Field reports from

Dayton Heights Elementary School

EnrichLA completed this garden in Winter 2016. It consists of six garden beds, three picnic tables, and a drip irrigation system.

Cool Beginnings at Dayton Heights

Last week at Dayton Elementary, the kids really enjoyed the start of our true and long awaited cool season.  It had drizzled earlier in the morning and the day signified a change.   The kids helped plant fall seedlings like cauliflower and onion, we saw butterflies darting around in the crisp air and tasted the…

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Aromatherapy at Dayton Heights!

School can be stressful –  there are tests to study for, projects to work on, and friendships to navigate. Well, the kids at Dayton Heights have been exploring a new way to handle tough days through aromatherapy. Students used class time to breathe in a bit of lavender, sage, or basil as a way to…

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Fall Planning

At Dayton Heights the fourth grade has taken control of their garden’s destiny.   There is good reason for that, they know what to do!  The kids were excited to have a bit of crispness in the air and started listing all the cool weather plants that would do well in their garden space.  …

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Dayton Heights Elementary

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Let’s Do…a Haiku

“Bees fly very high. Sunflowers reach the tall clouds. Mint smells good and fresh.” Last week at Dayton Heights the kids came out with their journals and we discussed the inspiration that can come through nature.  Senses are flaring when we are outside feeling, exploring and just being still.   We learned what a haiku is…

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Dayton Talks Photosynthesis

This week at Dayton Heights a couple of classes came back out into the garden for their second session of the year.   We discussed the all important magic of photosynthesis, learning that photo means light and synthesis means to put together.   The second and third graders were pretty into it and were fascinated…

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Watching the Garden Battle

This week at Dayton Heights, we learned all about the little guys in the garden.  The pests, predators and pollinators that is.  The kids knew a lot about insects in the garden but learned a lot as well.   We went through quite a few more common creatures and then played freeze tag, acting out…

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Work, work, work….

Last week at Dayton we really got to work.   The kids and I discussed seasons for a bit and the rise in temperature was a perfect segueway into figuring out which plants thrive in which climates.   We could see many of our lettuces and broccolis bolting and talked about why they do so….

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Why we Compost

There is one main reason that most people compost, to give their plants and gardens more nourishment and get those nutrients flowing.   Another reason that is just as important is because food has become waste in our society.   40% of all the food in the US is thrown away and that’s crazy!  Now,…

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Harvest, Harvest Everywhere!

At Dayton Heights everywhere you look lately, there is something ready to be harvested out of the edible garden.   It’s that time of year (and thanks to the rain) where things are begging to be tasted.   And with a new group of third and fourth graders, that’s just what we did!  After reviewing…

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Saving Seeds

Last week at Dayton Heights, we discovered the importance of saving seeds and thought back to a time when your survival depended on saving seeds.  Before we had the luxury of grocery stores, farmers markets, or even the nursery to buy plants or seeds; seed saving was essential for food and life.   The kids…

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Let’s Get Things Pollinated

   Yesterday at Dayton Heights we enjoyed a beautiful day out in the garden.   The kids learned just how specific pollination is and which insects and other animals keep our gardens, farms, grasslands and deserts and mountains pollinated and thriving!   After a briefing on how exactly the flowers use that pollen to create…

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Dayton Discovers

Last week at Dayton Heights, we got out into the sunshine and discussed all the little creatures in the garden and what they are on a mission to do.  We learned that “bad bugs” will often be found in a winter garden in Los Angeles…munching on cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and many of the other…

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Exploration and Sensations

Last week at Dayton Heights, we were granted a chance to explore the garden for the first time since we left for Winter break.  The kids had an indoor lesson reviewing the garden rules and discussing the importance of the six plant parts and then we were off.  Kids kept an eye out for all…

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Dayton Tastes Fall in LA

Last week at Dayton Heights Elementary, the kids learned about seasonal gardening.  It was really easy to identify the change in season here in Southren California because we all witnessed a major shift over the Thanksgiving Break.  All I had to do was ask what changes the students noticed in weather patterns and we were…

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Searching for Friends and Foes at Dayton

Right before our break, the kids at Dayton Heights met an array of helpful and beneficial insects in their garden and also came across some creatures that are not so kind to our edible plants.  We looked at pictures of all kinds of garden insects, from the honeybee to the cabbage worm and everything in…

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Plant Parts Have Jobs and Feed Our Bodies

At Dayton Heights last week, the kids came out to the garden in the sunshine to hone in on their artistic skills while discussing the six parts of a plant.  Now, all the parts serve a mighty important purpose…one is just as vital as the next.  The kids were helpful in explaining why roots ground…

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Dayton Heights Finds Gold!

Today at Dayton Heights the new session of kids began their composting lesson.  These kids have spent time in the garden and have added to the compost bin, but hadn’t had the chance to really “break down” the importance of building proper compost.  (And yes, that pun was intended!) We started the lesson by listing…

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Dayton Heights in Review

Our last day with the kids at Dayton Heights was bittersweet.  We transferred compost, cleared a few beds of browns and planted lots of cool weather loving veggies.  The kids reviewed all they learned and did a ton of exploring.  After snacking on bell peppers, rainbow carrots and celery, the kids bid farewell to the…

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Dayton Heights Discovers Super Friends

This week at Dayton the Kinders and 1st graders learned all about who we rely on in the garden to really keep our balance positive!  We talked about which insects can attack our gardens and which come in to save the day!  Our focus turned to the pollinators, as they were on full display that…

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Dirt Detectives!

Who wants to get their hands dirty?! How about every student at Dayton Heights! The kids were thrilled to be dirt detectives for the day and eagerly examined all different types of soil. They dug deeper in their exploration of sand, silt, and clay, as they uncovered the important role each type plays in creating the perfect soil for…

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Dayton Heights Revisits

The Kinder classes visited the garden this week full of smiles and curiosity!  We harvested four DELICIOUS cucumbers and tasted them with our ever vibrant zinnias.  A few of our classes were K/1 splits so it was nice to have the older students review the garden rules with newer students and watch them explore the…

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Dayton Heights Prep

Classes at Dayton Heights are being pushed back a week due to some rearranging within the school.   So today was a day of prep and harvesting.   There was a lot of growth and need for some pruning and trimming.   All great brush for the compost as well as some overripe squash and…

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Tiny tomatoes, huge flavor!

The tomatoes were tiny and abundant, and sweet like dessert. The flowers continue to bloom, and more veggies are on their way. We chopped up our pruned pieces and added them back to the soil to add nutrients and help with water retention. We also added to the compost.

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Colorful Dayton Heights

The boys and I cruised by Dayton Heights Elementary on Thursday and were greeted by the lovely zinnias popping about in brilliant oranges, yellows and reds.   Color continued with some yummy looking cherry tomatoes ripe for the picking and a few zucchinis ready as well.   We prepared a small box and dropped it…

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Ranch Recipe

As a treat for the last garden class of the year, I taught the students at Dayton Heights Elementary how to make their very own Ranch Dressing. When it can be hard to get kids to get their veggies, a tired and true tip is dip those vegetables in ranch! The children each got their…

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The Babies are Growing

All of the baby vegetables at Dayton Heights are growing slowly but surely-and with the heat on its way they have spread their leaves to prep for the sunshine. Garden Ranger Hillary did a great job companion planting with pollinating flowers and vegetables in need of pollination. Tomatillos, peppers, tomatoes, and berries are on the…

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A Day at Dayton

What a fun day at Dayton Heights Elementary.  The fourth graders were SO excited to come spend some time in their garden.  After weeks of watching all the other classes get an introduction, they patiently waited to have a turn learning the rules of the garden and exploring the space.  They were so sweet and…

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Dayton heights elementary new garden gr

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Dayton Elementary Turns One Month Old!

At Dayton Heights, we are finishing up our second session of kids and noticing a lot of growth in the garden.   Seeds that were planted just a few short weeks ago have turned into green plants bursting with life.   Seedlings are fruiting and flowers are blooming.   It’s tough only having these classes…

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Soil Sifters

Last week at Dayton Heights the first graders joined me in the garden to talk about soil.   We discussed what soil is made out of, how minerals came to be…and how soil, like us, needs air, water and food.  Afterwards we figured out what loam is and why it’s necessary for growing happy and…

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The new garden at Dayton Heights has been planted

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First Graders at Dayton Heights

As Dayton Heights just recently welcomed their edible garden, we are working hard to introduce every student to the space.  The last two weeks, we welcomed the second graders and this week the first graders came out in full force.   We explored the garden after introductions and a lesson on the rules of the…

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Dayton Heights Digs Soil

  Yesterday at Dayton Heights the second graders came out in full force.   After recapping the garden rules, we dove into learning about the four parts of soil.   We talked about loam and turned into scientists to sample the loam in the garden.   Many of the kids had been learning about clay,…

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First Day at Dayton Heights!

L When given a blank canvas, an artist with drive and focus can create a masterpiece! Well, that is Dayton Heights and the artists are abundant, with so many interested and excited students and teachers, this garden is sure to thrive. After playing the “name game” we were full of ideas on what heat loving…

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New Garden at Dayton Heights Elementary!

EnrichLA has built a new garden at Dayton Heights Elementary School! This wonderful new garden consists of 6 garden beds, 3 picnic tables and a drip irrigation system!   This is EnrichLA’s 88th garden! We are only 12 gardens away from reaching a great milestone of 100 gardens built in Los Angeles!

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