Field Reports

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Woodlawn Elementary School

The edible garden at Woodlawn Elementary School was built in Fall 2012. Situated under shady trees, the garden has raised beds, an arbor, and picnic tables.

Irrigation Lesson at Woodlawn

Irrigation Lesson at Woodlawn

Today, with the help of Ranger Hope, we began to convert the irrigation from sprinklers, to drip.  Now that the watering issue is almost solved, this garden’s soil flora should improve significantly and the garden will be ready to withstand the summer weather! The students came out to observe and asked questions about the differences…

Big Planting Day at Woodlawn!

Big Planting Day at Woodlawn!

Being that our beds at Woodlawn are still fairly new, we had a lot of things to do to prep it for new plants. First, we amended the soil, which builds the structure to accommodate root development; increases the amount of happy organisms; and gives life via nutrients to the plants which the kids will…

The Reason For A Flower ~ Woodlawn

The Reason For A Flower ~ Woodlawn

Today the kids at Woodlawn learned that the purpose of any plant is to simply make more of itself, to reproduce.  We started the lesson by reading  “The Reason For  a Flower” by Ruth Heller.  The book describes all the parts of plants and their functions in beautifully illustrated pages. The 2nd graders brought their…

Woodlawn- A Garden for all Ages and all Abilities

Woodlawn- A Garden for all Ages and all Abilities

In this new 6 week rotation at Woodlawn I have two 2nd grade classes and a group of K through 3rd grade special needs students.  They were so excited to get their hands in the dirt that the first thing we did was just go out and explore! One of the things I love the…

Plants RESPOND at Woodlawn!

Plants RESPOND at Woodlawn!

Plants can’t run, swim, or jump away from danger like animals and people can but they do respond to certain changes or STIMULI in their environment.  In garden class we explored the different stimuli that trigger resposes in plants which help them grow healthy, strong and protected. We sometimes take for granted the things we…

Learning about Legumes

Learning about Legumes

We had a planting day at the Woodlawn garden and filled a couple of beds with winter greens, flowers and onion transplants. It’s starting to look like a garden again!   During class with 5th grade, we talked in length about amazing legume plants.  I reminded the kids that most legume plants have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in…

Woodlawn Elementary, Digging Deeper

Woodlawn Elementary, Digging Deeper

Sometimes it’s difficult to dig deeper into a subject due to lack of time. The kids at Woodlawn are fascinated with the world of worms, so we are sticking with the subject to learn the many ways worms help our world grow. Kindergarten really enjoyed the book on worms, “Wiggling Worms at Work” by Wendy…

Wonderful Worms at Woodlawn

Wonderful Worms at Woodlawn

It was pouring down rain at Woodlawn and since the kids have been cooped up for a couple of days due to the rainy day schedule, I thought I would bring some garden friends to them.  Worms are a farmers favorite garden friend (well, for sure mine!).  I am always amazed at how truly beneficial…

Woodlawn Has Sprouted!

Woodlawn Has Sprouted!

Although the irrigation system is not yet up and running, the dedicated students and staff at Woodlawn have been hand watering the seeds we planted.  When we met on Thursday, the class was thrilled to tell me “They sprouted Mrs. Alex!!” As we walked through the garden to make observations, we discussed if the information…

Pass the Seed, Please

Pass the Seed, Please

A new rotation at Woodlawn garden brought many eager children ready to dig in the dirt.  After a quick discussion about the rules of the garden, we talked about seeds and their various shapes and sizes.  Playing “Pass the Seed, Please” gives everyone a chance to see and feel each seed, and learn about seeds…

Top Soil…It’s Important!  Plus Woodlawn Update

Top Soil…It’s Important! Plus Woodlawn Update

The Woodlawn Garden renovation has come a long way in a short time. The crew worked quickly and efficiently to create a functional and beautiful space for the students, staff and community to enjoy.  The next task is new drip irrigation and planting…I can’t wait!!! With only soil in the beds, I thought a good…

Garden Planning at Woodlawn

Garden Planning at Woodlawn

Lots of progress is being done at the Woodlawn Garden.  New concrete pathways were installed, old woody bushes were removed and the grass area was tilled and readied for the new sod. Planning a garden takes a lot of work and preparation. Saturday, the raised beds will be built, irrigation will be run to each…

Change Can Be a Good Thing

Change Can Be a Good Thing

Last week I was informed that the Woodlawn garden would be going through a huge renovation.  By that I mean, all garden beds, plants, pathways, grass, and even some trees, would be removed.  Construction was to begin the following week and completion of the project was scheduled for the end of November. Wow!  I have…

The Guessing Game

The Guessing Game

When I met my younger students in the Woodlawn garden with this colorful wrapped box, they couldn’t wait to get started!  We played a simple game of guessing what vegetable or fruit was inside the guessing box.  First, I gave each child a flash card telling them that during the game, they would be whatever…

Little Plant Detectives at Woodlawn

Little Plant Detectives at Woodlawn

During garden class, the younger grades imagined they were plant detectives while learning how to describe what they know about plants. We discussed all the elements that make up a plant and asked some difficult question like,”Is a tree a plant?”.  The kids all agreed that all plants have roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds.…

A Lesson in Similarities and Opposites

A Lesson in Similarities and Opposites

A new rotation brought some new smiling faces to the garden today!  Transitional kindergarten and first grade learned the rules of the garden.  Many of the garden’s rules are similar to those in the classroom.  We talked about how the garden is like an outdoor classroom and as the children walked around we pointed out…

Water is Life

Water is Life

Water is so important for health, growth and life of all living things!  I wanted the kids to remember to continue to conserve this precious natural resource in their everyday lives.  We discussed the importance of water for the growth of our garden and also for all the farms that produce the food we eat.…

To Eat or Not To Eat? That is the Question

To Eat or Not To Eat? That is the Question

What a day of discovery and observation at Woodlawn elementary as we posed the question: Is it edible or not edible? The first graders took a stroll around the garden while we talked about the  things we can eat and the things we cannot eat in the garden. They had so many questions!  And I…

A Look Inside a SEED at Woodlawn

A Look Inside a SEED at Woodlawn

I was impressed to see how much the children at Woodlawn elementary knew about how seeds grow!  So during this week’s lesson, we focused on the parts of a seed.  I was happy to see that the pea seeds the kids had planted last week had sprouted.  These sprouts were a great learning tool.  We…

Discovering Leaves, Roots and their Functions

Discovering Leaves, Roots and their Functions

This is the third week of the six week rotation at Woodlawn and we are diving into some bigger topics…leaves! They are all around us in Woodlawn’s cozy little garden so the younger kids went on a leaf hunt for “broad” leaves and “needle” leaves. We discovered that their garden has many more broad leaves…

Last of Summer Harvest at Woodlawn

Last of Summer Harvest at Woodlawn

Even though the summer growing season is dying down, there’s still a lot happening in the Woodlawn Elementary Garden! The kids picked the last red tomato off the vine and harvested swiss chard for a quick chopped salad dressed with lemon and salt, yum! We pulled out that old tomato plant but decided the Swiss…

A Sweet Day At Woodlawn Elementary

A Sweet Day At Woodlawn Elementary

It sure was a sweet first day for garden class at Woodlawn!  The kids enjoyed exploring the garden and discovering fruits, veggies and herbs that they recognized, and some they weren’t too familiar with.  Everyone recognized the mint, “Yerba buena” which is growing beautifully in the garden.  None of the kids knew about the stevia…

Getting Ready for the New School Year!

Getting Ready for the New School Year!

This week we were getting ready for the new school year at Woodlawn Elementary School! We were able to do some weeding, replenish the soil and plant both seeds and beautiful flowers! Also, it looks like the garden was really loving this summer heat because the mint looks happy and some cucumbers are growing in…

Last Day at Woodlawn

Last Day at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students had their last week of garden class this week. We celebrated by harvesting veggies from the garden and creating a salad that included beets (and their greens), radish, yellow grape tomatoes, kale, chard, strawberries and mint. We also used a lemon olive oil vinaigrette that brought the whole thing together. Our cucumbers and…

Last rotation at Woodlawn

Last rotation at Woodlawn

This school year has flown by at Woodlawn as we are now in our last rotation of classes with only three more weeks left. Crazy how time flies! Woodlawn kinder students are familiarizing themselves with the garden and tried a simple salad this week including kale, chard, and mint from their garden. Students helped plant…

Woodlawn Elementary is flourishing! The garden is nested under 2 large jacarda trees. On a cool breezy day like today, the garden couldn’t be more pretty. The staff and students expressed much love for Garden Ranger Janae and the program. We are so happy to be on your campus!  

DIY at Woodlawn

DIY at Woodlawn

The Woodlawn garden is a wonderful habitat for everyone–plant, human, or insect–to grow. Being here, you get a sense of relief and relaxation. Sitting quietly in this garden, you will easily see a plethora of pollinators putting in work and it’s a beautiful thing. A new rotation of Woodlawn students started garden classes. We are making preparations for…

Mulch arrival at Woodlawn

Mulch arrival at Woodlawn

OpA new rotation of Woodlawn students began garden lessons this week, exploring the garden, tasting herbs, and mulching. Students worked hard this week mulching the pathways that had pretty much nothing on them. We are ever grateful to have such enthusiastic volunteers in the garden, helping to keep it thriving and beautiful. We have had great…

Planting tomatoes at Woodlawn

Planting tomatoes at Woodlawn

This week Woodlawn students got their hands dirty in the garden. Kinder students learned about the seed germination process and started their own little seedlings using a mix of garden soil and Woodlawn compost. Students also had a chance to plant tomatoes from the Muir Ranch plug mob. These plants started from a small plug and…

Friends of the Woodlawn garden

Friends of the Woodlawn garden

The garden at Woodlawn elementary is looking great thanks to the amazing compost that this school has worked so hard to create. Every week students at Woodlawn help with all aspects of composting from collecting green and brown materials, to turning the pile. Woodlawn students learned about friends and foes of the garden and also…

New Rotation at Woodlawn

New Rotation at Woodlawn

A new rotation of students started garden class this week at Woodlawn. It was a diverse session that was definitely influenced by the particular needs and interests of each class. The kindergarten group was studying sunflowers in one of their books. It just so happened that the intense wind in the area had knocked down…

Spring has sprung

A few weeks back we put agriculture mustards seeds in ground At Whaley.  As you can see featured above that they are begin to pop up! We planted these mustards to help remedy the soil in the beds. Mustard greens add beneficial nitrogen into the soil and help detier unwanted pest. Ranger Chriatina

Harvesting at Woodlawn

Harvesting at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students completed their final rotation this week. As usual, we spend the last day of class learning how to harvest vegetables and fruits from the garden, then add the ingredients into a big salad. Our salad this week included a plethora of nasturtium flowers, chard, mint, and strawberries. The students chowed down and ate every…

Planting & Hat making at Woodlawn

Planting & Hat making at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students learned about parts of the plants and had a chance to plant new seeds in their garden including cucumber, radish, corn, and watermelon. Students were very excited to plant watermelon and it’s more of an experiment to see if this fruit will grow since it may be too early to plant it, but…

Woodlawn new rotation

Woodlawn new rotation

A new rotation of Woodlawn students started garden classes this week. Students enjoyed tasting some of the flourishing vegetation in this garden such as swiss and rainbow chard, mint, and stevia. Students also helped remove winter crops and planted some peas to help enrich the soil. Students also helped enrich the soIL with coffee grounds…

Harvest Picnic at Woodlawn

Harvest Picnic at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students finished another rotation this week and culminated their last session with a garden harvest celebration. Students learned how to harvest chard, mint, nasturtium flowers, and beets. Once students finished their salad, they proceeded to create a “cardboard salad” out of recycled cardboard bowls they used to eat with. Students then added the “cardboard…

Planting at Woodlawn

Planting at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students learned about the parts of the plants this week and learned how to plant. Students assisted with removing decaying winter crops and preparing the soil for planting spring vegetables. Students helped plant radish, peas, and marigold flowers.

Friends and Foes Tag at Woodlawn

Friends and Foes Tag at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students had a blast playing a game of “Friends and Foes” freeze tag that helped them understand the role and impact certain bugs have on our garden. Students were also able to help turn the compost and add some of the mixture to their garden. Students also helped with some gardening planning for the…

Woodlawn students return to garden

Woodlawn students return to garden

After the long three week break, many new cruciferous plants have developed in the Woodlawn garden, such as cauliflower and broccoli. Students explored the garden for new developments and had a chance to taste mint and stevia together, learning about the health benefits of eating these two herbs. Students also pruned and cleaned the garden…

Trimming Plants at Woodlawn

Trimming Plants at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students learned the importance of trimming back plants this week so they can continue to thrive. Students participated in trimming the lavender, basil, and stevia plants. For some it was their first time ever using garden shears. They then proceeded to make lavender bundles for home use or gifts. Students enjoyed the wonderful aromas…

Thanksgiving Harvest at Woodlawn

Thanksgiving Harvest at Woodlawn

This week Woodlawn students harvested vegetables and fruits for a small Thanksgiving celebration. Students were reminded to be grateful for the garden’s gifts and that the more we give to the garden, the more the garden gives to us. Students had fun participating in creating a tasty salad that consisted of nasturtium, kale, tomatoes, beets,…

Growing food from scraps at Woodlawn

Growing food from scraps at Woodlawn

This week Woodlawn students learned about how to grow food from kitchen scraps. Students planted garlic as well as ginger. During this season, many people are getting sick. Students learned about a very special herb they have growing in their garden that can keep them healthy: Nasturtium. This plant is abundant in the Woodlawn garden,…

Woodlawn working together

Woodlawn working together

Woodlawn started a new rotation this week, this time with fifth grade students who have been in the garden many times before and are super excited to be back. Many of these students already know about basic gardening principles, so we are looking forward to learning new things together as well as doing more hands…

Garden Party at Woodlawn

Garden Party at Woodlawn

Woodlawn students harvested more crops from the abundant garden this week, including fresh kale, sorrel, mint, beets, and cabbage. Woodlawn has already completed its second rotation of students, wrapping up this last week with a garden harvest party. Time is flying and we are looking forward to meeting a new group of students next week.…

Planting, harvesting, composting at Woodlawn

Planting, harvesting, composting at Woodlawn

This week at Woodlawn we harvested veggies and fruits that were just begging to be cut and eaten. The students explored the varieties of kale growing in their garden, learned how to pull beets from the ground, and how to pick tomatoes as well as sorrel. While students have been pruning and harvesting the existing…