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Here’s What’s Growing On at Utah Street

With the help of Utah Street Elementary’s fabulous intern Jordan, we created beautiful new garden signs! The signs show off the plant diversity that we’ve got growing in our garden, and they help students and the school’s community identify our fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Check ‘em out!

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IMG_20150227_113030internjordanIntern spotlight! We are so grateful to have Jordan’s help in the garden. Thank you, Jordan!

 

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Starting a Summer Garden @ Bryson

Today at Bryson Ranger Lily and her two wonderful interns, Grace and Yessenia, prepared a bunch of 6 pack plant starts with their classes in preparation for a summer garden. First we mixed together a good potting soil and got to feel the soil in our hands.

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Then we reviewed how to properly plant a seed and that the depth at which you plant each seed will be different depending on the seed’s size.

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We planted many yummy vegetables: different varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chiles, eggplants and watermelon.

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IMG_20150227_091340And of course, we water our seeds!

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 We can’t wait to get to taste these delicious treats!

We also got a kickstart and planted a couple of already established tomatoes in the big kid and kindergarten gardens.

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The kindergarten garden is lush and flourishing! It is such a beautiful mix of different plants, vegetables and flowers.

IMG_20150227_102506New intern Yessenia helped me plant the tomatoes. She is great!

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Beautiful arugula flowers
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Foster Garden Work Day

Ranger Lily took a day between sessions to work in the garden, tackling some tasks she had wanted to get to.

Many of those tasks included pruning various plants, amending the soil and adding to the compost.

She was really happy when she finally got to prune some of the fruit trees that have not had a haircut in quite awhile. There are still more to do!

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She is excited and ready to have a new group of students for the next 6 weeks!

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Rich humus at the bottom

Valley View Elementary Can Compost

So on this rainy day we decided to learn about compost, and why it is important. Compost is like vitamins for the soil, and our veggies need their vitamins, just like we do!

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We got a break and headed out to look into our “garden recycle program” AKA Compost!

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We take time to enrich our garden beds with the humus so that we can have healthy vegetables.

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enjoying our outdoor classroom

 

Kinder and pre K took seeds and look what it is now!

Los Feliz Charter for the Arts: Germination

In October the Garden teacher Jenn showed the kinder and pre-K how to start wild sunflowers by harvesting the finished blooms and spreading the seeds in the garden, here is their result:  this art school is sure a beauty. This bed was empty in October, good job kids.  These are about 7-8 feet high.

Kinder and pre K took seeds and look what it is now!
Kinder and pre K took seeds and look what it is now!

So now that we are the official sunflower school, the second grade is geeking out with their science, we are harvesting and germinating our own seeds. We cut down what appears to be dead flowers, and get the seeds out.

harvested sunflowers
harvested sunflowers

Carefully finding the viable seeds.

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Then we place the seeds on a damp napkin, and put in a ziplock bag to keep moist.

These sunflowers are ready for our germination test
These sunflowers are ready for our germination
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We ziplock the moisture in and will watch them to see how long they take to sprout. Name, date and details are noted on the baggie, we will write the date on the bags when we see the first sprouts.

Notating data on the sunflower seeds.
Notating data on the sunflower seeds.
Succulents blossomed after the winter rain.

Garden Care

The last few weeks at Weemes Elementary School have been integrated with lessons about Friends and Foes, Types of Soil, and Seasonal gardening in Southern California. Grade 2 and Grade 5 are new to the garden this semester and have been learning how to take care of the garden at their school. As the winter vegetables, such as broccoli, lettuce, and kale are ready to harvest, students have continued planting the last of the remaining winter vegetables. Recently the snow peas and snap peas have grown to be harvested, while cabbages and beans were planted where old broccoli plants were pulled. Beautiful radishes were harvested a couple weeks ago, and each week students have been making delicious edible salads! Soon Weemes students will begin their STEM-Garden lessons, while the new seedlings grow and mature over the next few weeks.

So many radishes grew at Weemes that each fifth grader was able to take one home!
So many radishes grew at Weemes that each fifth grader was able to take one home!
Succulents blossomed after the winter rain.
Succulents blossomed after the winter rain.
Students were excited to make broccoli salad and eat the florets with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing they prepared.
Students were excited to make broccoli salad and eat the florets with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing they prepared.
Students learned how to use hand tools to weed stubborn grasses from the mulch.
Students learned how to use hand tools to weed stubborn grasses from the mulch.
Students help to pull old broccoli plants in preparation of planting late winter and early spring seeds!
A student helps to pull old broccoli plants in preparation of planting late winter and early spring seeds!
Students examine the soil to notice the quality and moisture level.
Students examine the soil to notice the quality and moisture level.
Fifth graders use shovels and wheelbarrows to add new soil to the garden beds
Fifth graders use shovels and wheelbarrows to add new soil to the garden beds
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Vine Students Learn About Predators

Vine students learn about predators and their prey by studying the animals in the garden. First, we recall which animals we’ve seen in the garden previously. Then, we read information cards to find out their eating habits.

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Last, we made connections between animals and their predators. We were able to figure out the garden food chain.

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Next step: looking in the garden for these interesting creatures!

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Parts of the Plant @ ALC

This week at ALC, we learned about the functions of the different parts of the plant. Each group of students were assigned a different part of the plant, and discussed as a team what they thought the functions of the part were. Each group came to the front of the class to present, and we ended the class with some independent research on specific plants that students labelled a few weeks ago.

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Students created labels for each plant in the garden, which we laminated and stuck onto homemade bamboo sign holders.

 

 

 

2015-02-17 13.05.02Need sprouts emerging after some very lucky rain showers! Beets in picture.

 

compost bin art

South Gate D.I.Y Compost


~Starting our Compost at South Gate Middle School~
south gate compost binIt is great when you can start a compost lesson with “How long do you think it takes for a plastic bottle to decompose?” It is a shock to most students when you say an estimated 500 years! Now let’s take about how we can Recycle, Reduce and Reuse in our garden!

It’s simple Compost helps not only our garden but our world, one small thing we can do to keep pollinates out of our landfill and oceans.

 

COMPOST GATERING

 

We had fun gathering rotting food from the garden, dry leaves and in the process tasting all the delicious foods we are growing. Discussing all the materials that can go in to the compost and can not is also very important. We can’t wait to get some awesome art up showing our fellow classmates and community how easy it is to make your own compost.