Field reports from

Thomas Starr King Middle School

The edible garden at Thomas Starr King Middle School was completed in 2009 with the help of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, Whole Foods, Council Member Tom LaBonge, and Silver Lake Farms.

First day of garden class at Thomas Starr King Middle!

Today was the first day of garden class for Thomas Starr King Middle! Here are some of the cool things we found in the garden. These are dried artichokes. Very beautiful! This olive tree was planted in the first year of the garden. Fennel is beautiful and yummy. We sampled some of the fresh flowers-candy…

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Thomas Starr King’s Fennel!

Last week, the Garden Ranger interns helped clean up all the tall, drying fennel plants. They were full of seeds that were taken home to be saved! There were also other plants that were cleaned up and parts that were composted. Irrigation was also checked on and fixed according to what was needed to keep…

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Getting started at TS King

Last Thursday was my first official day volunteering with EnrichLA. I met up with my fellow volunteers at TS King Middle school, EnrichLA’s first school garden. I pass this school quite often but it was my first time getting to explore, and the garden – wild though it may be now – was lovely! We…

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Fennel Everywhere!

There was much work to be done at King-and it was quite a productive day. Pulling up Bermuda, trimming back nasturtium, cutting back mint and oregano, and planting seeds. The fennel was everywhere and smells amazing, and brings in many beneficial pollinators. Looking forward to returning!

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The drought tolerent garden at facade of king middle is growing and watered by drip

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Garden Art at T.S. King Middle School

Thanks to testing, our art students get some time in the garden today, so let’s plant some art on you! We aslo planted a Santa Rosa Plum to help pollinate some of our stone fruit trees here!  

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Ocean Farmers and Imagination at T.S. King Environmental Science Magnet

Our story starts today with a man who at the age of 14, once pillaged and over fished the oceans until all the fish left. He then moved onto a fish farm raising farmed fish in masses and believing that it was sustainable. The amount of antibiotics used and recycled into our oceans left him…

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New orchard and drought tolerent garden to compliment new paint make over at King Middle School

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The vegetable garden at King Middle School has stood the test of time

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Does Compost Work? T.S. King

So I preach compost, so let’s do an experiment and see how important it really is! I have these two twin like tomatoes, they grew up together, and have been the same size. We transplant one in soil, and one in soil and compost mixed together. We will keep them together in this plastic tub,…

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So Many Seeds at TS King

Today I brought in my large basket of plant seeds to show the garden students just how many different seeds exist! It is amazing to see them all.  Even in the category tomatoes, I had a dozen varieties… that isn’t even near the amount of tomato varieties that exist. I let the kids pick out…

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Artichoke Fever at T.S. King

In addition to the artichoke gardens we have here, someone left an artichoke flower that was dried up laying on the ground. We dissected it to find out if there may be seeds. Tons of seeds, and some larger ones trapped in the thistle. We plant both…soon we will find out. We found some of…

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ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT AT T.S. KING MIDDLE SCHOOL

Ms. Williams class is feeling an air of change. Time to get a school wide compost program. No more good soil nutrients going into landfills! With all the scraps from Breakfast in the Classroom, we can return nutrient rich compost. We spend the morning planning how to get the posters and information out. We will…

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Releasing New Praying Mantis AT T.S. King Middle School

Besides harvesting some radishes and carrots we bugged out today. Lucky thing, Mrs. Mitsuse’s praying mantis case hatched right at the start of garden class on ” insect lesson day”. There were hundreds od these babies, so everyone had the opportunity to find a good place in the garden to release them. Paying mantis are…

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Compost Competition at T S King

Today with our new group of garden students, we plan on learning how to make compost by breaking into 4 groups and seeing who will get their leaves and greens into black gold ( AKA humus). Each team gets a bucket, and they learn the process, then they are off to win. Compost is a…

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Learning Skills in the Garden at T.S. King

  Today we planted our strawberry garden at King Middle School. We used red sheet mulch, and put our strawberry roots and plants on our mounds of soilWe cut slits in the sheet mulch and planted through the mulch. Then we trimmed up our paper and transplanted a few other berries from another area. We…

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Planting Strawberries at T. S. King

This morning we checked on the status of our pineapple plant that has now been in the ground for 5 weeks… it looks great, it is hard to believe we can grow such a range of crops here in Los Angeles. You can see the top of the pineapple has many fresh new leaves growing…

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Important Native Bees At T.S. King

Native VS. Exotic What if the european honey bee keeps on diminishing? What would happen to these beautiful apple blossoms? Native bees are great pollinators, we have a fantastic habitat here for them at King… We decide to look at some of the 4,000 native bees that inhabit the USA, 1600 are in California. Better…

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Making Kale Chips At T.S. King Middle School

Today is a great day to harvest some of our Kale and make chips! We Pick some nice leaves… We take off the spine of the leaf, and make some bite size pieces…We toss in some garlic powder, a dash of salt, and squeeze some lemon. We bake in our toaster oven for 8 minutes…

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Science, Garden, and Art at T.S. King Middle School

T.S King is a Certified Wildlife Habitat: We feed, water, and nurture creatures that come in. Today was hot, so this science/art class stayed in the shade observing the butterflies and bees buzzing all around us. We made some pictures of insect garden helpers, and a few drawings of garden destroyers… We made an art…

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Nature Art Boards at T.S. King

It was nice today to not only talk and look at the nature that surrounds us, but to ask why things are important. Soil is important because it is a habitat for insects, plants grow in it, and soil sequesters carbon. We set off to draw up a card about something important, and if we…

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Planting Carrots at T.S. King

Today we ended our garden day by planting carrots… We also put in some more lettuce, and green onion in hopes of future salads! Here’s the bed we planted a few months ago! Our apples are finally ripe.

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Planting Pineapple at T.S. King

Planting pineapples in California might be pushing it, but we will give it a try anyway. It is supposed to be as simple as cutting off the top, and putting it in soil! Of course we enjoy the yummy fruit first. We talked about the importance of nature and diversity, and made a nature board….

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Foraging for Salad at T.S. King

Today was a great day to look for tender greens for a salad; with our newly revamped garden beds, we have sprouted a lot of seeds. We find the usual kale, lettuce, and snap peas.There are also edible wild plants here and there we can learn about, like nasturtium flowers are sweet and the leaves…

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An Update at T.S. King

Here at King, our crops are ready for ‘rotation’. Many farmers will rotate fields and crops when the soil has given the nutrients up to what we have been growing. We start by drawing a new plan of where we will put our new garden beds. Here are some seedlings that will be ready soon,…

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Starting Home Gardens at T.S. King

Our sixth grade students want to get a garden happening at home, so we bring in some supplies, and it is really easy! ~Garden Jenn

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T.S. King Middle School : Being In Nature

Just having a school garden is a learning wonder! Pretend you are on a visual walk through our garden : There are so many things to see. IMG_5909

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Horticulture at T.S. King

Today we got to know the plants and trees that we are surrounded by in our garden. We laminated informational index cards with the plant names, a drawing of the plant, then on the flip side a few facts about the use, benefits, or care of the plant. Even the Mantis was interested in learning……

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Jenn & The Magic Beanstalk at T.S. King

So we found a jar of beans in the storage shed, hey, you never know… we want a magic beanstalk! Ms. Danelians class finds a hidden bed to clear and prep. We grab our unidentified seeds. Make some trenches and drop in the seeds. Last, we put up a trellis and mark our handywork. After…

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Banana Pups at T.S. King Middle School

Today we decided to divide these banana pups and spread them around the garden. first we soak the soil. We take the shovel and slice off the young plants from the parent plant; it is a swift slice of the shovel…it seems pretty harsh! We find various spots in the garden to transplant to. We…

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The Lizard That Attended Insect Identifying Day at T.S. King Middle School

Today our project was to understand the insects we see in the garden and their role in our garden eco system. We talked about the various insects that can help or harm our vegetable garden, but I think the lizard that was quietly watching has a pretty good idea who the players are. We found…

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T S King Upgrades the Garden

We have decided to extend one of our garden beds, in hopes of making room for a natural stream bed that historically came right through our garden. Our soil is also a bit spent after all we have asked it to do over the last few years. We start the move. Outline the new bed……

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Compost Challenge at T.S. King Middle School

WHAT’S IN AN APPLE? The ability to go back to the earth, decompose, and nourish the soil so we can plant more apples! The students at King understand the importance of healthy soil, so we decided to use a rapid backyard composting technique. We broke into groups after our workshop, and it is a full…

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Growing Tea at T.S. King Middle School

After watching a spider eat it’s daily catch, and talking about the benefits of a diverse garden, we harvested some mint. We harvested three piles, picked off the leaves and composted the stems. After a good washing, we will let it dry. Next week we will have a crisp tisane to sip on during our…

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Thomas Starr King Middle Garden Looking Great

After much painstaking work in the garden, a group of volunteers and I took out loads of weeds and trimmed and pruned all the veggies and herbs that were growing TOO well. Now it looks in much better shape!

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Summer Growing Time

The large garden at Thomas Starr King Middle School is growing well. Roma tomatoes were ripe and the grape tomatoes were on their way. Despite it being summer, the garden and its picnic benches welcomed students playing basketball to hang out and enjoy.

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Our own folding design tomatoe cages are heading heading to LA schools for summer vegetables.

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Uber productive volunteer day at King Middle School

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T.S. King Middle School Knows Anybody Can Have A Garden

Inspired by a garden of peppers lined up on a sidewalk in LA, Ranger Jenn talks about taking action to start growing your own food with whatever you have, and wherever you have it: even on the sidewalk!     Knowledge does not equal action, here are some steps to take. Here is our watering…

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Building an Herb Spiral at T.S. King Middle School

    Some more soil, and some more spiraling…     A beautiful finished project, great job scholars.

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The parts to picnic tables for King Middle On Saturday

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T.S. King Middle School Preps For A Spring Garden

March is here, the ground has been soaked. Now is the time to prep the garden beds. Garden Ranger Jenn ordered 3 yards of mulch: that’s a lot of mulch to be dropped at your garden gate! Time for a relay…   With 3 buckets traveling up and back, this hard work gets a lot…

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King Farm makes a Royal Root Salad!

King Farm celebrated the last week of garden class by mixing a classic vinaigrette dressing into a root vegetable salad! Students mixed their own salad dressing using dijon mustard, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Main ingredients: radishes and carrots. Yum!

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Marketing ideas for King’s Garden!

Monday’s garden class spiked student’ thoughts on how to market healthy food like advertisers do today. *#Hashtag and slogans are today’s trend…here’s what students came up with! Which is the winning slogan?

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Harvesting Worm Castings with King Middle School

Last week, students at King Middle School got to harvest worm castings and spread them in the garden. Red Wiggler worms eat food scraps as they decompose, and produce a nutrient-rich fertilizer out the other end. The worms were separated from the finished castings, and placed back in worm bin to have a second round!

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