Field reports from

West Vernon Elementary School

The garden at West Vernon Elementary School was built in Fall 2011. There are both raised beds and in-ground beds, a patio, and outdoor kitchen area.

Compost is Building at West Vernon

By Danny Yaffe / October 15, 2017

As we take down the summer crops at West Vernon the compost gets a big boost in nitrogen. A lesson on compost and the balance needed between “brown and green” (dry or wet) plant materials filled a few pages in their journals.Students were able to snack on a giant zucchini from the garden! Students also…

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West Vernon Learns How the Garden Life Cycle is Completed

By Danny Yaffe / October 13, 2017

Pollinators to decomposers and back again. West Vernon received a lesson on the life cycle in the garden and how decomposers complete the loop. Cover crops were removed and the students help amend a row crop that had just produced a bounty of corn. Decomposers can’t do all the work after all. Garden cucumbers, basil,…

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West Vernon Reviews Plant Parts and Functions

By Danny Yaffe / October 11, 2017

Roots, stems, leaves, fruit, flowers, and seeds. The students at West Vernon went over the plants parts and their essential functions for the plant. They used their journals to sketch and write down the plant parts and what would happen to the plants if they didn’t have them. The garden was full of delicious and…

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West Vernon Elementary comes back to a busy garden

By Danny Yaffe / September 19, 2017

The garden at West Vernon Elementary was happy to have its students back. Fortunately there were secondary consumers present to keep the garden safe all summer. So much to harvest and eat!! A fresh corn salsa with garden cucumbers to dip greated the eager students. A garden review and journal construction were great welcome back…

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Finish with a bountiful harvest

By Danny Yaffe / June 10, 2017

West Vernon Elementary had a healthy harvest and cut back for summer. Beans, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, and peas. Several dishes were prepared and enjoyed. Students also had time to work on their own garden designs. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon Does the Numbers

By Danny Yaffe / June 10, 2017

Planning gardens is challenging without the right tools and know how. Fortunately at West Vernon Elementary the students are well prepared. A spacing chart of common edible plants and a blank scaled map of their school garden let the students fill the space with their own choices. Getting ready for their own garden space planning.…

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West Vernon Elementary observes the garden for research

By Danny Yaffe / May 30, 2017

West Vernon Elementary has a lot to do getting ready to plan their own edible gardens. Sunflowers were harvested and examined for the effective seed spacing. Observing the spacing of plants and size of beds the students began to think about their own gardens. What end should the fruit trees be on? How many zucchini…

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West Vernon Elementary

By enrichla / May 23, 2017
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West Vernon Elementary keeps their garden green

By Danny Yaffe / May 22, 2017

At West Vernon Elementary the students know that the garden is a changing landscape. As we take out old plants and put in new there is something to consider. A lesson on crop rotation explained the benefits of changing what is grown in the soil year after year. Avoiding nutrient depletion, stopping the spreading of…

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West Vernon knows their friends from their foes

By Danny Yaffe / May 17, 2017

   At West Vernon Elementary the students had a lesson on welcomed garden insects and ones the garden could do without. They made the connection that insects that eat plants aren’t helpful but those that ate other insects were the garden’s friends. With so much to harvest, garden snacks are never in short supply. A…

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West Vernon enjoys some greens

By Danny Yaffe / May 14, 2017

West Vernon Elementary continues to enjoy zucchini and spinach from the garden, seasoned with fresh basil and a pinch of salt. A lesson on companion planting helped the students understand that even plants are stronger when working together. The grapes are coming in nicely as well. – Ranger Dan

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Refreshing day at West Vernon Elementary

By Danny Yaffe / April 27, 2017

As the days get warmer the garden at West Vernon Elementary is bright and busy. The students had a lesson on herbs for health and enjoyed some homemade lemonade with mint. They devoured fresh zucchini with basil, rosemary, and a dash of salt. Flowers are in bloom and the squash are growing more every day.…

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West Vernon harvests some radishes

By Danny Yaffe / April 23, 2017

At West Vernon Elementary the students helped harvest radishes for a spicy snack. We discussed mulch and how it helps minimize weeds, keeps water from evaporating too fast, and slowly releases nutrients into the soil. Sunflowers are coming in and the grapes look very happy. – Ranger Dan

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Bacteria and fungus at West Vernon

By Danny Yaffe / April 5, 2017

For the compost lesson at West Vernon Elementary the decomposers are the stars. The students learned that it’s the micro-organisms that help turn plant material into food for plants. Humans also use micro-organisms to digest food. The students were inoculated with healthy microbes in the form of a snack consisting of cabbage, hummus, and mushrooms.…

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Butterflies and colorful leaves

By Danny Yaffe / March 22, 2017

West Vernon Elementary students gat a special treat. The delicious colorful leaves aren’t the only things growing in the garden; several students witnessed a butterfly exiting it’s chrysalis during garden maintenance. The lesson on soil paled in comparison to the friendly butterfly. – Ranger Dan

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We Eat Many Plant Parts

By Danny Yaffe / March 15, 2017

West Vernon Elementary students received a lesson on plant anatomy and the functions of the various plant parts. A heavy harvest day in the garden meant a plant part filled snack for the students. Stems, flowers, and leaves were on the menu; all fresh from the garden. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon Elementary Keeps Their Garden Healthy

By Danny Yaffe / February 27, 2017

Garden maintenance on a sunny day kept the students at West Vernon Elementary happily busy. Be it weeding, amending, or seeding; the students are always ready to get their garden into shape. A lesson on compost and a peek into their compost bin reminded students that the food web in the garden is cyclical, thanks…

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Soil. Where would we be without it?

By Danny Yaffe / February 18, 2017

Students at West Vernon Elementary learned the ingredients of soil and how proper proportions are able to form a hospitable environment for plant growth. In the garden they were able to get hands on experience in aerating and amending soil beds before planting seeds or transplants. It is a large garden but fortunately the students…

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Life Cycle Lesson and Some Producers for a Snack

By Danny Yaffe / February 13, 2017

At West Vernon Elementary the students learned about the life cycle in the garden. From producers to tertiary consumers it comes together with decomposers. Students spotted a chrysalis of a primary consumer (butterfly) and snacked on some fresh carrots. The broccoli is growing nicely as well. – Ranger Dan

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Plenty of Plant Parts at West Vernon Elementary

By Danny Yaffe / February 1, 2017
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A Summary of Good Garden Practices Wraps the Session Before Break

By Danny Yaffe / December 14, 2016

At West Vernon Elementary the students finished another round in the garden. A walk through and review reminds the students of the sustainable practices that take place in our gardens. Pollinators won’t be taking a break, thankfully. Fresh beans with a little seasoning wrapped the class.

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West Vernon Elementary gets a Helping Hand and Learns How Compost Helps Too

By Danny Yaffe / December 11, 2016

The garden seating and insutructional areas at West Vernon Elementary were brightened up by volunteer garden helpers. Pollinators arent the only ones that appreciate vibrant colors. The students learned how to help the garden with compost; nothing wasted. A peak into their compost bin illustrated how the beans they tasted (but may not have liked)…

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So many seeds at West Vernon Elementary

By Danny Yaffe / December 4, 2016

At West Vernon Elementary the students learned about seeds; how they start to develop in the plant and then from dormant to sprouting. We covered what makes them break dormancy and what helps them spread. A walk through the garden showed many examples of seeds in various stages of growth. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon Elementary is Blooming and the Garden Upgrades are to Thanks

By Danny Yaffe / November 17, 2016

At West Vernon Elementary the students help the garden by removing unwanted guests and bringing them to the compost container. A lesson on plant parts teaches them that the blossoms on the peach tree could become fruit. Dead heading the butterfly weed makes sure it continues to blossom. A snack of fresh beets on basil…

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Seedling Station Growing at West Vernon

By team / November 14, 2016

Seed starting station at West Vernon Elementary is in full force! With the shelving system, hooked up to button-drip irrigation, we can fit a maximum of 24-small plug trays filled with over 100 plants in each tray. As the seedlings grow, we then transplant them in larger containers for a few weeks before taking them…

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West Vernon Learns About Soil and Helps Fill the Garden

By Danny Yaffe / November 13, 2016

At West Vernon Elementary the students learned about soil; what it is, how it helps the plants, and how important the proper proportions are. A few fresh green items from the garden need nothing to be a tasty treat. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon Elementary Witnesses and Learns Sustainable Farming First Hand

By Danny Yaffe / November 3, 2016

At West Vernon Elementary the garden received a makeover and some exciting additions. As the students toured the modified garden the sustainable farming techniques that are taught were reinforced and practiced by the students. – Ranger Dan

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Thanks to Mercer for their hardwork at West Vernon!

By enrichla / October 24, 2016

Last week, we had a successful workday at West Vernon thanks to the help of Mercer volunteers! With their help, we are testing some farming techniques at West Vernon that we will hopefully implement in other of our gardens. We built a mini farm, a nursery station, mulched the pathways, added more shade, extended the…

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West Vernon Elementary Learns About Seasons and Helps the Transition

By Danny Yaffe / October 19, 2016

Students at West Vernon Elementary learned that the garden changes with the weather. As we transition into a cool season we remove the old and plant the future. A little snack helps the energy levels. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon Elementary Helps the Garden Life Cycle

By Danny Yaffe / October 16, 2016
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Seasons begin and end at West Vernon Elementary

By Danny Yaffe / September 23, 2016

The summer crops meet the winter crops at the active garden of West Vernon Elementary. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon sees plant parts in action

By Danny Yaffe / September 21, 2016

Students at West Vernon Elementary got to see first hand the different plant parts and their various functions. Beneficial insects got to enjoy a snack. – Ranger Dan

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West Vernon Garden Full of Life

By Danny Yaffe / September 13, 2016

It was a busy summer for this garden. Still producing fruits and vegetables into the fall!!! -Ranger Dan

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Garden Ranger Training going strong!

By team / August 24, 2016

It’s been about a week since we started Garden Ranger training at EnrichLA! This is the first time we’ve been able to offer training to incoming Rangers and it’s been a blast so far! We are getting ready to start our Garden Ranger program after Labor Day! Last week, we were at West Vernon where…

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Three Parts of a Seed and the Stages of Seed Growth

By Sara Haston / June 2, 2016

Today we learned about the three parts of a seed and the stages of its growth cycle. The three parts are: The Coat The Food Storage The Embryo The kids had a chance to look at a seed from the gourd seed packet and make observations about it. We then discussed the various sizes and…

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Climates and Seasons

By Sara Haston / May 20, 2016

This weeks class we discussed climates and seasons. We went over the definition of each; weather describes the current and predicted temperature, wind/air/humidity conditions of a particular ecosystem. Where as climate is the historical weather conditions of a particular ecosystem. We discussed which season we are in currently; late Spring. The kids discovered that Los…

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Friends and Foes

By Sara Haston / May 14, 2016

The kids learned about some of the other living things besides plants in the garden; beneficial and harmful insects, also known as friends and foes. We discussed how friends and foes act, and then we went through examples of friends and foes in the garden. We passed out cards to a handful of kids and…

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Parts of a Plant and Spring Planting!

By Sara Haston / May 8, 2016

This weeks lesson we covered the six basic parts of a plant and the importance of each. We then played a game where where the kids broke off into two teams. I shared a clue with each team that related to a part of the plant that we eat. For example, a stem that we…

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Farewell Marilee and Let’s Talk Soil

By Sara Haston / April 28, 2016

This week was bittersweet as Marilee from Gavina coffee came by the garden to work and say good bye. She is moving to Portland and we will miss her presence and visual art contributions to the garden, via compost signage. The students learned about the three main ingredients that make up soil: sand, silt, and…

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Seed Starting

By Sara Haston / April 25, 2016

This week students had the chance to start their own plants from seed. We had three different seed packets to choose from; peppers, thyme, and oregano. Each student selected the seed they wanted to plant and then filled pots with potting soil. Next, they planted their seeds and watered them in. Finally, they made a…

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Tomato Care, Prepping Beds, Planting, and Composting

By Sara Haston / April 17, 2016

We had a busy day of garden work this week. Here are the projects we worked on: The tomato plants needed to be tied up, why you may ask? Because they get get tall and heavy and need to be supported, plus it makes it easier for us to pick the tomatoes when they’re ready. We…

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Spring Cleaning and Tomato Suckering

By Sara Haston / April 8, 2016

It’s no secret the tool shed needs some love. You open it up and it looks like a tornado hit it. This is something that commonly happens in many garden sheds because it is last priority when there are so many other priorities to take care of in the garden. So, today we pulled everything…

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Food Chains and Food Webs

By Sara Haston / March 31, 2016

Today we discussed how everything on earth needs energy to stay alive. We talked about where energy comes from, plants and animals, and shared what energy helps us do; for humans energy helps us move our body and use our brain. For a butterfly energy is used to flap their wings up and down. For…

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Parts of a Plant, Weeding in the Garden, and Adding to our Compost

By Sara Haston / March 17, 2016

Today we went over the 6 parts of the plant and played a game. We divided into two teams and each team had a correspondent who everyone would communicate with to weigh in on their answer. I gave each team the same clue about a part of a plant that we eat, and each time guessed.…

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Thank You Gavina Coffee!

By Sara Haston / March 9, 2016

The secret is out! We heart Gavina Coffee! Today in the garden each class wrote a thank you card to Gavina Coffee thanking them for visiting our school last week. Each student drew an illustration of a coffee plant, a coffee cup, compost, and fruits and vegetables we put in the compost. Some students drew…

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