Micheltorena Composting and Striving Towards Less Waste – BUCKETS AT A TIME

20190308_105833

During the beginning of this year, we had some pretty big goals. The first to increase our composting and second to start recycling at the lunch line.

I think for a minute everyone agreed we were all crazy for attempting to change the automated culture of disposing our food. Composting in theory is wonderful, but it’s hard. I mean, sweating, breaking up scraps, teaching kids how to balance a bin. It’s hard! but it’s possible!

Part of our curriculum through Enrich LA is to teach about soil, soil conservation, nutrients in soil, and compost. Once kids start learning that our food doesn’t just ‘go away’ the kids are so interested in completing the cycle. Starting from consuming a banana, to breaking it up into small parts to taking it to the compost bin.

We are so fond of our bin, of turning our bin and balancing our bin that we starting naming the worms. To go from week 1 when kids would squeal at the sight of grubs to now, just turning the bin, separating food and turning compost.

Over the last 2 months, we’ve really ramped up our efforts. Rather than being happy with composting, we’ve been able to create a baseline for our composting. We’ve purchased a scale and we’ve been tracking the amount we divert from the landfill. Previously, on an good week we would compost 7 lbs. of food waste. After we got the scale, we were able to have the kids visualize and write down how many lbs of waste we’re diverting. We’ve been able to increase from 7lbs. to 14lbs. all the way to 30 lbs on a weekly basis. Previously, we were able to cycle through one bin, now, we are going through 2 bins a week.

Ms. Likovich’s class weighing in our progress

 

After we weigh the food waste, we’ve been helping the process by breaking up the scraps into pieces that are from .5-1″ – the kids really enjoy this process because it helps them see why compost bins succeed and why others fail. Getting them in their bodies also helps them focus for the science component of the lesson. Understanding how the compost is a living, breathing process helps us understand the differences between soil (healthy, nutrient rich) and dirt (deficient in minerals and moisture).

Aside from composting, we’ve worked with the school to bring in some recycling components. Now we are recycling milk cartons, the food trays and plastics. The cafe staff, lunch support and administration has been so supportive in getting the gears turning in our reduction of our landfill waste.

Come and support us, turn the compost with us!

 

Alex Arciniega

Lasting Good byes

The time has come to wrap up the school year at Frank Del Olmo, which means we get to harvest, plant and celebrate! We dug up the rest of our carrots, and found some great shapes that had been hiding underground. We also took advantage of the abundant flowers to make some flower presses. During a…
Read More

Seed Harvesting at 3rd Street Elementary

As we wrap up a spring season and move into the summer months, there are many plants that had wonderful seeds to harvest . At 3rd Street Elementary , we discovered this month about how seeds disperse and the importance of building an heirloom collection. We then harvested dried sugar snap pea & arugula seeds…
Read More

Painting Party at Weemes Elementary

It has been a great year at Weemes Elementary and to cap off an awesome gardening year, some parent volunteers and staff helped to repaint our wooden fence lining the edible garden. We chose a bright grass green and on our last day of class students during class and lunch came and painted inspirational artwork…
Read More

MCP Weeks 10 & 11 – 1st harvest!

Hey gardeners, Greetings from Mid City Prescott Middle School! Felt like starting the post with a landscape shot of our garden around 5PM, the senior trees are thriving and providing more shade than wished for, specially with weather being overcast and humid these past weeks. It will be quite helpful in a few weeks when…
Read More

West Vernon Elementary bug detectives

Detectives on the Case Students at West Vernon remove their garden gloves and put on their detective hats this week. The case? We’re looking for bugs, and the only way to find them are the clues they leave behind. Are these bugs friends or foes? How can we tell the difference? What do each of…
Read More

Wiggly and Ziggly: Worm friends at Mid City

Our 2nd graders had a blast this month learning all about worms! We learned about their bodies, what they eat and how they contribute to the soil. We then observed a few worms up close and personal (with a couple students naming their new friends “Wiggly & Ziggly”). We then went into the garden and…
Read More

“What’s the Soil Story?” at 6th Avenue

May was a great month at 6th Avenue! Our 5th graders got down and dirty to learn about Soil Conversation. We learned about about ways to conserve our soil including rotating certain crops, adding soil amendments and planting natives. We then did soil tests of our garden bed soil to see if we have a…
Read More

Audubon M.S meets EnrichLA!

Hello folks, This is a happier post than usual, because is always amazing news when new schools come aboard with a gardening project for their campuses. One of our latest additions is Audubon Middle School, where we have adapted an area right next to a building for 6 raised beds. We have 3 citrus trees:…
Read More

Kale is King at Queen Anne Elementary

No words could be more delightful to a Garden Ranger than “I love kale!”  Most of the kids found out it was worth a try and now they can’t get enough of it!  Since we can’t meet the demand with our current supplies, more kale will have to be planted next year.  Especially the purple…
Read More

Angeles: All classes back for a week!

  Hola, After a big harvest at Angeles Mesa, we have started getting our beds ready for summer! On our last harvest our 2nd graders  helped out gathering up 15-20 lbs of red beets! And also lots of yellow chard, rosemary, strawberries and lettuces. The only two crops that will stay for the summer are…
Read More

Fearless Kale Eaters

By Alicia Papanek | April 12, 2019

  This Los Angeles version of spring is upon us, preemptively sending lettuces to bolt, premature marigolds to flower, and beans to pack-it-in. We’ve sadly had to watch (and taste) our super sweet snap peas go from juicy candy to cellulose-y seed bombs, but behold!—our leafy greens—rainbow chard, lacinato kale, and purple kale have become…

OLPH Garden is Thriving!

By Soinia Burgueno | April 17, 2019

The garden at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Downey is doing great! There is a variety of seedlings growing and students continue to help with composting.  

Mid City Prescott – Week 12

By David Ames | June 14, 2019

BIG NEWS! (at least for us). Really excited for our latest additions to our farm! The EnrichLA team paid us a visit, bringing a welcoming storage box to the entrance of the garden. They also brought lots of hay to cover our paths, we’ve had to mow too often since it got sunnier and with…

MCP Weeks 10 & 11 – 1st harvest!

By David Ames | June 3, 2019

Hey gardeners, Greetings from Mid City Prescott Middle School! Felt like starting the post with a landscape shot of our garden around 5PM, the senior trees are thriving and providing more shade than wished for, specially with weather being overcast and humid these past weeks. It will be quite helpful in a few weeks when…

Audubon M.S meets EnrichLA!

By David Ames | June 3, 2019

Hello folks, This is a happier post than usual, because is always amazing news when new schools come aboard with a gardening project for their campuses. One of our latest additions is Audubon Middle School, where we have adapted an area right next to a building for 6 raised beds. We have 3 citrus trees:…

Angeles: All classes back for a week!

By David Ames | May 27, 2019

  Hola, After a big harvest at Angeles Mesa, we have started getting our beds ready for summer! On our last harvest our 2nd graders  helped out gathering up 15-20 lbs of red beets! And also lots of yellow chard, rosemary, strawberries and lettuces. The only two crops that will stay for the summer are…

MCP Week 8 – Encountering new challenges

By David Ames | May 15, 2019

Gardeners, here are the updates on Mid City Prescott Farm as we’ve had some cloudy days the past days. After giving a few more days to the seeds that were planted with the students before we filled up all beds with soil, I decided to finally plant some fresh stuff, and since the weather has…

Week 7 – Reporting from MCP Farm

By David Ames | May 13, 2019

Hello gardeners, we’ll pick up where we left on last week’s post about our Pepper plants at the Mid City Prescott Farm. It’s been 6 weeks since we planted those seedlings and unfortunately they are not thriving as everything else is at the garden. If we could make one exception, it would be the red…

Pruining and weeding on these first weeks of flowering

By David Ames | May 6, 2019

Hello Hello! Mid City Prescott’s school farm is thriving! Our latest gardening action has consisted on lots and lots of weeding around our row beds, grass is doing just as well as our crops. I think rather sooner than later, we will get some mulch to lay around most of our rows. Before and after…

Mid City Prescott – Post Spring Break Maintenance

By David Ames | April 29, 2019

Hey gardeners, back to school after spring break! Impressed by how much all of our cucurbitaceae crops grew over the past 2 weeks. After figuring out the irrigation system at the beginning of the project, the plants have really settled and are growing healthy. Tomatoes and zucchinis have started to flower, the same for all…