Field reports from

Los Feliz Elementary School

The edible garden at Los Feliz Elementary School was completed in Winter 2014. The raised wooden beds rest on concrete on campus.

Insects and squash at Los Feliz Elementary

At Los Feliz Elementary, we had a lesson on insects and their role in the garden. What do they eat? What eats them? What is their role? Students were able to explore these questions by inspecting the insects they find in their own garden. We also made cool new signs for many of our plants….

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Garden design at Los Feliz!

Today we used our journals to design our dream gardens. We talked about site selection, crop planning, and feeding ourselves and our families. Students had to be critical thinkers and think both about big and small details! So many beautiful plants in the garden today!

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First day of garden class at Los Feliz Elementary!

Today was the first day of garden class at Los Feliz Elementary. What a fun day! We saw squash, curry, sweet potatoes and more! We planted carrots, beets, and beans. Lots of roly polys in the garden today!

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Los Feliz Elementary

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Beets, beans, and bugs

Today we harvested some delicious beets from the garden. We ate the root raw. We learned about planting potatoes and sweet potatoes. We saw lots of cool ladybugs today!

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pH and bed amendments

Yet another great day in the garden. We learned about pH and amended the beds with compost and fresh topsoil. We snacked on mint and radish pods. The potatoes are blooming and the ladybugs are devouring aphids. #enrichla

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Carrots, butterflies, and radish pods

Today was a colorful and delicious day at Los Feliz Elementary. We learned about compost in the classroom lesson. Then we went outside to plant marigolds and cosmos. We snacked on spicy Madras radish pods and saw a bunch of beautiful butterflies.

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Golden carrots and red chard

So many color in the garden today. Purple aritchoke flowers, golden carrots, and red swiss chard. We learned about the rules and the basics of the garden today. We snacked on the chard and carrots. We saw a sweat bee pollinate a flower and a big spider crawling through the garden!

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Salad, artichokes, and baby mantids

Today was a fun day in the garden. The lesson was on fungi and microbes. We had a salad with homemade dressing for a snack. There were a bunch of baby praying mantids on the plants!

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Cuttings, grafting, onions, carrots, beets

Today we learned about some slightly advanced gardening techniques-cutting and grafting. These are used to propogate perennial plants, while we usually propogate annuals from seed. We ate delicious onions, carrots, and beets for a snack! As we transition seasons it is nice to see the cool plants go to seed and the warm weather plants…

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Swiss chard and adaptation

Today we learned about how plants and animals adapt to survive in their environment. We snacked on fresh garden carrots and we sauteed garden onions and swiss chard. The artichokes are blooming and we cant wait to see the flowers!

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3 sisters, onion, and butterfly moth!

Today we learned about the 3 sisters, calorie crops, and what plants grow best in which season. For snacks we had lettuce, onion, and radish. Our friend the hummingbird moth is in the garden today!

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Pollination, golden beets, and spider vs mosquito

Today we learned about pollination. We observed the plants that pollinators love, like flowering brassicae and lavender. We snacked on a massive golden beet! There was also a large jumping spider that was eating a mosquito.

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Yummy root veggies

Today was the first day of a new 6 week session! The students are very excited to be in the garden. Some of them have been here before; others, it is their first time! We discussed the rules, 6 edible parts of a plant, and composting. Then we went to the garden to snack on…

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Cooking techniques and hummingbirds

Today we learned about different cooking techniques. Some of the main ways to cook food are boiling, frying, grilling, and roasting. We can also ferment foods, using microbes to increase the nutritional value. The snack today was sauteed spicy purple mustard with garlic. We saw a beautiful, shiny hummingbird drinking nectar out of the lavender!

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Nasturtium cups, seeds, and nutrition

Today we revisited the concept of seed dispersal. Seeds disperse via wind, water, and animal transmission. We also talked about nutrition and how gardening helps us stay healthy! For a snack we had fresh water in nasturtium leaf cups…then we ate the cups!

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Seeds and pollination

Today we learned about seeds and pollination. Plants spread their seeds in a variety of ways, including wind, water, and animals! Plants also use these methods to spread pollen. We purposefully plant pollinator attractors in the garden. Broccoli and asparagus are great insect attracting plants. Also pictured is a purple cabbage seedling surrounded by romaine…

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Seasons and edible parts of a plant

There are 2 main growing seasons in LA, hot and cool or summer and winter. In hot weather, we grow a lot of fruiting plants like tomatos and squash. On the winter, we grow a lot of leaf and root vegetables like lettuce and radishes. Pictured are collards, onions, fava beans, and swiss chard.

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Compost, soil, and a big moth

Today we learned about compost and soil. We took trimmings from the garden plants and put them in the tumbler. Then we had snacks and planted seeds! These fava beans are rocketing out of the ground. We trimmed this mint back and it has returned vigorously! We saw this giant moth in the lavender. It…

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Rainy day excitement

The garden is beautiful in the rain. Today was the first day of a new round of students. We covered garden rules and basic concepts. The first rule is to respect every living thing in the garden, including each other! Every student got to plant a beet, and we sampled spicy purple mustard, chard, romaine,…

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Pollination and planting

Today we learned about pollination, which allows plants to reproduce Plants can pollinate with the wind or by living things. Common garden pollinators are bees and butterflies. This giant kohlrabi was part of our snack today! A student plants a seedling. Mystery insect. Could be a pollinator so we let it be!

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Seed studies

Today we learned about seeds, how they grow, and how we can select traits over generations via open pollination and hybridizing. These peas can be eaten or planted. Peas were instrumental in the discovery of genetics. This is a “green burrito” made by a student. Brussels sprouts are a member of the brassica family, which…

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Paper pots and compost

Today we talked about the difference between organic compost and chemical fertilizers. We concluded that organic compost is healthier. We made paper pots for our seedlings because they are biodegradable. We all got to decorate our pots! We saw bees eating broccoli flower nectar and then we snacked on spicy mustard and salty swiss chards.

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Winter garden booming

On the first day back from break we were greeted with a beautiful rainy day. We spent time inside writing garden haikus and then braved the rain to inspect the garden and have snacks. This kohlrabi is huge! Note the quarter for size comparison. The broccoli is flowering and the hummingbirds love it. This purple…

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Different ways to propogate plants

Today we learned about different kinds of plant propogation. Peas grow from seeds. In fact, the peas ARE the seeds! You can eat them or plant them! Tree collarda are grown from cuttings. This one has taken root. Yay! Mint is easily grown by root division.

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Shed your skin young grasshopper – Fleming Middle

Don’t bug out!!! This week at Fleming we are learning about beneficials and pests. Inside the classroom we made sure we understood the difference and talked about species but outside the classroom and into the garden is where the FUN begins! We spent time going on a scavenger hunt searching for insects!  What’d we find??…

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Why grow food?

Today a student asked why would we grow food when we can just buy it at the store? There are many reasons! Freshness, quality, variety, community, and money saving are just a few. Here is a salad mix that we ate today. Several of these leaves, including the purple mustard, are not available in stores….

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Healthy habits

Today we discussed healthy habits. Eating fresh food is a healthy habit so we sampled delicious veggies out of the garden! We tried this fantastic kohlrabi today and the kids loved it. Kohlrabi is a brassica, related to cabbage and broccoli. The whole plant is edible, leaves and stems included, but it is grown for…

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Los Feliz Elementary compost lessons and winter veggies

There are so many beautiful colors in the winter garden! We achieve this beauty by adding conposted organic matter to the soil so the plants have lots of nutrients. This broccoli is growing thanks to good, healthy soil amended with compost!

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pH lessons and fall veggies!

Today we learned about the pH scale and acids and bases. Most plants like a neutral soil. We explored the garden and got to see all the beautiful fall veggies! This broccoli is weathering the latest heat wave. This bed contains swiss chard, giant purple mustard, romaine, and kohlrabi which love the cool, short days…

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STEMM in the garden

Today we learned about STEMM in the garden. Biology is the study of life. Here is a tiny garden caterpillar. Beautiful kohlrabi shines in the light. This insect was eating nectar from the marigolds. Ranger Matt

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Edible parts of a plant

Today we learned about all the different edible parts of garden plants. We also learned that we grow non edible flowers to attract beneficial insects. This is a bed of leafy greens like romaine and chard. These peas will climb up the trellis. Mums are a perennial flower. Ranger Matt

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What plants need to grow

Today we learned that plants need soil, sun, and water to live. Here are some fall veggies that we just planted. Broccoli and marigolds grow side by side. Artichokes last for many years in the garden.

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Seasons changing

This chard was just planted and will be thriving soon! Broccili can’t wait for winter!

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Learning pollination at Los Feliz Elementary

Today we learned how plants are pollinated, and thus how our food grows! This is a male squash blossom. Here is a female squash blossom. Marigold and tomato growing together. Ranger Matt

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Seeds and propagation at Los Feliz Elementary

Kale, tomatoes, and geraniums share this raised bed. Butternut squash thriving in the summer heat. Mint and dragonfruit grow easily from cuttings. Ranger Matt

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Colors and flavors at Los Feliz Elementary.

The students love the color of this brilliant eggplant. Rat tail radishes produce edible, spicy tasting pods. Squash blossoms are beautiful and edible. Ranger Matt

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Eggplant, thyme, and squash at Los Feliz Elementary!

So many wonderful things are growing at Los Feliz Elementary. Here are some big yummy eggplants that the students will be snacking on soon! Thyme is a wonderful, fragrant herb. Squash grow with spiraling vines!

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Great First Day at Los Feliz Elementary!

Today was a great first day of class at Los Feliz Elementary. We reviewed the rules of the garden, important facts about plants, and went on a garden tour. Here are some of the wonderful plants in the garden. Lavender looks and smells nice, and it attracts beneficial pollinators. Strawberries in various stages of blooming…

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Brussels Sprouts at Los Feliz Elementary

The raised beds at Los Feliz Elementary got a makeover this week. We trimmed the plants and gave them some organic fertilizer. These brussels sprouts are beautiful plants. Brussels sprouts are related to cabbage, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. These all grow well in cool weather, so look for them in the garden this fall! Ranger…

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Trimming Back at Los Feliz Elementary

The tomatoes at Los Feliz Elementary are like a jungle! They are growing all over the place and out of their bed and into others, today was my first day to trying to take back control over the tomatoes in the garden. To accomplish that, I focused on pruning and trimming back the tomato plants….

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4 Gallons of Produce at Los Feliz Elementary

The garden is looking fantastic! Everything is growing so well and I spent most of my time harvesting, filling up two, two gallon buckets full of produce. Today’s harvest consisted of tomatoes, cucumbers (some two feet long), green and purple beans, as well as butternut squash. I gave all of the maintenace workers first pick…

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Planting seasons – Los Feliz

Students at Los Feliz Elementary learned that we have to pay attention to the seasons when we are choosing which crops to grow. We talked about seed germination and how each seeds has its own idea of the right temperature and moisture level is before it decides to wake up and grow into a new…

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Decomposers and compost at Los Feliz

  The kindergarteners learned all about our Roly poly residents of the garden. We learned that they are decomposers and all the parts of their bodies. The older kids started compost buckets using scraps from the garden!

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Who ate the brussels sprouts?

Students learned about garden friends and garden foes. We talked about some examples of insects that eat plants and the various critters that help us out in our garden. We found tons and tons of foes in the form of voracious cabbage worms on the brussels sprouts. The kids got to see how easily caterpillars…

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