Field reports from

Gardens

Using All Five Senses at Weemes

Our preschoolers LOVE exploring the garden, so they were incredibly excited when the garden lesson this week was almost exclusively exploration time. We discussed each of the five senses and students explored the garden 5 different times, each time focusing on a different sense. By the time we got to taste, class was almost over,…

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A New Session Starts At Vine St. Elementary

The students at Vine St helped clear the garden beds for a new planting. Amending the soil and removing some plants revealed a potatoe developing its swollen stolons. Strawberries with honey and oats was a reward for the hard work done. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon Elementary Has a Soil Structure Lesson

The healthy plants at West Vernon are thanks to proper soil structure. An intricate root system illustrated the movement of water in well structured soil. Students sampled different varieties of greens in their garden after a challenging lesson. – Ranger Dan

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Everything Changes at Weemes Elementary

When we harvested the purple cauliflower for our snack, we discovered a hitchhiker: a small garden caterpillar was hiding in the leaves! The students are always excited to see any kind of bug, but this time the excitement turned into a perfect learning opportunity since their teacher has plans to keep the caterpillar in a…

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New Settlers at Hollenbeck

Our special education class is studying different types of settlers and what they had to do once they arrived at a new home. In the classroom, they have used garden items (such as small rocks and twigs) to build miniature cabins. In the garden, we discussed what jobs we would need to do to prepare…

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El Sereno Elementary Learns about Soil Structure

The healthy plants in their garden let the students at El Sereno Elementary know their soil had good structure. A lesson on soil structure and water movement in soil was capped with a fresh snack of cauliflower, tomatoes, salt and pepper. – Ranger Dan

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Carson Gore Learns About Soil Structure

The healthy soil at Carson Gore promotes the healthy plant growth that the students see in their garden. A lesson on soil structures explained how it effects the movement of water in soil and thus the development of plants. Purple carrots, greens, and onions was a delicious snack after class. – Ranger Dan

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Happy helpers at Sullivan

My students at Sullivan love to water the plants. Seriously, they prefer this to any other lesson (okay, except maybe the earthworm one 😂). Since the last few weeks have been so hot, we’ve been watering every week. The kids partner up to practice sharing a watering can and watering at the roots (not the…

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Valley View Learns all about Soil Structure

Water movement in soil drives the expansion of roots. Students at Valley View Elementary learned how soil structure effects how water moves through it and impacts plant growth. Observing some brilliant flowers in their garden they understood water was moving well in the soil. Blueberries and pears was a refreshing treat to end the lesson….

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Seed Saving at Wilton Place

Many plants are finishing their life cycle and students are learning what happens when the plant dries, where to look for seeds, and how to save them to plant them again when their season to grow returns. A quick salad with leafy greens, radishes, and herbs kept these classes fresh during the warm winter weather….

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The Feudal System at Hollenbeck

Students in Ms. Smith’s classes at Hollenbeck have been studying the feudal systems of Medieval Europe and Japan, so when they came to the garden, we played a game. Everyone drew a role out of a hat (either peasants or knights). Peasants had to harvest garden fruit and prepare a dessert for our winter feast…

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Vine St. sees how soil structure effects plant growth

Vine St Elementary was able to see how water reacts to different soil structures. Roots follow water and good soil will have good percolation and infiltration. These terms were illluatrated and witnessed as the students saw water move in their garden. Blackberry with pears was a sweet snack after a challenging lesson. – Ranger Dan

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Soil Samples at Ramona

Okay, let’s talk soil. Did you know the Earth is the only known planet that has soil on it? As we know from living on this rotating, orbiting sphere, soil is important for life. With soil, vegetation can grow. Without plants, the air would not be clean, the topsoil would wash away and, of course,…

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El Sereno Elementary Does Some Seasonal Planting

The weather dictates what grows well in the garden. At El Sereno Elementary, the students got a lesson on this. Seeing cool season crops do well and planting some more helped illustrate this point. A savory root snack helped a little too. – Ranger Dan

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Seedlings at Eastman

Seedlings need the right conditions to germinate and become small plants. The conditions required for the growth of a seed are; moisture, warmth, nutrient-rich soil, sunlight, and good quality seeds. Students in this new cycle will learn the science behind seeds.  

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Comparing and Contrasting Soils with 1st and 2nd graders at Cabrillo

  Because of a mouse intruder in the Cabrillo garden, we didn’t have a chance to explore the garden space today. So I brought samples of soil both from the soccer field and from the garden to the tables for the kids to observe with their eyes and their hands. The kids drew pictures in…

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Cut and Come again at Willow Elementary

With the recent heat, arugula and other greens have started to bolt. At Willow Elementary, it’s a race of cutting and eating lettuce leaves to keep plants small. As students learned this week, this method of “cut and come again” keeps the lettuce from bolting and encourages the growth of new leaves. Here’s a red sail…

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Changes – Dominguez High

Changes.. We are faced with everyday challenges In a world that can turn hot to cold in a matter of seconds We look to the simple nature of life to keep us happy Bright times are always here, we must seek them to find them. Today, we have found the beauty and love of our…

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Carson Gore Learns Seasonal Planting

Weather changes and so does whats best to grow in the garden. Carson Gore got a lesson on seasonal planting and enjoyed a snack of eggplant, white carrot, and scallions. Micro climates allowed for these items to do well simultaneously. – Ranger Dan

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Butterfly happenings at Foster

It’s that time of year. The monarchs are, by far, my favorite part of the garden right now. They have been so kind to allow us to observe their lifecycle. From a speck of an egg to a little hungry caterpillar to an emerald chrysalis to a soaring butterfly, the monarchs visiting these last couple…

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Winter Harvest at 10th Street

Back from winter break and the garden was thriving with lettuces, radishes and snow peas. These crops prefer cooler,  wetter, and shady weather.  The taste of the veggies started to get bitter due to the warmer temperatures and sun exposure. Students sample these crops and were able to find the differences between bitter veggies and…

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Digging into Literature at Mid-City

Students at Mid-City have been reading Island of Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. In the book, the main character Karana belongs to a Native American tribe who get most of their food by digging roots and fishing. In the garden, we discussed what it would be like to gather all your food from the environment,…

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Cool Season Warm Season at Valley View Elementary

As the temperature changes so do the best crops to grow. Valley View Elementary learned about seasonal planting and tasted some great cool season turnips with green onions. Some bolted broccoli made the pollinators very happy. – Ranger Dan

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Everything Green – Whaley Middle

Going Green is the New Way to Live! And at Whaley middle school, there are a lot of things going great and growing green. Huge Chard leaves, Nasturium petals and the beautiful lit flowers, Broccoli crowns and a variety of lettuce are just a few things the students and I picked at our last garden…

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Vine St Elementary Ilustrates Seasonal Crops

Vine St Elementary learned what grows better in which climate. Illustrations helped to relay the point that the sun powers the energy required to grow warm season crops. A cool season snack of cauliflower with scallions was devoured. – Ranger Dan

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First Things First at Mid-City

The winter rains have made the garden a little wet , but they’ve also given us a lot of vegetables to harvest and eat! Since the garden was a little damp the other day, we moved garden class indoors after exploration time. We brought the garden inside with us by bringing lots of broccoli and…

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Tickly Worms at Cabrillo

My special day Cabrillo classes really enjoy spending time with our worm bin which is always crawling with red wigglers due to the cafeteria apples. The kids squeal with delight as they watch the worms dance in the sunlight; and gaze with curiosity as the worms crawl back under a pile of dirt to stay…

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Harvest Leafy Greens

Students are back from winter break and the garden was full of leafy greens-wide and tall leaves of kale, lettuces, mustard greens swiss chards – also beets, radishes, strawberries, and herbs. Students are learning to care for plants and keep them aphid fee. They know that foes are also part of the garden, good vision, two fingers,…

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New Beds at 6th Ave!

Playworks donated garden beds to our garden at 6th Ave, so we’ve taken a few weeks to fill them with rich soil and extended our irrigation so now we can have a pollinator garden of flowers bordering our learning garden! Our students were integral in the entire process of setting up these beds. Since our…

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Cool Season Warm Season at West Vernon Elementary

At West Vernon Elementary the students learned that the environment dictates what plants will grow. Weather and temperature change and so do crops. Germination was explained and beet lettuce wrap was a good illustration of cool season crops. – Ranger Dan

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Cool Weather Vegetables at Bryson Elementary

It’s a bit hard to sell kids in Los Angeles that we’re in winter–or even the Mediterranean rainy season–when it’s only rained significantly twice in the past few months and we’ve had weeks of 80 degree weather. Kids come to school in shorts, so it’s no wonder that winter was the LAST season students cited…

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Edible flowers at Berendo

Today we discovered lots of cool stuff in the garden. We found some calypso beans hiding out. We replanted them right away. We hilled up some potatoea too. Then we went and sampled the edible flowers on the tatsoi cabbage and hummingbird sage.

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Seed Station at Sullivan

The neighborhood chickens have been sneakily invading the garden and kicking out our new seedlings in the beds; so today we made a seed station for our new starts. The kiddos helped me to plant onions and sunflower seeds during our class. I taught them that when onions are planted they have to stick out…

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Winter Harvest at Wilshire Park

The weather this winter has not been as cold as last year. Fortunately, some of our cool-season crops flourished and there was produce waiting for students to harvest.  The class helped plant flowers seeds, and new plants, they cut weeds and watered the plants.  The lesson was about seeds saving, harvest seeds when they are…

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Bunies and raised beds at King

Today we welcomed a new friend to the garden community – a cute bunny! Their manure is gold for the garden. The aquaponics setup is booming as well. We went outside and put in some new raised beds and filled them with beautiful plants.

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Plant Anatomy at 6th Ave

Although we see the plants every day in the garden, today we took time to take a closer look. Each class broke down plants into 6 parts and then worked in small groups to look at each part and share why a plant would need each part. When we returned to the large group to…

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Edible parts of a plant at Los Feliz

Today we learned about the edible parts of a plant. Then we explored the garden to find lots of examples. Since it is winter we found lots of leaves and roots.

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Composts and Food Chains at Utah Street School

Happy 2018! I was excited to start a new year in the garden with our 1st and 2nd graders. Last time the kids visited the garden, we learned about friends and foes living amongst our plants. This week we learned about one of the most important things in our plants’ lives- their soil! Healthy soil is…

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Harvest time at ERES

How do you know when its time to harvest? And how do you preserve food? We learned these things today. We also observed vitamin greens, beets, and purple collards.

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Winter Sowing with the Students

December 8th, I welcomed a new group of students into the garden! These first and second graders from Ms. Magana, Vasquez, and Avitia’s class were ready to learn about all the amazing things that happen in a garden. For our first class, we took a garden tour to see all of the winter crops in the…

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A whole lot goin’ on at Berendo

Berendo’s garden is doing great. Surinam cherry and loquat trees are loaded with delicious fruit. Beans are flowering and nasturtium leaves are getting huge. We hilled up some potatoes as well. The kids made a tunnel out of our rich compost pile. Lots of fun in the garden today!

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Art and Language in the Garden

Our Cheremoya garden is full of amazing artists and many languages. We’ve begun a sign project to share our joy and knowledge and to highlight all of the languages spoken on our campus including Russian, English, Spanish, Armenian and more.

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Planting and harvest at ALC

ALC has a beautiful garden. It gets lots of sun and everything thrives. Poppies, nasturtiums, and onions are all looking their best.

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Givers & Takers in the Garden

Today we talked about crop rotation in the garden.  As some plants start to die and the seasons start to change, we need to figure out what to plant next? Two great ways to categorize edibles in a garden are Givers & Takers.  Most plants are Takers: they take nutrients and energy from the soil…

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Growing Strong

Our garden grows strong with lots for us to snack on including, swiss chard, snap peas, cauliflower and more. We also started new seeds and are getting to watch them grow week by week.  

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