browns, greens, water, air, heat and FBI

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After delving further into various types of seeds, seed pods and seat coats, we went on to exploring what makes healthy growth and the significance of compost to soil.

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coffee grounds into the compost pile

coffee grounds into the compost pile

cafeteria food waste also into the pile

cafeteria food waste also into the pile

They kids all helped break down both nitrogenous and some carbon materiel into smaller pieces to make life easier for the FBI that will do the job of creating heat and air pockets in the decaying compost pile. Tons of grass being pulled out from beds being readied for fall planting, also made it to the pile. We watered it all down and covered it with burlap to keep the critters out, air in and heat trapped.

Later a few visiting students got to dead head flowers from shrubs and learn to prune for next years healthy growth.

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Tahereh Sheerazie

Tahereh likes to hike, bike, quilt, cook and most of all garden. She has been a garden ranger with EnrichLa since January 2015. She teaches middle school children, many of whom have special needs which has necessitated a slow, mindful approach to place based garden education. Improving soil, making compost, harvesting water, growing natives and ancient grains and journal writing, is what she enjoys doing most with the children.

Pumpkins

The students at Garvanza became pumpkin peddlers for a class. We discussed the life cycle of a pumpkin. We then split into groups and each group got their own pumpkin. We measured the weight, circumference, and height of each pumpkin and estimated the amount of seeds in each pumpkin. Then they got to carve their…
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Five Senses with Herbs

I read a book called “My Five Senses” by Aliki to introduce the Kinders and 1st graders to their five senses. We collected herbs from the garden such as mint, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. We passed them around and used our five senses to discuss them. At the end of class, we made…
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Counting Pumpkin Seeds

El Sereno Elementary students became pumpkin peddlers during the month of October. We discussed the life cycle of pumpkins. They got into groups and measured the height, weight, and circumference of their pumpkins. They then estimated how many seeds they would find inside their pumpkins. Then the fun part — cutting open the pumpkins and…
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Guavas Galore!

Atwater Elementary is bursting with guavas and the students, teachers and staff are gobbling them up! We had so many great lessons in the garden this month. We talked about the food chain with first graders. We created Venn diagrams using warm and cool season plants with the 2nd graders. We did a fun lesson…
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Worms Worms Worms!

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.…
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Fall Spirit at Frank Del Olmo

There’s no fear of Halloween at Frank Del Olmo! With our garlic bulbs ready to harvest, we learned about the myths of Dracula and his fear of garlic as it’s said to “cure” people. We also learned how garlic can be helpful during the winter months in staving off the cold and flu. We got…
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Thankful for New Growth at Bryson!

We may have started with just dirt, but now we’re seeing the fruits (and veggies) of our labor! Despite being in a pretty shady area, these garden beds are doing great. When learning about the different parts of the plant, I brought in sweet potato slips for the kids to see root to stem to…
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Interconnectedness at Arroyo Seco

The semester is off to a great start at Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet! This week, the 4th graders modeled a food web using yarn. Each student was assigned a different plant or animal. We discussed the interconnectedness of all species, and how energy is passed along a food chain. While we haven’t been able…
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Mayflower Elementary gets buzzing!

This batch of gardeners at Mayflower Elementary are the first-ever students to enjoy the garden! They have been busy planting seeds and seedlings (while learning about the differences between them!) and making their mark on the garden. This week, the Kindergarteners learned about the Butterfly Life Cycle. We read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and made…
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Soil Nutrient Test

This week at Toluca Lake Elementary the fourth graders learned about their periodic table of elements and some important soil nutrients. Students first discussed some elements that they already knew about, such as carbon and oxygen, and how these are important building blocks for life in the soil organic matter. Next, students learned about the…
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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.…

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…

Kindergarteners love the garden at Angeles Mesa

By Harriet Shaham | November 28, 2019

Kindergardeners loves all the hands on exploring and work at Angeles Mesa. They proudly shared their successes in weeding many of the beds. Upon discovering a monarch Caterpillar, the children oohed and ahhed at its unique pattern. Before planting seeds, each youth examined and admired the potential plants they could create. Finally, the youngsters took…

42nd Street Elementary students help the decomposers

By Harriet Shaham | November 28, 2019

Learning about how bugs help the process of decomposition, the students at 42nd Street School were energized to aid in the process of breaking down weeds and other leaves to help create compost fertilizer.

Fun in Fall at Audubon Middle School

By Harriet Shaham | November 28, 2019

Students at Audubon Middle School had loads of fun in the Fall..first, they emthusiastically prepped a bed to plant potatoes by bailing half the soil out. They also learned about succulents and made their own flowery centerpiece to take home to their families for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sweet sunflower snack for 42nd Street School

By Harriet Shaham | November 12, 2019

Such sweet seeds from the sunflowers at 42nd Street School, the students succeeded in snacking on so many. Some struggled to crack open each shell, but they were delighted by the creamy kernel on the inside they didnt even notice that the seeds were not saturated in salt. They did proceed to plant some of…

Staying cool with crisp cucumbers from Angeles Mesa

By Harriet Shaham | November 3, 2019

Crisp, cool cucumbers for the students at Angeles Mesa. One special Ed child enjoyed the fresh vegetable plain. The others were delighted by cucumber tacos wrapped in sorrel leaf. It was a pleasant refreshing reward after learning about the soil that nurtured them.

New found enthusiasm for bugs

By Harriet Shaham | November 3, 2019

The students at Audubon Middle School showed their bravery in handling and talent in catching insects in the garden, helping transfer the bugs to the compost bin in order to facilitate decomposition.

Welcoming Angeles Mesa to the garden

By Harriet Shaham | October 1, 2019

Angeles Mesa students were excited to enter the garden once more.  Some brave souls reached out to handle the milkweed beetles, and the beetles almost look like painted fingernails! Many of the Special Education students were unaccustomed to eating fresh fruit, and once they were encouraged, they were ‘sold’ on the sweet, juicy watermelon.