Field reports from

The Accelerated School

The edible garden at The Accelerated School was completed in Summer 2014 with the help of the Office of Council Member Curren Price. The eleven raised beds occupy an unused space across the street from campus.

Signs of Summer at The Accelerated School!

By Daphne Lughes / July 1, 2017

The Accelerated School garden is blooming with sunflowers! The flowers brought some beautiful color to the garden and the students were thrilled by their size. We also spotted the first signs of summer crops on some cherry tomato plants. This was an exciting treat as there were enough for each student to pick their own!…

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Seasonal foods at TAS!

By Daphne Lughes / April 5, 2017

With the changing weather and coming Spring season we’re getting ready to plant new seeds at The Accelerated School.  We talked about how different crops love different climates and weather and which ones we can expect to see in the months ahead.  The students drew pictures of the different seasonal plants we see in the…

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A Butterfly’s Life…Part III at TAS

By Daphne Lughes / February 15, 2017

We were lucky enough to wrap up our unit on the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly with the presence of some Monarchs!  We talked about why butterflies and pollinators in general are critical to the health and prosperity of gardens and the vitality of all plants. We have also been enjoying the fruits of…

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A Butterfly’s Life….Part II at TAS

By Daphne Lughes / February 9, 2017

We have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to watch the life cycle of the beautiful Monarch right in The Accelerated School Garden.  We observed many more caterpillars but upon further investigation we spotted many chrysalis!  We learned about this stage of a butterfly’s life and how their metamorphosis occurs.  We’re hoping to catch…

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A Butterfly’s Life at TAS

By Daphne Lughes / February 8, 2017

We had the beautiful joy of discovering Monarch butterfly caterpillars in TAS garden! They were crawling all over the beds thanks to our milkweed plant, which captured the Monarch’s attention.  This was the first class where we learned about the Monarch and the butterfly’s life as a caterpillar.   Ranger Daphne

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Edible Parts of A Plant with TAS!

By Daphne Lughes / December 6, 2016

For this lesson we learned that we eat every part of the plant.  Vegetables represent different parts of the plant and the students were most surprised to learn that we eat roots!  They were also surprised to learn how many vegetables are technically the fruits of plants. The lettuce is growing beautifully during the beginning of…

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Insect Hunt at TAS!

By Daphne Lughes / December 6, 2016

We were on the hunt for garden insects this week.  After learning about beneficials and pests the students used their magnifying glasses to exam plants for critters. We also saw progress in seeds we planted the week before in some empty ground space where the pumpkins used to live.  The snow pea seedlings look healthy…

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Compost Memory Game at TAS!

By Daphne Lughes / December 6, 2016

We continued with our composting lesson at TAS by trying to fill out some worksheets from memory.  The students had to fill in the blank with things we do and do not compost and what to do with things that we cannot compost.  We also walked around the garden and gathered materials to add to…

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To Compost or Not to Compost….!

By Daphne Lughes / December 6, 2016

We had lots of fun at TAS learning about what we should and should not include in our compost pile.  The students learned quickly and practiced what they learned with a composting worksheet.  They colored everything suitable for composting and left the rest blank!     Lots of eggplant at TAS as well!  The gift…

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Garden Tea Scavenger Hunt at TAS!

By Daphne Lughes / October 31, 2016

We had lots of fun at The Accelerated School playing a garden scavenger hunt for herbs for some tea!  The students found lots of basil and mint that we crushed up together to flavor our water and try as a tasty treat! The students discussed the observations they made that distinguish the basil plant from the…

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Seedlings with TAS!

By Daphne Lughes / October 31, 2016

Lots of seedlings were started with The Accelerated School last week.  Each class voted on what cool weather crop they wanted to plant and the winners were broccoli, arugula, cauliflower and radish! We all can’t wait to watch the seedlings grow and transplant them into the garden!  And we made sure to review the parts…

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I Spy…..Friend or Foe!

By Daphne Lughes / October 10, 2016

With all of the digging up at TAS we have been seeing lots of critters so it was time for us to learn the difference between our friends and foes of the garden. Some students found a friendly garden spider crawling on our of our garden beds! And there were lots of veggies harvested by the…

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Out with the old, in with the new!

By Daphne Lughes / October 4, 2016

The first week at The Accelerated School meant taking out all the finished plants so we can get ready to plant seeds for the cool season! Here are some beds ready for new seeds!   Ranger Daphne

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Cleaning up the Garden at The Accelerated School

By Olivia McClintock / September 27, 2016

The first day of class at The Accelerated School was a great success! High Schoolers learned the rules of the garden and helped clean up some garden beds that had become a bit unruly over the summer.  We also checked out the giant pumpkins growing in the garden.

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The Accelerated School’s Pumpkin Patch

By Hope Cox / August 19, 2016

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve visited the Accelerated School. I popped in the other day to check on the plants and holy pumpkins! The tiny plants that were against the wall last month have since crawled across the garden to the fence, dotted with 10 HUGE 50-lb pumpkins smiling their orange, pumpkin-y smile.…

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The Accelerated School is Beautiful

By Hope Cox / July 14, 2016

I love going to The Accelerated School to check on their garden across the street because it is smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood, which means neighbors notice it! Just today a nearby tenant saw me pull up and carry things to the garden gate. Immediately, she asked if I wanted help! I…

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TAS – I Spy

By Jeff Mailes / May 31, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, I spy with my little eye something red that grows under ground and tastes sweet instead of spicy.. what am I? If you said a beet you are absolutely right! They are growing so well here that I thought I would have the students of each class find the biggest one they…

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TAS – Medicine Doctors

By Jeff Mailes / May 22, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, Last week at The Accelerated School I taught a lesson about plant medicine using a mortar and pestle. I had the children search the garden for smelly plants because the smell is usually an indication of medicinal properties. Most of them ran to harvest seeds from the nasturtium and boy did we…

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TAS – Edible Fossils

By Jeff Mailes / May 8, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, Last Thursday at TAS we made our own fossils! It was a perfect lesson to reinforce what some of the students had learned at their trip to the La Brea tar pits. The fossils were basically handmade corn tortillas with leaves pressed into them. 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water,…

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TAS – Corn Sprouts and Water Spouts

By Jeff Mailes / April 28, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, Today at The Accelerated School I thought I would spend some time explaining where our water comes from in the garden since last week I talked about soil. Where water comes from is debate-able considering it exists in a cycle. However, I chose to start with rain and snow in the mountains. Because…

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TAS – Candy Stripe Beets

By Jeff Mailes / April 28, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, Presentation, presentation, presentation… I tell ya, nothing gets kids to try new foods quicker than a fancy display. Or ranch dressing.. it seems like kids will try any vegetable if it has ranch on it 🙂 ANYWAYS… before I had the students harvest some beets, last week at The Accelerated School, we talked about…

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TAS – Seed Potatoes

By Jeff Mailes / April 26, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, This week we pulled out some potatoes to see how the plant stores its energy in its tubers. Don’t worry – we left several in the ground to get bigger. This was part of our 6-plant parts lesson. To augment the lesson we walked over to our bolting lettuce plants where we…

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TAS – Carrot Harvest!

By Jeff Mailes / April 10, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, This Thursday we had a rockin’ carrot harvest! Every student that walked into the garden got to pull their own carrot out of the soil! It is so gratifying to have such abundance. Because of the amount of students that cycle through the garden it can be hard to keep up with the…

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TAS – Lasagna Compost

By Jeff Mailes / April 4, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, First Sunflower Bloom! Spring has just arrived but some days it feels like summer is here! Last Thursday at The Accelerated School I worked with some students who were actually volunteering on their spring break! What dedication! We got lots done including flipping the compost into the next stall and built back up…

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TAS – Tomato Transplants

By Jeff Mailes / March 17, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, This week at TAS the first graders planted some tomatoes. They already had some good practice because of our experience with the potatoes they planted earlier. Like the potatoes we planted them deep – pulling off the leaves and burying the nodes underground. This encourages the new transplants to focus on root production…

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TAS – Calendula with Kindergarten

By Jeff Mailes / March 17, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, Last week with the Kindergarten students we pulled apart calendula flowers looking for some seeds to sprout. We checked the different stage of flower development and made sure that each seed was dry before plucking it away from the bees. The high school classes joined us in the afternoon and we continued…

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TAS – Behind Enemy (water) Lines

By Jeff Mailes / March 8, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, This week the high school students with Ms. Yousef’s Environmental Science class were battling bermuda grass in the trenches. The fierce war was waged over a new water pipeline which would feed the eastern side of the garden. We secured the outer perimeter with some soaker hoses which will feed a new crop of pole…

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TAS – Yes, there’s a plant for that

By Jeff Mailes / March 1, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, Last Thursday at TAS, we talked about everything that plants provide for us. Cotton for clothing, wood for housing, fruits and veggies for eating, luffas for washing our bodies, and cabbages to dye our clothing (to name a few). To really drive home how cabbage makes colors, I had the students massage some…

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TAS – Planting Potatoes

By team / February 19, 2016

Hello Garden Friends, This week the first graders brought their terrariums out to play. Ceremonially, we released their wheat, rye grass, potatoes, and pillbugs “out into the wild.” The potatoes found a safe home inside our raised beds, the grasses were harder to transplant so we used them to make the pillbugs feel more at…

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TAS – The third graders have landed!

By team / December 10, 2015

Hello Garden Friends, The third graders have finally arrived! The high school students and I have been busy preparing the space and making it safe so that their younger schoolmates can visit. This morning we talked about the 6 plant parts with one of my favorite songs by the Banana Slug String Band called “Roots,…

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The Accelerated School – White Point Nature Preserve

By team / October 25, 2015

Hello Garden Friends, This last Thursday was extra special. I got the opportunity to take the third graders on a field trip to Palos Verdes and visit the White Point Nature Reserve. This reserve is a refuge for many species of endangered butterflies that rely on specific plants in order to complete their life cycle.…

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The Accelerated School – garden picking up speed

By team / October 11, 2015

Hello Garden Friends, This Thursday at The Accelerated School we prepped beds and planted seeds. I am particularly excited about a special project you see in the picture below. In an effort to get rid of some of the tree trimmings and waste wood we have lying around the site, we are digging a large…

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TAS – Native Garden Orientation

By team / October 4, 2015

Hello Garden Friends, This Thursday at The Accelerated School was the first ranger meeting with the students. I visited with 3 third grade classrooms and got them pumped up about their field trip on October 22nd the White Point Nature Education Center in Palos Verdes. There seems to be a partnership developing between the school…

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A great day of work at The Accelerated Schools garden

By team / July 15, 2015

Today, I, along with two other interns, Amy and Anh, had the opportunity to work with a church group from Ohio at The Accelerated Schools garden. We cannot thank them enough for all of their help! We were able to rid the garden of weeds, harvest some delicious onions, carrots, and apples, and prune away dead…

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away

By team / July 6, 2015

If the saying is true, the students at The Accelerated Schools have nothing to worry about, as their garden is flush with full grown apple trees that border the garden beds. The garden also features a big, bright sunflower plant and a prolific fig tree in the corner. Who needs an apple orchard when you have…

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Native plants at TAS

By team / May 15, 2015

The past few weeks at TAS we have been focusing on one really important topic: the drought. Many students were well aware of the drought having heard it on the news already. Concerns were brought up around how much water we consume everyday, and what being in a drought would mean in terms of gardening.…

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Learning About Bees at The Accelerated School

By team / February 11, 2015

Kindergarteners came into the garden to learn about the anatomy of bees and how they help the environment. Luckily, a tree by the entrance had a swarm of bees collecting pollen. The students gathered by a bush near the tree and reviewed the bee’s main parts. They learned that a bee had a head, thorax…

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Too much greenery at TAS

By team / January 26, 2015

It’s a new semester at The Accelerated Schools, and the rain showers that occurred throughout the winter break has really accelerated the  growth of the garden – as well as weeds! Two most common weeds present are: cheeseweed and stinging ivy. My favorite of the two is neither, but if I really had to choose,…

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Picking Apples at TAS

By team / December 16, 2014

This week at TAS, the trees are teeming with ripe apples and everyone is excited to have some! We harvested a good tub full of apples, and were excited to share them with the school faculty and staff members.   The kindergarten classes came out first with their drawing notebooks, and the major theme for…

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Learning about the soil at TAS

By team / November 21, 2014

For the past two weeks at The Accelerated School, we have dedicated our time in learning about the soil. Students learned that soil is actually made up of 97% old rock, leaving only 3% organic matter. This comforted them a little bit during our activity, where they went to a different part of the garden…

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Build Day at The Accelerated School

By team / November 10, 2014

This past Saturday, 12 incredible UCLA students came to volunteer at The Accelerated School. With enough coffee for 40 people, we set out to transform this empty corridor of planters (see picture below) into a native plant garden. The intention is to create a living museum of plant species that grow naturally in the Californian…

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First few weeks at The Accelerated Schools

By team / October 22, 2014

Here at The Accelerated Schools (TAS), classes have begun signing up to be a part of the garden program. Each week, there are about 6 kindergarten classes that come out to be in the garden, and one Grade 6 + 7 leadership class that comes in the afternoon. The garden is looking great, things are…

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Roots set in at The Accelerated Schools near downtown LA!

By team / August 4, 2014

Seedlings set in The Accelerated Schools’ garden this week! With help from our amazing volunteers, tomatoes are ready for kick off in this brand new school garden. Learn about AMAL GOLD NUTRIENTS here

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The Accelerated School’s new garden at King and Woodland is almost finished!

By team / July 3, 2014

A special thank you to the Office of Councilmember Curren Price for helping to make this garden possible!

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New Garden at The Accelerated Schools!

By team / June 14, 2014

Today EnrichLA gathered with community volunteers to build a new edible garden for the students at The Accelerated Schools!  The new garden is located in a formerly unused lot across the street from the TAS campus. Much was accomplished today, including removal of trash and other waste, leveling the ground, building 11 new raised garden…

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