Field reports from

Gardens

Friends and Foes – Insects at Micheltorena

If you know me, you know I love working the soil. When I first started gardening, I was so naive about what makes a successful garden. I thought, “oh it must be the seeds!” As time goes on, I realize so much of the wonder of a productive garden comes from the soil. And so…

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New System for School Food Waste Composting at Micheltorena

We rolled out our first day of food collecting during lunch time at Micheltorena. Equipped with a bucket and a compost sign. I set it up at the lunch area. I had lunch with the kids and wanted to see what they were eating and what they were throwing away.   The kids who have…

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Beans are good for your Heart

A rainy day soundtrack of thunder and lightning did not hinder Yorkdale Elementary Tk, 4th & 5th graders from learning all about the parts of a seed. We began our class seated in a circle upon the floor in a large muti purpose room with focused students entranced in an exercise we dubbed, Parts of…

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TIOH Student Get Down and DIRTy

This month, the 2nd graders met some of my super helpful worm friends. We learned about how different they are from any human we have come across. I mean, do you know of any human that has 5 hearts? Yes, I said FIVE hearts. We learned how helpful they are for our soil, and in…

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Gardner Artists and Observers

Gardner Kinder students really delved into their artistic side as we discovered and learned about the different parts of plant. We put our writing and drawing skills to the test while putting our own personal touches to our creations. Watch out, Picasso! I see some new artists in town! The second graders delved deep into…

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Rain Gain at Arroyo Seco

At Arroyo Seco, the rains brought in lots of growth! Our leafy greens grew many more beautiful green and two-toned leafs. Our cauliflower started to make their debut and even some rain-loving fungi (mushrooms) started growing – not to worry, they were promptly removed after observing how beautiful, creative, and interesting they were! I also…

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A Moment of Zen Aromatherapy at Mt. Washington Elementary School

In January, while our brave teachers and students were striking in the pouring rain, we calmly cheered them on from inside our cozy classrooms with garden aromatherapy. Sitting in a circle on a blanket, we identified stuff that cause us to feel stress in our lives.  Children shared candid examples of their personal fear &…

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Let’s Talk Dirt @ Micheltorena

It’s so nice to be back in the garden after the long break, only this time I have younger classes and boy has it been an adventure! It’s nice to go from week 1 of “ewwwww” when we see insects to genuine curiosity as to why insects live where they do. We couldn’t have chosen…

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Calvert 3rd Graders Strengthen Their Research Skills

Our 3rd Graders this week took to their field journals to make observations about leaf shape, size, vein and stem structures. This work built off of previous lessons on garden mapping and co-planting. We discussed how these structural and design differences lend to better absorbing light, moving around nutrients, and fitting next different plants in the…

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Herbs Herbs Herbs and Spices with Mayberry 1st Graders

Mayberry 1st Graders got up-close with new smells, sights and textures this week. Along with their teacher, we discussed how to identify key differences between herbs and spices (think leaves/seeds vs bark/roots). Students tested their senses noting differences in smell and texture, and found not all were pleasant.  We had fun telling stories about tacos…

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The Three Sisters and a Winter Salad.

Calvert’s kids this week learned about the ancient tradition of companion planting. The most well known system, The Three Sisters, was developed by Native Americans and to go over the pattern we drew diagrams with chalk on the asphalt. We talked about the importance of arranging crops so they complement one another based on their different requirements…

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Thinning Carrots at The Accelerated School

The kids were excited to be back after rainy weather and work stoppages  kept us out of the garden for awhile.  But the garden didn’t take any time off and we had lettuces, broccoli, strawberries and radishes growing and growing.  Also, loads of crazy carrot tops.  So we thinned them out and had little carrot…

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‘Digester’ laziest way to feed soil!

January started with a bang! Lots of much wanted and needed rain absorbed by the cover cropped beds and mulched pathways. Plus an extension of the winter break with a teacher strike that brought everyone back to the garden with so much renewed enthusiasm that it made my new approach to teaching so much easier…

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Delicious Snap Peas at El Sereno Elementary

We have a ton of snap peas growing in the garden. Every class got to pick off a few snap peas to try. They were very crunchy and sweet. A delicious snack! The 6th graders worked really well in small groups to create their nature boards to display in the garden. Topics that are covered…

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Finding Friends and Foes at Atwater Elementary

We’ve been talking about different friends and foes we can find in the garden. It is always exciting when we actually see them when it’s time to explore! We found a cabbage worm (a foe) and a ladybug (a friend). We are enjoying lots of tasty snacks from our garden as well. Oranges from our…

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Freshening Angeles Mesa Elementary

We have been super excited and entertained during our first Unit at Angeles Mesa. Kids from Pre-K, K and 5th grade have enjoyed learning and interacting with plants and garden. EnrichLA resumed activities at Angeles Mesa in the middle of November, bumping into a few days-off due to Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and then the strike,…

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Phase one completed of the new outdoor learning garden at Our lady Of Perpetual Help in Downey

  On a beautiful saturday morning after a week of rain, together with parents teachers students and alumni, we created the new garden. Special thanks to Gerry and Karina Salazar dedicated parents at the school.      

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Eating what we grew at Hamlin Charter

It’s harvest time! Neither the LAUSD teacher strike nor intermittent rain could stop us from having a tasting of vegetables planted by kindergartners last fall. Thanks, Kinders! We talked about what part of the plants we were eating. Radishes (roots), green onions (roots), lettuce (leaves), Swiss chard (leaves), broccoli (flowers), and green peas (seeds) were…

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“Turning” Trash into Compost at Alta Loma

As our session came to a close in December, we checked our compost tumbler for the last time.  We’d been adding and turning since school started, and it was getting almost too heavy to turn.  Looked good, smelled good, felt good.  So each student filled up a small plant container with some of the new…

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The Butterfly Effect at Alta Loma

This rainy day craft was so much fun and good enough to eat.  And some tried!  Using different shapes of pasta to describe the lifecycle of a butterfly was a hit with our little gardeners and chefs.  Once they got past the sheer variety of noodles one can find at the grocery store, they got…

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Talking Native Plants and Noshing on Veggies!

The winter solstice has come and gone once again. It’s still chilly, as winter should be, but the shadows are getting shorter and shorter all the time. The seeds that I first planted when I began caring for the garden 3 months ago are now ready to harvest! Celery, beets, radishes, broccoli and peas are…

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Yellow Salsa & Yard Work @ Van Nuys Middle School

September is a great time for tidying up a garden.  Here in California, we are kind of in between seasons for planting, so you enjoy the last fruits of the summer and clean up the dead stuff.  The middle schoolers at Van Nuys are great at this hands-on work.  We pulled out dead green bean…

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Drawing Seeds and Learning Names at Utah St. Elementary

This week I needed to finish up learning the students’ names  and we needed to learn about seeds. Because this lesson took place the literal day before LAUSD went on winter break there was a lot of excitement in the air. My first class of students came by dressed in their Christmas best. They were…

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A Big Change with the Season at KIPP Comienza

Change is constant in a garden, and at KIPP Comienza our final lesson of the year began with a new rotation. Our new groups were introduced to the garden space where they learned how it offers opportunities to use their senses as well as what makes up a food chain. Lessons were held in their…

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Compost, Seeds and using our Language Skills

First learning what is compost and the ingredients needed to make it We gather the materials on our list and mix them together in our piles and containers We also add some non-organic materials (plastic bags and tin foil) in order to determine if those items can also decompose As the weeks pass we will…

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Watching the Web of Life at Aspire Gateway

Today in the garden we went out to look for mini ecosystems. I explained to the students that an ecosystem consist of plants and animals (living organisms) interacting with the environment ( air, water, soil, weather). We talked about how an ecosystem can be influenced by many factors, living and non-living that can change the…

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Compost, Seeds and Using our Tech Skills

First learning what is compost and the ingredients needed to make it We gather the materials on our list and mix them together in our piles and containers We also add some non-organic materials (plastic bags and tin foil) in order to determine if those items can also decompose As the weeks pass we will…

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All About Leaves at Sullivan

The preschoolers at Sullivan have been learning about trees in the classroom. So to help support their learning, we did several hands on activities related to trees out in the garden. We observed various types of leaves growing from trees in our garden. Some are large, some small and some are green while others have…

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Compost, Seeds and Art

First learning what is compost and the ingredients needed to make it We gather the materials on our list and mix them together in our piles and containers We also add some non-organic materials (plastic bags and tin foil) in order to determine if those items can also decompose As the weeks pass we will…

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Sustainability – Doing our Part

At EnrichLA, our mission is to bring edible school gardens to all Los Angeles schools. As part of that mission, we want to teach students how to become responsible and empowered stewards of the environment. One of the greatest lessons students can learn is the incredible process of composting: how grass clippings and food scraps…

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Compost, Seeds and Art

First learning what is compost and the ingredients needed to make it We gather the materials on our list and mix them together in our piles and containers We also add some non-organic materials (plastic bags and tin foil) in order to determine if those items can also decompose As the weeks pass we will…

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Roots Rule at Woodlawn

Learning about roots can be fun especially when kindergarten gets to see first hand a carrot, pulled from their own garden!   We also saw beets, leeks and radishes growing in the garden. All were great examples of various types of roots! The carrots were the most exciting though and yummy too!

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Making Dirt + Parts of a Seed and Rain Day Sign Making

First learning what is compost and the ingredients needed to make it We gather the materials on our list and mix them together in our piles and containers We also add some non-organic materials (plastic bags and tin foil) in order to determine if those items can also decompose As the weeks pass we will…

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Studying Seeds at 20th St. Elementary

Last week at 20th St. Elementary was a bit hectic. Their schedule was altered a bit because of their Christmas performances, but we made due! I began the lessons by asking them questions to reference previous lessons: what vegetables and fruits are in season in the winter? what kinds of veggies and fruits do we…

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Nothing Beets Organic Veggie Tasting at Utah St. Elementary!

Last week I started a new unit at Utah Street Elementary, but because one teacher was indisposed I finally got to meet them this week. The kindergarten class showed up enthusiastic and ready to learn this morning. I let them know I would 1. learn their names using the name game, 2. we would get…

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Sorting Roots, Fruits and Veggie at Ramona

I brought the garden to the kids on a raining day at Ramona.  We learned the differences between roots, fruits and vegetables then played a sorting game to test their knowledge. Some of the cards had fruit, roots or vegetables that they had never heard of. The kids had to use the information they learned…

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Amazing Imagery at 6th Avenue

As we wrap up the fall semester, we are seeing the first harvest from our early fall plantings. The students planted mini radishes and are now beginning to harvest 🙂 With our 1st graders, we did the a 5 senses lesson combined with learning about “imagery” in the garden. The students were asked to then…

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Fall Art with Maple Leaves at Weemes

It has been an amazing fall semester at Weemes Elementary! The students have been full of ideas about what we can do in the garden and how we can utilize the materials we find in every space of our edible oasis. Last week, we utilized an idea from one of our 5th graders and reused…

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“Farm to Table” and WORMS at El Sereno Elementary

The 5th and 6th graders learned about the concept “farm to table”. This means getting their food from local sources, like a farmer’s market or a garden in their backyard. We had good discussions about food miles, freshness of food, shelf life, nutrition, and food waste. The students split up into groups and walked through…

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Creating bird feeders and tortillas at Atwater Elementary

The 4th graders had a lesson called “Corn to Tortilla” and we had a blast making tortillas from scratch! We talked a lot about the Mayans and the significance of corn in their culture. It was pouring rain outside for the second week in a row, so we ended up in the library for our…

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Journaling at Micheltorena

A few months ago, I trained under master gardener extraordinaire, Alexys. She brought out a gardening journal that was given to her by a family member and I just fell in love. I’ve been documenting my personal garden on Insta, via texts, in journals, you name it! So, if we’re going to work with kids,…

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Upper Classes Presentations @Micheltorena

It’s time for winter break, and although the kids are probably so excited about the time off, it’s a bittersweet time for me as a garden ranger. Week 6 was our last session for this rotation and I couldn’t be more proud of my upper classes. Not only have these kids grown tremendously, but I…

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Y’all better crunch those leaves at Toluca Lake!

We LOVE fall. Love it. We are so thankful for those falling leaves that add lovely carbon material to our compost bin. Some of the training rangers and I built a pallet compost at TLES and it have been beautiful! The parent center has been adding coffee grounds and I have been bringing in food…

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End of Autumn Flowers at Carson Gore

Our bright pink zinnias and lantana bushes were needing a trim, so our creative little gardeners took our piles of cuttings and made flower bouquets to take home.  The kids love the flowers that grow in the garden as much as the fruits and veggies.   At this age, the boys still nudge their noses…

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Composting. January 10th. That is when enrichla and our 100 partner school gardens will ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING EXTRA about our FOOTPRINT problem.

January 10th. That is when enrichla and our 100 partner school gardens will ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING EXTRA about our FOOTPRINT problem. We will begin to divert lunch waste from the school lunches into our gardens. We have thought this through. Here are the collector buckets, just arrived. They will be used ( 5 gallons, green….

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