Aspire Firestone Asks “What’s Climate all About?”


Knowing what grows best in your climate is crucial to growing a successful garden. Today the kids from Firestone learned what climate is, what climate we are living in, and how we have basically two growing seasons here in Southern California. 

We read the information from several different seed packages to determine whether the seeds were suitable for growing now in our cool season or if the seeds were best grown during the warm season.


The kids made a T-chart and sorted the seeds as cool or warm weather.  In doing so, the kids made some great observations such as most all of the fruit bearing plants are grown in the warm weather planting season.

Later, we chose some cool weather seeds and started them in seed trays.

Our lesson ended by harvesting the last of our summer tomatoes. What a harvest!


Alex Aleshire

Alex Aleshire has been playing in the dirt for as long as she can remember! As an avid edible gardener with a background in child development, she has a passion for connecting people with the earth. After designing "Outdoor Classroom"  gardens for several schools, she became a Los Angeles Master Gardener and a Grow LA Victory Garden coordinator. "Helping children gain respect for where their food comes from and teaching them that their choices about food affect their health, the environment, and their communities, is a great passion of mine" When Alex isn't gardening, she's over the potter's wheel, painting, camping and taking care of her kids, hubby, pups, cats, chicks, bees, turtle and fish! Whew!

Food Making Factory!

Over at St. Patrick’s School, the second and third graders have been studying the importance of photosynthesis in plants.  By now students realize how dependent humans are on plants.   We not only rely on plants for energy and sustainability but the very air we breathe is made possible because of plants.   And plants…
Read More

Harvest Time

The veggie garden is thriving & for the first time broccoli, cauliflowers, swiss chards, purple mustard leaves, dill, cilantro, and parsley grew successfully at 10th St Elementary. Students and staff are savoring and admiring the beauty of these winter crops. Teachers are also bringing some of the harvests to their kitchens & make yummy food.
Read More

Black History at Alta Loma Elementary

Since Alta Loma Elementary is rehearsing for an assembly to celebrate Black History Month, we’ve been learning about George Washington Carver who was known as the “plant doctor” when he was a young boy. We learned that he loved to observe nature, especially plants and soil.  When he grew up, he became a botanist and…
Read More

Meeting Garden Friends at Bushnell and El Sereno Elementary

This session of garden class at Bushnell Way and El Sereno Elementary is all about garden friends and garden foes. During the first week I introduced the students to a couple foes that I brought from my home garden, aphids and green cabbage worms. Last week they met some important friends of the garden, ladybugs!…
Read More

happy Valentine’s Day

How wonderful it is to receive a letter, postcard or a note. Nothing can compare to the feeling one gets when someone hand writes a message for someone special. Students at Eastman did that. they made their own cards and adorned them with flowers, seeds, and herbs.
Read More

Frank Del Olmo Gardeners Get Creative!

The little hands at Frank Del Olmo have been put to work! While learning about the different parts of a plant, each student used pipe cleaner to create all the different parts – resulting in a colorful garden that they could bring back to their classroom to enjoy! .   And after the rain early in…
Read More

Bryson Gardeners Plan Ahead!

Our Bryson Elementary garden is thriving, but not without serious help from our mini gardeners! This shady garden has caught the eye of the neighborhood squirrels – but have no fear, we have a plan of attack. The kids loved getting creative with ways to lure the pesky squirrels to the park instead. .   …
Read More

Carrots @ Eastman E.

The cool season is in full swing and Eastman E. has carrots-lots of them. Students planted carrots seeds last autumn,  many of those seeds have sprouted and grown into yummy carrots!  Now carrots are the talk of the town, students come to garden classes eager to learn, and others volunteer their recess or lunch to…
Read More

Multnomah Street Elementary tips the 400lbs scale

400+ lbs of greens Last week marked the end of the third grade rotation at Multnomah Street Elementary. Since September, each grade has participated in a “composting challenge” where they spend 5 weeks collecting their organic breakfast scraps. This past week upon finishing the 3rd grade lessons, the three classes combined weight  totaled a whopping 115…
Read More

What do the colors of our fruits and vegetables mean?

Changing the way we talk about  vegetables Today at West Vernon we focused on the colors of the vegetables in our garden and how they help our bodies. Often we find that when we change our tone from “must eat” to “we eat these when…” even the pickiest eaters are enthusiastic to try something new.…
Read More

Slow down, and the garden comes to life!

By Sanjay Gupta | December 18, 2019

This week Castelar students were taken for an observational walk in the garden since it’s been raining most weeks during class. Students used the knowledge they learned over the semester to identify plants and scratch & sniff things that have wonderful aromas. There were insects climbing around, and one in particular was a sure show-stopper!…

Worms Worms Worms!

By Sanjay Gupta | December 2, 2019

This week we learned all about worms and how important they are to the garden! It was raining inside, and Ranger Sanjay has a worm bin so he brought it in for all the kids to see. There were hundreds of them and we learned about how their “castings” are super healthy for garden plants.…

Meeting Garden Friends at Bushnell and El Sereno Elementary

By Zina Denevan | February 19, 2020

This session of garden class at Bushnell Way and El Sereno Elementary is all about garden friends and garden foes. During the first week I introduced the students to a couple foes that I brought from my home garden, aphids and green cabbage worms. Last week they met some important friends of the garden, ladybugs!…

Winter Garden Bounty and Seed Saving at Bushnell Elementary

By Zina Denevan | January 21, 2020

Last week Bushnell third graders explored the garden and looked for plants that had gone to seed (lavender and Basil) and others with visible seeds (strawberries and snap peas). We then talked about the practice of seed saving. the students were eager to try for themselves! I passed out dried sage and lavender flowers and…

Learning about Water Conservation with Fifth and Sixth Graders at El Sereno Elementary

By Zina Denevan | January 20, 2020

Returning from winter break last week students were excited to get out into the garden and see the changes brought about by nearly 31/2 inches of rain! After exploring the garden a bit and snacking on the cherry tomatoes still thriving there we sat down to talk about water conservation. The students were surprised to…

Plants are Alive too! Investigating Leaves at Bushnell Elementary

By Zina Denevan | November 13, 2019

After discussing plant respiration (plants breathe too!) Bushnell elementary 1st and 2nd graders used magnifying glasses to search for evidence. The students were delighted to discover tiny bubbles of oxygen coming from their submerged leaves. To help the concepts sink in we alternated between breathing like humans and animals (inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide)…

Seed Exploration at Bushnell Elementary

By Zina Denevan | September 21, 2019

This week’s lesson was all about seeds at Bushnell elementary. Students broke open pre-soaked pinto beans to discover the baby plants inside. Once located they shouted with excitement, “Look, I found the embryo!” Students then used magnifying glasses to get a closer look. After talking about the parts of a seed and what they need…

Audubon Middle School students develop personal connection to plants

By Harriet Shaham | February 24, 2020

Audubon Middle School students move and chant in sync as they learn the important parts of plants as if they were plants themselves! While others examine and tuck tender seeds into the ground.

Angeles Mesa appreciates good soil

By Harriet Shaham | January 30, 2020

The Kindergardeners at Angeles Mesa delighted in digging when the soil was soft, but struggled with the hard packed clay. They could see and feel the difference, appreciating the better conditions for plants and animals.

42nd Street students value the soil

By Harriet Shaham | January 30, 2020

As the students of 42nd Street Elementary School learned the necessity of healthy soil to grow our food, they had opportunities to personally handle the different components and feel the ease of digging with tools.