Field Reports

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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.

Twas a lucky day at Vine St Elementary

Twas a lucky day at Vine St Elementary

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

Soil; how it works and methods to improve it.

Soil; how it works and methods to improve it.

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…

Integrated Pest Management and a Colorful Treat

Integrated Pest Management and a Colorful Treat

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…

Plant Parts, So Many Snack Choices

Plant Parts, So Many Snack Choices

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…

Compost; thank you decomposers.

Compost; thank you decomposers.

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…

Vine St Elementary Learns Soil and Crop Rotation

Vine St Elementary Learns Soil and Crop Rotation

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…

Vine St Elementary Learns the Garden Life Cycle and Pitches In

Vine St Elementary Learns the Garden Life Cycle and Pitches In

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…

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

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

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…

Vine St Elementary Gets a Feel for Healthy Soil

Vine St Elementary Gets a Feel for Healthy Soil

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,…

Vine St Finishes Another Round and Learns About Compost

Vine St Finishes Another Round and Learns About Compost

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

Vine St Learns About Seeds and Gets a Healthy Treat

Vine St Learns About Seeds and Gets a Healthy Treat

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!…

Vine St Elementary Learns About Plant Parts and How They Grow

Vine St Elementary Learns About Plant Parts and How They Grow

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,…

Vine St Elementary sees compost in the garden

Vine St Elementary sees compost in the garden

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,…

Vine St Snacks

Vine St Snacks

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

The Tomatoes on Vine St

The Tomatoes on Vine St

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…

Friends and Foes

Friends and Foes

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…

Seeds, Weeds, Wings and Things

Seeds, Weeds, Wings and Things

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…

Cycle of Life on a Plate

Cycle of Life on a Plate

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,…

What’s Growing in Our Garden?

What’s Growing in Our Garden?

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…

Invertebrates and Insects Galore

Invertebrates and Insects Galore

“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…

Compost Dos and Don’ts

Compost Dos and Don’ts

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…

Parts of a Plant at Vine

Parts of a Plant at Vine

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…

The Parents Visit Vine!

The Parents Visit Vine!

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…

Germination Process at Vine Street!

Germination Process at Vine Street!

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…

Greenhouse to Go!

Greenhouse to Go!

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…

I want to be a bee when I grow up!

I want to be a bee when I grow up!

Buzzzzzz! We’ve all heard that sound! This time it wasn’t the bees helping us pollinate the garden, it was the students! They learned all about the main pollinators and focused on our furry insect friend the bee! We have a lot to thank the bees for and have an even greater appreciation for them after…

Good bugs, bad bugs and butterflies at Vine Street!

Good bugs, bad bugs and butterflies at Vine Street!

Last week at Vine Elementary, the kids learned the ins and outs of deciphering which bugs benefit our garden and which bugs harm our garden. We played a fun game of friends and foes to make it easier for them to remember and have a chance to run around and be silly. One class even…

Garden Introductions at Vine Street!

Garden Introductions at Vine Street!

One of my favorite things of garden rangering is meeting a new group of students eager to be back in the garden. I always ask them if they have ever been to the garden, what they might remember learning from last year and if they have a garden at home. It is always mixed results,…

Nature Boards at Vine Street

Nature Boards at Vine Street

At Vine Street Elementary this week, we summarized all that we had learned the past six weeks with a nature board highlighting different things in our garden. The six week session had sadly come to an end, but we celebrated with an apple and honey snack as a follow up to our pollination lesson a…

New Garden Coming soon to Vine St!

New Garden Coming soon to Vine St!

The day at Vine started off on a great foot with a delivery from a former student! One of the teachers brought a a bag of used coffee grounds for the compost! It is so encouraging to see students and teachers getting involved in the garden and contributing to its wellbeing. Thank you Mr. Fein…

Friends and Foes at Vine Elementary!

Friends and Foes at Vine Elementary!

The students had a blast transforming into bugs at Vine Elementary last week! They each received a card with a bug or a plant on it. The rules are simple-if you’re a plant, you run away from the bad bugs who are trying to tag you! If you’re a friendly bug, you rescue the plants…

Looking Back and Pressing Forward at Vine Street Elementary

Looking Back and Pressing Forward at Vine Street Elementary

The holidays have finally come to an end and we are back at school ready and eager to learn! Before we get into the new year, I want to reflect and look back on the cool activity that took place prior to the winter break. Before school let out and before all the business of…

Bee a friend at Vine Street!

Bee a friend at Vine Street!

Bees are so beneficial to the world as we know it. It is important that we create a safe and welcoming environment for the bees so that they can feel free to fly in our gardens. The students were familiar with the term pollination and they definitely knew what bees are. So often we let…

Soil Ingredients at Vine Street!

Today the students learned all about the three different components of soil and why each of them is so important! We need a healthy balance of sand, silt and clay in order to have healthy soil. The students shook up soil in a jar with water and watched as the different components settled into layers…

Fresh Starts at Vine!

Fresh Starts at Vine!

Wednesday marked the beginning of a new six week adventure! It was hard saying goodbye to the first cycle of kids, but it is exciting to see new friendly faces of students eager to learn and be outside in nature. It was a day filled with excitement and exploration as the kids noted the different…

Greenhouses to Go at Vine Street Elementary

Greenhouses to Go at Vine Street Elementary

Because of the chillier weather we’ve been having, finally, I thought it would be fun to teach the students a method of growing food that is used most commonly in colder climates. We learned about the importance of greenhouses and how they help protect the plants from severe outdoor weather conditions. Then we made our…

Making Compost Lasagna at Vine Elementary

Making Compost Lasagna at Vine Elementary

When a student asked me what compost was last week I knew it was time for a compost lesson! We went over the basics of food waste and how we have an opportunity to reduce that and be more resourceful. Composting is a way to give back to the planet what it initially gave to…

Spooky Spider Webs at Vine Elementary

Spooky Spider Webs at Vine Elementary

The kids channeled their artistic side at Vine this week! We talked Halloween, costumes and most importantly, the infamous spooky spider. We had a chmace to make our own spider webs and count how many we could find in our garden! We also dissected a pumpkin and felt the gooey seeds inside. We filled it…

Surprises in the soil at Vine Elementary!

Surprises in the soil at Vine Elementary!

It was a perfect day to talk about soil at Vine Elementary on Wednesday! As we went over the three components of soil, clay, sand and silt, we also discovered something in our own garden beds hiding in the soil! Grubs! Grubs are a very common issue to have in the late summer season. The…

Getting started at Vine Street Elementary

Classes are underway at last at Vine Elementary! First thing we did was talk about all the cool things the kids learned in the garden last year just as a refresh their memories. Unfortunately, the sprinkler system has been out, so the garden does not look as bountiful as we would like it to. However,…