Field reports from

Thomas Starr King Middle School

The edible garden at Thomas Starr King Middle School was completed in 2009 with the help of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, Whole Foods, Council Member Tom LaBonge, and Silver Lake Farms.

Sweet potatoes, vermicompost, and aquaponics – Thomas Starr King Middle

By Matt Heidrich / October 21, 2017

Today we planted sweet potato slips and amended the beds with vermicompost. Sweet potatoes are fun, easy to grow, and have edible greens and roots. Worm compost will help our plants grow! Aquaponics is growing fish and veggies together.

Read More

Cuttings and herbs at Thomas Starr King Middle School

By Matt Heidrich / October 9, 2017

Today at TSK, we learned to take cuttings. This is when you chop and plant the stem, vs starting from seed. We put lots of new signs in the garden today!

Read More

Garden all day at TS King!

By Matt Heidrich / September 26, 2017

Garden classes continue at TS King Middle school and the garden is looking great! Today we planted lots of beets, herbs, peas, flowers and beans. We saw a cool praying mantis too. Of course we planted lemon verbena and purple tree collards – every garden should have them!

Read More

First day of garden class at TS King!

By Matt Heidrich / September 20, 2017

We are looking forward to another great year of garden classes at TS King! During our first class, we learned how to plant seeds and the rules of the garden. Love our garden mascot, the praying mantis!

Read More

Beans, squash, and beets on the last day of school!

By Matt Heidrich / June 9, 2017

Today we harvested our Zucchino Trampicante squash, Calypso beans, and Chiogga beets. We spread a thick layer of mulch in the paths to keep the geound cool during the summer heat. Looking forward to summer but we will miss our garden!

Read More

We won a thousand bucks for the garden!

By Matt Heidrich / June 5, 2017

Today we got our giant check for $1000 for our entry in a juice carton recycling program. We grew fungi on the cartons and then fed them to our worms to make rich compost. We will spend the money on the garden! We also saw lots of praying mantids and some squash is blooming.

Read More

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, and milkweed

By Matt Heidrich / May 30, 2017

Today we harvested our potatoes! We got a big one and a few small ones. We also harvested and ate apples from our garden. We harvested and planted milkweed seeds. We also planted sweet potato starts.

Read More

Fungi bed, flowers, ripening fruit

By Matt Heidrich / May 19, 2017

The garden is booming. We have olives and plums ripening on the trees; calypso bean pods are drying on the vine. The flowers look beautiful in the sun. Today we made an outdoor oyster bed-that is, pleurotus ostreatus, or the white oyster mushroom. It will add lots of fertility to the garden soil. We snacked…

Read More

Green beans, monarchs, and ladybugs

By Matt Heidrich / May 15, 2017

Today we had a great day in the garden. We amended the beds with compost and snacked on fresh green beans. We saw lots of beautiful flowers as well. The monarchs and ladybugs are having a good time buzzing around the garden!

Read More

Mushrooms, apples, and potatoes

By Matt Heidrich / May 12, 2017

It was a very exciting day. We have lots of oyster mushroom (Pleurotus Ostreotus) fruiting from milk cartons and used coffee grounds. We will soon feed this used up substrate to worms to make compost. Our main lesson today was on fungi. We snacked on brassica flowers. The potatoes have grown rapidly, so we hilled…

Read More

Scarlet runner beans, poppies, radish pods, and mushrooms in the worm bin

By Matt Heidrich / May 10, 2017

Today we harvested some scarlet runner beans and ate some madras radish pods. The lesson was on annual vs perennial plant reproduction. The poppies look great and the mushroom substrate is sprouting in the worm bin!

Read More

Sheet mulching, purple cabbage, scarlet runner beans

By Matt Heidrich / April 28, 2017

Today we did sheet mulching in the garden using cardboard and leaves. Sheet mulching controls weeds and adds fertility to the soil. We snacked on kale and swiss chard. The poppies are looking beautiful, and we have some scarlet runner beans ripening on the vine.

Read More

Apples, potatoes, mushrooms, and worms

By Matt Heidrich / April 21, 2017

Today we did so many fun things. We fed our used up mushroom substrate, aka old milk cartons, to the worms. They went crazy for it! We also hilled potatoes with straw and leaves, hopefully we will harvest them next month. For snacks we had spicy mustard flowers and fennel leaves. Every day in the…

Read More

Lizard, grasshopper, squash, and apples at Thomas Starr King

By Matt Heidrich / March 24, 2017

Today the lesson was on soil health and compost. We snacked on mint, broccoli flowers, and fennel. We were so lucky to see a lizard, a giant grasshopper, caterpillars, ladybugs, a hummingbird, and we even found an old lizardskin. We planted squash and saw that the apple tree is fruiting.

Read More

Praying Mantis hatching, fungi decomposing, garden salad

By Matt Heidrich / March 17, 2017

Today our lesson was on the 3 sisters, which are corn, beans, and squash. They all grow well together in the garden. We also had a preying mantis egg sac hatch during class today! More good news-our carton2gardens project is coming along niceley. The mycelium is vigorously colonizing the bags!

Read More

So Many Seeds at T S King

By team / March 16, 2017

Today I brought in my large basket of plant seeds to show the garden students just how many different seeds exist! It is amazing to see them all.  Even in the category tomatoes, I had a dozen varieties… that isn’t even near the amount of tomato varieties that exist. I let the kids pick out…

Read More

Turbocomposting – Carton2garden entry

By Matt Heidrich / March 11, 2017

We entered a contest to reuse milk and juice cartons in the garden. We did turbocomposting, which uses fungi and worms to rapidly accelerate the compost process. First we soaked the cartons until they were completely wet. Then we shredded them and put them in a repurposed plastic bag with coffee grounds and oyster mushroom…

Read More

Log swale construction continues

By Matt Heidrich / March 7, 2017

Today we continued work on our wonderful log swale. The swale will keep biomass on site, retain water, prevent erosion, and host fauna. We filled it with wildflower seeds so it will sprout and attract pollinators. We also studied how annual vegetables go to seed as once they detect a change in conditions.

Read More

Garden fun and learning

By Matt Heidrich / February 24, 2017

Today was a busy day in the garden! We learned about the 6 edible parts of a plant. We worked on the swale, planted potatoes, and drew on the blackboard. We also spotted a few anise swallowtail caterpillars!

Read More

Hugelkultur swales

By Matt Heidrich / February 17, 2017

We installed a hugelkultur (German for log bed) swale in the garden today! This will serve multiple functions. 1, it will slow down the flow of water down the slight grade, causing it to sink into the soil instead of washing down the storm drain. 2, the branches(from fruit trees trimmed on site) will absorb…

Read More

Fresh starts

By Matt Heidrich / February 14, 2017

Another wonderful rainy day! Today we learned about compost and soil health. We also got to learn about aphids-tiny bugs that eat our food and are in turn eaten by ladybugs! Lots of new seeds and seedlings in the garden today. We also transplanted some artichokes to a perennial where they will grow year round.

Read More

Soil life at Thomas Starr

By Matt Heidrich / January 27, 2017

Today we learned about soil and its importance when growing food. It’s more than just dirt! It is full of life and when the soil is healthy the food tastes great! Also, we found anise swallowtail caterpillars and a morel mushroom!! How lucky!

Read More

Flora and fauna

By Matt Heidrich / January 17, 2017

The garden is buzzing with life after the rain. The bees are enjoying radish flowers. The anise swallowtail caterpillars are hatching and munching on fennel. Today we learned about the rules and tools of the garden and explored.

Read More

Rainy days are great!

By Matt Heidrich / December 16, 2016

Today was a rainy day! Nonetheless, we were out in the garden. We transplanted some mint into this small raised bed. It is good to keep mint separate because it is a vigorous grower. The rain really brings out the vibrant colors of our plants. Red chard, purple mustard, and green nasturtiums all grow together.

Read More

Root division

By Matt Heidrich / December 13, 2016

The beds are looking beautiful on this cloudy day. Today we learned about root division. Some plants have big root systems that can be dug up and divided. Mint is one such plant. We dug up mint roots and put them in pots to grow. The purple mustard looks great with the orange marigolds!

Read More

Seedling mania at Thomas Starr King

By Matt Heidrich / December 3, 2016

We planted lots and lots of seedlings today. The kids love planting them! We planted cabbage, kale, broccoli, salad mix, and 2 kinds of mustard greens. These artichokes are volunteers! Nasturtiums are ready to climb the trellis.

Read More

Garden life

By Matt Heidrich / November 18, 2016

We spent a lot of time observing these Anise Swallowtail caterpillars today. They absolutely love the fennel plants in our garden. Nasturtium leaves are like lilypads! Water beads up and runs off of their surface. We found this earthball mushroom, or Scleroderma Polyrhizum, in the garden. It is not edible, but is a useful garden…

Read More

Compost and watering

By Matt Heidrich / November 15, 2016

Today we learned about compost and watering! By composting we can have a nutritious and healthy soil. We water with drip irrigation to minimize waste. If the drip system breaks down, we can always water by hand. This swiss chard loves conpost and water! This butterfly loves this milkweed plant!

Read More

Trellis building and perennials

By Matt Heidrich / November 4, 2016

Today construction began on our new trellis. We used string and sticks. The trellis will support climbing nasturtiums, which we have a lot of in the garden! The perennial bed includes milkweed and artichokes. Perennials grow year after year.

Read More

Pollinators and rainy days!

By Matt Heidrich / October 28, 2016

Plants are pollinated by a variety of methods. Milkweed attracts buuterflies to the garden. These purple peppers love the rain! Kohlrabi, marigolds and nasturtiums. Ranger Matt

Read More

Mulch and soil health

By Matt Heidrich / October 22, 2016

Today we learned about mulch and soil health. Here we see romaine and nasturtium growing together. Artichokes grow year round. Scarlet runner beans are coming up. We harvested these seeds from last years garden. Ranger Matt

Read More

Fall plants at Thomas Starr King

By Matt Heidrich / October 18, 2016

Today we planted some perennial herbs and fall plants. Perennial herbs grow year round. Artichoke is a perennial vegetable. Chard loves cool weather! Ranger Matt

Read More

Fall plants popping up at Thomas Starr King

By Matt Heidrich / October 8, 2016

Nasturtiums peeking up in the cool weather! Scarlet runner beans popping up! Bees are still buzzing around the fennel. Ranger Matt

Read More

Mulch and herbs at Thomas Starr King

By Matt Heidrich / October 1, 2016

Today we spread straw mulch on the garden. Mulch preserves moisture and keeps weeds down. Cuban oregano looks cool and smells great. Rue is bitter and adds body to soups and stews. Ranger Matt

Read More

Learning about compost and water conservation

By Matt Heidrich / September 23, 2016

Today the students learned about composting and water conservation methods. Here is the garden in the morning. Friendly praying mantis. Amaranth has edible leaves and seeds.

Read More

First day of garden class at Thomas Starr King Middle!

By Matt Heidrich / September 18, 2016

Today was the first day of garden class for Thomas Starr King Middle! Here are some of the cool things we found in the garden. These are dried artichokes. Very beautiful! This olive tree was planted in the first year of the garden. Fennel is beautiful and yummy. We sampled some of the fresh flowers-candy…

Read More

Thomas Starr King’s Fennel!

By team / August 26, 2016

Last week, the Garden Ranger interns helped clean up all the tall, drying fennel plants. They were full of seeds that were taken home to be saved! There were also other plants that were cleaned up and parts that were composted. Irrigation was also checked on and fixed according to what was needed to keep…

Read More

Getting started at TS King

By team / July 11, 2016

Last Thursday was my first official day volunteering with EnrichLA. I met up with my fellow volunteers at TS King Middle school, EnrichLA’s first school garden. I pass this school quite often but it was my first time getting to explore, and the garden – wild though it may be now – was lovely! We…

Read More

Fennel Everywhere!

By team / July 3, 2016

There was much work to be done at King-and it was quite a productive day. Pulling up Bermuda, trimming back nasturtium, cutting back mint and oregano, and planting seeds. The fennel was everywhere and smells amazing, and brings in many beneficial pollinators. Looking forward to returning!

Read More

The drought tolerent garden at facade of king middle is growing and watered by drip

By team / June 17, 2016
Read More

Garden Art at T.S. King Middle School

By gardener / May 24, 2016

Thanks to testing, our art students get some time in the garden today, so let’s plant some art on you! We aslo planted a Santa Rosa Plum to help pollinate some of our stone fruit trees here!  

Read More

Ocean Farmers and Imagination at T.S. King Environmental Science Magnet

By gardener / May 24, 2016

Our story starts today with a man who at the age of 14, once pillaged and over fished the oceans until all the fish left. He then moved onto a fish farm raising farmed fish in masses and believing that it was sustainable. The amount of antibiotics used and recycled into our oceans left him…

Read More

New orchard and drought tolerent garden to compliment new paint make over at King Middle School

By team / May 23, 2016
Read More

The vegetable garden at King Middle School has stood the test of time

By team / May 19, 2016
Read More

Does Compost Work? T.S. King

By gardener / May 16, 2016

So I preach compost, so let’s do an experiment and see how important it really is! I have these two twin like tomatoes, they grew up together, and have been the same size. We transplant one in soil, and one in soil and compost mixed together. We will keep them together in this plastic tub,…

Read More