Magnifying the Atwater Elementary School Garden!

Magnifying the Atwater Elementary School Garden!

Monday was the last week in the garden for the first grade and kindergarten students at Atwater Elementary School. Ranger Elysa and Taylor will miss teaching these students, but look forward to teaching more students at Atwater in the coming weeks! The last formal lesson for these bright students involved using magnifying glasses to inspect the details of the beautiful andContinue Reading

Garden-STEM Pilot Pre-Data Collection

Garden-STEM Pilot Pre-Data Collection

Over the past two weeks a team of interns have been led by Garden Ranger/Researcher, Traci Demuth, to gather students’ perceptions about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) and gardening. Research methods invited students to draw their understandings of scientists and engineers, accompanied with an interview and survey about each child’s understanding and experiences with STEM and gardening.Continue Reading

Leaf Prints

Leaf Prints

Lush, leafy gardens aren’t only nice for adding beauty, oxygen and for enjoying the yummy fruits and veggies. Plant parts can be used in many other ways such as using the fibers for clothing, reeds or stems for weaving baskets, using any ol’ part for creating natural dyes, and getting creative for other fun artisticContinue Reading

Teamwork Means Success!

Teamwork Means Success!

Today was the much anticipated garden expansion and beautification project at Foster Elementary. Enrich LA, teaming up with The Kitchen Community and WME, installed 4 new raised beds, a full irrigation system, and mulched over the unsightly grass and weeds. Mrs. McKerr’s 3rd grade class came out to help for a bit and loved usingContinue Reading

End of Summer Harvest Salad

End of Summer Harvest Salad

Students at Vine Elementary sliced and diced and measured and mixed and put together this delicious recipe celebrating my personal favorite summer fruits: tomatoes and watermelon.  Yummy! First, we chop chop chop chop chop the watermelon up.  Everyone gets a turn!  Watermelon is really easy to chop. Second, we picked mint leaves and tomatoes fromContinue Reading

A Look Into Our Busy Week

A Look Into Our Busy Week

A week full of Gardening Events Of-Course! Ever wonder what EnrichLA is up to during the week? Aside from teaching gardening classes through the Garden Ranger Program, we drive our trailer out to our garden sites to make improvements with volunteers! Today (Wednesday), Garden Ranger Mamie was out at Ocean Charter Elementary School renovating their school garden to support theirContinue Reading

Cheremoya Looking Splendid and Ready For New Students

Cheremoya Looking Splendid and Ready For New Students

Last week, Cheremoya said good-bye to Mrs. Carlton, Ms. Gotz, Mr. Cheung, Ms. Petrou, and Ms. Iwataki’s classes as their Garden Session ended on a beautiful day. The garden is growing absolutely fabulously, take a look below! Checking out spiders under the table Our Snow-Pea TeePee! The Kale Looks Amazing!!

Planting At Glassell Park

Planting At Glassell Park

Last week at Glassell Park Elementary our students joyfully planted many different seedlings, gearing up for fall. Some of the plants were: Brussels Sprouts Edamame Lettuce Cabbage Flowers More! It was our last week of classes and the students will surely be missed. New classes start again this week!

Wilshire Park Potato Hunt!

Wilshire Park Potato Hunt!

Kindergarten classes at Wilshire Park Elementary are lucky to get to dig up this sweet potato bed and harvest sweet potatoes to eat!  The sweet potatoes have been growing all summer long in the heat.  How many do you think they will find?

Using coffee grounds as a teaching tool ~Ramona~

Using coffee grounds as a teaching tool ~Ramona~

This morning as I stopped by my local coffee shop to pick up my morning brew I realized that they had a box filled with FREE coffee grounds!!! I jumped on the opportunity and grabbed a bag to share with my classes. I find that it is important to use all the senses in the gardenContinue Reading

Health Fair at Bresee Foundation

Health Fair at Bresee Foundation

We want to thank the Bresee Foundation for holding fun-filled Health Fair this Saturday for the Central Los Angeles community. Bresee has been providing after school youth programs, family support programs, and many more in Central LA for over 30 years. For more information on Bresee, go to http://bresee.org/. At the Health Fair we had twoContinue Reading

Out With the Old and in With the New at West Vernon Elementary

Out With the Old and in With the New at West Vernon Elementary

New additions to the garden coming soon! (: So many eggplants, so little time A garden tour for our new classes! Designing our new garden journals The seasons are changing and we’re excited to start planting new things! (:

Caine’s Arcade at Hollenbeck Middle School

Caine’s Arcade at Hollenbeck Middle School

This past weekend, a few hundred people showed up at Hollenbeck Middle School for their second annual Cardboard Challenge! In celebration of Caine’s Arcade (watch this short film), all sorts of cardboard activities were deployed, ranging from mazes, arcade-style games, and pinata building.       I was lucky enough to be a part ofContinue Reading

Natural dyeing with plants ~Cabrillo~

Natural dyeing with plants ~Cabrillo~

I have been thinking of ways to dress up the gardens that I work at, add some color, add some fun! Last week I came up with the idea of doing some plant based dyeing with the students. It was a fun activity and a nice way to bring art into the garden. The night beforeContinue Reading

Garden Intern Samantha Yu

Garden Intern Samantha Yu

Hello everyone!  My name is Samantha Yu and I am a proud EnrichLA garden intern.  I recently graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Community & Regional Development.  My passions lie in the intersection between social equity and environmental science, and I truly believe that education is anContinue Reading

Composting in the Office Update #2

Composting in the Office Update #2

Our worm bin has been super productive the last 10 days! With some newspaper, light watering, good food, and TLC our worms have digested and processed our food scraps into fresh compost, or castings.

Friends & Foes

Friends & Foes

At Gardner Street Elementary School and Weemes Elementary School last week, students identified “Friends” and “Foes” in the garden and in books. As students have been amending soil, they have discovered larva and noticed bees buzzing around flowers. They often wonder what these insects do. As students discussed the pros and cons of various insects,Continue Reading

Everybody loves thai basil!

Everybody loves thai basil!

At Van Nuys Middle School on October 8, Garden Ranger Michelle made the most delicious udon noodles with thai basil from the garden. The students were so excited to try it, and they absolutely loved it! several asked for the recipe! They also finished digging out the beds and mixing in compost. Last week, weContinue Reading

Compost Game at Kester

Compost Game at Kester

  Friday at Kester, Garden Ranger Michelle set up a fun, creative game to help the kids remember what goes into a compost bin, and what does not. The kids had to look at pictures and decide what was good compost, and together, with one stick each, carry the picture all the way to theirContinue Reading

Figeater Beetle Larvae

Figeater Beetle Larvae

A few weeks ago, students at Wilton Place helped till and amend the soil and in the garden.  Before we transplant our winter crop seedlings, there is one more chore to do to ensure that our plants thrive.  We need to find and remove all harmful bugs from the soil. Here in Los Angeles, we have a lotContinue Reading

Hunting for Grubs at Wilshire Park Elementary

Hunting for Grubs at Wilshire Park Elementary

Students at Wilshire Park Elementary helped ready the garden for winter planting by tilling the soil and removing beetle larvae.  The larvae live in the garden and feed off of rotting organic materials (fruit, compost), but also sometimes snack on the roots of plants.  Students had a great time digging for larvae and collecting themContinue Reading

Let me at the ‘em!

Let me at the ‘em!

    After two years of loyal service to Delevan Drive Elementary School in Eagle Rock, Garden Ranger Enjoli had to break company and move on.  I was asked to replace her, at least until the end of the semester, so I excitedly set out upon filling some large footprints.  It’s not just that Enjoli hasContinue Reading

Thank you volunteers!

Thank you volunteers!

Wilton Place was lucky to have the help of volunteers from MKG do some trimming and weeding this past Friday. Even though it was almost 100 degrees, our volunteers worked all morning to make the Wilton Place garden neater and cleaner.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We appreciate all your hard work! That Bougainvillea plant wasContinue Reading

Composting in the Office!

Composting in the Office!

The EnrichLA team is composting in the office! We’ve got an active worm bin and a pile in the backyard taking care of our garden waste, food scraps, and even waste from recent events. Soon, this will all turn into finished nutritious compost that will be used as a natural fertilizer for the garden. PerfectingContinue Reading

Let’s Talk About the Weather

Let’s Talk About the Weather

Autumn is upon us, and the students of Foster Elementary and I got to discuss our climate and the changing weather we will start to see soon (hopefully!). We looked for which plants in the garden were thriving and which were at the end of their season. Pulling out the old and adding compost toContinue Reading

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar found at King Farm

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar found at King Farm

T.S. King Middle School’s farm has served as a great habitat for our bug friends this season! Read on to see what our King students found in their gardens last week!

Complete a new garden with us on Wed, OCT 8th!

Complete a new garden with us on Wed, OCT 8th!

      Phase II for the garden build at Crystal Stairs Head Start Pre School in Compton is scheduled for Wednesday October 8th. Build a garden with Tomas O’Grady, help EnrichLA create more edible spaces for our city’s children! Sign up to volunteer, here: www.enrichla.org/Volunteer. For questions, please email jasminelim@enrichla.org!

Tiny leaves are poking through the soil at West Vernon Elementary!

Tiny leaves are poking through the soil at West Vernon Elementary!

We learned about the different growing seasons today and why they are important to know when growing plants. It is so interesting to understand how our food grows and to learn about the ecosystem that we live in. These eggplants are growing fast! (Just like our little gardeners) We planted lettuce and radish seeds today! A lotContinue Reading

Small Hand Harvest Even Tinier Seeds at Vine

Small Hand Harvest Even Tinier Seeds at Vine

If a gardener wants to be completely self-sustaining, s/he must harvest seeds from vegetables to replant in the future. Kindergarten and 1st grade students at Vine Elementary harvested okra seeds and beans from dried out pods.  Each okra pod yielded about 100 seeds!   Beans will dry out on the vine if you don’t pickContinue Reading

King Middle School is harvesting sweet potatoes!

King Middle School is harvesting sweet potatoes!

Greens on top, edible roots in the bottom! Sweet potatoes are roots that we can eat. Sweet potatoes taste great baked, steams, boiled or fried!  

In action at Alta Loma

First some kids in action Then some bugs in actions:

Pests arriving at Alta Loma

The kids had a fun day searching the garden high and low for beneficial bugs and pests. The most prolific were the grasshoppers.

Friends of the Garden at Atwater Elementary School

Friends of the Garden at Atwater Elementary School

On Monday at Atwater Elementary School, students learned which insects are friends of the garden! Friends of the garden are insects like bees, dragonflies, and lady bugs. We learned that friends eat foes, which are bugs that keep the garden from flourishing. The students played a fun bug matching game and later looked through the gardenContinue Reading

Praying Mantis lands on El Sereno’s student

Praying Mantis lands on El Sereno’s student

First catch of the day is a praying mantis on a student’s shoulder, a week after learning about beneficial and harmful garden animals. At El Sereno Middle School ,6th graders start to feel comfortable in garden responsibilities and learning how to treat their school garden space.  

Work Day at Gardner Elementary School

Work Day at Gardner Elementary School

Last Saturday Gardner Street Elementary School had a work day. Community and school volunteers worked together to care for and beautify the garden space. There was sanding, painting, building, weeding, composting, mulching, pruning, and caring for the garden space. Volunteers of all ages contributed to a hard day’s work. On Tuesday when students returned to theContinue Reading

United Children’s Learning Academy: Can you name of the parts of the plant?

United Children’s Learning Academy: Can you name of the parts of the plant?

Our curious and excited garden students learned about the part of the plants and their important functions! First we used a colorful poster of a flower where we explored each part of the plant from the roots to the fruits! We learned how each part has a unique and important function and if even oneContinue Reading

Lexington Primary Center Livin The Bug Life

Lexington Primary Center Livin The Bug Life

Today our classes at Lexington Primary Center brought back the seeds we planted last week..  lo and behold: a bunch of seedlings sprouted! Mostly the radishes and turnips came, we’re still waiting on the carrots, onions, and lettuces to sprout. Maybe by next week they’ll come up! Then, we learned allllll about garden life. Here’sContinue Reading

Hard Work Pays Off!

Hard Work Pays Off!

For the past few weeks at ALC High School, we have been hard at work: two truckloads of compost and mulch arrived and like little ants, we moved it all bag by bag, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow. The compost will act as a soil amendment to the dry, silty soil and the mulch will prevent waterContinue Reading

Maintaining a Garden is Hard Work!

Maintaining a Garden is Hard Work!

Students at Wilton Place Elementary learned an important lesson today: if you want your garden to look good, you’ve got to put in the work! Step 1: Till the soil.  This is important to break up hard chunks, eliminate caterpillar larvae, and mix in nutritious compost. Step 2:  Pull weeds.  Crabgrass is very invasive here.Continue Reading

Bugs: friend or foe?

Bugs: friend or foe?

    At United Children’s Learning Academy, the kids are learning all about which insects are friends, and which are foes. Mamie Green (garden ranger) taught an awesome class on identifying these bugs. Classes with children as young as 3 years old were out in the garden in search of all types of friends and foes: ladybugs,Continue Reading

Markham Mulchers

Markham Mulchers

The Markham students sure know how to shovel and mulch! After weeding the beds even more this week we learned that adding a thick layer of mulch around the plants, on the garden beds and in the pathways can help keep out the weeds! With all the helping hands we got a lot accomplished inContinue Reading

Garden Spider Super Sighting

Garden Spider Super Sighting

The students at Wilshire Park Elementary were treated to a super sighting of one very hungry garden spider.  This was especially cool for Ms. Heiderman’s 3rd grade class, who had just finished reading Charlotte’s Web!  Garden spiders are beneficial garden inhabitants.  They capture and eat flying creatures, like grasshoppers, moths, and flies.  Everyone was veryContinue Reading

Cheremoya Students Doing A Bit of Everything

Cheremoya Students Doing A Bit of Everything

Cheremoya Elementary’s garden classes are going GREAT. We’ve learned a ton so far, have eaten delicious snacks, and even began planting seedlings last week! Take a look at what our students have been up to: See you next week!

Glassell Park Students LOVE Looking For Friends and Foes!

Glassell Park Students LOVE Looking For Friends and Foes!

Last Week, at Glassell Park Elementary School, our students learned all about beneficial and harmful insects- – We call them friends and foes of the garden! But learning should be fun, so we played a little game of Freeze Tag! Some students were “Friends” some students were “Foes” and some students were Plants. When aContinue Reading

Bug Hunting at West Vernon Elementary

Bug Hunting at West Vernon Elementary

This week we learned about the different bugs that are found in our garden and whether their presence is beneficial or harmful to our plants. We played our version of “duck, duck, goose” in which the children used beneficial bugs in place of the word “duck” and harmful bugs in place of the word “goose”.Continue Reading

Atwater Elementary Studies Soil!

Atwater Elementary Studies Soil!

This morning, the first grade and kindergarten students at Atwater Elementary School learned about the soil in their beautiful garden. After the lesson, students browsed the garden and put their new soil knowledge to the test! After the lesson, a yummy snack of organic black beans, corn, and veggie chips were enjoyed by all!And we can’t forgetContinue Reading

Getting to the Root of the Issue

Getting to the Root of the Issue

This past week at Bryson Elementary we discussed the different ways in which weeds are harmful to the veggies and fruits growing in the our gardens. We learned that weeds take important nutrients found in the soil away from the plants that we want to grow, they take away water from those plants as well,Continue Reading

4th Grade Insect Researchers at Wilton Place

4th Grade Insect Researchers at Wilton Place

I am so super duper proud of the students in Ms. Baillie’s 4th grade class at Wilton Place Elementary.  They found a praying mantis in the school garden and then decided to do some research to learn about its life-cycle, habitat, diet, and behaviors. Check out these awesome posters that they made!  I even learnedContinue Reading

Dig, Deposit, Dampen and Repeat

Dig, Deposit, Dampen and Repeat

The students at Utah St. school put the planting process into practice these past two weeks, having learned how and where to plant seeds in the garden, as well as how to prepare seedlings by planting in individual pots.  Carrots, bush beans, green beans, snow peas, beets, oregano, okra and poppies will soon be poppingContinue Reading

Franklin Face-lift

Franklin Face-lift

  Wednesday and Thursday was the time for changes at Franklin Magnet School in Glendale.  Their old garden, some 6 years old, had been out of commission ever since their part time garden teacher left months before.  Pending the hiring of a new teacher, the parents at Franklin Elementary decided it was a ripe timeContinue Reading

Atwater Elementary Learns the Parts of Plants!

Atwater Elementary Learns the Parts of Plants!

On Monday the sun was shining brightly on Atwater Elementary, where kindergarten and first grade students learned the major parts of a plant (the roots, the stem, the leaf, the flower, and the fruit) and each part’s function! In the picture below, students pretend to soak up the sun, just like the beautiful plants in theirContinue Reading

Let’s Talk BUGS!

Let’s Talk BUGS!

Kids really like bugs, like a lot! This week at Foster Elementary we got to learn about beneficial and harmful bugs that we might see in our gardens. We talked about how some of the good bugs help to get rid of the bad ones, or they have another purpose like creating healthy soil byContinue Reading

Weeding at Markham

Weeding at Markham

It’s crazy how much the landscape can change in such little time. The weeds love Markham Middle school, but it’s because we have such healthy soil! This week we talked about what plants we want in our garden and what plants we do not (the weeds!) We identified many different types of weeds and learnedContinue Reading

Learning the Parts of the Plant at West Vernon Elementary School

Learning the Parts of the Plant at West Vernon Elementary School

We learned about the different parts of the plant, what they do, and what parts we normally eat. The students were very excited to share their favorite parts of the plant and match pictures of them to our plant diagram. They also enjoyed trying some watermelon on this hot September day. One of my studentsContinue Reading

Lexington Primary Center Gets Heavy Duty Help!

Lexington Primary Center Gets Heavy Duty Help!

This week Lexington Avenue Primary Center was lucky enough to host 24 volunteers from the freshman class at Crespi Carmelite High School. It was an unbelievably productive day full of weeding, mulching, shoveling, and wheel-barrowing— especially considering the record-breaking temperatures! The boys worked hard and the garden looks great as a result. We removed the pesky weeds that creeped in over summer, andContinue Reading

Aromatic Herbs at Vine Elementary

Aromatic Herbs at Vine Elementary

Students, teachers, and parents were treated to some strong smells this week as herbs were harvested at Vine Elementary School.  Many parents left with handfuls to use in their cooking at home.   We also harvested some more tomatoes (they keep coming!), jalapeños, eggplant, and a gigantic squash and zucchini.  YUM!      

Yay, Gardening Classes Begin at Wilshire Park Elementary!

Yay, Gardening Classes Begin at Wilshire Park Elementary!

Students were super excited today to begin our round of gardening classes at Wilshire Park Elementary.  We went over garden rules, basic plant requirements, and discussed garden stories from last year.  Look what has been growing over the summer: watermelon! and grapes!   Thank goodness students have this beautiful, shady arbor to sit under onContinue Reading

Need volunteers to build a new pre-school garden in Compton!

Need volunteers to build a new pre-school garden in Compton!

We are building a new pre-school garden for The Crystal Stairs Head Start Program in Compton this Saturday, September 20th! We need volunteers to help us. Are you, your friends and family interested? Come work with our building team and help us install more school gardens in the Los Angeles area. Sign up at EnrichLA.org/Volunteer. ClickContinue Reading

A first experience at the Gardner Street Elementary School garden

A first experience at the Gardner Street Elementary School garden

I live rather close to Gardner Street Elementary, so I volunteered to go tell its story through my photos. When I happened upon the garden, I felt like I was transported to a different world away from our metropolis. It’s a little haven with beautiful new growth. There were a few kids hanging around duringContinue Reading

EnrichLA is getting ready for fall planting!

EnrichLA is getting ready for fall planting!

The seasons are changing and so are our crops!  September is the time when Angelinos should start their winter seeds — lettuce, kale, broccoli, cabbage, beets, carrots, and garlic, to name a few.  These new garden signs will herald the arrival of autumn when they are placed next to baby transplants in a few weeks’ time.Continue Reading