Pollen, Nasturtiums and Tea at Juan Cabrillo

Today’s class with the transitional-kindergarteners was so much fun. Mrs. S helped me teach her class about bees and their role in the garden. We talked about how bees go to flowers to look for nectar to bring back to the hive to make honey for their families. One bee collects enough nectar to make a mere 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey. Did you know it takes 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey? Can you imagine being a bee and working that hard?

When bees are finding nectar on the inside of the flower, they rub against pollen, a yellow dust that helps seeds to grow. The bees then end up taking it to another flower. I showed the TKers a star lily and where the pollen comes from and where its supposed to go (it’s produced on the anther and must be transferred to the stigma). Afterwards, we went on a scavenger hunt in the garden to find pollen inside of the flowers growing there. Some students even found pea pods that had dried out; we explained that these were seeds!

With the last class, we made mint-chamomile “tea” to taste!

Hope Cox

Native to Tennessee, Hope fell in love with urban farming while majoring in Nutrition/Dietetics at UT Chattanooga. She volunteered at an urban farm there for two years and gleaned (pun intended!) bushels of knowledge about harvesting & planting, CSA box coordination, farmers market stands, school field trips, farm-to-table and more. When Hope moved to Los Angeles in late 2014, she began volunteering with EnrichLA and soon after became a Ranger. She loves sharing with her elementary students the hands-on experience of gardening, finding bugs, composting and eating from the garden. The expression of glee on the students' faces when they discover a new critter or favorite vegetable is the best part of Hope's day! One day, she hopes to be a real farmer in the country but for now is glad to be learning the ins-and-outs of inner-city farming.