Field reports from

Gardens

Why garden?

It’s the 5th Grade’s turn in the garden at Hamlin Charter Academy. After a discussion of why we plant gardens (growing healthy food, saving money, enjoying beautiful flowers, exercising, soaking up sunshine and the peaceful setting), we explored the garden a bit to see what’s growing.  I then assigned each student a garden bed to…

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In Love With Our Garden

February is full of colors at Rio Vista Edible Garden. This is all thanks to the weather conditions that winter is bringing. It is also helping something very important to make a cozy place for the seeds to grow. Can you guess what?… Yes, Soil!. In this lesson we put our hands in the soil….

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Winter is my favorite season.

In this lesson we discovered that some plants are dormant (sleeping) in Winter, but before, they were preparing themselves for the winter in Fall. Others like the Summer better. Some do better in Winter and others love the Spring. We enjoy the winter because we can harvest some lettuce, kale, carrots, and rain is covering…

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Cycle of mustard greens

We could not be more happy about this! Our garden is showing us how happy it is! The mustard greens are blooming, carrots are ready for harvest, radishes taste fresh, snap peas everywhere, tatsoi and more!!! We learned today how important it is to respect the cycle of life of each species, to be patient…

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From soil to flower

Winter is here, and our garden is enjoying the cold weather. Our class this month discovered why soil is so important in order to grow our seeds. We dug up and discovered a world of minerals and organic matter hiding in the samples we took from our garden. Every single component in our soil plays…

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Learning about soil

January has been surprising. We have a new year to start with our hands in the soil. And yes, that is what we did. Kindergarten classes have been exploring different types of soil. They found out that soil is made of: Air, water, organic matter (leaves, vegetables scraps, bark, etc.), minerals (sand, silt and clay)….

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Rediscovering the Hidden Garden

  Our 5th grade students made it clear that Rio Vista Edible Garden was missing some important information about the garden’s history. We are proud of the garden, so they interviewed the school staff and researched online to create these amazing nature boards filled with information. Our nature boards include vital information such as a…

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Roosters

Great to have our feathery friends at Kingsley thanks to our awesome plant manager. The children love visiting the roosters when out in the garden. They keep us all company and they’re not too noisy!

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Corn in February!

May not be right,but we are enjoying watching the corn grow at Marshall. When those seeds were planted, the odds were not great, but it offers us a chance to talk about how growing is an unpredictable undertaking depending on so many variables and not always following the ‘rules’.  Being somewhat new to the garden,…

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Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Poster Contest at Mid-City

In February, the 3rd grade class at Mid-City expressed their “3 R” desires with a poster contest! In groups, the created posters on how they desire to reduce, reuse and recycle and here are some examples of their awesome work! PS – We also discovered some amazing friends in our garden this month and took…

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Flower Art + Radish Hearts at 6th Avenue

In February we learned lots of awesome things with our 1st grade class at 6th Avenue 🙂 One of our last lessons of the month was “How a Flower Grows” and the students had a amazing time delicately taking apart a flower and putting it back together on a piece of paper to make flower…

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Brussels Sprouts

So exciting to explore our winter bounty at Kingsley! While Brussels Sprouts may not be the kids’ favorite veg, seeing it grow definitely makes them curious! We’ll give them more time to grow and then sample….

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Finally flowers on the peach tree

Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. … This includes such botanical fruits as eggplants, bell peppers and tomatoes.  

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A sunflower tries to grow

The sunflowers sadly do not have enough space to truly share their cheer at Marshall. To protect from our squirrel friends, our beds are all fenced in and not quite tall enough for one of my favorite flowers. But they are persisting!  

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Look How We’ve Grown!

I just had to post a story about how much our garden has progressed since it was built last fall. This is a photo of the same garden bed pictured in our feature photo when we started the Garden Ranger program at Hamlin Charter Elementary last September. We had some drainage issues and a definite…

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Pico de Gallo from our 4th Grade Chefs

This was our last week with 4th grade at Lassen Elementary, so we prepared a meal from our garden along with some tomatoes and limes from the grocery store.   The students learned about knife safety and then went to work with their plastic lettuce knives and cutting boards to dice tomatoes, onions, radishes, slice…

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Carrot Harvesting with TK and Kinder

Mr. Diaz’s class has been so disciplined throughout our 6 weeks, from being respectful to insects, to planting seeds in their new Kinder garden bed. Today, as a reward for the patience, we harvested carrots! Check out these amazing pictures – starting from Mr. Diaz leading the charge to the kids harvesting. I am so…

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Reducing Landfill Waste at Micheltorena

Wheeew, what a week and it’s only Wednesday! We have been hard at work teaching lessons at Micheltorena, and during our down time, working on getting the kids to eat healthy, find homes for perfectly good food and compost what can’t be saved. I’ll start with harvesting, it was lesson 6 in our rotation. Meaning…

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Winter Wonder

A wet slippery winter is here and students came to find a  messy garden.  The cold months of December, January and February are for gardeners to care and do maintenance in the garden. These long and cold months are great for making seedlings, prune herbs and fruit trees,  amend and test soils, harvest cool veggies, herbs…

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Valley View Digests

I looooove teaching the kindergarteners about the six parts of the plant so so much.  I love it because the best part of the lesson (other than learning what an amazing job all those parts have) is getting to eat those parts as we go along!   From flowers like purple broccoli to seeds like…

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St. Patrick’s Connects

The middle school kids at St. Patrick’s have spent a LOT of time in the garden at this point.   They’ve also learned a lot.  But after coming back out for a second session this year, I asked them to connect with the plants that they planted a couple months earlier.   They really went…

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Cooking – Dominguez High

What’s Cooking!? Well in the classroom of Mr. Perez’ Nutrition and education period, we are cooking with what the garden gives us! Shredded pollo spiced with peoppers and tomatoes and a salsa freshly made with onions tomatoes, lemon & limes and herbs from our garden! When I tell you that the smell is incredible, I…

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Corn, Poppies, Broccoli

The garden at Frank Del Olmo has seemed to reach its winter climax. The past month has been filled with opportunities to snack on beets, sugar snap peas, broccoli, radishes and celery. When I arrived for the first time in late September we did a total overhaul of the summer plantings and now we are…

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Winter & Shelter

A wet slippery winter is here and students came to find a  messy garden.  The cold months of December, January and February are for gardeners to care and do maintenance in the garden. These long and cold months are great for making seedlings, prune herbs and fruit trees,  amend and test soils, harvest cool veggies, herbs…

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Leaf Identification at Lassen

It was a beautiful warm day to be in the garden. Our first classes for 4th and 5th Grades began with a review of the rules and a search of the garden for two different textures of leaves. We found curly kale, fuzzy sage, smooth Aloe Vera, colorful Swiss chard. We even have tomatoes in…

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Maintenance in Winter

A wet slippery winter is here and students came to find a  messy garden.  The cold months of December, January and February are for gardeners to care and do maintenance in the garden. These long and cold months are great for making seedlings, prune herbs and fruit trees,  amend and test soils, harvest cool veggies, herbs…

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Winter Salads & Other Wonders at T.S. King Middle School

Returning to the garden after the winter break offered some beautiful surprises, like the purple cauliflower we doted on for months! It was ready to harvest, as well as some beautiful varieties of radishes and turnips. We also needed to harvest some of our winter greens–lettuces, chards, and kales. So we made a big salad…

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A Seedling Start at Aspire Gateway

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Happy New Plants

   

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Winter Harvest

A wet slippery winter is here and students came to find a  messy garden.  The cold months of December, January and February are for gardeners to care and do maintenance in the garden. These long and cold months are great for making seedlings, prune herbs and fruit trees,  amend and test soils, harvest cool veggies, herbs…

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HaiKu Valentines for Ramona

The rain has kept us indoors for much of February, so why not spend Valentines Day making Haiku poems for our loved ones? After a quick lesson on how to organize this type of traditional Japanese poem the kids got to work.   I brought in a variety of colorful flowers, plants with texture and…

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Noteworthy Seed Disection at Ramona

Teaching about seed development is one of my favorite topics. It’s full of “Wow” moments. Like when I  hand them a dry lima bean, and ask them to peel off the seed coat.  Or when I show them a  jar with 30 dry lima beans, then the equivalent amount that I have soaked overnight in…

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Friends and Foes – Insects at Micheltorena

If you know me, you know I love working the soil. When I first started gardening, I was so naive about what makes a successful garden. I thought, “oh it must be the seeds!” As time goes on, I realize so much of the wonder of a productive garden comes from the soil. And so…

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New System for School Food Waste Composting at Micheltorena

We rolled out our first day of food collecting during lunch time at Micheltorena. Equipped with a bucket and a compost sign. I set it up at the lunch area. I had lunch with the kids and wanted to see what they were eating and what they were throwing away.   The kids who have…

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Beans are good for your Heart

A rainy day soundtrack of thunder and lightning did not hinder Yorkdale Elementary Tk, 4th & 5th graders from learning all about the parts of a seed. We began our class seated in a circle upon the floor in a large muti purpose room with focused students entranced in an exercise we dubbed, Parts of…

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TIOH Student Get Down and DIRTy

This month, the 2nd graders met some of my super helpful worm friends. We learned about how different they are from any human we have come across. I mean, do you know of any human that has 5 hearts? Yes, I said FIVE hearts. We learned how helpful they are for our soil, and in…

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Gardner Artists and Observers

Gardner Kinder students really delved into their artistic side as we discovered and learned about the different parts of plant. We put our writing and drawing skills to the test while putting our own personal touches to our creations. Watch out, Picasso! I see some new artists in town! The second graders delved deep into…

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Rain Gain at Arroyo Seco

At Arroyo Seco, the rains brought in lots of growth! Our leafy greens grew many more beautiful green and two-toned leafs. Our cauliflower started to make their debut and even some rain-loving fungi (mushrooms) started growing – not to worry, they were promptly removed after observing how beautiful, creative, and interesting they were! I also…

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A Moment of Zen Aromatherapy at Mt. Washington Elementary School

In January, while our brave teachers and students were striking in the pouring rain, we calmly cheered them on from inside our cozy classrooms with garden aromatherapy. Sitting in a circle on a blanket, we identified stuff that cause us to feel stress in our lives.  Children shared candid examples of their personal fear &…

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Let’s Talk Dirt @ Micheltorena

It’s so nice to be back in the garden after the long break, only this time I have younger classes and boy has it been an adventure! It’s nice to go from week 1 of “ewwwww” when we see insects to genuine curiosity as to why insects live where they do. We couldn’t have chosen…

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Calvert 3rd Graders Strengthen Their Research Skills

Our 3rd Graders this week took to their field journals to make observations about leaf shape, size, vein and stem structures. This work built off of previous lessons on garden mapping and co-planting. We discussed how these structural and design differences lend to better absorbing light, moving around nutrients, and fitting next different plants in the…

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Herbs Herbs Herbs and Spices with Mayberry 1st Graders

Mayberry 1st Graders got up-close with new smells, sights and textures this week. Along with their teacher, we discussed how to identify key differences between herbs and spices (think leaves/seeds vs bark/roots). Students tested their senses noting differences in smell and texture, and found not all were pleasant.  We had fun telling stories about tacos…

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The Three Sisters and a Winter Salad.

Calvert’s kids this week learned about the ancient tradition of companion planting. The most well known system, The Three Sisters, was developed by Native Americans and to go over the pattern we drew diagrams with chalk on the asphalt. We talked about the importance of arranging crops so they complement one another based on their different requirements…

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Thinning Carrots at The Accelerated School

The kids were excited to be back after rainy weather and work stoppages  kept us out of the garden for awhile.  But the garden didn’t take any time off and we had lettuces, broccoli, strawberries and radishes growing and growing.  Also, loads of crazy carrot tops.  So we thinned them out and had little carrot…

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‘Digester’ laziest way to feed soil!

January started with a bang! Lots of much wanted and needed rain absorbed by the cover cropped beds and mulched pathways. Plus an extension of the winter break with a teacher strike that brought everyone back to the garden with so much renewed enthusiasm that it made my new approach to teaching so much easier…

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