Field reports from

Valley View Elementary School

The garden at Valley View Elementary School was revamped in Spring 2014. There is an arbor, outdoor kitchen, and picnic tables.

Valley View Learns all about Soil Structure

Water movement in soil drives the expansion of roots. Students at Valley View Elementary learned how soil structure effects how water moves through it and impacts plant growth. Observing some brilliant flowers in their garden they understood water was moving well in the soil. Blueberries and pears was a refreshing treat to end the lesson….

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Cool Season Warm Season at Valley View Elementary

As the temperature changes so do the best crops to grow. Valley View Elementary learned about seasonal planting and tasted some great cool season turnips with green onions. Some bolted broccoli made the pollinators very happy. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View Learns a thing or two about seeds

A seed lesson at Valley View Elementary let the students explore the sizes and parts of seeds. Know how seeds work help them plant small seeds at the right depth. A snack of pear with blackberry, lime, mint compote was a complex delicious snack. – Ranget Dan

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Valley View records the garden life cycle

It was a busy day in the garden at Valley View Elementary. Students learned and drew their own garden life cycles and had a chance to see it in their own garden. From primary consumers to decomposers the students whitnessed the cycle. The owner of the exoskeleton was discovered and beds were turned to make…

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Valley View observes the parts of a plant

Valley View has a lesson on plant parts and how they work together to make plants thrive. A blossoming strawberry made a perfect example of leaves, stems, fruit, flowers, and seeds working together. The snack of cucumber, lime, basil, and salt was enjoyed while examining a pristine grasshopper exoskeleton. – Ranger Dan

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Leaves of Valley View

Valley View has a lesson and leaves and gets to explore the many types of leaves in their garden. Green reflecting chlorophyll was explained and the traits of leaves were listed. Different leaf types are great indicators of the type of plants and the many types were recorded in the students journals. Cabbage, leeks, and…

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Valley View has a lesson on seeds

At Valley View Elementary seeds were the topic of the day. Where they develop and what makes them similar was explained by having the students draw a simple diagram in their journals. Radicle (baby root) and cotyledons (first leaves) are present in every seed as that is what every plant needs to start life on…

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Valley View Starts a Bed of Native Plants!

At Valley View, we started a bed just for native plants. Students learned that California native plants do not require the water and soil amending that the other fruits and vegetables in the garden need. They did a school walk to discover plants in the area doing well without additional water and took some seeds…

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Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers at Valley View!

As the students at Valley View Elementary learned about the garden life cycle, they explored their garden to find examples of the crucial players. Lots of life gave lots to discover as they digested their snack of cucumber and mint. – Ranger Dan As the students at Valley View Elementary learned about the garden life…

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Valley View Elementary Learns Plant Parts and Their Functions

Valley View Elementary had a lesson on plant parts and their functions. A snack made of seeds, fruits, and leaves (corn, tomatoes, and basil) helped the students realize how delicious the parts can be in the right combination. Some primary consumers were spotted and made a great precursor to future lessons. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View Elementary returns to the garden

As the students at Valley View Elementary returned to the garden they were greeted with garden protectors and a healthy snack. Strawberries with basil and lime got the kids energized to explore and observe some secondary consumers keeping and eye out in their herb patch. Journals were created to make sure all the adventures can…

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Valley View Elementary School

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Valley View Celebrates Dohnut Day Their Own Way

A healthy alternative to the morning treat is whole grain bread with yogurt, honey, and fresh fruit. The students at Valley View Elementary enjoyed it before some summer planting (cup protection from pill bugs). After the potato harvest the students helped trun the bed and plant a cover crop. – Ranger Dan

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Potatoes Potatoes Potatoes

A huge potato harvest at Valley View Elementary sent the kids home with hands full. Patience and trust were definitely practiced as these underground swollen stems formed. 100 plus days from seed to harvest and well worth the wait. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View helps manage pest insects and learns which are friends

At Valley View Elementary the students helped mulch and keep the pill bugs in check, as well as incorporating organic material into the soil and help retain soil moisture during the hot summer months. Although decomposers are our friends too much of a good thing can be harmful to the garden. A lesson on predatory…

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Valley View helps each other just like plants

Today Valley View students learned about companion planting and talked about who they help and who helps them. Then they helped me prepare some fresh corn salsa, as well as harvest some radishes to cut them up to share. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View digs in

Valley View Elementary students won’t tolerate weeds in their garden and gladly spend time digging them out. Making sure not to add them to the compost, they removed the unwanted guests and cooled off with a refreshing sample of homemade lemonade with mint from their garden. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View learns a thing or two about mulch

At Valley View Elementary the students had a lesson on mulch and its benefits in the garden. A snack of colored peppers with herbed greek yogurt made a great snack to transition into spring. We even planted the green onion roots to get a jump start on snacks for the rest of the year. –…

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Valley View Elementary helps maintain their garden and learns how to start their own.

Lots to do at Valley View. Carrots were harvested and quickly eaten. The beds were amended and turned over to get ready for new plants. The students also learned how to turn different containers into seed starting containers for their own home gardens. – Ranger Dan

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Hommage to St Patrick

As the season changes a lesson on crop rotation was perfect for the students at Valley View Elementary. Carrots were harvested and eaten with cabbage and a little garlic sauce (greek yogurt, fresh garlic, salt/pepper). The spring flowers are already blooming and bringing in some pollinators. – Ranger Dan

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Garden Maintenance; work smarter not harder

At Valley View Elementary students helped in the garden my removing weeds to get ready for mulching. A lesson on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) taught them that many techniques are executed to keep the garden healthy without using chemicals. Carrots were enjoyed by all and a little planting for next season took place. – Ranger…

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The Colors of Health

Making sure the cornucopia of vitamins and minerals are incorporated into your diet can be tricky. At Valley View Elementary students learn that a colorful plate is a good way to make sure their nutritional needs are being met. Jicama and blueberries make a great snack and way to get in some white and blue/violet…

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Whole Foods v Processed Foods

At Valley View Elementary the students learn the various types of processed foods; some are just packaged whole foods for convenience and others are very far removed from garden inhabitants. A taste test of different levels of tomato preparation from whole to sundried to processed. The garden has some unwanted guests but at least they…

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Used Coffee Grounds and the Garden

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Compost Keeps the Garden Happy; The Students Prefer Lettuce Wraps

Valley View Elementary snacked on some carrots, turnips, and lettuce from the garden with some hummus to tie it all together. One of the carrots fell victim to an unwanted guest but the compost pile was happy to reclaim it for future garden residents. Students learned that little goes to waste in the garden thanks…

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A lesson on seeds and a beautiful treat.

At Valley View Elementary the students learned about seeds; how they develop into plants, what conditions break their dormancy, and how they are spread. Examining peas from the garden shows a defined radicle ( baby root) and split cotyledon (seed nutrition and first leaves). Purple carrots are growing beautifully and the students sampled the sweet…

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Valley View Elementary Learns About Soil and Makes a Healthy Dip

  At Valley View Elementary the students learned the composition and properties of soil. Everyone participated, adding a pinch and dash to create a snack companion. Parsley and Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Salt/Pepper, Greek Yogurt, Rice Vinegar; a healthy play on ranch that the kids enjoyed with lettuce from their garden. Some students took time…

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Valley View Learns the Value of Eating the Rainbow

At Valley View Elementary the students learned that a colorful plate is a healthy plate. A review of each color that grows in the garden, some time to draw favorites of each, then a colorful snack of blueberries, yellow peppers, and fresh lettuce from the garden made for a great indoor lesson. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View Munches the Blues Away

Even though the garden was too muddy and wet to visit, we brought plenty of delicious snacks into the classroom to keep the students at Valley View Elementary connected to their beautiful greenspace.  All the classes ate seconds and thirds of delicious kale, arugula and radish “tacos” and were happy to do so.  The first…

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Valley View Elementary Learns the Value of a Colorful Plate

The colors we see in fruits and veggies can be indicators of the nutrients and vitamins contained in them, creating pigments that cause the different colors. Lettuce and radishes from the garden made for a nice snack. Carrots are coming up nicely and will add great color to the plate in a few months. –…

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Valley View Elementary Has a Lesson on Compost and Views Their Bin

Valle View Elementary has a compost lesson to help understand that nothing goes to waste in the garden. The students learn the correct ratio of brown to green and practices replicating it by making a trail mix. Pretzels, sesame sticks, almonds, papitas, and dried green beans make a delicious compost mix. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View Elementary Learns how Seeds Grow and Spread

At Valley View Elementary the students learned about seeds; what makes them leave dormancy and what helps them spread. A snack made of peanut butter, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and honey lets them reap the benefit of the nutrients packed in seeds. A walk through the garden showed them developing plants at different…

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Valley View Elementary Gets the Feel for Properties of Soil

At Valley View Elementary students learned about soil and how the right combination helps give plants what they need. The students felt an example of the wrong combination to illustrate the idea. They also learned about percentages and proportions as a simple guac was made using 4 ingredients to represent the parts of soil. –…

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The Garden Life Cycle was Explained to the new Cycle of Students at West Vernon Elementary

As a new round of students start garden class at West Vernon Elementary they learn the life cycle in their garden and the importance of all the decomposers. Some weeding helps their compost bin and a few mid season snacks make for a sweet introduction. – Ranger Dan

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Plant Part Simon Says at Valley View Elementary

A rainy day took class indoors last week at Valley View Elementary. But not to worry, the students learned all about the plant parts and their functions through a themed game of Simon Says. And of course their was time to taste some of the parts as we dipped celery root slices into fresh onion…

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Valley View Elementary Starts a New Cycle and Learns the Garden Life Cycle

As a new set of students start garden class at Valley View Elementary they learn about the life cycle in the garden. A tour allows the students to see the new crops coming in. A rejuvenated irrigation system will help crops now and in the future. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View Elementary Learns Seasonal Shifts

As the weather cools Valley View Elementary learns that different plants will do better than the existing ones. Out with the old and in with the new to keep the garden healthy and producing. – Ranger Dan

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Valley View Learns about Compost and Garden Care

Students at Valley View Elementary learned about compost this week. Taking out summer crops and unwanted grass as ingredients for decomposers to help create compost and make space for the new. Lettuce is sprouting nicely. Then some students even gave me a tour and we discovered compost taking place in nature. – Ranger Dan

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Seed Saving At Valley View

Last week at Valley View Elementary I had a lot of fun subbing.  The garden was thriving, especially the flower and herb bed.  The kids had a lesson on seeds.  We read “A Seed Is Sleepy” and discussed the wild and exciting life of a seed.  Lots of kids expressed their desire to actually be…

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Making Space for the new at Valley View

Valley View Elementary students help turn the soil and make space for new crops. Leaving some flowers to make sure the beneficial insects stick around. – Ranger Dan

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Hands on Learning at Valley View

This week at Valley View we learned about proper portions and measurements through soil and planting. -Ranger Dan

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Producers and Consumers at Valley View Elementary

Can you find the producers, primary consumers, and secondary consumers? -Ranger Dan

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Valley view – plus compost

Hello garden friends, First impressions of valley view drew me to the lovely herbs and friendly plant manager, Milton. Today I amended the beds with compost so we can plant some pumpkin starts in the next week.

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Valley View Elementary

Valley View…what a magical place. We began fossilizing our flowers last week, and this week we are having Potato Fest! Stay tuned! In the meantime, Here are some fun pictures of our fossil day- the kids learned the importance of fossils, and getting messy being a productive experience!  

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Even plants have Best Friends!

There are many flowers to smell at Valley View! We have been learning about the importance of companion planting, and making sure our plants get nestled by their best friends. We planted seeds and finished clearing out beds, and enjoyed a snack with tzatziki dip-our new favorite dip! We will be planting new best friends…

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