Springtime in the Glenfeliz Garden

Welcome back to the garden! It’s been far too long since I’ve posted, but so much has happened in the garden since last time and there’s a lot to catch up on!

 

We have officially moved into the warm season as we have longer sunlight hours and hotter temperatures. As such, the anatomy of the garden has shifted from hardier, cool season lettuces and brassicas to our annual summertime crops – we’ve already cycled through some snap peas and radishes, and our tomatoes, squash, eggplants, and peppers are rooted and preparing to start fruiting soon. The soil is healthier now than at any time in my 8 month tenure, thanks to some amazing work from our young gardeners!

 

In my posting absence, we embarked upon a deep exploration of the garden through our senses: each week the classes focused on one of their five sense to investigate the garden. We used descriptive language and comparisons in our lesson on touch; took a VIP tour of the scents of the garden and collected the best herbs to freshen up our classrooms in our lesson on smell; completed a scavenger hunt doing detailed observational drawings for our lesson on sight; practiced silence and ‘radar ears’ while listening to rainfall patterns for our lesson on sound; and made a fresh salad using the different red and green lettuces, cabbage, mint, nasturtium leaves and flowers, and blood orange flesh and juice for the dressing – all from the garden! – during our lesson on taste. As we head into the final unit, we are putting our practical gardening skills to work by spending most of our class time caring for our individual beds. This week we learned about compost – how it’s made, what we can and can’t add to our pile, the conditions that make our compost healthy and active, and why we want to add it to our soil. We spent the remainder of class incorporating our lovely compost into the soil in each of our garden beds to keep things healthy heading into the even warmer summer months. We will follow up next week by learning about all the various blooming flowers in our garden!

 

Cheers,

Farmer Ted

Students adding compost to their garden bed

Finding one of the 10 plants for detailed, sight-based drawing in our scavenger hunt!

Teddy Menard

Hi there! I'm Farmer Ted. I love nurturing plants throughout their growth from little seeds to nutrient-rich produce. As an educator, there is no more important space for me to share knowledge with youth than in the garden, where my experience as a chef also informs my relationship to the things that we grow and the creative ways we can approach our harvests!

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Growing in the City…

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Between Westlake (McArthur Park) and Downtown LA you’ll find Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, a high school made up of several ‘sub’ schools. One of them, the Academic Leadership Community or simply ALC. The after school garden group meets every Tuesday from 1:30-3PM in a small but oh so mighty garden overlooking downtown. From day one,…

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