Calvert Street Elementary School

Calvert – Kindergaten Wrapup

Hello garden friends,  Today we look back at all the magical moments we shared with the Kindergarten classes. Our first class was extremely foundational. Learning the garden rules and practicing. 1. Respect all life. 2. Don’t pick or eat plants unless Farmer Jeff says its OK. 3. Leave the garden better than you found it.…

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Calvert – Pink Flowers and Red Carrots

Hello Garden Friends, Yesterday at Calvert, the 1st grade students and I celebrated our last day of garden class together with carrots and songs. Everybody got to pick out and rinse off their own carrot to eat. Some students were skeptical of the red color of the carrots, after all, new things can be scary!…

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Calvert – Asparagus roots and wildflowers

Hello Garden Friends, Last Friday marked the last day with the second graders. To commemorate the day we planted some tomatoes andasparagus root stock which was donated by Sylmar High School’s Horticultural Program. In the featured image you can see the students digging trenches and laying the root stock horizontally. It takes a few years for…

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Calvert – Chickens

Hello Garden Friends, This week at Calvert we did a lesson about warm season and cool season vegetables. First, reviewing the 6 plant parts and then giving then giving them some basic guidelines to think about. For example: roots, stems, and leaves are the first plant parts to come out of a seed, the vegetables…

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Calvert – War on Weeds

Hello Garden Friends, The air was cold, the ground was wet, the enemy could be seen lurking around the edges of our beds and around the bases of our trees. It was time to take up arms. With claws and hula hoes the 2nd graders spent the first half of class learning that a farmer’s…

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Calvert – Garden/City World

Hello Garden Friends, Today at Calvert the second graders and I enjoyed the warmth of our classrooms while the plants enjoyed the 3′ of rain they got today. On the whiteboard we drew pictures of the water cycle as I told the story of “Garden/City World”. Then we went outside for a moment and checked…

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Calvert – 5th grade highlight reel

Hello Garden Friends, Oh where oh where has the time gone. It seems like just yesterday when I was welcoming to the 5th graders back to garden class and now they have come and gone. For those of you who missed out on the action and would like a recap of the first group, keep scrolling.…

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Rio Vista – Mud Bricks

Hello Garden Friends, Writing today to share a few highlights from the last month where we learned to make bricks from the soil! This activity was worked into a lesson I usually teach explaining all the things that come from the dirt. The kids seemed to remember from last year, “plants, food, wood, paper, clothes…”…

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Calvert – Restarting the Greenhouse

Hello Garden Friends, Last week at Calvert we brushed the dust off our greenhouse and filled it with peas and beans. Why peas and beans? Well, peas normally prefer cool weather and beans like it hot. The fall transition can be super tricky so we thought, hey lets plant both and be safe! Now we…

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Tidying up Calvert

After doing serious renovations to the garden at Calvert this summer, the garden is looking good again just in time for school to start. Today I forcused on the back half of the garden in pruning and putting up trellises. There was a lot of trash in the garden so that was picked up and…

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Calvert Crops

Friday morning the strawberries were flourishing and calling to be picked. The corn will be ready to be ready for a summer harvest.

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Calvert – Planting for Summer

Hello Garden Friends, It is a sad, sad, day watching the kindergarteners line up and leave for the last time. With a final group hug the children left for summer. Alas, I am left to tend the garden and care for their seeds – preparing the garden so that when they return the promises of pumpkins…

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Calvert – Artichoke Hearts and Seedling Starts

Hello Garden Friends, Last week at Calvert, I had the 1st graders take a last look at the garden before their garden classes finished up for the year. We took in the sweet smells of sage and the strikingly electric purples of the artichoke flower. We planted some corn, bean, and squash seeds for next year and also…

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Calvert – Fossil footprints

Hello Garden Friends, This week we had a special class for several reasons – Last day with the second graders, introduction of new intern ranger Jessica, special cooking lesson, ANNNDDD our wonderful garden parent Paul Cassell surprised us with new shelves and a white board in the tool shed! Thanks Paul! With the whiteboard we…

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Calvert – Harvesting Garlic

Hello Garden Friends, Last Friday at Calvert we said a sweet farewell to our fourth grade students. As a final farewell, we planted tomatoes, harvested garlic, and played a nice game of compost relay. Aerating our bins and getting the kids to move around is huge! They have so much energy and being able to…

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Calvert – Transplantation and Compost Relay

Hello Garden Friends, Last week at Calvert was the last week I will get to teach the third graders this year. These students were the first students that got to use the greenhouse, and I have been hung up on the fact that they never got to plant any seedlings. How can this be?! Well,…

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Calvert – 5th grade Garden Graduation

Hello Garden Friends, This week we said goodbye to the 5th grade classes with a last tour of the garden and put together all of the things we learned earlier with a talk about systems. A system is a bunch of individual parts that work together to serve a function. An organic garden is also…

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Calvert – Light Misting

Hello Garden Friends, This week at Calvert we had a few of the kinder classes cancel due to a light misting. I was a little disappointed, but I reminded myself that wet students don’t learn well. Since moving back to California from Oregon, I notice myself being extra critical of my fellow California Natives. If…

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Calvert – Strawberries at Recess!

Hello Garden Friends, While the kindergarteners were out on a field trip this week, I got to visit with lots of children who came to play in the garden with me at recess and lunch. The highlight for us all was a food meditation around one of the most sacred fruits in a school garden.…

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Calvert – Seedlings with Kindergarten

Hello Garden Friends, Last week at Calvert the kindergarteners and I started tomato, corn, and pumpkin seeds. I thought this activity would be perfect considering they will be gone on spring break and a field trip for the next two weeks. The next time they come visit the garden they will be greeted by their…

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Calvert – Seeds to Trees

Hello Garden Friends, Last week at Calvert we saved seeds from some tangerines and peeled off the seed coats to prepare them from planting. In nature, the seed naturally loses its coat when the weather is good to grow – though it can take a year! By removing it manually, and wrapping the seed in…

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Calvert – Seeding with the Kindergarteners

Hello Garden Friends, Last Friday we planted bean seeds with the kindergarteners. I taught them how to plant seeds and they taught me how to be a better teacher. When I arrived on campus with my guitar I planned to teach the students about the importance of soil by singing “Dirt Made My Lunch” and…

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Calvert – Kholrabi!

Hello Garden Friends, Last Friday at Calvert we harvested our first kohlrabi! It took a while to process the stem and get to the sweet middle but it was definitely worth it. We started the lesson by introducing the kindergarten class to the garden rules. There are three: Respect all life: The plants and animals…

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Calvert – Ladybug Larvae and Pupae

Hello Garden Friends, Last Friday at Calvert was the last day with the second graders. We took a few minutes to reflect on all the good times. Singing “roots, stems, leaves,”… learning about warm and cold veggies, bees, and greenhouse gases… planting starts and sowing seeds.. so many good memories. The lesson focused on how…

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Calvert – Tighten down the hatches, the winds a blowin’

Hello Garden Friends, Everytime I visit, it seems the hoophouse needs a little love. The fierce dry winds suck the moisture out of the baby plants so it was super important for us to fix the fallen greenhouse plastic. This time, I recruited a helper during recess to aid me in screwing down the PVC…

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Alexys Visits Calvert!

Yup, I did! The Calvert St. garden is really something. The garden has around 20 beds-which is a lot of space- and Garden Ranger Jeff is doing a beautiful job here! The garden looks wonderful! I saw a hummingbird, butterfly, and many bees. The kids were also there to show me the ropes, and they…

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Calvert St. – Starting Seeds in the Hoop House

Hello Garden Friends, It’s alive, its alive! The hoop house is finally up and running! Not a moment too soon either! With the last week of school before winter break already upon us it is nice to know we have an automated system to keep the children’s seeds wet and warm over the new year.…

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Calvert Street- When to Water

Hello Garden Friends, This past Friday at Calvert Street Elementary I taught the students when to water. The lesson started with a plant anatomy lesson zooming in on the leaf. With tiny dots I drew stomata on the bottom of the leaf, I told them that the stomata are the reason a plant stands up…

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Calvert Street – Transplanting Seedlings

Hello Garden Friends, This Friday, I told the students there would be no lesson today. Some of the students were heartbroken, some nonchalantly moved on, others were confused. However, everyone was excited when I told them that instead we would be spending the day working and transplanting seedlings throughout the garden. While there was no…

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Calvert Street – Bee a Friend

Hello Garden Friends, This Friday at Calvert Street learned about the importance of bees and all the fruits that wouldn’t exist without them. In an effort to understand what they do, I had the students use straws to collect water from cups I had hidden next to our flowering natives. The students then took the…

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Calvert – Growing from Groceries

Hello Garden Friends, This Friday at Calvert Street we continued our lessons from last week about the food chain and where food comes from by talking about seasonal vegetables and closing the linear consumption chain. From the field –> to processor –> to distributor –> to retail —> to consumer –> and now how to…

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Calvert Street – The Food Chain

Hello Garden Friends! This Friday at Calvert we talked about the food chain in two different ways! The first was a lesson about where our food comes from. We talked about production in the field, processing in warehouses (where the food is washed, packaged, and labeled), distribution, sales, and finally consumption. We talked about the…

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Calvert Street ES – Praying Mantis vs. Tomato Hornworm

Hello Garden Friends, this past Friday at Calvert Street Elementary School we had an epic showdown which ended in the demise of one of the most ravenous garden pests around, the Tomato Hornworm. At around 9:00am the students uncovered the nuisance while ripping out our tomato plants and prepping the beds for sowing snap peas.…

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Calvert is booming with Dill

Dill is taking over at the Calvert Koalas Garden! Luckily it is a very versatile herb. From making pickles, garnishing soup or you can even hang it to dry and use it all year! Students and staff helped to harvest the Dill to enjoy fresh at home or to hang and store.

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Cleaning up Calvert!

After seeing all the seeds having sprouted over winter break students couldn’t wait to clear out garden boxes and lay down more seeds. Here are some of the great little additions to Calverts Garden…

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