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El Sereno Elementary School

Completed in Summer 2015, this garden is terraced with raised beds and an outdoor sink.

El Sereno Elementary snacks and clears a bed.

El Sereno Elementary snacks and clears a bed.

A lesson on the life cycle in the garden transitioned into pulling up a bed of mint and making it into bouquets. Students snacked on fresh lettuce wraps with colorful tomatos, radishes, and a little hummus. Peas are blooming beautifully. – Ranger Dan

Understanding How Plants Operate

Understanding How Plants Operate

El Sereno Elementary started a new cycle with first time garden students. As they learned the functions of the plant parts and what we eat they begin to understand the importance of things in the garden like soil and flowers. A snack of purple cauliflower was a great introduction and coincided with the addition of…

Experienced Gardeners Grow at El Sereno Elementary

Experienced Gardeners Grow at El Sereno Elementary

As the older students at El Sereno Elementary get ready to move on in their schooling they exhibited their accumulated garden skills by weeding and spreading some mulch to control the weeds between the beds. As this was the second round and last garden class this year for these students they were given a chance…

El Sereno Elementary Learns the Value of a Colorful Palate

El Sereno Elementary Learns the Value of a Colorful Palate

Students learned that different colored fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients. They work best when eaten together and a colorful diet will help paint a healthy existence. After naming several foods from each color category the students were able to see what colors were growing in their garden; whether it was mounding white potatoes or…

Woodchips ahoy

Woodchips ahoy

Hello Garden Friends, This morning we moved the woodchips away from the parking lot in preparation for an upcoming lesson about weeds. (check out the lack of pile to right 😉 ) What is a weed and why do we call certain plants such derogatory names. After all, isn’t a weed just a plant whose…

El Sereno Elementary Learns Crop Rotation

El Sereno Elementary Learns Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is an important method for maintaining a healthy garden and building a sustainable soil profile. Students also learned about the pest management benefits of changing crops and was introduced to several plant family names. Once a few bed rotations were done as a group some students wanted to create their own rotation schedule;…

El Sereno Elementary Learns About the Foods We All Eat

El Sereno Elementary Learns About the Foods We All Eat

Eating processed foods is almost unavoidable, but not all products are the same. Varying levels of processed items have different amounts of additives and should be consumed with consideration of this. Students were asked to think about the amount of steps it takes to go from living plant to product in store. A sampeling of…

El Sereno Elementary Rainy Days and Good Eats

El Sereno Elementary Rainy Days and Good Eats

The kiddos were not too happy to hear they couldn’t experience the garden, but they knew the rain was soaking up the plants and providing a needed source of growth. The kinder-gardeners were excited to see I brought some fresh plants to them! We were able to try fresh sweet peas, mint, and tomatoes! There were…

Seeds Explained, Discovered, Tasted

Seeds Explained, Discovered, Tasted

Seeds were the topic at El Sereno Elementary. How they get around, how they wake up, and how they grow; the students learned about seeds and were able to see several examples in their garden. A healthy snack of seeds finished the class. – Ranger Dan

El Sereno Elementary Learns Plant Parts and Tastes a Few Too

El Sereno Elementary Learns Plant Parts and Tastes a Few Too

The Thanksgiving break was a busy time for the garden at El Sereno Elementary. Still producing lots of fruits and vegetables for the students to enjoy. A lesson on plant parts explained that we eat different parts from different plants. And even though some plants aren’t handeling the cold weather, they will make a great…

El Sereno Elementary Gets a Taste of Summer in Fall

El Sereno Elementary Gets a Taste of Summer in Fall

At El Sereno Elementary the garden doesn’t seem to feel the fall weather coming. A guacamole recipe teaches students about percentages and translates into what healthy soil contains in the proper proportions. Tomatoes and peppers from the garden continue to be delicious. Who needs chips when you have fresh greens or some carrots? – Ranger…

El Sereno Elementary’s Garden is Always Full of Life

El Sereno Elementary’s Garden is Always Full of Life

As El Sereno Elementary begins another class cycle, the students learn about the life cycle in the garden. Flowers keep the garden full of primary consumers and the fallen petals keep the decomposers happy. Students snacked on fresh eggplant and tomatoes, at least the ones this tomato hornworm didn’t get to first. – Ranger Dan

Alexys visits El Sereno Elementary!

Alexys visits El Sereno Elementary!

The El Sereno garden is looking better than ever! I even had neighbors compliment our program! Ranger Dan is doing an amazing job keeping up with all of the beds, an the soil is happier than ever! I thoroughly enjoyed this garden visit.

Summer Lingers at El Sereno

Summer Lingers at El Sereno

The last few harvests of summer leave El Sereno Elementary with a few snacks. Don’t forget to check the bag ripened tomatoes daily!!! -Ranger Dan

New flowers, mulch, and a compost bin at El Sereno Elementary!

New flowers, mulch, and a compost bin at El Sereno Elementary!

Today was a fun day at El Sereno Elementary! We planted a cool flowering plant called Globe Amaranth. It loves dry, hot weather, and it attracts pollinators to the garden so we have lots of yummy fruits and veggies. The flowers can also be dried and used as decorations! There were lots of weeds coming…

Salsa Garden!

Salsa Garden!

After pruning back some huge sunflowers, the harvest was filled with perfect salsa ingredients! Jalapenos, tomatoes, onion, garlic, banana peppers;everything in abundance! Next week we will finish spreading mulch and tackling the bermuda grass. The garden is in the perfect spot for sun and shade.

El Sereno Uses Their Noses!

El Sereno Uses Their Noses!

Quite the exciting morning start at El Sereno this Wednesday, as a cow and calf were gracious enough to visit this morning! Butterscotch the cow and Oreo the calf were great volunteers as the children learned a bunch of cow and milking facts. They carried this excitement with them into the garden as we started…

A Cowabunga Surprise at El Sereno Elementary

A Cowabunga Surprise at El Sereno Elementary

April 20th brought a wonderful surprise guest to El Sereno Elementary! A mobile farm classroom complete with cow trailer brought Buttercup the cow and Oreo the calf for a special assembly. The students learned some fun facts about cows and milk production (they have one stomach with four parts and regurgitate their food). This was…

El Sereno Elementary Bed Prep Day

El Sereno Elementary Bed Prep Day

El Sereno Elementary spent their sixth lesson prepping the garden to welcome the next group of students. A lot of work and love went into preparing the space with the students encouraging the growth of the current plants. Each class was split into work groups with assigned beds or tasks to maximize efficiency and plant…

All Hands On Deck at El Sereno Elementary

Our last week of March brings the final lesson to these classes at El Sereno Elementary, so we spent the day reviewing proper plant care/love and prepping the beds for the new classes to enjoy next week! One class had a makeup lesson on friends, foes and seeds, so we played some rounds of pictionary…

El Sereno Elementary Tries Some New Leafy Eats

El Sereno Elementary Tries Some New Leafy Eats

This week concludes the 5-week block at El Sereno Elementary and to celebrate, we made garden salads with red and green lettuce straight from their garden. Some students were very hesitant to try the leafy greens but their classmates’ enthusiasm got them brave enough to try them. Some taste notes: very fresh, vibrant, juicy, and…

Seed Transportation Party at El Sereno Elementary

Seed Transportation Party at El Sereno Elementary

El Sereno Elementary learned a wonderful fundamental lesson on seed distribution, harvest and collection today! We went over the several varied methods that plants deploy to spread their seeds to bring new plants to the world. I started by asking the students if they could think of different ways that seeds get around to grow…

Playing Bug Games at El Sereno Elementary

Playing Bug Games at El Sereno Elementary

March 2nd marks the third week of lessons here at El Sereno Elementary and one new class. Mrs. Farmer’s Kindergarten class joined us for their first lesson and introduction to the garden. They were pretty excited to explore all the beds, so we formed an observation train to stop at each bed. Each stop included a…

Second Round of Sprouts at El Sereno Elementary

Second Round of Sprouts at El Sereno Elementary

A salad bowl of lessons is currently happening at El Sereno, as we have two returning classes (Ms. Ramos Kindergarteners and Mrs. Garcia’s 6th graders) and our 2nd grader newcomers, joining us this week. Our newcomers learned how soil is the foundation of of a healthy and nutritional garden yield. We went over the different…

Baby Sprouts and New Mini-Rangers at El Sereno Elementary

Baby Sprouts and New Mini-Rangers at El Sereno Elementary

The new week brought us some exciting new baby bok choy, arugula, red lettuce, and scallion sprouts to greet the newest garden students! Some of the students were so curious and eager, they could not stop asking questions all day long. To quench this thirst for knowledge, we made sure to answer as many as…

El Sereno Elementary Gets In-Depth for Plants

The last block of classes got in depth with their plant knowledge as we broke down the different parts of the plant. A plant is broken down into: Roots 2. Stem 3. Leaves 4. Flower 5. Fruit 6. Seeds It’s important to note which parts of the plant are edible and how it differs for…

Alexys visits El Sereno Elementary!

Alexys visits El Sereno Elementary!

The garden at El Sereno is full of thriving herbs and young lettuces and peas. There were tomato plants yielding fruits of many color. It was lovely to see the beautful mint crawling near the olive tree with its shade bearing branches. The students are all excited about their garden ranger- Shylana- and all that…

Know When to Grow at El Sereno!

Know When to Grow at El Sereno!

El Sereno Elementary’s fourth lesson started out with some light stretching to get our minds in gear and to help stretch some key garden muscles. After this, we did a lap around the beds, doing some debris maintenance and greeting the plants while also reviewing bug friends and foes. The younger grades were very excited…

How Does The Bee Dance? El Sereno Elementary Investigates

Wednesday marked a lovely dancing day at El Sereno Elementary! Each class was sent out to explore the beds and to look for friends and foes of the garden. After identifying as many garden inhabitants as possible (animals, invertebrates, and humans), we focused on the type of impacts we all have on the garden and…

El Sereno Elementary Debates: Whole or Processed?

El Sereno Elementary Debates: Whole or Processed?

Mr. Parr’s sixth grade class debated the ethics and fundamentals of whole vs. processed foods this week. Many were shocked to learn that waffles, cookies, and pastas could all be made from scratch with just simple ingredients. They quickly gave me a challenge of breaking down all of their favorite processed foods into healthy, whole…

New Year, New Students at El Sereno Elementary

El Sereno Elementary welcomed 2016 with three new classes and one returning 6th grade class. The rookies quickly learned the garden rules and how much fun and excitement having a garden can bring. Many of them stopped their exploration of the garden to tell me how much they were enjoying themselves, while many could not…

El Sereno’s Newest Sprouts!

Switching to match the planting season means adding some fun challenges to the garden! Pumpkin, bean and snowpea seeds were planted a couple of weeks ago in some newly cleared beds to greet the fall weather. Now, new sprouts are beginning to pop up through the soil, with more joining every day. Students also spent…

Get to Know Your Plant Parts at El Sereno Elementary

Get to Know Your Plant Parts at El Sereno Elementary

Nov. 5th marked a fun day day for learning all about the different parts of a plant. The main lesson focused on all of a plant’s parts (roots, stem, leaves, flower, seeds, fruit), as well as each part’s functions, whether or not they were edible for humans. For example, tomato leaves will make humans very…