Field Reports

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Dahlia Heights Elementary School

Dahlia Heights has an existing edible school garden, consisting of raised beds and tables! EnrichLA brought the Garden Ranger Program to this school at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

H-A-R-V-E-S-T at Dahlia Heights Elementary

H-A-R-V-E-S-T at Dahlia Heights Elementary

It’s spring salad time at Dahlia Heights! The third graders were split into teams to scavenger hunt for certain vegetables and herbs such as beet, lettuce, nasturtium, carrot, chives, and kale. Then we went around and learned how to harvest each vegetable. The kindergarteners and special ed classes also were able to participate with harvesting…

Nasturtium plant parts at Dahlia Heights

Nasturtium plant parts at Dahlia Heights

We talked about plant parts today at Dahlia Heights and used a Nasturtium plant for a demonstration.  The kindergarten class learned all the functions of the plant parts and we talked about some fruits and veggies we eat that fall in each plant part category.  They were fascinated by the nasturtium seeds. We also looked…

Comparing Compost at Dahlia Heights

Comparing Compost at Dahlia Heights

Since it rained last week, we had the worm bin visit the classroom with the big kids and talked about vermiculture. This week, we learned about hot composting and did a relay race where the kids built a hot compost pile out of greens, browns, and water. We compared the new hot compost pile of…

Spring Salad at Dahlia Heights

Spring Salad at Dahlia Heights

Spring is coming and bringing lots of cool weather and rain, which makes for some beautiful lettuces and peas. To that base, we added kale, nasturtium flowers, chives, cilantro, and radishes, and made a crunchy spring salad. While we ate them off our nasturtium leaf plates, we talked about garden ecosystems. We also played garden…

Seeds! at Dahlia Heights

Seeds! at Dahlia Heights

It was seed day at Dahlia Heights. The second and fifth graders learned about the parts of the seed, how each seed has a tiny plant in it, and a cotyledon to feed the plant while its breaking out of the ground, before it can photo synthesize. We talked about how archaeologists found a date…

Time to Trim the Milkweed at Dahlia Heights

Time to Trim the Milkweed at Dahlia Heights

During recess, a few kids helped me cut back the tropical milkweed last week. Milkweed is the plant the monarch caterpillars eat. The tropical variety has red orange and yellow flowers and looks like this: There are also native California varieties that usually have pink flowers, though the plant comes in many different colors.  Recent…

Planting and Harvesting at Dahlia Heights

Planting and Harvesting at Dahlia Heights

The new year brought a new group of students at Dahlia Heights.  We went over the garden rules and played a fun game about plant parts.  There were tons of lemons to be harvested and the kids had a great time picking them. There were also a few stray figs somewhat ripened after that fall…

Last Day of Classes at Dahlia Heights

It was the end of another rotation at Dahlia Heights and the last gardening class before the holiday break, so the day called for an elaborate harvest snack. The kids (K-1 classes) picked, cleaned, and cut chard into pieces. Then we stir fried the greens with some garlic and served it with pasta. The kids…

Exploring Seeds at Dahlia Heights

Exploring Seeds at Dahlia Heights

We talked about seeds at Dahlia Heights, focusing on what makes them grow or stay dormant. Kids will watch sprouts grow in their classroom this week, examining how they soak up water then put out roots.  We looked at all the different shapes and sizes and colors of seeds and explored the garden looking for…

I Dahlia Heights Composting Relay

I Dahlia Heights Composting Relay

Our littler kids, kindergarteners and first graders, learned about how to make compost today with the compost relay. Cries of “Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop!” “Get some Browns! Get some Greens! Get some water!” resounded in the garden.  Cheering for 25 kids really drives the process home! The garden is looking great thanks in no small…

Kinder journaling at Dahlia Heights

Kinder journaling at Dahlia Heights

We had a great talk about composting and decomposers in our kindergarten class on Friday. Its always interesting to see what captures the kids attention and inspiration in their garden journals. They were obviously very inspired by holding the worms and learned a lot about beneficial insects and nematodes in the garden.  The worms in…

Dahlia Heights Harvest Festival

Dahlia Heights Harvest Festival

We finished up our first round of classes at Dahlia Heights just in time for their harvest festival. Ranger Alex attended to show off the garden, with its beautiful new fence designed and installed by the parents and PTA with help from Tomas and Enrich LA. The sixth grade played drums andd smile bands kicked…

Olives and Fun at Dahlia Heights

Olives and Fun at Dahlia Heights

We had a fantastic time this week learning about friends and foes in the garden: pests that eat our crops, and beneficial predator bugs that eat the pests. The kids played a game of freeze tag to illustrate this concept with roles of the lettuce, aphids and ladybugs. Then, we chomped on persimmons and looked…

Dahlia Height Salad Days

The lentil sprouts from last week were ready so in addition to learning about the parts of the plant, we made a big salad with veggies from the garden, like kale, basil, oregano, carrot, Apple, and persimmon. I taught the kids how to make a vinaigrette with mustard, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Most kids…

Learning about Seeds at Dahlia Heights

Learning about Seeds at Dahlia Heights

A fun day was had by all learning about seeds on garden day at Dahlia Heights.  We learned that seeds can be dormant for up to thousands of years as long as they stay cool and very dry, and that the right temperature and, most importantly, water makes them wake up and grow.  We learned…

Jujube madness at Dahlia Heights

Jujube madness at Dahlia Heights

The kids enjoyed trying Jujubes at Dahlia Heights on Friday! Few children had tried them before but most liked them and many even had seconds. Jujubes taste a lot like apples, you can eat them green or later when they turn brown or even later when they get gooey and shrivel up like raisins. Hooray…

First Day Of Garden Classes At Dahlia Heights!

First Day Of Garden Classes At Dahlia Heights!

We had a great first day of classes at Dahlia Heights! Students explored the garden and created garden journals. We also talked about garden etiquette and tasted some fruits that students may not have tried before — Figs and Jujubes, right from the tree. We also planted a flat of cilantro and learned how to…

Dahlia Heights Fruit Trees

Dahlia Heights Fruit Trees

Yesterday we tended to the whimsical, if overgrown Dahlia Heights elementary school garden. This garden is positively full of fruit trees – apple, fig, persimmon, jujube, olive and more. When we arrived it was difficult to navigate the garden with so many low-hanging, full branches, so we spent the morning pruning trees, harvesting fruit, and…