Calvert – Garden/City World

photo 2

Hello Garden Friends,

Today at Calvert the second graders and I enjoyed the warmth of our classrooms while the plants enjoyed the 3′ of rain they got today. On the whiteboard we drew pictures of the water cycle as I told the story of “Garden/City World”. Then we went outside for a moment and checked out where the water was going in our own world. Below is a picture of the LA River that I will show the kids next week. For reference the picture was taken off Lindley/Victory in Reseda, CA

Here is the story:

Once upon a time there was a big mountain with identical oceans on each side of it. Every morning the sun rises directly over the mountain and every evening the sun sets just on the other side. The sun heats the oceans, makes clouds, and the rain falls equally on each side of its massive slopes. Separating the east and west slopes is a giant wall. On one side, is a giant garden…with rivers and lakes and plants and animals and food and bugs. The other side was home to humans, they had all the garden things too, but at some point they decided they wanted houses more than lakes, and roads more than rivers.

photo 1So the humans enjoyed their new homes, they moved the water to the ocean, and sat dry and warm inside their houses. They took water from the sink to make soup, they turned on the shower to get clean, and they turned on the hose to water their plants. Everyone was happy.

Until, one day, they turned on the sink to make soup and no water came out. They turned the sink on and off and on and off and on and off and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working! SO, they went to the wizard who lived on top of the wall. The wizard was special because he was the only person who could see both the garden side and the city side.

Finally, the wizard looked at the humans. at the garden, then back at the humans. He threw his beard over his right shoulder and lowered his spectacles to speak, “Oh.. I see the problem, the sinks don’t turn on because all the water is gone. The houses you have built keep the water out nicely. The houses you have built also send the water on the roof straight to the street. The roads you have built are safe to drive on, even in the fiercest rainstorm. The roads you have built also send the water straight to the ocean. The water in the ocean is too salty to drink…so you have no more water.”

The people gasped! The harsh reality slowly seeping in. “So what do we do?” the humans asked.

The wizard said, “Keep your houses dry, but send the water to the soil and grow your plants tall. Keep your roads safe, but afterwards send the water to a lake where the water can settle back into the soil. Do this, and your sinks will work again.”

The  humans obeyed the wizard and sure enough the sinks turned back on.

The End.

Until next week,

Farmer Jeffphoto 3

Jeff Mailes

Jeff Mailes is a garden designer and environmental educator working out of Woodland Hills, CA. A Los Angeles County Master Gardener and UC Davis Alumni, Jeff earned his B.S. in Environmental Resource Science in 2012 and has been growing edibles and natives for the past 6 years. Jeff's passion for plants and garden education has led him to school gardens from Los Angeles to Sacramento and all the way up to Portland, Oregon. Now familiar with ecosystems across the West Coast, Jeff has settled back home and works to bring people together over food and inspire the next generation of earth stewards to leave it better than they found it. When not writing about himself in the third person, Jeff enjoys singing with his guitar, going on camping and hiking excursions, and tossing a frisbee around with his friends.

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