Posts by Sara Haston

Last Day of School and Values on the Line

Today, the students had a chance to share and discuss their ideas on environmental issues facing current and future generations. I read statements and they responded with how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement on a scale of 1-10. After the lesson we had snacks that consisted of  popcorn and kumquats. The students shared…

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Three Parts of a Seed and the Stages of Seed Growth

Today we learned about the three parts of a seed and the stages of its growth cycle. The three parts are: The Coat The Food Storage The Embryo The kids had a chance to look at a seed from the gourd seed packet and make observations about it. We then discussed the various sizes and…

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Climate and Seasons

This weeks class we discussed climates and seasons. We went over the definition of each; weather describes the current and predicted temperature, wind/air/humidity conditions of a particular ecosystem. Where as climate is the historical weather conditions of a particular ecosystem. We discussed which season we are in currently; late Spring. The kids discovered that Los…

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Climates and Seasons

This weeks class we discussed climates and seasons. We went over the definition of each; weather describes the current and predicted temperature, wind/air/humidity conditions of a particular ecosystem. Where as climate is the historical weather conditions of a particular ecosystem. We discussed which season we are in currently; late Spring. The kids discovered that Los…

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Sensory Scavenger Hunt

In the garden this week the students explored the five senses as they relate to different plants in the garden. They got into groups of 2-4 and wrote out descriptions of how a plant feels with touch, how a plant looks using vision, how a plant smells, what is heard when we close our eyes…

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Parts of the Plant

This weeks class covered the five, and sometimes six, parts of a plant and what their job is in keeping the plant alive and well. They are: Seed: Is the baby plant and is waiting for the right conditions to open up and grow roots. For older kids the seed is described as the fertilized…

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Friends and Foes

The kids learned about some of the other living things besides plants in the garden; beneficial and harmful insects, also known as friends and foes. We discussed how friends and foes act, and then we went through examples of friends and foes in the garden. We passed out cards to a handful of kids and…

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Parts of a Plant and Spring Planting!

This weeks lesson we covered the six basic parts of a plant and the importance of each. We then played a game where where the kids broke off into two teams. I shared a clue with each team that related to a part of the plant that we eat. For example, a stem that we…

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Garden Salad and Soil Sampling

This week’s weather was a bit damp, which was great for our newly transplanted tomatoes, basil, and beans! Many of the mature plants were calling us to harvest them and make a salad. As a group the kids and I harvested rainbow chard, cabbage, kale, basil, mint, nasturtium leaves and flowers, and calendula flowers. Then we…

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Maintenance and Planting

The garden needed a lot of attention this week and the kids were more than happy to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. Maintaining the garden means removing dead plant matter, pruning and dead-heading plants, cleaning out leaves fallen from the trees, and mulching tomato plants. Speaking of tomato plants, we put…

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DIY Tea Blend

This week we harvested fresh herbs from the garden and combined them with dried herbs. We then mashed them up together to release their flavors in a mortar and pestle. Then we combined them in a tea bag and poured boiling water of them, eventually sipping on them. It was the perfect day to sip…

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Farewell Marilee and Let’s Talk Soil

This week was bittersweet as Marilee from Gavina coffee came by the garden to work and say good bye. She is moving to Portland and we will miss her presence and visual art contributions to the garden, via compost signage. The students learned about the three main ingredients that make up soil: sand, silt, and…

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Seed Starting

This week students had the chance to start their own plants from seed. We had three different seed packets to choose from; peppers, thyme, and oregano. Each student selected the seed they wanted to plant and then filled pots with potting soil. Next, they planted their seeds and watered them in. Finally, they made a…

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Harvesting, Prepping Beds, and Transplanting

Students this week prepared the garden beds for planting and placed seedlings in their new home. They learned about how each plant requires different nutrients- peas fix nitrogen, tomatoes are heavy feeders, and cabbages like cooler weather. We prepared the beds by pulling out older plants that had gone to seed- like lettuce and mustard…

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Tomato Care, Prepping Beds, Planting, and Composting

We had a busy day of garden work this week. Here are the projects we worked on: The tomato plants needed to be tied up, why you may ask? Because they get get tall and heavy and need to be supported, plus it makes it easier for us to pick the tomatoes when they’re ready. We…

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Hooray for New Irrigation and a Tool Shed!

Up until now the garden beds have been manually watered, which is not very efficient. So, Tomas O’Grady himself drove out to Compton with a trailer full of tools and supplies to install irrigation, install a timer for the water system, and assemble a tool shed with a platform. The students came out and I…

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Habitat and Climate

What are the differences between a desert and a Redwood forest? What animals and plants live in deserts, and which ones live in Redwood forests. In the garden today we read two books, one about Death Valley Desert, and one about a Redwood forest. The students were instructed to pay attention to animal and plant…

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Garden Design and Beneficial and Harmful Insects

This Tuesday we had perfect weather to work out in the garden. The lesson we went over covered the difference between beneficial and harmful insects, specific examples of insects; like bees, aphids, lady bugs, and garden spiders, ways they harm and help plants, and how to increase and reduce them in the garden. The activity…

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Spring Cleaning and Tomato Suckering

It’s no secret the tool shed needs some love. You open it up and it looks like a tornado hit it. This is something that commonly happens in many garden sheds because it is last priority when there are so many other priorities to take care of in the garden. So, today we pulled everything…

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Food Chains and Food Webs

Today we discussed how everything on earth needs energy to stay alive. We talked about where energy comes from, plants and animals, and shared what energy helps us do; for humans energy helps us move our body and use our brain. For a butterfly energy is used to flap their wings up and down. For…

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Kale Pesto

This week the students had the chance to harvest ingredients from the garden and create a dish. The menu was kale pesto with vegetable pasta. We harvested two types of kale, Red Russian and Curly, and herbs to garnish; oregano, thyme, and chives. We then washed the produce and came back to the class to…

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The Food Chain and Pea Planting

Last week the kids had a creative and interactive day in the garden. We discussed the definition of a food chain and how every food chain, no matter which habitat, or where in the world the food chain exists, always begins with the sun and a plant. We then went through specific examples of food…

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Parts of the Plant

The week before last we talked about seeds. This week’s  lesson was about the parts of the plant. We went over the six main parts of the plant: Seed, Roots, Stem, Leaves, Flower, and Fruit. We then discussed what function each part serves. After reviewing the parts we played a game. We split up into…

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Thank You Gavina Coffee!

The secret is out! We heart Gavina Coffee! Today in the garden each class wrote a thank you card to Gavina Coffee thanking them for visiting our school last week. Each student drew an illustration of a coffee plant, a coffee cup, compost, and fruits and vegetables we put in the compost. Some students drew…

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Farm and Food Careers, and Guerilla Gardening

This week we discussed the many career paths possible in the food and farm world. Some examples include a farmer, a chef, a caterer, a farmers’ market seller, a farmers’ market manager, and a director of sustainability. I passed out vegetable seed packets to half the class and designated them farmers. The other half of…

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Garden Salad and Parts of a Seed

It’s always a good day in the garden when we can reap the fruits of our labor. Today was one of those days. We collected a variety of salad ingredients including; lettuce, chard, parsley, calendula petals, and mint. We added sunflower seeds and topped it with a simple Italian dressing. Most of the kids gobbled…

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Compost Lesson with Special Guest Gavina Coffee!

Last week we had a special guest join us in the garden, Gavina Coffee! Marilee and Oswaldo joined us in the garden and created a sign for our compost bin as well as a mini lesson on coffee plants the benefits of coffee grounds in compost. Thank you so much Gavina! Many of the kids were…

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What Are The Differences Between Whole and Processed Foods?

Last week we discussed the difference between whole and processed foods. We watched two videos by reputable sources that shared the difference between a whole fruit, a partially-processed fruit, and a totally processed fruit, and compared the sugar content of each. So for example: an apple, applesauce, and apple juice. The students were able to see…

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