Creating Compost

IMG_7766

At Mayberry last week, the fist graders came out on a crisp and sunny day to push up their sleeves and make compost.   We discussed the importance of balancing greens, browns, decomposers, air and water and listed which materials are good food for our plants.   I showed the kids a large bin of decomposed compost and then we layered a fresh batch of new greens and browns to go into the bin.  The kids loved comparing the differences in the two.  After we got out into the garden and filled some holes that our overnight guest had created, other classes pulled brown leaves out of the garden and my last class weeded the stubborn Bermuda grass out of the cosmos and nasturtium bed and the ground surrounding it.    IMG_7767They did a great job and we enjoyed an apple, mint and honey snack once we finished.   Always a pleasure when we get tasks completed!

 

 

Hillary Williams

Hilllary Williams lives in North Hollywood with her two boys, husband, three chickens and dog. She began growing her own edible garden a decade ago and began instructing garden classes at her kids preschool and elementary school. Working with kids and teaching them the wonder of growing your own food is the best job she could ask for, she has a true passion for education and healthy living!

Plants aren’t the only ones who love to be sung to

  No I don’t sing to my students. But I do sing their praises! At Taking the Reins this month, the program director on site, Misty, and I met to talk about how we can best serve the girls in the gardening classes. There are students in my classes from different backgrounds, with different needs.…
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Gardening is more than dealing with seeds

I love seeing girls feel safe enough to be themselves. Gardening classes at Taking the Reins have provided this beautiful space for girls from all different backgrounds to show up together, learn, be silly, and discover together. I like to give the girls room to exhibit leadership and creativity during classes. So this month we…
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Journaling at Micheltorena

A few months ago, I trained under master gardener extraordinaire, Alexys. She brought out a gardening journal that was given to her by a family member and I just fell in love. I’ve been documenting my personal garden on Insta, via texts, in journals, you name it! So, if we’re going to work with kids,…
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Upper Classes Presentations @Micheltorena

It’s time for winter break, and although the kids are probably so excited about the time off, it’s a bittersweet time for me as a garden ranger. Week 6 was our last session for this rotation and I couldn’t be more proud of my upper classes. Not only have these kids grown tremendously, but I…
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December is Holiday Harvest Time at Thomas Starr Middle School

To close out our fall semester of garden classes, we held a harvest festival of all the fresh lettuces, kales, and veggies growing in our garden! There was so much variety to pick from and everyone enjoyed identifying the different flavors and textures of our many different lettuces, kales, and chards (so much good color…
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End of Autumn Flowers at Carson Gore

Our bright pink zinnias and lantana bushes were needing a trim, so our creative little gardeners took our piles of cuttings and made flower bouquets to take home.  The kids love the flowers that grow in the garden as much as the fruits and veggies.   At this age, the boys still nudge their noses…
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Composting. January 10th. That is when enrichla and our 100 partner school gardens will ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING EXTRA about our FOOTPRINT problem.

January 10th. That is when enrichla and our 100 partner school gardens will ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING EXTRA about our FOOTPRINT problem. We will begin to divert lunch waste from the school lunches into our gardens. We have thought this through. Here are the collector buckets, just arrived. They will be used ( 5 gallons, green.…
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Composting All the Way!

Last week at Valley View Elementary School, the kindergarteners learned the value of composting.   They knew how to use the bin but hadn’t learned the art of proper composting.   We played a little relay game and discussed what goes in the bin and what should be put in the recycling or trash bin…
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Purple Kale is a Huge Hit at T.S. King Middle School

Since we’ve been working together in the garden for almost 3 months now, we are happy to have so much to harvest. Carrots, onions, radishes, broccoli, a variety of lettuces, and a crazy amount of kale! So this week we decided to do some outdoor cooking and make a cheesy purple kale dip that we could…
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Pride in Our Garden at T.S. King Middle School

One of the big challenges of a school garden is to make it useable for all–it shouldn’t be a museum where students can only look at what is inside or a pristine place limited to only the kids who are enrolled in a garden class. At King, we are lucky to have a garden that…
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Getting organized at Taking the Reins

By Marina Frugone | November 21, 2018

“How do we know when to harvest?”  aaaah…. a hunch? a feel? it smells right? fruit’s the right size? Why don’t we make a harvest calendar! Pulling out the trusty UC Master Gardener Handbook and looking up the approximate harvest time for each of our plants. The girls are attentive!    Also, though it is…

A world beneath our feet… ALC students dig it up

By Marina Frugone | November 21, 2018

“Eeeeeewwwwwwwwww!” said ALC student. “What did I do?” said squirmy worm exposed to the sunlight. “Worms are amazing. Here, grab one and I’ll tell you about what they do” said Garden Ranger. “Their poop is really good for the plants and they create air pockets for roots. Worms are legit.” said other ALC student. ”…

Sprouts for the Sprouts at Mid-City’s Prescott

By Marina Frugone | November 20, 2018

The 1st and 2nd graders of Mid-City’s Prescott School of Enriched Sciences (the sprouts, the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are the seedlings…) watched these radish babies grow from seed to seedling and last week we discovered why root vegetables sometimes grow hugging each other…like these carrots… Once roots start to grow and grow under…

Stewardship at Taking the Reins

By Marina Frugone | November 20, 2018

Every Sunday I teach at Taking the Reins, a non-profit dedicated to building their four core concepts: responsibility, confidence, teamwork and leadership to teen girls in LA. Last Sunday, our main lesson was on garden troubleshooting and land stewardship where we made a list of things to do when you walk into the garden: watch…

Growing in the City…

By Marina Frugone | November 5, 2018

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,…

The Wait for Water is Over- Berendo is Blooming!

By Catherine Siefert | November 30, 2018

This month at Berendo Middle School, the students learned about the soil pie chart, producers & consumers, climates & seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students first exposure to the garden so there was lots to learn! With the construction going on, the water had been turned off for a couple weeks so…

Ladybugs, Seeds, & Weeds at 2nd Street!

By Catherine Siefert | November 30, 2018

This month, the students at 2nd Street Elementary learned about dirt, friends & foes, seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students’ first exposure to the garden class so we were starting from ground zero- very exciting! For the “Let’s Talk Dirt” lesson, the students got their hands dirty touching some wet clay soil…

Journaling at Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | December 15, 2018

A few months ago, I trained under master gardener extraordinaire, Alexys. She brought out a gardening journal that was given to her by a family member and I just fell in love. I’ve been documenting my personal garden on Insta, via texts, in journals, you name it! So, if we’re going to work with kids,…

Upper Classes Presentations @Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | December 15, 2018

It’s time for winter break, and although the kids are probably so excited about the time off, it’s a bittersweet time for me as a garden ranger. Week 6 was our last session for this rotation and I couldn’t be more proud of my upper classes. Not only have these kids grown tremendously, but I…

Getting Kids Going with Composting @ Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | October 29, 2018

Kids are awesome! No, really, they are! They intuitively get things that take adults years to understand, and they don’t have all of these ingrained barriers. With that said, let’s get dirty. Compost. EWWWWWW right? Not really as it turns out, I only heard one “ew” from my classes and we moved on. I was…