Field reports from

Kester Avenue Elementary School

The garden at Kester Avenue Elementary School, designed by UCLA architecture students, was completed in Spring 2014. It is one of our most unique gardens, with hexagonal raised beds, vertical components for effective plant growth, and animal totems for a bit of fun.

Witches’ Brew in the Kester Garden!

“I’ve got magic, alakazamakazoo!”  We were feeling witchy today in the Garden at Kester.  I told my students that during Halloween time, I turn in my farmer’s hat for a witches’ hat and make magic brew!  So while we toured the garden, I asked them to grab one mint leaf to add to the pot….

Read More...

Learning parts of a pumpkin at Kester Avenue Elementary

In celebration of the first week of Fall, we discussed pumpkins, all their parts, and their purposes.  The kids were fascinated with how big a pumpkin leaf and flower can get!  All the better to make food with and attract pollinators. We also talked about the changing season and how struggling tomato plants were going…

Read More...

Learning about our Family Seeds at Kester

Did you know that most of America’s favorite food, like oranges, apples and tomatoes, don’t originally come from here?!  That’s right! Our fruits and vegetables have such interesting stories to tell about how they migrated here and have traveled all over the world!  I bet you would be surprised to know that although the Irish…

Read More...

Back to School Seed Study at Kester!

I am so happy to be teaching at Kester Elementary this year and back in my hood of the valley!  I love the idea of starting off the school year with a study on seeds because it relates so much to the beginning of the kids’ school year.  I explained to them how they are…

Read More...

Kester Avenue Elementary

Read More...

Garden Farewells

It was my pleasure to send the first grade class off on summer vacation with a garden tea party today! Energies were certainly high as classes wrap up their year with presentations, parties and graduations. I’m grateful that the teachers were able to fit garden class in their hectic last week. To celebrate the end…

Read More...

Corn Happenings at Kester Elementary

This morning I had the pleasure of substitute teaching at Kester Elementary School. I brought along my popcorn lesson that never fails to entertain! Before getting into the corn- the classes got a walk-about tour of the garden.  We checked out the poppies, tomatoes, flowering dill and, of course, the strawberries. We then settled in…

Read More...

Studying Soil

The students were so excited to dig into the soil and find grubs at Kester that it was appropriate to introduce the Parts of Soil this week. We first discussed what were the four parts that made up soil (air, water, nutrients and organic matter) then went to the garden to get some hands on…

Read More...

The garden work continues!

The students had such a blast today getting deep down in the soil pulling out the grass from the garden beds and finding so many Grubs! , To make sure we don’t have to deal with the grass for at least some time we dug down into the garden bed and pulled it out from…

Read More...

Cleaning up Kester Farms

When the seasons are changing there is tons of work to be done!               We are excited to see our plants grow and to harvest them!!  

Read More...

New rotation at Kester

Every four – five weeks students rotate in and out of the garden class. In order to help the children retain some of the information we talked about in class I created small posters teachers can hang in their class at the end of their rotation. The ending of one class is the start of…

Read More...

Food and Health

‘Tis the season.. for getting sick. With the change in weather its not only important to take care of our changing gardens but to take care of our bodies! Students at Kester learned how the foods we eat help our body. The ingredients and benefits are as follows: Radish – Good for clearing sinuses and…

Read More...

What’s that fruit?

Students at Kester Elementary have all come out to the garden to find out what this weird looking fruit is. Armenian Cucumber! Also known as yard long cucumbers and is actually an immature melon. One of the reasons to grow a garden is to be able to grow the different varieties of fruits and vegetables not…

Read More...

Time to Explore!

After being away all summer Kester Kids spent their first week exploring all the new plants growing in the garden. But, a visit to the garden wouldn’t be complete with out getting dirty so everyone pitched in to do some much needed maintenance!   Every moment spent in that garden is an opportunity to educate….

Read More...

Bountiful Cucumbers!!

Amazing cucumbers ready to harvest at Calvert! Beans sprouting up with delight! Sun kissed wildflowers enjoying the warm breeze.

Read More...

Onions Galore

Who knew onions could be so lovely? Look at the lively artichoke flowers chatting with farmer Jeff.

Read More...

Friendships grow at Kester Farms

A few weeks ago our plant manager brought Jamaica (Hibiscus) Seeds for us to plant in the garden. We have finally been able to see the seedlings sprout and I am so excited to one day make Jamaica with the students!   Having the plant manager supporting the garden at Kester is a reminder how…

Read More...

New life at Kester Elementary

Its such an amazing time of the year when the first seedlings are sprouting up! A few weeks back we put down an array of summer seeds in the ground and its exciting to see what is popping up and where 🙂 Even more exciting is seeing the fruit starting to grow in!  

Read More...

Kester Beautification

It was a beautiful day at Kester Elementary on Tuesday and perfect weather for planting! The students helped in adding more soil to the garden beds, removing some of the last over grown winter plants and the most exciting part, planting new seedlings!

Read More...

Kinder Learns the fundamentals at Kester

This week at Kester Farms Kindergarteners got to express their artistic side while they learned the four parts of soil.               After we learned about the soil in theory, we went into the garden to get hands on experience observing the soil and finding all four parts present in…

Read More...

Kester getting ready for spring!

At Kester elementary on Tuesday we were busy moving tomato plugs into seed trays. Mrs. Perros Kinder class even brought their own recycled and decorated milk cartons for the tomatoes to grow nice and strong in.   Also, with the end of the winter crops kids were gathered around during their recess and enjoyed snacking…

Read More...

Kester kids know the key to healthy plants

The Soil! Teaching kids what makes up soil is a great intro into helping kids know how to maintain healthy crops. Breaking soil down into four parts helps the kids in being able to simply look and feel soil in order to trouble shoot basic deficiencies in the soil. Another fun lesson at Kester was…

Read More...

Kester Farms is full of incoming flowers and vegetables

Read More...

Collaborative Art @ Kester

When students came out to their garden class they were divided into two groups. One group looked from worms in the vermiculture bin, learning their importance and about the home they live in. The othe group took the field, observing the garden with magnifying glasses and then drawing what they saw. Halfway through class the…

Read More...

Getting Our Greens at Kester

The critics raved, “Two thumbs up!” For many of the students it was their first time eating avocados and spinach and although some may have been weary, there were smiles all around in the end.  Spinach isn’t the only leafy green growing at Kester, the kale has doubled in size!   Steamed, sautéed, baked? What’s…

Read More...

Worms and Renovation at Kester!

After the students learned all about a worms diet, everyone helped out to remove the worms and add the  worm castings to the gardens soil.  The kids were so happy to dig in and get their hands dirty, and the plants loved it too 🙂  

Read More...

Kester is Blooming!!

The beans are a-blooming at Kester! On Halloween, we cut jack-o-lanterns out of apple slices. They had a blast being creative and cutting their own unique designs! We also talked about composting, what is good and bad. The kids were so excited to learn about the on campus tumbler ad conventional composts.

Read More...

Garden Ranger Michelle Moore at Kester Avenue Elementary School

Garden Ranger Michelle teaching her garden class on hexagon benches!

Read More...

Compost Game at Kester

  Friday at Kester, Garden Ranger Michelle set up a fun, creative game to help the kids remember what goes into a compost bin, and what does not. The kids had to look at pictures and decide what was good compost, and together, with one stick each, carry the picture all the way to their…

Read More...

A Crucial Next Step in the Gardens – Composting!

EnrichLA is installing a new program to make our gardens even more environmentally sustainable. Our awesome new Intern Ana Greenberger has an extensive background and knowledge base in composting. She is implementing a creative Composting Program that will eventually be used in all of the gardens. Today, she visited three of our school gardens to see the best way…

Read More...

KESTER ELEMENTARY GARDEN IS NOW 100 PERCENT THRIVING

Read More...

Sun is shining, bees are buzzing, plants are growing at Kester Elementary

The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, and the plants are growing big and strong for you, Kester Elementary! Every day they’re growing and growing and growing just like the kiddos that are going to take care of them, and if “you are what you eat”, let’s sew and reap healthy, happy food together. Amaranth and…

Read More...

Our latest Garden at Kester elementary in sherman oaks

Read More...

A New Garden at Kester Avenue Elementary School

Students from UCLA’s Architecture program partnered with EnrichLA to deign and build a new garden at Kester Avenue Elementary School in Van Nuys. The new garden has unique vertical components, allowing plants to climb up them as they grow. A giraffe, a turtle, a cow and a few other wooden totems give the garden a…

Read More...

Kester Elementary School

Enrich La and UCLA and the parents and teachers of Kester Elementary School in Sherman Oaks will build a new edible garden on Saturday May 31st, 2014 9am to 4pm. Volunteers wanted for this new edible garden build as designed by UCLA architecture folks.sign up here at  http://enrichla.org/volunteer/. Work to include woodworking, weeding, sanding, removal…

Read More...