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.

Parts of a Plant Lesson at West Vernon Elementary

This week at West Vernon Elementary, we learned the six parts of the plant and their functions. The students were surprised when they discovered that broccoli is the flower part of the plant. Other students learned that they had been eating roots quite often in the form of carrots! Then we enjoyed some yummy and…

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Smoothies in the Garden

Smoothies are a great way to pack a ton of nutrition into one delicious drink! We took advantage of the abundance of fresh greens and gorgeous beets in our garden at West Vernon to make some delicious smoothie recipes: Beet/Strawberry Smoothie 3 medium sized raw beets, peeled and chopped one 12oz bag of frozen strawberries…

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Winter Garden

The recent cold snap in Southern California may make us shiver, but the cool season plants at West Vernon Elementary are thriving in the frigid temps!  

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The Bees Knees!

West Vernon Elementary Garden Students had a very special visitor in the garden last week! Ceebs Bailey from HoneyLove Urban Beekeepers came to tell us all about our amazing and very important garden friends, bees! Sometimes bees are considered a threat because of those scary stingers, but Ceebs explained that bees only sting when they…

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A Mystery in The Garden

We discovered something strange in our garden at West Vernon: giant holes in the leaves of our kale, broccoli and cabbage leaves!! A little investigating proved that the culprits were none other than the notorious Cabbage Worm! These adorable caterpillars are voracious eaters of all things cruciferous! They can decimate a garden in a short…

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Ode to Pumpkins

“Stead of pottage and puddings and custards and pies Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies, We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon, If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.” –Anonymous poem about the New World, 1639 Pumpkin celebrations were in full swing this week at West Vernon Elementary! Our…

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Pumpkin Perfect!

It looks like we timed our pumpkin planting perfectly at West Vernon Elementary!

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Eggplants Galore!

Our eggplant crop at West Vernon has been producing quite a harvest in the last couple of weeks! Aided by the shade of the nearby pumpkin leaves, the eggplants are loaded with shiny purple fruits, and the chilis are covered in spicy peppers! Since most of the students have never tried eggplant before, I took…

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Spooky Season…

The pumpkin seeds we planted over the summer are turning into quite a crop of pumpkins at West Vernon! If our timing and conditions are right, these little green guys should be ready for some spooky jack-o-lantern carving soon!

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Weeds Weeds Weeds

A busted water pipe and a nasty case of crab grass have combined forces with the incredible heat wave to make quite a weed issue in the gardens at West Vernon! But paltry weeds are no match for these determined weed fighters! The nimble fingered weed busters at West Vernon quickly cleared the beds of…

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Cabbage Overload!

The hope for any garden is an abundant harvest! However, sometimes gardens become more productive than anyone can consume before everything spoils! There is nothing more tragic than wasted food!! So what does one do with an oversupply of crops? What people have been doing for centuries…preserve them! West Vernon Elementary had a gigantic crop…

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Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Community Awards Banquet

Thank you so much to West Vernon Elementary and Title I Coordinator Sharon Hall-Johnson for nominating EnrichLA to receive the AALA Community Award! It was an honor to experience and be amongst others doing great things for our schools!   Tomas O’Grady receives the awards and gives a heartfelt thank you.       Sharon…

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Out With The Old, In With The New!!!

One of the most exciting things about a garden, is that it is in a continuous state of change! The students at West Vernon are always excited to see what is new and different in the garden each visit! One of the things we noticed this week, was that several of the plants were past…

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A Celery Harvest for Ants on a Log

West Vernon students were lucky to have huge celery plants growing in the lovely garden to make a healthy, delicious snack with – ants on a log! We harvested all the celery plants that had matured, washed and cut the stalks, and spread peanut butter and sprinkled raisins on them! Another hit combining familiar ingredients…

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The Perfect Test Relief!

Students all over Los Angeles are in the midst of heavy California Standard Testing. So it was no surprise that weeding the garden, on a beautiful day at West Vernon, was greeted with such enthusiasm and diligence! While the students were simply enjoying the change of pace from their rigorous testing, their minds and bodies…

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Mulch, weeding competition rematch

Last week at West Vernon Elementary, the boys and girls of Dr. Hugo’s class participated in a competition to see who could weed more in a given time period. This week the two teams demanded a rematch, and both teams came to the garden determined to be the winners – and off they went! Mulch…

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TOMAS O’GRADY AND ENRICH LA RECEIVES THE PRINCIPALS UNION AWARD

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Budding grapes, tomatoes, oh my!

Our first fruit of the season are coming in at West Vernon, and boy are the students excited! Let’s take a look at these beauties:   Classtime was well spent weeding and transferring bucketfuls of compost onto the field. Dr. Hugo’s class even participated in a contest to see who could weed more in the…

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A heaping 7 yards of compost soil delivered to West Vernon

It was quite a lot of compost, but then again, there’s quite a lot of garden to cover!   The task of moving the soil into the garden area required an impressive amount of teamwork; teachers, students, and administrators alike pitched in to expedite the process. Many students were happy to dig, bucket, and transport…

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West Vernon’s compost bins have arrived, hurrah!

  Time to get compostin’! We spent the class time sorting through the compost area that had been piling up to find a good mix of “green” and “brown” organic matter to start composting.       And very telling of the work ethic of the students in the garden class, when asked which they…

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Nutrition session: new idea for a healthy snack with familiar ingredients!

West Vernon students had the privilege of re-imagining a very familiar fruit as a new and exciting prospect for a bit of a fancier snack with the addition of a few key ingredients. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: the Banana! Why yes, the banana is high in potassium, manganese, fiber, vitamin B6,…

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It’s Tasty Tomato Time! (and alliteration time)

Now that the new planting season is upon us, we’ll be planting all sorts of fun summer fruits and veggies! The previous week’s classes had voted on what to plant, and tomatoes were a definite favorite.  So to start off the season, we got to work planting tomato seedlings! We harvested some of the lettuce…

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H-U-M-M-U-S!

The students at West Vernon were delighted to try a staple food from the Middle East, a geographical region they had only vaguely heard of before the lesson.   Not a single student had tried hummus before, but it is safe to say that all 80 students who tried it were coming back for seconds,…

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Weeding, a Refresher on Composting, and “Magical” Cabbage Transformation

 This week at West Vernon Elementary was a busy one! We spent a good chunk of time weeding the garden, as the favorable conditions that have been allowing the edible plants to thrive happily have been similarly kind to the weeds in the garden as well. We reviewed how weeds affect the health and success of…

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New Semester at West Vernon Elementary School!

A bright, sunny day and verdant, lush plants greeted the students back to the West Vernon Elementary School Garden on Wednesday for the first garden class of the new semester!  We refreshed our memories on why gardens are so important for the health of our planet and our bodies, and how cool it is to…

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Outdoor Kitchens for Trinity & West Vernon

A couple weeks ago, we built 2 tables, fitted with sinks, that will act as the major component of the outdoor kitchens in the Trinity and West Vernon gardens. The tables are beautiful and will serve as a wonderful site to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables from the gardens and create delicious healthy meals!

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West Vernon Elementary Garden

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Getting West Vernon Garden ready for a Dedication

Class after class, the kids from West Vernon ES came by the garden to pull weeds and tend the plants, while EnrichLA’s members Tomas, Kelly and Leonardo aided by teachers and administrators worked on getting the new tables ready for a dedication of the garden in memory of Ms.Shelley Saunders, the teacher who unfortunately passed…

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GARDEN STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM kick-off @ WEST VERNON ELEMENTARY

On Monday morning right after Adams MS we went to WEST VERNON Elementary to kick-off  there our GARDEN STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM  led by our Star Garden Stewards Meg and Ben. A few classes came by this beautiful garden during the morning, little farmers in the making. We talked about insects and mushrooms (insectos y hongos), checked…

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The edible garden at West Vernon has now become a park.

Tomas O’Grady.  The folks at West Vernon elementary school were so pleased with the new edible garden that they agreed to expand the garden so that it is now an honest to goodness park. On Saturday, October 15, a group of volunteers which included teachers and parents from the school and folks from Enrich-LA began…

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West Vernon elementary school garden

We’re having a second volunteer day to add a patio and outdoor kitchen. VOLUNTEER HERE. This garden is one of my favorites. It has beautiful exposure.

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West Vernon…one week later!

Our West Vernon Elementary School garden build was last week, and we still cant shake the excitement of that wonderful day!  Seeing so many people come together for a positive change is refreshing.  Meeting new people, building new friendships, and spending time outdoors are wonderful aspects of these garden builds. Most importantly, we have a…

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Enrich LA on ABC 7 EYEWITNESS

Enrich La was is featured today on ABC 7 Eyewitness News. LOS ANGELES (KABC) — School Gardens are sprouting up at some Los Angeles-area public schools. The nonprofit group Enrich LA is helping build vibrant “learning gardens,” such as the one at Thomas Starr Middle School in Los Feliz. “Children today are not doing so…

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NEW EDIBLE GARDEN at West Vernon Elementary

Thank you to ALL of our wonderful volunteers who helped us make such a beautiful, drastic change at West Vernon Elementary School yesterday, Saturday, September 10th, 2011! At one of our biggest garden builds yet, 100+ volunteers gathered to change a plot of dirt into an outdoor classroom.  People from all walks of life including…

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Update for West Vernon

We are taking a break for lunch, graciously provided by Meg Taylor of “large marge sustainables.”  Afterward we have a bit more work to do before the garden is completed!  Here are some photos of our beautiful volunteers who have helped us accomplish so much this morning.

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West Vernon Elementary

I was at the West Vernon Elementary School preparing for the big garden build day on September 10th and I noticed this beautiful mural.  I’m not a big fan of murals as I frankly find them too busy.  This one however with its message “together we make a difference” seems perfect for what we’re all…

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West Vernon Elementary School Garden Plans

This is our garden plan for the new garden at West Vernon Elementary School.  This is going to be a BEAUTIFUL edible garden and outdoor classroom!

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West Vernon Elementary School Garden…Coming Soon

We look forward to making a positive change on this campus.  As you can see, the students are surrounded by concrete.  We cant wait to bring a beautiful edible garden to their campus!

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West Vernon Public school garden garners support from principal

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West Vernon Elementary

West Vernon Elementary School Garden West Vernon Elementary School is the site of a newly proposed garden by EnrichLA! The images below show the school location, and a proposed layout of the garden. Demographics: -1050 students (preK-5) -92% Latino, 8% Black -98% economically disadvantaged -100% subsidized lunches West Vernon Elementary School 4312 S. Grand Ave….

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