Field reports from

Variety Boys and Girls Club

This is our first partnership with a Boys and Girls club! The rooftop garden at this Boys and Girls Club in Boyle Heights consists of 6 raised beds and an automated drip irrigation system. The garden was constructed with the wonderful help of over 100+ students from Marlborough School.

Making hummus at the Community Garden with VBGC!

On Tuesday March 6th, VBGC members made HUMMUS!! I brought along with me many ingredients, the canned garbanzo beans, tahini, spices, and of course a food processor. The members learned what ingredients and how much goes for a little small batch of hummus. Members enjoyed it so much, that they didn’t leave without writing down…

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VBGC members learn about Greens

We have definitely made plenty of salads in the last few weeks because we have an abundance of greens, but today we made it for a specific reason. Before making the salads, I had VBGC members use their journals to make a list of all the types of greens that we usually eat, while they…

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Talking about greens with VBGC at community garden.

The subject of the day on February 27th, was GREENS! Class started off by the making of a salad and dressing. I first pointed out the different greens I had brought along with me, dinosaur kale, romaine, beet greens and red Russian kale. I explained to the members that all have many nutrients, but that…

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So many Greens at VBGC!

The rooftop garden at VBGC has been doing so well, that we have been having an abundance of greens! The week before and this week on February 8th, I got to harvest some of the abundance to give to the parents when they came by to the club. When the VBGC members arrived we started…

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Seedling starts at the WM Community Garden with VBGC

Our little plot in the White Memorial Community Garden, has been growing slowly since our lasagna beds are technically new. We have little sprouts coming up which is exciting for the kids to see! For the first week of February, on a Tuesday afternoon , we gathered around to talk about seeds. We started off…

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Big Harvest at the VBGC Rooftop Garden!

December 21st, was a day of exploring, drawing and harvesting in our rooftop garden! It had been two weeks that we were last in the garden because the club was closed the week before, so we came to find many things ready to harvest. Harvesting lettuce to snack on! The Harvest of the day! -Ranger…

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VBGC Planting in the Community

VBGC members really got to look at the community garden details on December 12th. All members got a piece of paper to write with, and they followed me along while we wrote out the flowering plant life cycle on the board. Once done, they all got a magnifying glass to go find the different stages…

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Salad making with VBGC members!

Everything seems to grow so fast in this rooftop garden! With that being said, on December 7th, the VBGC members made salad with ALL the lettuce being from the garden! Everybody got to harvest at least two leaves to contribute to the salad. We made the dressing with some basic ingredients like Olive Oil, and…

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Continuing with the Beds at the Community Garden

On December 5th, I read a book to the VBGC members, called, “Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt”. The book talks about a grandma and granddaughter, fixing and working the garden through all the seasons of the year, while also showing what many insects and animals do, that are in the garden,…

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Garden Transition from Warm to Cool Season Veggies

By the end of November, all summer veggies would have been gone already, but since the weather continues to be a bit warm, summer veggies are still lingering in the garden. Because of that, the members and I have been slowly working on a bed one by one, each week. I cleared the bed for…

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Learning some basics at the Community Garden

While the VBGC members slowly help with building our new lasagna style beds, the members have also been getting introduced to some gardening basics during the month of November. One of our lessons was about seasons. Some students weren’t aware that squash, watermelon or cucumber are warm season plants. While broccoli, radish, and cauliflower are cool…

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Marigolds, the flower of Dia De Los Muertos

Our class at VBGC landed right on November 2nd which is Dia De Los Muertos! All the kids knew a bit about this Mexican holiday, and some shared with me that their parents had an altar at their homes. They shared with me what some of the items on the altar meant, like the water…

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First Day at the Community Garden with VBGC members!

November 7th, 2017 marked the first day of teaching at the new Variety Boys and Girls Club garden plot at the White Memorial Community Garden. This community garden has been around for MANY years, with community members of Boyle Heights having their own plots. White Memorial Hospital donated one of the plots to the Variety…

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VBGC members smelling the Marigolds!

It’s October 26th, and for this day VBGC members used their 5 senses in the garden. We first started off by using our sense of TASTE, which was some delicious lettuce that was ready to be harvested. After tasting our lettuce, the class had some time to explore the garden on their own using their…

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VBGC Members planting seeds

With tomatoes still giving us fruit, we are slowly moving into Fall season in the garden. Each week, we have been transforming the garden one bed at a time, getting it ready for fall. For this first week of October, the VBGC members helped by mixing in organic matter to the just-cleared bed, and finished…

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Seed Saving with VBGC members!

During garden class at the Boys and Girls Club, we discussed how the seasons are changing, and how the garden will be transitioning from warm to cool season plants. We also talked about how some of the plants in the garden will produce or have already produced seeds. I decided that in the last week of September,…

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VBGC just keeps on growing!

We are back on to regular garden classes after Labor Day weekend on September 7th. It’s been a whole year since the garden has been installed, and it is just glowing and growing! On the first day back, we had TWO small watermelons for both classes! Watermelons on a rooftop garden? YES!, you heard that…

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Variety Boys and Girls Club

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Seed Anatomy at VBGC

On June 1st we learned some seed anatomy! But first, we were surprised to see a beautiful cucumber that was ready to harvest, so we did and tried it! Everybody enjoyed it! To learn, we did a hands on activity, “dissecting” a bean seed. First, took the seed coat off, opened it in half and…

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Flower anatomy at Variety Boys and Girls Club

May 25, 2017 Today the club members learned about flowers, some anatomy and the reason for flowers. To learn the reason why there are flowers, I read a book called, “A Reason for a Flower”.  After reading the book we all learned that the reason for a flower is to make seeds, but also provide…

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Compost in a bag

May 18, 2017 The Club Members learned about COMPOST on Thursday! The first group had learned about Worm composting in the past but not regular compost. So, it was a great lesson for both groups! First, we learned why composting is great. It’s great because instead of throwing away food waste, grass clippings, dried leaves…

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1st day at Variety Boys and Girls club!

May 11, 2017 Today was my first day at Variety Boys and Girls club, I will be taking over Ranger S.K. for the rest of the year! For today, we learned about COMPANION PLANTING. What different plants can be planted near each other and help each other in some way, or which plants shouldn’t be…

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Seeds and Transplants and Harvesting

May 4th, 2017 Today we did it all! First we were able to harvest some potatoes. I think we did it a bit early but it was still fun! It doesn’t look like we harvested too many in this picture but every student WAS actually able to take home a spud. Then we transplanted some…

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What’s In Our Garden?!

April 20th, 2017 The school year is nearing it’s end and with that comes summer! During the summer the Variety Boys and Girls Club is going to have A LOT of new club members in the garden, and they are going to need help knowing what’s in our beds, especially since many of them are…

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Preparing a New Bed and Transplanting

April 13th, 2017 Today was a very exciting day! A few weeks ago we made warm season seedlings and today they were finally big enough to go into the garden! See the post from March 9th: http://enrichla.org/gardens/variety-boys-and-girls-club/climates-and-seasons-at-variety-boys-and-girls-club/ But first! We had to prepare our bed so that the seedlings had the perfect new home to…

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Six Edible Parts of the Plant

April 6th, 2017 Today we learned about the six edible parts of the plant, what each part does, and how we can identify them. First theres the seed, small and round. Then theres the roots, usually white and all twisted up and gnarled looking. Next comes the leaves, usually green and floppy and connected to…

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Three Sisters Garden at Variety Boys and Girls Club

March 30th, 2017 Have you heard of the Three Sisters? I read The Legend of the Three Sisters to the club members today … a story that talked about one sister, the oldest, who stood tall, with a green dress and golden hair, a second sister, who could only crawl at first and needed help…

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Water and Corn at Variety Boys and Girls Club

March 23, 2017 Today we learned about different ways to water our plants. We reviewed how water is used in our garden via drip irrigation. Then we brainstormed how we might water our plants if we didn’t have such a useful irrigation system. Hand watering with a watering can? Relying on the rain? Then I…

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A New Worm Bin at Variety Boys and Girls Club

March 2nd, 2017 This week we started a new worm home for our small and slimy friends. We talked about the key components of a good comfortable home: bedding, the right type and amount of food, moisture, and grit. I brought in a lot of cardboard products from my home and we talked again about…

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Climates and Seasons at Variety Boys and Girls Club

March 9th, 2017 The garden is a buzz with new life and flowers signaling a change in our seasons! Today we learned ALL about different climates and how climate determines the growing seasons. We learned that Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate, meaning it has cool wet winters, and hot dry summers. This means that…

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Friends and Foes in the Garden | Variety Boys and Girls Club

All the club members that come into the garden know that we must Respect All Living Things. Today we learned why. Some bugs and insects may look scary but they all play a part in the whole garden system. Even the “foes” of the garden are needed since our insect friends eat them. The part…

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Fertilizers and Transplanting

(First, here’s a picture of a sunflower that made it through the winter! How cool!) This week we reviewed what our nutrient tests told us last week, then we talked about how we could fix it! We learned about fertilizers and amendments and how amendments help the soil over time while fertilizers have nutrients that the plants…

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Testing for Nutrients and Growing Potatoes

Today we talked about how Los Angeles is transitioning into a new growing season. Even though it’s still pretty cold outside, especially at night, soon it will be the warm season, and with the warm season comes new plants! We talked about the importance of checking our soil for nutrients before every new growing season….

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Fruits or Vegetables at Variety Boys & Girls Club

When we learn plant parts, the definition of the fruit is always a source of confusion. Last week we dove into all the different plant parts that we eat and which of our “vegetables” are also fruit. We then explored the garden for different plant parts we could use for a snack. We found enough…

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pH Science Expiraments at Boys & Girls Club

Today we had a science expirament that was everything a kid could want, bubbling beakers, colorful chemicals, and surprising results! We started by talking about acids and bases and how certain plabts prefer acidic soil. Then we got to the fun stuff! We watched as acidic vinegar combined in a chemical reaction with baking soda…

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Sleepy Seeds and Mariachi Music at Variety Boys and Girls Club

Though the rain continued almost nonstop today, that didn’t deter students at B&G from taking a moment walk around and check out the garden plants. We found lots of the vegetables have grown a lot over the past few weeks and some are even ready to harvest! We also found a lot of new weeds…

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A Sprouting Bean and Vermicomposting!

December 8th, 2016 Things are getting festive at the Variety Boys and Girl’s Club! The painting class and Miss Avila’s library kids have been decorating the garden over the last week and it looks great! In Miss Avila’s class we continued our way through the life cycle of the plant. Last week we talked about…

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Seeds and Greenhouses and Soil, Dang that’s a lot

December 1, 2016 Last week with Miss Avila’s class we talked about the plant as a system. Starting with this week, we are making our way from seed to seed and talking more in depth about each part of the plant as it makes it’s way through the process. This week it was the seed!…

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The Plant as a System and A New Rotation of Gardeners

November 17th, 2016 In one of our classes today we talked about the different parts of the plant and how together they are a system working for a common purpose, to help the plant grow big and strong so it can make more seeds that will turn into more plants! We went over each of…

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Whole Foods Plant Based Pesto!

November 10th, 2016 First here’s an update on some of our broccoli and cauliflower plants! They had a bit of a slow start with all of the hot weather through October but are now finally going strong! Since we planted basil in our self-watering planters last week, this week I wanted to use basil in…

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Self-Watering Planters

November 3rd, 2016 Today was the second to last day for one of the classes so we made self-watering planters to take home! We talked about the process of recycling and how it can’t go on forever. Every time we go through the process we have to melt down the plastic and it gets less…

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Companion Planting Continued

First off here’s another update of our fava beans! They’re doing so great and the students love to see their progression every week. We continued our discussion on companion planting, going more in depth with some of the different ways plants can be companions for each other; nutrients, spacing (above ground space and root space),…

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Friends & Foes continued, Plus The Start of Companion Planting

We didn’t get a WHOLE lot of time after our initial Friends and Foes lesson to do some exploring in the garden, so the week after that first lesson we spent some serious time observing what friends and foes we had of our own. Students took notes as they explored. Then we made a poster…

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Friends and Foes of the Garden

We’ve all been seeing different bugs and insects in our garden so for week 6 we talked about how some are good, the Friends of the garden, and how some hurt our plants or our friends, the Foes of the garden. We played a game of Bingo and did some drawing to familiarize ourselves with…

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Soil Part II: Bringing the Parts Together

After seeing what the different soils looked like through sieving, the following week we did settlement tests to see how the three main types – sand, silt, and clay – all play a part in making good soil. Using dry laundry detergent to quicken the process, we compared different soil types to see which was…

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