Welcome Back Micheltorena!

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Welcome back Micheltorena! It’s great to connect with the kids, teachers and parents for another year. I’m pumped to talk about plant life cycle. Last year, we started so many seedlings, some made it and some didn’t – but since our classes are 6 weeks, some kids weren’t able to see how successful their crops were. Today, we got to see the good, bad and the ugly – which to me is all beautiful by the way because it’s all part of nature.

Our corn did so well. I have to say, I’m so proud of the kids for growing 3 sisters from scratch. I have experience garden friends who haven’t been able to do it, so this is such a proud moment for me. With the right amount of love, patience and lessons we’re able to do anything. 3 sisters is an important lesson because it marries native american history with the garden and it’s a way to discuss nutrition and the health benefits of corn, beans and squash. Native Americans did so much, in a sustainable and healthy way without much damage to our ecosystem.

We are also in the process of taking down our summer crops, some of the plants are completing their lifecycle and we need to get the soil ready for the next rotation – please let me know if you’d like to help. We can always use parent volunteers, for this, I kindly ask that we let the kids lead and we support their learning.

Lastly, for my humble brag. We were supposed to do an introduction day today but our kids are so well versed in the garden that we went straight into building Farmer Almanacs. The goal of their journal is to maintain a log of their garden visits, and tie it all back to language arts, math and science. More to come on this, but the kids are so at ease in the garden and I’m happy to see their self-directed learning when they journal. They got to pick a part of the garden and draw it – this is great for building observation skills.

Big thank yous to the teachers and the kids who really rolled up their sleeves and took ownership of the garden and started composting.

 

Alex Arciniega

Seeds are Asleep

This week at Rio Vista Elementary we celebrated the new fall season by planting some new seeds! For younger students, we started class by discussing plant lifecycles and the 6 parts of a plant (root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed). In this lesson students learned about how the seed is the first and last stem…
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Worms!

This week at Selma Elementary we explored the amazing composting power of worms! The garden ranger brought their own personal worm bin from home and let the students explore with magnifying glasses. We began class by talking about if worms are friends or enemies to our garden. I asked the students what they thought worms…
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Tulsa Paper Pumpkin Patch!

For the last 3 weeks of this rotation, Tulsa 5th graders learned about warm/cool weather crops, parts of plants, and made a paper pumpkin patch! For the weather/climate/seasons lesson, we talked about warm and cool weather crops. We played a game where everyone got a flashcard with the name of a plant and whether it…
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First Cycle is a wrap..

5th Graders finished their garden class! During the last six weeks of gardening, Mr. Fergunson’s class learned to rotate a garden from a warm season to cool-season crops.  during this period students learned about seeds and how to save them for the next growing period.  Compost-green & brown, dos & donts make for a good…
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Yellow Time for TK’s in the Garden

Easy breezy to simply “BE” in the garden with Mrs. Meza’s curious 4 year old TK class. These kiddos crave seed yoga then ask, “What is for snack?” Learning about “Yellow Time” also called, “Autumn” also named “Fall” Climates & Seasons were a big hit! They love to plant seeds and color leaf rubbings Mrs.…
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Organic Matters at Queen Anne

Before we started our compost lesson, the kids collected things in the garden area that would decompose.  Queen Anne’s garden is surrounded by concrete, but organic matter was everywhere once we started looking for it.   The “treasure hunt” was a lot of fun as they roamed around the trees, roses and garden beds in…
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Oh Yeah! Compost Challenge at Aspire Gateway!

Oh yeah! It’s on! The fifth graders were game to do a compost challenge to help kick off  school wide composting efforts! So this is how it went… Two 5th classes…one compost collection bucket each.  The empty buckets were first weighed on a digital scale.  Then each class had equal amounts of time to clean…
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Sherman Oaks Charter Beautification!

This September, for the first 3 weeks, Sherman Oaks’ 5th, 4th, TK, and 2nd graders all helped out in the garden! Each class (excluding TK) had had garden class before, so we were able to dive deeper into the lessons! Yay! For the first week, 5th grade learned about permaculture, monoculture, and polyculture. They made…
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Tulsa 5th Grade Gets Their Hands Dirty!

This September, for the first 3 lessons, the 5th graders at Tulsa learned all about soil and food chains (producers and consumers). This was these students’ first exposure to the garden class so we were starting from ground zero- very exciting! For the first class we found bugs and veggies that had grown over the…
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Reconstructing Plant Parts at Carson Gore

What better way to learn the parts of a plant than to find them in the garden.  The kids used a diagram as  they searched through the garden and brought back samples to the table to deconstruct the different parts.  They used their senses of sight and touch to identify the plants and their various…
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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…

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.

42nd Street Elementary students anticipating a taste

By Harriet Shaham | October 1, 2019

After discussing the Friends and Foes in the garden, the students enjoyed a taste of a leafy green (a favorite of many munching bugs) and a fruit (that must be pollinated by bugs).

Frank Del Olmo Elementary’s Sky High Garden

By Amanda Howell | October 2, 2019

The students at Frank Del Olmo Elementary were super excited to get back into this garden! Over the summer their corn and sunflower friends reached new heights, and the mint has taken on a life of it’s own. The kids helped weed and trim, and we put on a little play acting out the different…

Bryson Elementary Welcomes a New Garden!

By Amanda Howell | October 2, 2019

The 4th graders at Bryson Elementary are super excited to be the first classes to get their hands dirty and start planting in this brand new garden! Each class took over to plant a pizza bed (tomatoes, basil, spinach), a salad bed (cucumbers, carrots, radishes, lettuce) and an herb bed (oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary). They…

Fruits of Our Labor

By Luke Loggins | November 11, 2019

In annual gardens, transitioning from the warm to cold growing season means that we get to harvest and enjoy the literal fruits of our labor! This week at Toluca Lake Elementary, garden class revolved around harvesting ready fruit and pulling out old plants in order to make room for new season crops. Before the harvest,…

Seeds are Asleep

By Luke Loggins | November 11, 2019

This week at Rio Vista Elementary we celebrated the new fall season by planting some new seeds! For younger students, we started class by discussing plant lifecycles and the 6 parts of a plant (root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed). In this lesson students learned about how the seed is the first and last stem…

Worms!

By Luke Loggins | November 11, 2019

This week at Selma Elementary we explored the amazing composting power of worms! The garden ranger brought their own personal worm bin from home and let the students explore with magnifying glasses. We began class by talking about if worms are friends or enemies to our garden. I asked the students what they thought worms…

Collecting the Rainbow

By Luke Loggins | September 23, 2019

This week at Rio Vista Elementary the kindergartner’s got to explore the garden while focusing on their sense of sight! We began the lesson by reviewing all 5 of our physical senses, which we had learned about last week. We moved on to talking specifically about our sense of sight, noting all the things we…

The Circle of Life in the Garden

By Luke Loggins | September 23, 2019

This week at Selma Ave Elementary we invited in the fall season by planting carrot, radish, and lettuce seeds. An important concept for kids to grasp as seasons come and go is that in nature there is no beginning or end; life is cyclical through the return to the soil. We explained this concept by…