at Alta Loma

This rainy day craft was so much fun and good enough to eat.  And some tried!  Using different shapes of pasta to describe the lifecycle of a butterfly was a hit with our little gardeners and chefs.  Once they got past the sheer variety of noodles one can find at the grocery store, they got…

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End of Autumn Flowers at Carson Gore

Our bright pink zinnias and lantana bushes were needing a trim, so our creative little gardeners took our piles of cuttings and made flower bouquets to take home.  The kids love the flowers that grow in the garden as much as the fruits and veggies.   At this age, the boys still nudge their noses…

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From Apples to Zucchini at The Accelerated School

The apple tree in the TAS garden has given us a nice supply of fruit this season.   The kids never tired of our crispy cut up snacks and learning about this delicious food.   I asked them to find out something interesting about apples and they wrote about how apples are part of the…

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Composting is Recycling at Alta Loma Elementary

November brought a lot of garden clean up and debris to be composted.  We also got some good food and paper scraps from a parent volunteer.  So, with all of our plastic buckets filled up, we started adding them to our composting tumbler a/k/a “the soil factory”.  The kids learned about ratio by determining how…

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Composting is Recycling at Alta Loma Elementary

November brought a lot of garden clean up and debris to be composted.  We also got some good food and paper scraps from a parent volunteer.  So, with all of our plastic buckets filled up, we started adding them to the “soil factory”, a/k/a our composting tumbler.  The kids learned about ratio by determining how…

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Coffee With the Garden Ranger at Carson Gore Academy

One of the favorite parts of the day at Carson Gore Academy is adding coffee grounds to the compost pile!  The deli across the street provides us a week’s worth of their used grounds, so there’s plenty to spread around.    We’re still working on why brown coffee grounds are considered a “green” when we…

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When Alta Loma Gives You Lemons…..

  Summer took its toll on the Alta Loma garden.  Vines died off, weeds piled up, and gargantuan rosemary bushes ate the sprinkler heads (thus the dead vines….).  But the courtyard garden in the middle of the school was still inviting, especially after we gathered some wood tables and a discarded chalkboard under a friendly…

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Seedy and Shady Happenings at The Accelerated School

Though the kids didn’t like losing the beautiful mammoth sunflowers, late summer brought droopy heads loaded with seeds to be harvested.  Their little fingers were perfect for this job.  After planting the seeds in the garden, they stuffed their pockets with more to plant in their own yards…..and we still had plenty to leave for…

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Cool Beans at Carson Gore Academy

The chill in the air is bringing changes to the garden, and it’s time to start planting our cool weather crops.  After testing and examining the soil, these city kids couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty!  The seedlings they started were ready to be planted, and even though many of the kids weren’t sure…

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