Field Reports

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Alta Loma Elementary School

Alta Loma Elementary School Garden was built in 2012 with color concrete paths and recessed beds.

Hybrid Creations at Alta Loma

Hybrid Creations at Alta Loma

Another rainy day had us inside so the class did a creative activity after learning about how scientists can manipulate seeds to create hybrid fruits and vegetables.  The challenge was for the students to work in groups and use their imaginations to create their own hybrid crop!  They had to give it a name, draw…

Dream Gardens at Alta Loma

Dream Gardens at Alta Loma

The rain kept us indoors but we used our imaginations to escape outdoors!  The students had the opportunity to design their dream garden filled with their favorite fruits, vegetables and flowers.  They had to make sure to incorporate all the things plants need to grow: water, soil and sun!   Ranger Daphne

Pollinators at Alta Loma!

Pollinators at Alta Loma!

We took the time to learn about the importance of pollinators and other beneficial insects in the Alta Loma garden.  We specifically talked about bees and how we would not have our beautiful garden without their help.  Some students expressed their fear of the insects and we said it is okay if we are a…

Squash, Squash and More Squash at Alta Loma!

Squash, Squash and More Squash at Alta Loma!

This week we learned all about the different parts of the plant and what plants need to grow!  We walked around the garden and noticed our giant squash growing and had a large harvest!  The students were so impressed, so of course we cut open some zucchini and squash for taste tests.  They were a…

Garden Introduction at Alta Loma

Garden Introduction at Alta Loma

Lots of new students visited the garden this week!  To get to know all the plants growing we walked along the paths for the garden tour.  Everything is looking very green and we all got to taste some yellow zucchini!   Ranger Daphne

Garden Salad Party at Alta Loma!

Garden Salad Party at Alta Loma!

For our harvest party we made a yummy kale salad freshly picked off the kale trees in the garden! We harvested and added radish, zucchini, mint and basil too.  The students worked all together to mix the veggies and dressing of olive oil and some lemon juice!   Some students loved the kale and some…

Compost Fun at Alta Loma!

Compost Fun at Alta Loma!

We learned all about the beauty of composting at Alta Loma and lots of vocabulary words to supplement the lesson! After touching and smelling (compost smells great we all decided) the compost out of the Alta Loma tumbler, the students practiced the new vocabulary with a fun word search! And a quick view of the…

Healthy Plates at Alta Loma!

Healthy Plates at Alta Loma!

This week we took to learning and talking about what comprises a healthy diet!  The younger students drew some beautiful pictures of what they thought a healthy plate would look like while the older students broke down our diet into food groups.   And of course we had some beautiful beets and a large zucchini…

Guava, Onions and Clovers…oh my!

Guava, Onions and Clovers…oh my!

I walked into the garden at Alta Loma this week and was welcomed by some beautiful green ground cover that had sprouted in a week!  I was also hit with the scent of some green onions ready for harvest.  Our guava tree needed to be tied up and I spotted some ripe guava ready for…

Seed Sowing and Kale Salad at Alta Loma

Seed Sowing and Kale Salad at Alta Loma

The irrigation system is fixed which meant we could finally begin sowing some seeds! Here we have a kinder student with her watermelon radish seeds.   The fresh kale we tasted as a treat at the end of class! -Ranger Daphne

Wildflowers at Alta Loma

Wildflowers at Alta Loma

I love how Alta Loma’s garden has so many drought tolerant plants … from rosemary to poppies to creeping thyme to coreopsis to artichoke… it’s so cool! In fact, this genre of plants quite outweighs the edibles; so we will be planting fruits and veggies this summer to increase the biodiversity. 🙂

Enjoying the Little Things at Alta Loma

Enjoying the Little Things at Alta Loma

Alta Loma’s perennials like the grape vine, guava tree, and passion vines are looking awesome right now. It is the changing of guards right now for most of the annuals. We have lots of new plants in the ground and lots of seeds that just popped above the soil.

The Flowers of Alta Loma

The Flowers of Alta Loma

A wildflower mix of seeds has added so much color to the winter garden at Alta Loma. This past week we had tons of them start to show. There are still a few more plants whose flowers have not opened, so I am excited to see what other colors will join in.

Checking Out the Vines at Alta Loma

Checking Out the Vines at Alta Loma

We have a huge amount of Passion fruit vines growing all over the fences at Alta Loma. We also have a Watermelon vine from the Summer that seems to still be doing well in this funky weather.

Alexys Visits Carson-Gore and Alta Loma

Alexys Visits Carson-Gore and Alta Loma

On a late sunny afternoon, I visited Carson-Gore and Alta Loma’s beautiful gardens. Both were full of bright, blooming flowers and pollinators hard at work. Garden Ranger Patrick is doing a great job keeping up with these fairly large gardens, and the students and staff are very happy with their gardens! There is plenty to…

A Beautiful Day at Alta Loma Elementary

A Beautiful Day at Alta Loma Elementary

My first task as an intern for EnrichLA was to deliver brand new tomato cages to their new home – Alta Loma Elementary! The bright flowers in the middle of the garden caught our eye on this sunny summer day.  

Finding Bugs with Alta Loma Elementary

Finding Bugs with Alta Loma Elementary

This week at Alta Loma was the first week of classes so the kids and I walked around, enjoying a garden tour, looking for bugs and tasting lettuces and beet greens. The kids had a great time!   The garden! Beet greens! Uh oh we saw  a huuuge grasshopper! They’re foes of the garden! Ladybugs…

Pests arriving at Alta Loma

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.

Summer school treats at Alta Loma!

Summer school treats at Alta Loma!

A summer visit to Alta Loma Elementary School near downtown Los Angeles means saying hello to young kids who are in summer school! We get to join LA Best’s summer school program for a few minutes by bringing their students into the garden to pick and eat fresh and sweet strawberries. What a summer treat!…

A Garden Graduation Feast at Alta Loma

A Garden Graduation Feast at Alta Loma

Today was a wonderful day at Alta Loma Elementary School because students got to test their taste buds by eating garden fresh squash-pasta. This pasta is special because the noodles were made out of squash and zucchini peelings but the “sauce” was just a normal dressing. Students saw how simple it was to make a…

Strawberries are wild at warm Alta Loma

Strawberries are wild at warm Alta Loma

Young Alta Loma students return to their garden for a garden full of strawberries – like strawberry land! There were so many strawberries to spare at Alta Loma, we will say the bugs are getting a great bite from these juice little reds, too. What did garden students learn on Friday morning? Step 1: Be…

Yummy Strawberries @ Alta Loma Elementary

Yummy Strawberries @ Alta Loma Elementary

Today at Alta Loma we harvested some strawberries from our garden! Each week the Rollie Pollies and slugs start eating them before we can get to them. So, we brought some strawberries from the store that were hole free. The students sure love their strawberries! Below garden intern Sabrina navigates the strawberry patch with the…

Charlie Brown Orange Tree @ Alta Loma Elementary

Charlie Brown Orange Tree @ Alta Loma Elementary

We have a very tiny orange tree at Alta Loma Elementary that has produced a giant orange in only it’s second year. It is a prime example of the patience and respect that the students have for the garden because every week the orange is still ripening and hanging from the tiny branch. Once it…

Festive Cabbage Slaw @Alta Loma Elementary

Festive Cabbage Slaw @Alta Loma Elementary

We had fun being chefs at Alta Loma Elementary. Each of the students received a chive fresh from the garden to tear apart with their hands and sprinkle on top of their cups of slaw. Besides the dressing, the ingredients for the slaw were 100% from the garden: a purple and green cabbage, green and…

Traveling Worm Bin makes it debut@ Alta Loma Elementary

Traveling Worm Bin makes it debut@ Alta Loma Elementary

Garden Ranger Hanna now has a traveling worm bin to take to the schools for the bug lesson. It is simply two small storage containers stacked on top of each other with air holes drilled into the side and bottom. The  bin is filled with 50 red worms, veggie food scraps, dirt, and damp paper…

Zuchinni Pizza and Kale Tacos @ Alta Loma Elementary

Zuchinni Pizza and Kale Tacos @ Alta Loma Elementary

There is still quite the harvest of warm season vegetables like peppers and tomatoes at Alta Loma! The students love the tomatoes fresh from the garden and they especially loved them on top of their slices of zuchinni and wrapped in the kale.  In addition to tomatoes and pepper, we added basil and oregano from…

More Bountiful Produce in the Alta Loma School Garden

More Bountiful Produce in the Alta Loma School Garden

Last Friday the students at Alta Loma had a sit down harvest meal and harvested tomato and basil to put on top of their beet hummus and multi-grain bread. Growing in the garden right now: Romanesco Broccoli- It is so beautiful with it’s hues of green and patterned swirl. Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Basil, Basil and…

Alta Loma Elementary Students Amazed by Produce

Alta Loma Elementary Students Amazed by Produce

Amazing Produce Amazing produce is being harvested at Alta Loma Elementary! There are plenty of heirloom tomatoes and the kindergarteners each got to take one home! They were so excited and when we took the group picture, they all screamed “TOMATO!” There are also beautiful BIG eggplants, BIG green bell peppers, More heirloom tomatoes, and…

Successful Whole Foods Workday @ Alta Loma Elementary School

Successful Whole Foods Workday @ Alta Loma Elementary School

What a wonderful group we had today at Alta Loma Elementary School. Twenty volunteers comprised of parents, students, Angelinos, Whole Foods employees and Principal DeLeston moved 15 cubic yards of mulch and compost! After all the hauling was done volunteers amended the garden beds and laid the fresh mulch as a water-retaining soil cover. Whole…

Fulfillment Fund Beautifies Alta Loma Garden

Fulfillment Fund Beautifies Alta Loma Garden

High school volunteers from the Fulfillment Fund made the Alta Loma Elementary School garden happy and healthy, once again. The heat didn’t deter them from making a huge impact. Thanks to their help the garden will be flourishing when the students return from summer break. We know the students, teachers and school community will appreciate…

Amending @ Alta Loma

Amending @ Alta Loma

The garden at Alta Loma produced beautiful beets, chard, kale, cabbage and much much more! But…It’s that time of year to make sure the soil is healthy for our new crops. After the helpers amended the plots, we planted tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, thyme and cucumbers. Yummy food is just around the corner!

By the Numbers Alta Loma

By the Numbers Alta Loma

Alta Loma Elementary, a title one school is headed by Ellen DeLeston a very lovely and unassuming Principal. The school’s population is poor by any standard, yet Ellen and her team of proud parents pitched in to make this garden a reality. This school is not used to being in the limelight. By the Numbers:…