Field Reports

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South Gate Middle School

The (one acre!) garden at South Gate Middle School was renovated in Spring 2012 with the help of Cal State Los Angeles, UCLA, F.I.S.H., Kaiser Permanente, and board member Bennett Kayser. There are large planting fields, picnic tables, and seating arbors. There are also newly installed raised beds and an outdoor kitchen area.

Exploring Soil at South Gate Middle 

Exploring Soil at South Gate Middle 

We’ve been having mad fun over at South Gate while their usual Ranger Yancy is on paternity leave. We’ve learned a lot about soil and the kids went to all four corners of the garden searching for rich soil and poor soil(dirt). They learned that soil is alive and dirt is dead, and learned the…

The coolest kids on campus – South Gate middle

The coolest kids on campus – South Gate middle

Of course every kid is cool in their own special unique way…… BUUUUUT, it’s hard to compete with kids who make a book called the book of bookness – and inside it is their project on veggies! This is so cool! This is such a great idea, they have researched facts about the veggies and…

Sunny South Gate – South Gate middle

Sunny South Gate – South Gate middle

These amazing kids at South Gate middle school. So, this week was all about awareness and observations. Observations about what’s going on around them about what’s going on in the garden and how they feel that all is connected.. We took a big chunk of time finding beneficials and pests, spirals of life and of…

Good food for birthdays – South Gate Middle

Good food for birthdays – South Gate Middle

You know its lunch time at South Gate middle school when the kids run out to the blacktop and basketball coruts and a group of kids make their way to the garden benches, where we eat, chat, work and cook. Today, we made sure to made lunch for a couple birthdays for the garden crew.…

Bunny’s love Carrots

Bunny’s love Carrots

So during lunch in the garden at South Gate middle school, the kids got a hold of the carrots and then go a hold of my phone to where the bunny filter became most inevitable! Check it out!   We also got our hands diry and into some organic horse manure.. The dried balls of…

Carrot Power – South Gate middle

Carrot Power – South Gate middle

Peace to the carrots and my alumni garden students! These girls and boys surprise me every week in the garden with their smiles and energy, ready to work, explore and EAT! They love to eat, haha.. And so, the old students are showing my new students the way of garden life, as we pull carrots,…

Serve It Up – South Gate Middle

Serve It Up – South Gate Middle

  There is so much love at South Gate Middle school. So much love for the garden, and for each other.. And all of that good green garden love was transferred into the hands of the students, our intern Miss Jess and I, as we picked from a variety of lettuce kale nasturtium cabbage green…

Lovely  Day at  -South Gate Middle

Lovely Day at -South Gate Middle

Today was a good day! With a new class and a cool new intern named Miss Jess, we harvested the rest of the broccoli that had not flowered yet, stripped the leaves off and made broccoli bouquets. We also ripped, pulled and yanked the weeds and old plants out of the garden and planted new…

Clearing beds on a Cloudy day – South Gate middle

Clearing beds on a Cloudy day – South Gate middle

Today we did a lot in a little bit of time.. The rain was here and there but today we had a special guest, Jessica, a new intern, was here to help me pull weeds and old plants to get prepared for new plants! On our lunch break, a few of my old students came…

Broccoli Flowers – South Gate Middle

Broccoli Flowers – South Gate Middle

Well, the rain is much needed. And today most of my classes had inside lessons on the parts of plants, since this is our first week back from break with new kids. But as soon as we saw the rain let up, we jogged out to the garden to get a glimpse of what it…

GARDEN PARTY, HUGS AND HARVEST! – South Gate middle

GARDEN PARTY, HUGS AND HARVEST! – South Gate middle

Our last day together was bittersweet but TASTY, over at South Gate Middle school…. These kids are wonderful and hardworking. I’ll miss these guys and girls. Soooo… What we did was get our hands extremely dirty as we harvested everything that we could, weeded and prepared our garden beds for next years class!  And then!!!…

BUGGIN OUT

BUGGIN OUT

I enjoyed this day for the screams and the jumps that some of the kids couldn’t help but to yelp out! So to today was “Let’s talk about Bugs” Day. As we set outside in the sun soaking up the vitamin D, we spoke about beneficial bugs, pests and the differences between them. This garden…

The adventures of Broccoli – South Gate Middle

The adventures of Broccoli – South Gate Middle

Our broccoli is arriving in style and with perfect timing! Today was literally Broccoli day as we chopped of the immature flower head and let the adventure begin!   See the brocc in the garden, see the brocc be a bouquet, see the brocc become best friends, see the brocc do homework, see the brocc…

Lunch in the Garden – South Gate Middle

Lunch in the Garden – South Gate Middle

What can I say, We have fun at South Gate and even though class never seems to be long enough, we make more time for more garden fun! A handful of students have been beating me to the garden at lunch. ALready at the garden tables waiting, eating and chatting. I gotta say, it’s really,…

We’ve Got the Juice!-South Gate Middle

We’ve Got the Juice!-South Gate Middle

Yes! The Juice we Got!! A day of tasting organic vegetables and fruits! The students took over the juicer and told me to step back as they handled pressing the fresh juice and handling the compost..  This concoction has fresh organic oranges apples carrots and mustard greens to add a big spice! Kids loved it!

Nutrients and The stinky stuff -South Gate Middle

Nutrients and The stinky stuff -South Gate Middle

Today’s lesson was all about fertilizer.. We learned the difference between organic and synthetic. We learned the 3 basic Macro nutrients N-P-K and I even gave them a pop quiz to test their knowledge on what macro nutrient should be used in certain scenarios. And the best paprt of the class: Smelling those good ol…

DIG IT – South Gate Middle

DIG IT – South Gate Middle

Digging weeds with hands and shovels. All to avoid those pesky troubles. 1 weed 2 weed 3 weed 4. Don’t stop now there’s a thousand more!  Herbs looking great. Broccoli and Mustards doing well!! -YC

I Scream. You Scream. 

I Scream. You Scream. 

We all scream for #Onions.  Just kidding. But what a marvelous day it was this past Thursday at South Gate Middle. The day was interrupted by a earthquake drill and so since we couldn’t have class, I invited students to come over to the garden where I’d be cooking during lunch! With some heat and…

Herbs for Her

Herbs for Her

This week at South Gate Middle we are talking about herbs as we let our newly planted cole crops gain some root action in the garden.. We will be working on an herb project for the next couple week. These two young ladies caught me working in the garden and wanted to do something as…

It’s a Carrot thing.

It’s a Carrot thing.

From Underground to Playground to Plate. Today we pretty much destroyed to rebuild. Okay well, we didn’t really destroy but we did dig out a lot of weeds, pull out a lot of over-seasoned plants (to compost) and scavenge the ground for any edible roots we could find.  Did we find any? You bet your…

Bye Summer. Hi Fall.

Bye Summer. Hi Fall.

Demolition Team, Harvest Team, Engineering team – South Gate middle school was so booming today, I had to highlight the students twice. This time I’ll let the pictures do the talking 🌿: As the 6th and 8th grade clean up crew beautified and made space for the new plants, 8th grader engineering team built the…

A Healthy Harvest

A Healthy Harvest

This week at South Gate Middle school we spent our time learning the anatomical structure of a flowering plant.  The beauty in understanding how something works and then seeing nature prove your understanding correct (in various ways) is quite the exhilaration. We’ve built confidence in our classroom learnings and decided to take it to the…

Compost Crash Course

Compost Crash Course

South Gate middle school got a crash course lesson on composting and it will pay off big time when our new composting bins arrive next week!! These kids are sharp and completely ready for food recycling, chopping, turning, watering and so on. With the beautiful and big garden they have, we will need a lot…

Papers Pencils Books & Beets

Papers Pencils Books & Beets

Why not be so proud of your garden’s production that you pull a beet and display it right on your desk!?  As South Gate students continue to wow me with their energy, we get deeper into the soil (lessons) Today was all about soil textures and the composition of soil. We jogged to the garden…

Beeting the Heat!

Beeting the Heat!

South Gate middle school. First day. Success! The wild garden in this school has got to be one of the coolest. It’s like walking in a jungle of edible foods and pretty wild flowers. The kids of South Gates middle school will be helping me maintain the edible forest (aka garden) while letting nature show…

When everything grows…

When everything grows…

The South Gate garden looks better than ever! EVERYTHING is growing, even the bermuda and nutsedge grasses! We spent time weeding and pruning among the butterflies, bees, and japanese beetles. It was lovely to work with Ranger Lead Hope and new Rangers Yancy and Catalina. Principal Mack came out to visit and we all had…

Sweet Strawberry Summer

Sweet Strawberry Summer

The relationship between plant and sun may be most recognizable during the warm season of Summer! As the kids of South Gate middle school take their summer vacations, their strawberry plants are hard at work from sun up to sun down, and then some! Hope Cox and I swung by South Gate to straighten up…

Planting at Southgate Middle

Planting at Southgate Middle

Today at South Gate Middle School, we tended to our best friend, the soil. We harvested all of our winter crops and planted flowers-marigolds, snap dragons, and petunias. We also planted beans to continue mending soil, before we put our squash in. The kids and I had a blast out there-the garden can be peaceful,…

Composting at Southgate

Composting at Southgate

The Southgate Middle school gardens are looking really great. Students spend time every Wednesday taking care of their plants by weeding, watering, and adding nutrients when needed. The tomato plants are blossoming well and it’s great for students to see their hard efforts pay off. This week at Southgate, students learned about composting. Students were…

Pest Control at Southgate

Pest Control at Southgate

This week Southgate students learned about the various natural pest control methods that can be applied in organic gardening rather than using harmful pesticides or chemicals. Students learned about companion planting with onions, garlic, nasturtiums, and basil to deter pests. Students then planted these things in their garden plots. Students learned about neem oil, a…

Soil enrichment at Southgate

Soil enrichment at Southgate

Southgate middle school has been working hard to take care of their plants, watering, weeding, and now adding nutrients to the soil. Students learned about some ways to feed their plants by adding essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to the soil. One element most plants need is nitrogen. Students were able to…

Local Food at Southgate

Local Food at Southgate

Southgate students learned about the benefits of harvesting and eating food grown locally. Students learned about how much of the food in markets comes from far away and how important it is to grow food locally so they lessen the size of their “carbon footprint.” Students then harvested cabbage, cilantro, and mint grown in their…

Southgate marketing slogans

Southgate marketing slogans

Southgate middle schoolers got creative this week as they created their own slogans for veggies and fruits. Students learned about marketing and what role this plays in influencing what our society eats and how most marketing we see on TV is for junk and processed food. Students also harvested celery and planted beets and marigolds…

Garden Hats & Planting at Southgate

Garden Hats & Planting at Southgate

Southgate students were hard at work this week planting an assortment of spring vegetables, just in time for a little rain. Students planted peppers, tomatoes, corn, strawberries, and onions. The garden is looking so nice and students have come so far in learning how to start a garden and restore land by adding a little…

Preparing to plant at Southgate

Preparing to plant at Southgate

Southgate middle school’s garden is looking good as the students have been hard at work restoring the old garden beds. This week, students learned about the benefits of compost as they added some soil ammendment to the existing soil and continued to pull weeds. Things are coming along and everything should be good to start…

Southgate garden restoration

Southgate garden restoration

Southgate Middle school already has great garden boxes built by students and Enrich LA, but this garden space is huge and there are plenty opportunities to restore underutilized land. Southgate students have been working together to restore some of the unused garden boxes at the entrance to the garden. Students have been working together making…

Newspaper pots at Southgate MS

Newspaper pots at Southgate MS

This week was Southgate Middle school’s last week in the garden before break. A whole new group of students will be joining us after winter break. To wrap up this semester, Southgate students learned how to make newspaper pots out of recycled newspaper using an origami folding technique. After a little practice, students were able…

Getting to work at Southgate Middle School

Getting to work at Southgate Middle School

Students came off their Thanksgiving break with a bang. After spending their last session in the garden designing garden space blueprints, students were ready to get to work. Students worked together clearing space for garden plots, mulching pathways, and ripping out large roots, weeds, grass and even some root maggots. It was wonderful to see…

Garden Architects at Southgate Middle School

Garden Architects at Southgate Middle School

Southgate middle schoolers started a new project where they began the process of designing garden spaces. As part of the STEM curriculum, students learned about the first stages of developing blueprints. Students also learned about companion plants and had thoughtful deliberation within groups about what to include in their garden designs. It was wonderful to…

New Raised Beds – another DoGoodBus event!

New Raised Beds – another DoGoodBus event!

On Wednesday Oct 14, 2015 – 85 (!) employees from Just Fab Fashions in El Segundo teamed up with the DoGoodBus to install new raised planter beds at South Gate Middle School. Many thanks to a long day of work with EnrichLA – Tomas, Felipe, Frank, and Eleanor, the school’s tireless ranger! Joining these fabulous…

South Gate Middle School – Back to School Activity

South Gate Middle School – Back to School Activity

DeeG and Shaylyn visit – Aug 21, 2015 Courtesy of South Bay Gardens, I purchased 2 grape vines – 1 green, 1 purple – for South Gate.  Very exciting! These SouthBay Gardens seedlings are destined for Bryson, Juan Cabrillo, and Woodlawn Elementary Schools….anaheim chili, eggplant, and spinach. The students are BACK!  The dynamic science teacher,…

DoGood Bus….does good!

DoGood Bus….does good!

DeeG visit (with Tomas, Kirsten, Edith, and Erin from EnrichLA) 7/17/15 WOW!  I can’t say enough good things about the DirectTV summer interns working today at SouthGate Middle School. We had approximately 30 volunteers on the DoGood bus, and they did a LOT of GOOD! This school’s garden has a MAJOR infestation of bermuda grass.…

South Gate MS – Large and Lush Garden – May 15, 2015

South Gate MS – Large and Lush Garden – May 15, 2015

Dee G. visit to: South Gate Middle School; South Gate, CA This garden is so big!  There are a large variety of healthy plants – One of the school’s science teachers showed me some “survivor” radish plants from an Acid Rain classrooom experiment.  I wish I had taken a photo of them.   There is so much going on…