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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Wormania at Toluca Lake!

Today at Toluca Lake Elementary I introduced my students my vermi-composting bin- an old minifridge filled with earth worms and decomposing food scraps.  Worms are fabulous decomposers! They break down organic material to make the nutrients available for plant uptake.  They also turn the soil as they tunnel through the earth.  Their poop, or “worm…

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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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Learning and reviewing Parts of a plants before planting

At Vaness School 11/16/17  We spoke about parts of a plant. General Ed reviewed parts of a plant and planted in first two beds.  Planted seedlings artichoke and pumpkins. Planted Zinnia and Garnet lettuce.  The kids totally took ownership from planting what to posting in the beds what is there. [I will have pictures from…

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December fun

The fall garden with remnants of summer tomatoes, mission fig, pomegranate and plenty of kale, chard, parsley, basil, chives, beans and arugula lend themselves to harvest, create recipes, divide chores and share a tasty salad together.    

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West Vernon Learns about seeds

At West Vernong, students learned about seeds and drew diagrams explaining key parts of seed anatomy. They discovered and observed seeds in their garden; some we eat, some we don’t. We also found a large zucchini that could have fed the whole school! – Ranger Dan  

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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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Harvesting using the 5 senses at Eagle Rock Elementary

Today we learned about how to use our senses to harvest at Eagle Rock Elementary. We used sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound to find the most delicious fruits and veggies. The garden is full of vibrant sights and smells. The garden currently has a lot of lettuce and winter veggies in the ground that…

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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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Scavenger Hunt! at Sullivan

From feathery fennel, to colorful flowers, to sweet smelling mint to caterpillar-eating milkweed, the garden at Sullivan is flourishing with different kinds of plants and animals. Each week, my students and I observe a couple of specific plants — the seeds, the size, any bugs that live on the plants, etc. But this week we…

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Rose hips at ERHS

Today we learned about rose hips, which is basically the fruit part of flower plants. They are edible and high in vitamin C. Some students enjoyed the taste, others disagreed. We also planted lots of lettuce and harvested some tiny summer squash!

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Garden & Parents Club

Parents are putting their “green thumb” skills to the test at the garden club in Eastman Elementary. Two beds are available for them and they plant seeds, seedlings, and learn about soils, insects, compost, and discuss and share ideas to sustain an urban garden. It’s always great to have parents involved in our gardens!  …

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Rio Vista – Worms

Hello Garden Friends, Here today talking about worms and shooting ya some fun worms facts. Today, I brought over my broken refrigerator that I have stocked full of red wiggler composting worms. We started with the most obvious question, “Why on Earth would Farmer Jeff save a broken fridge and put worms in it? The…

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Calvert – Worm Race

Hello Garden Friends, This week, we talked about decomposition with the 5th graders. To help explain the importance of decomposition in the garden, I brought them some red wiggler worms from the b ait shop, old newspapers, and my kitchen food waste scraps. After explaining how worms take the food waste and transform the nutrients…

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Purple potatoes, giant pumpkins, and great growth at ALC

The most exciting harvest of the day at ALC was our purple potatoes. We will sprout and replant them for an exponential harvest! Our cabbage, beets, kale, comfrey, and borage are all booming and the students all got to take home some harvest. We planted giant pumpkins which we hope will grow even though its…

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Garden Learning through Technology at Melrose

Mr. Whalen’s first grade garden friends put their technological skills to work in the Melrose garden. As part of their garden lessons, students took video and photographs week by week. They captured information on everything, from the structure of leaves to the importance of flowers! They created a final overview of our six weeks together,…

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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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Lessons Start a New at West Vernon

We had a great introduction class at West Vernon! Students explored and had a food hunt, discovering cucumber, basil, and garlic chives as a snack. A fallen sunflower gave the students a closer look at workings of flowers and seeds. – Ranger Dan  

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Compost and straw amendments at Berendo!

Today we added fresh compost to our garden beds. This will help recycle nutrients in the soil and allow the plants grow. We also mulched the beds with straw, which will shade the soil and conserve moisture. We have some ripe surinam cherries and eggplants in the garden!

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Buckwheat Harvest at Roosevelt High

October’s unseasonal heat wave may have matured our buckwheat sooner than average but this did not stop Roosevelt High’s best students from processing the majority of our cover crop. The stalks, over seven foot in height were beginning to lean across our pathways and turning into the darker brown color indicating their ripeness. After trimming…

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The Great Jack-O-Lantern Compost Experiment Part II

Returning to our Great Jack-O-Latern Compost experiment, Cheremoya students got to dig into the pile they built during our previous class to find our original pumpkins had all but disappeared! We piled more layers of carbon and nitrogen garden wastes and once again watered our pile. Our scientific guess as to what comes next includes…

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Garden Chemistry at TS King.

Today we learned about chemistry in the garden, specifically in compost. Compost needs a good balance of carbon to nitrogen for it to create a great product. As for the rest of our garden, the apples are blooming and the summer squash and purple tree collards are going strong!

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Compost Dreams at Roosevelt High School

The first half of the semester at Roosevelt High School brought a long list of new activities for our classes to work on. After contemplating and discussing our options over the remainder of the summer’s sunflower seed harvest, Mr. Velasco’s fourth and fifth hour students have set out to start the school’s first composting project.…

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Math Skills in the Garden + Art as Deterrent?

Students at Magnolia Avenue Elementary put their math skills to use for garden learning. Taking weekly measurements allows students to chart the rate of growth of both plants they’ve started from seed plus existing plants.   Students also started an art and deterrent experiment (think scare crow for squirrels) to see what we need to…

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The Giant Pumpkins

Our two giant pumpkins, the subject of weight and seed guessing games, also became the curious vegetable that had to be lifted, rolled around, and ultimately cracked for being too large too heavy and too unwieldy to move around even in a wheel barrow. This curiosity resulting in both over 250 lb pumpkins being smashed…

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Rio Vista – From Basil to Pesto

Hello Garden Friends, Last Week at Rio Vista we finished part 2 of the two part lesson in making pesto sauce. Before this, we had to harvest the plants, remove the leaves, harvest the seeds, then wash the good looking leaves to save for the cooking lesson. Normally, pesto is made with parmesan cheese and/or…

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Volunteer Day at The Accelerated School

,  This week, our students rose up to the task of clearing out all of the invasive milkweed that plagued our beds. Fortunately, there was stacks of onions, beans, celery, and cabbage seedlings to plant in its place. Thanks to all of the participants during volunteer day, there was much leftover bags of potting soil that…

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From Seed to Garden Jungle at Selma

At our Selma Avenue Elementary Garden, students plant seeds every week to watch the progress of plant growth.   4th and 5th grade students started a brand new garden bed this school year which has grown into a veritable edible jungle. Sometimes, luck has it to teach us firsthand about friends and foes in the…

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Citrus Paradise at The Accelerated School

First graders at the Accelerate school had a blast in recording and identifying the newly planted herbs in the garden. Our garden has been providing a steady bounty of lemons, but it was up to all of us to figure out the best way to make lemonade for the entire class. With the tools of…

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The Great Jack-O-Lantern Compost Experiment Part I

At Cheremoya Elementary, our leftover Jack-O-Lanterns and our compost lessons perfectly coincided, letting garden students get a hands-on learning experience. 3rd grade students stuffed the Jack-o-Lanterns with carbon (dried/brown) and nitrogen (green) wastes to help the process work from the inside out. The 1st grade classes then came along and buried the filled pumpkins under…

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Leaves, Leaves, Leaves at Carson-Gore

Carson-Gore had a lesson on leaves and how they get so green. Chlorophyll is involved in the process of photosynthesis and cannot absorb green light, so we benefit by having and abundance of green in landscapes and gardens. Students were also able to observe the different textures, shapes, and sizes of leaves. They used leaves…

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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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Calvert – Bees

Hello Garden Friends, This week we did a special presentation about bees and how they help the garden and what we can do to care for them. To augment the lesson I brought over a hive with 10 frames of honeycomb and some commonly used hive tools like a smoker and a hive tool. To…

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New raised beds at TS King

We are installing new beds at King! The kids were excited to help construct, fill the beds with soil, and finally plant seedlings! We planted romaine, cabbage, tatsoi, sweet potatoes, and garlic!

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The Race to Make Good Soil at Mid-City

The students at Mid-City have a lot of energy, so they were especially excited to find out our soil lesson would involve a race! After questioning and observing how leaves and woodchips naturally break down into soil in our garden space, we gathered carbon and nitrogen materials (fruit peels, paper, and other organic materials) to…

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Harvest time at Los Feliz Elementary

Today we learned about harvesting at Los Feliz Elementary. We picked lots of squash and flowers. Romaine and mustard are ready to eat! We also planted arugula and swiss chard. Just another great day in the garden!

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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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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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Scientific Observations at Weemes!

Children are naturally very curious, and the students at Weemes are especially inquisitive in the garden: “Where do plants come from?” “Why do plants need sun?” “Why did the cucumbers die?” Many of these questions we answer in our class lessons, but this week we let our students answer their own questions through the exhilarating…

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20th Street Gardeners learn about Seeds and Bees

The gardeners at 20th Street had a lesson on seed anatomy. We harvested some bean pods and opened them up to inspect and discuss what we learned in our lesson, like finding the embryo and trying to “squish” the bean with our fingers. Then we planted some seeds and are excited to see if they…

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