Field reports from

Vine Street Elementary School

The garden at Vine Street Elementary School was completed in Fall 2013 with the help of Fox Gives. There are eight raised beds, a fence, and arbor.

Compost Amends the Beds at Vine St

By Danny Yaffe / October 15, 2017

The students at Vine St gave the garden a boost while removing summer plants. They used compost and learned about how expired plants are used to feed new plants with the help of decomposers in the compost bin. Beds were cleared, amended, replanted, and mulched. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St Learns the Soil Formula

By Danny Yaffe / October 13, 2017

At Vine Street Elementary, students had a lesson on soil and the components that make it hospitable to healthy plants! Learning the recipe for healthy soil and a healthy snack of zucchini, leeks, basil, and lemon kept the students smiling. Seeing some flowering mint gave them an illustration of the previous lesson on plant parts.…

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Vine St Elementary Completes the Garden Life Cycle

By Danny Yaffe / October 13, 2017

Vine St had a lesson on whose eating what in the garden. They learned that decomposers complete the garden life cycle and were challenged to come up with several examples that live in their garden. Keeping track in their journals helped them to realize it takes many organisms to keep the garden growing. – Ranger…

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Vine St Elementary Learns the Soil Recipe

By Danny Yaffe / October 11, 2017

Vine St Elementary has a lesson on soil and how each ingredient needs to be in the right proportion to be useful to the plants. Looking back at their journals to the lesson on plant parts and examining some roots really made the lesson tangible. A snack of zucchini lemon and rosemary was surprisingly well…

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Vine St Elementary has a colorful snack and saves some seeds

By Danny Yaffe / September 19, 2017

A colorful end of summer snack was a visual and delicious treat for the students and Vine St Elementary. Out with the old and in with the new! Students help save seeds from spent summer plants, aerated and amended the newly vacated beds, and started seeds for the upcoming change in seasons. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St starts the year with observations

By Danny Yaffe / September 19, 2017

Vine St Elementary had an active garden this summer. The students were able to see the fruits (or should I say seeds) of its labor. Journal were created to make sure they are keeping track of what is learned and seen. -Ranger Dan

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Colorful harvest and garden planning

By Danny Yaffe / June 10, 2017

At Vine St Elementary the students tasted yellow carrots and basil paired with raspberries. A garden plan was worked on using blanks of their garden and a plant spacing index. Skills were put to the test as the garden classes come to a close. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St Harvests, Snacks, Plants

By Danny Yaffe / June 5, 2017

Students at Vine St Elementary were exploring the garden and observing plant spacing as well as bed placement and sizes as they got ready to design their own edible gardens. Carrots were harvested and snacked on with some yellow squash. Tomatillos are coming in nicely and summer flowers are beginning to show. – Ranger Dan

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By Danny Yaffe / May 23, 2017

At Vine St Elementary the students harvested and ate the last few of the root crops in the garden. A lesson on crop rotation explained why we won’t plant the same things in the place where they were just grown. Avoiding nutrient depletion of the soil, keeping last years pests and diseases in the past,…

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Busy Day at Vine St Elementary

By Danny Yaffe / May 18, 2017

At Vine St Elementary the students had lots to do. Removing a mint bed and planting a cover crop, transplanting some peppers, releasing butterflies, and of course a sweet date snack. The lesson on friend or foe insects in the garden was complimented nicely with the additional pollinators. Students learned that pollinators and decomposers aren’t…

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Vine St Elementary knows what works together

By Danny Yaffe / May 15, 2017

Vine St Elementary enjoyed some fresh corn salsa and learned about how plants can help each other grow. The roses are in full bloom and bringing lots of joy. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St Elementary; all hands in

By Danny Yaffe / April 28, 2017

At Vine St Elementary the students helped turn a bed and put into practice what they learned last week about mulch. A lesson on medicinal herbs was followed by a refreshing homemade mint lemonade. Well deserved after a hard days work. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St Elementary has a full harvest

By Danny Yaffe / April 25, 2017

At Vine St Elementary the students made room for spring planting and got to taste the efforts of the garden. Roots were on on the menu as we discussed the many benefits of mulch, especially useful in saving water during the hot summer months. – Ranger Dan

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Vine Street turns trash into treasure

By Danny Yaffe / April 20, 2017

Vine St Elementary gives common items a second life. Turning everyday containers, such as milk cartons, into seed starting containers showed the students how they could start their own gardens at home. A snack of carrot roots growing in the garden was then a well-deserved treat. Some students jumped at the chance to move by…

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Vine St Has a Work Day

By Danny Yaffe / April 6, 2017

Vine St had a great day in the garden putting into practice all the sustainable gardening techniques they learn about. We turned a bed and planted something that did well for crop rotation. We stripped some leaves for the compost bin. Some students layered mulch to save water and stop unwanted weeds and grass, as…

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Twas a lucky day at Vine St Elementary

By Danny Yaffe / March 23, 2017

For a St Patrick’s Day activity the students at Vine St Elementary got to clear a clover bed. Four, yes four, students found four leaf clovers!!! A seeds comparison showed sizes vary greatly yet similar anatomy exists throughout. Fresh spinach and avocado was a great green treat. – Ranger Dan

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Soil; how it works and methods to improve it.

By Danny Yaffe / March 19, 2017

At Vine St Elementary students learned about soil, it’s functions and components. The second round students students learned about crop rotation and various benefits it has (including building a healthy soil profile). Walking through the garden students saw the strawberries were almost ready. The flowers are blooming and bring some pollinators hopefully. A light snack…

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Integrated Pest Management and a Colorful Treat

By Danny Yaffe / March 3, 2017

Vine St Elementary knows that diligence and ingenuity is what allows their garden to succeed without chemical pesticides. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a large part of that. As various techniques were explained; dense planting (to crowd out weeds) was put into practice in one of the beds. A snack of beets with fresh onion…

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Plant Parts, So Many Snack Choices

By Danny Yaffe / March 2, 2017

The newest round at Vine St Elementary had a lesson on plant parts; how each one helps the plant and which part of each plant we can eat. Seeds, fruit, roots, and leaves were on the menu. The second round students learned the usefulness of coffee grounds in the garden to amend the soil, adding…

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Compost; thank you decomposers.

By Danny Yaffe / February 18, 2017

Creating the right mix of browns, greens, air, and water is what allows decomposers in the compost bin to turn spent garden residents into food for future residents. At Vine St Elementary the compost bin is relatively young so when some beds needed amending before replanting the students added and incorporated used coffee grounds as…

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Vine St Elementary Does Some IPM, Examines Seeds, and Eats Some Garden Goodies

By Danny Yaffe / February 13, 2017

Vine St Elementary students took a closer look at an almond as a part of a seeds lesson. The radicle is very visible against the white cotyledon, the two parts of a seed that start the development into a plant. Fresh garden lettuce with hummus (a two seed dip made from garbanzo beans and tahini)…

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Vine St Elementary Learns Soil and Crop Rotation

By Danny Yaffe / February 3, 2017

At Vine St Elementary the students learned how soil provides plants with what they need, and only works if the ingredients are in the right portion. Students helped amend the soil for a potato transplant. A snack of lettuce and onions fresh from the garden, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, was very popular. The…

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Vine St Elementary Sees Plants Parts in the Garden and Learns About Processed and Whole Foods

By Danny Yaffe / January 26, 2017

At Vine St Elementary the students learned about plant parts and saw some cool season crops in the garden. A snack of celery root for a few classes let them taste the difference in the parts of plants we eat. One of the classes is on their second round of the year and had a…

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Vine St Elementary Learns the Garden Life Cycle and Pitches In

By Danny Yaffe / January 19, 2017

A new garden cycle starts at Vine St Elementary and a lesson on the food cycle in the garden was followed by a light broccoli salad with scallions, greek yogurt, rice vinegar, salt/pepper. A walk into the garden to add toothpicks to the compost also presented an opportunity to snack on some pea pods for…

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Vine St Elementary Learns About Seeds and Finds them in the Garden

By Danny Yaffe / December 15, 2016

At Vine St Elementary the students learned where seeds come from, how they spread, how they listen to the environment to know when it is their time to grow, and how they can start growing without having roots or leaves yet. A walk through showed seeds in their garden and a snack of seeds finished…

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Vine St Elementary Gets a Feel for Healthy Soil

By Danny Yaffe / December 4, 2016

The students at Vine St Elementary received a lesson on soil and had a chance to compare healthy balanced soil with disproportionate soils. Feeling the difference helped explain how soil is able to provide so many different things for plants. We made a fresh guacamole using the percentages 45:25:25:6 (mineral:air:water:organic) we used avocado, tomato, onion,…

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Vine St Finishes Another Round and Learns About Compost

By Danny Yaffe / November 13, 2016

Vine St finishes another round of garden classes and learns how the proper compost bin can help return plants to the soil so they can benefit future crops. Some compost cups of pretzels and avocado is a healthy way to finish the lesson. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St Learns About Seeds and Gets a Healthy Treat

By Danny Yaffe / November 5, 2016

At Vine St Elementary, students learned about seeds; how they germinate, how they spread, and how they taste. Taking a walk in their garden the students observed the differences in seeds and how they can move to new locations. A snack of oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, honey and raisins was a hit!…

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Vine St Elementary Learns About Plant Parts and How They Grow

By Danny Yaffe / November 3, 2016

At Vine St Elementary the students learned the 6 major parts of plants and their functions. Some students got to plant the roots of green onions and observe them growing in their classroom. Onions grow very well in the garden and all the students enjoyed some fresh onion dip; just add a little sour cream,…

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Vine St Elementary Learns About Soil and Tastes Some Short Term Residents

By Danny Yaffe / October 24, 2016

At Vine St Elementary students learn about soil and its formula. A new compost bin will help this garden keep healthy and minimize waste. The snap peas are definitely feeling the existing fertility. – Ranger Dan

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Vine St Elementary sees compost in the garden

By Danny Yaffe / October 10, 2016

Students at Vine St Elementary are able to see food for people, decomposers, and plants as a tomato plant sees the end of its time in the garden. I will also say the students there have the most adventurous palettes, always wanting to eat new things straight from the garden; yellow tomatoes, eggplant, green onions,…

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Fun times at Vine Street Elementary

By Matt Heidrich / September 30, 2016

Thyme is a fragrant herb that has beautiful flowers. Artichokes are majestic and delicious. Kale looks and tastes great! Ranger Matt

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Vine St Snacks

By Danny Yaffe / September 16, 2016

Lots to eat at Vine St. Elementary. We tried kale salad, some marinated onions, and even an eggplant basil scallion dish! -Ranger Dan

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Vine St Elementary…bringing the color

By Danny Yaffe / September 14, 2016

Not only fruits and vegetables grown in the garden. Flowers are crucial for bringing pollinators in to do their work. -Ranger Dan

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The Tomatoes on Vine St

By team / June 24, 2016

Farmer Jeff and I checked in on Vine St Elementary and hey! Look at all of these tomatoes! The plants look so strong and you can see a bunch of little green babies in this picture, big ripe ones to be. Vine St had a lot of other things growing strong too. Pumpkins, corn, parsley…

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Friends and Foes

By Elyse Wegner / May 25, 2016

After weeks of testing, the third graders are back in the garden and ready to stretch their legs and their..wings? That’s right! It was time for a epic game of friends and foes! The students learned about the love/hate relationships bugs have with our plants. We also did some serious garden renovation, planting new seeds…

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Seeds, Weeds, Wings and Things

By Elyse Wegner / May 23, 2016

Where do plants come from? Seeds, of course! It is important to take the time to learn and get to know the seeds of our favorite plants and our not so favorite plants. The way we view seeds have changed so much over the years from heirloom to hybrid to creating seed libraries and the…

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Cycle of Life on a Plate

By Elyse Wegner / May 22, 2016

No matter what age you are, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the amazing process we all know as metamorphosis. There are so many wonderful ways to learn about it, but if you’ve never used noodles, you’re missing out! We’re going to keep an eye on our caterpillars so that in a few weeks,…

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What’s Growing in Our Garden?

By Elyse Wegner / May 14, 2016

Nothing livens up a garden more than plants and a child’s imagination. Last week at Vine Street, the students helped me label all of the garden beds by choosing a plant and creating a colorful sign for it. That way, when we have visitors in the garden, they will be able to walk through and…

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Invertebrates and Insects Galore

By Elyse Wegner / May 2, 2016

“Last week was my first time holding a roly-poly, and this is my first time holding a worm!” There are a lot of exciting new experiences to be had while gardening. Your first time eating kale, your first time identifying plants and your first time holding 500 worms in your hand!  Thanks to Uncle Jim’s…

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Compost Dos and Don’ts

By Elyse Wegner / April 26, 2016

Seeing as how this year’s theme for Earth day was Food Recovery, it was very fitting that we bring compost into the mix for class on Wednesday! What better way to tie in reduce, reuse and recycle than by making our own soil out of food that would otherwise go to waste! We first talked…

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Parts of a Plant at Vine

By Elyse Wegner / April 19, 2016

After an exciting day of exploring and planting the week before, it was time for Vine students to learn about parts of a plant! We see plants at all stages in and around our garden from sprout to seedling to mature fruit producing plants. It displays the cycle of life and death as we observe…

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The Parents Visit Vine!

By Elyse Wegner / April 18, 2016

Early Childhood Linkages to Wellness, partners with the First5 LA program, is currently at Vine Street doing a ten week series of classes with a group of parents. Luckily, they meet every Wednesday so I was able to link up with them and coordinate a time for them to visit the garden! Turns out the…

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Germination Process at Vine Street!

By Elyse Wegner / April 3, 2016

Before Spring Break, we made Greenhouses to Go for the kids to take home. Inside those greenhouses were lots and lots of seeds! The seeds are in a moist paper towel to kickstart the germination process. I am happy to report that our greenhouses were a success and we were able to observe the stem…

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Greenhouse to Go!

By Elyse Wegner / March 25, 2016

The season of spring is upon us and the warm weather plants are ready for the sun! In class on Wednesday, we talked about what plants we can expect to see flourishing in the warmer weather conditions versus the plants that prefer a cooler environment. We’ve seen mostly greens and root veggie plants these past…

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