Studying leaves and photosynthesis at Stevenson Elementary!

Did you know that leaves not only make their own food, but breath and sweat?!  My students were fascinated to learn that leaves have small cells called stomata, that are like leaf “lungs” to breathe in carbon dioxide and create photosynthesis!  Leaves are also full of chlorophyll cells that absorb the sunlight and give leaves…

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Bird Bath at Luther Burbank MS

One group at Luther Burbank is focusing on birds this year. One of the first things we noticed when discussing the basic needs of a habitat (and what the word “habitat” means) is food, shelter, and water. The most difficult thing for birds to find in our garden would be water. So, we addressed this…

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Seeds everywhere at El Sereno Elementary

El Sereno Elementary observed the radicle and cotyledon in multiple seeds. They learned these are present and become the plants roots and leaves, sustaining growth after the stored energy in the cotyledon is depleted. Cucumber with colored bell pepper and seasoned with lemon juice and salt was a successful snack. – Ranger Dan

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Compost Lesson and bountiful harvest at Carson-Gore

Carson-Gore closed the first garden class session with a lesson on compost. Radishes were sprouting and there was a large harvest or summer fruit. The compost lesson finished the journals. A healthy 3:1 wet:dry ratio will keep the decomposers happy. Eggplant, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper was sampled. – Ranger Dan

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Woodlawn Breaks down Photosynthesis!

Photosynthesis is a big topic to cover! Even the word needs some explaining; Photo means “light”, synthesis means “to put together”.  Making sense of this process required some small steps, so we began by breaking it down! During this lesson we discovered just how leaves absorb the sun’s light energy through chlorophyll, a green substance in…

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What’s Growing On? at Ramona

My students and I have been talking about the climate and growing seasons of Los Angeles. Because Southern California’s weather is fairly temperate, the growing season is longer than most states and for that reason a wider variety of plants can be grown throughout the year. Fruiting plants are grown in the summer (cucumber, tomatoes,…

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Plants From Around the World at Glenfeliz Elementary

Hello! The Glenfeliz Elementary garden is heading into the fall season as summer produce slows down and our new seeds begin to germinate for the cooler months. Each of our students has gotten to plant a seed (a variety of beets, carrots, leeks, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, and radish!), and our beds should be filling…

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The Brussel Sprout Tree – Dominguez High

Great conditions, growing medium and green-thumbs have totally helped our brussel sprouts from last year’s program become the brussels of the year! On year two of its biannual life cycle, these brussels bear even more than the first year. Though they may need their first outer leaves removed, these rich buttery prize possessions are welcomed…

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We’re Buggy at Foster

At Foster we are learning about what kinds of bugs live in the garden. Last week we looked for good and bad bugs and their relationship with the plants; if they were protecting the plants or harming the plants. The garden was crawling with lots of different critters like ladybugs, spiders, wasps, bees, and we…

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Pressing Panini at Taking the Reins

The teenage girls at Taking the Reins like nothing better than to cook the veggies we grow in the garden, so it’s been a big focus this year. We sat down on the first class and made a plan of different things to cook each time. Today was Panini day. I brought in my Panini…

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Soil was the theme at El Sereno Elementary

As the students learned and recorded the proper soil recipe, the benefits of it use were all around them. Some healthy fruits were seen developing and ripened tomatoes with beans, basil, salt and pepper was devoured. Sweet and simple. – Ranger Dan

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Welcome Back to the Glenfeliz Garden!

Welcome back to the garden! Technical difficulties have kept us off the blog, but we are back and three weeks into our exploration of the relationships between plants and our bodies. Because many of the students are now veterans of the Glenfeliz Garden, we are working to deeper explore the content they may have covered in…

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Aspire Talks About Seeds

Today was the last day of the rotation with 5th grade and since they have been so excited about the developing seedlings they planted a couple of weeks ago, I thought we would explore the topic of seeds more deeply. We looked at various types of seeds and talked about the sometimes extreme measures some…

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Zebra Seeds at Sullivan

The preschoolers at Sullivan have been asking me for weeks what happened to the really tall sunflower at the entrance of the garden. I explained that the plant was dead and I was waiting until it was all dried up to collect the seeds. Well, today was the day to do so! I chopped down…

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Super Salad at Ramona Elementary

At Ramona Elementary this week, my students had a chance to make something delicious. Chopping up blue kale leaves, green onions, tiny red cherry tomatoes, purple basil and tender squashes, the kids worked on their own to make a garden salad. They loved the hands-on responsibility of using kid-safe kitchen tools; and I am convinced…

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Valley View Starts a Bed of Native Plants!

At Valley View, we started a bed just for native plants. Students learned that California native plants do not require the water and soil amending that the other fruits and vegetables in the garden need. They did a school walk to discover plants in the area doing well without additional water and took some seeds…

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Learning parts of a pumpkin at Kester Avenue Elementary

In celebration of the first week of Fall, we discussed pumpkins, all their parts, and their purposes.  The kids were fascinated with how big a pumpkin leaf and flower can get!  All the better to make food with and attract pollinators. We also talked about the changing season and how struggling tomato plants were going…

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The Flowers are Poppin’ at Luther Burbank

We’ve been starting more seeds from scratch in the classrooms, to varying success but one big success story is these beautiful zinnias. Ms. Cummings’ class started them last year along with some runner beans which are deeper inside the zinnias pictured. They are now a jaw dropping pollinator attractor. We’ve seen hummingbirds, butterflies, and of…

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Welcome to Cabrillo’s Garden

Though my second graders from last year have moved on to a new school, I am happy to be back at Juan Cabrillo to teach a new group of students. Many faces are actually quite familiar, so introducing myself and Mr. Frank to the kids was more like, “great to see you again!” Even so, we…

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Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers at Valley View!

As the students at Valley View Elementary learned about the garden life cycle, they explored their garden to find examples of the crucial players. Lots of life gave lots to discover as they digested their snack of cucumber and mint. – Ranger Dan As the students at Valley View Elementary learned about the garden life…

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Compost Amends the Beds at Vine St

The students at Vine St gave the garden a boost while removing summer plants. They used compost and learned about how expired plants are used to feed new plants with the help of decomposers in the compost bin. Beds were cleared, amended, replanted, and mulched. – Ranger Dan

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Compost is Building at West Vernon

As we take down the summer crops at West Vernon the compost gets a big boost in nitrogen. A lesson on compost and the balance needed between “brown and green” (dry or wet) plant materials filled a few pages in their journals.Students were able to snack on a giant zucchini from the garden! Students also…

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Big workday and lots of growth at ALC

The rooftop garden at ALC is looking great. Today we put in more wood chips for a pathway. We installed signs that the students decorated. Beans, squash, carrots, potatoes, borage, beets, and peas are all growing quickly!

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Vine St Learns the Soil Formula

At Vine Street Elementary, students had a lesson on soil and the components that make it hospitable to healthy plants! Learning the recipe for healthy soil and a healthy snack of zucchini, leeks, basil, and lemon kept the students smiling. Seeing some flowering mint gave them an illustration of the previous lesson on plant parts.…

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Vine St Elementary Completes the Garden Life Cycle

Vine St had a lesson on whose eating what in the garden. They learned that decomposers complete the garden life cycle and were challenged to come up with several examples that live in their garden. Keeping track in their journals helped them to realize it takes many organisms to keep the garden growing. – Ranger…

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West Vernon Learns How the Garden Life Cycle is Completed

Pollinators to decomposers and back again. West Vernon received a lesson on the life cycle in the garden and how decomposers complete the loop. Cover crops were removed and the students help amend a row crop that had just produced a bounty of corn. Decomposers can’t do all the work after all. Garden cucumbers, basil,…

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Eggplant mania at Berendo MS

Today was a cool, beautiful day in the garden. We have had lots of eggplant growing lately. We learned how to save the best seeds from eggplant. They have beautiful purple flowers, but watch out, they have spikes!

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Garden design at Los Feliz!

Today we used our journals to design our dream gardens. We talked about site selection, crop planning, and feeding ourselves and our families. Students had to be critical thinkers and think both about big and small details! So many beautiful plants in the garden today!

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Valley View Elementary Learns Plant Parts and Their Functions

Valley View Elementary had a lesson on plant parts and their functions. A snack made of seeds, fruits, and leaves (corn, tomatoes, and basil) helped the students realize how delicious the parts can be in the right combination. Some primary consumers were spotted and made a great precursor to future lessons. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St Elementary Learns the Soil Recipe

Vine St Elementary has a lesson on soil and how each ingredient needs to be in the right proportion to be useful to the plants. Looking back at their journals to the lesson on plant parts and examining some roots really made the lesson tangible. A snack of zucchini lemon and rosemary was surprisingly well…

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West Vernon Reviews Plant Parts and Functions

Roots, stems, leaves, fruit, flowers, and seeds. The students at West Vernon went over the plants parts and their essential functions for the plant. They used their journals to sketch and write down the plant parts and what would happen to the plants if they didn’t have them. The garden was full of delicious and…

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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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Exploring Life in the Garden

At St. Patrick’s we explored the beneficial and detrimental bugs in the garden.  The kids learned about different species of insects that are either defined as predators, pollinators or prey.  We discussed how they are all interconnected and would not survive without one another. After we played freeze tag as friends and foes, we munched…

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Seed saving, yarrow, and zinnias at ERHS

Today we had a lesson on seed saving, which is a great way to save seeds from heirloom and native varieties of many fruits and vegetables. We saved a lot of red okra seeds that we will plant next year! In the long run, seed saving is a great way to cut down on costs associated with upkeeping…

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Eating the Rainbow at Mid-City Prescott

Since we have a nutrition intern from UCLA at Mid-City this month, we are taking the oppportunity to learn how our garden plants can help our nutrition.Today we learned that each color in our fuits and veggies is associated with a special power to help our bodies. We played a game to see what team…

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Beets,onions, and cuttings at ALC

Today we learned to take cuttings, which is when we create a new plant out of a part of an existing mature plant. We also transplanted aloe pups and planted more onions and beets. It was a nice cool day on the rooftop! j

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Cool and cloudy morning at Berendo

Today at Berendo we learned about cuttings, which is when you cut a branch out of an existing, mature plant and stick it in the ground so a new plant can grow! Cuttings are a great way to get new plants without starting from seeds or seedlings. We did cuttings out of jade trees and purple…

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Worms at Willow Elementary

As our tour of the senses continued this week at Willow Elementary, students touched red, manure worms. They learned that worms are slick because they breathe through their skin and that they squirm because they don’t like the sunlight. Students were also delighted to learn that, like them, red worms prefer sweet fruits like watermelon,…

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