Rio Vista – Soil Building and Food Meditation

Hello Garden Friends! This Wednesday (9/9) at Rio Vista, we did some soil building activities with the older kids and some exploratory activities with the young ones. With the 4th graders I explained that making healthy soil is important in making healthy food and healthy humans. After that we learned two ways to make healthy soil. The first thing we did was sow some cover crops which we will till under once they reach about 6-8″ high. Cover crops fix nutrients in the soil, prevent erosion, and can serve as habitats for pollinators and predatory insects! After that we learned to make compost by searching the garden for good things to compost. In the picture below you can see the children searching for 4 things. An example of yard waste, food waste, a decomposing insect, and something you shouldn’t compost. photo 1With the younger kids we talked about respecting life and using our senses to explore. After exploring the warmth of the composting wood chip pile we headed for the cherry tomato bed to do a food meditation. With our hands at our sides, the kindergarteners leaned over to smell the foliage of the tomato plant. Then we looked for bright red or dark orange fruits hanging on the vines. Next, we felt the fruit to ensure the plumpness and firmness of a proper tomato. After carefully selecting our fruit we harvested and held the tomato thoughtfully in the center of our palms. I asked the students to imagine the 180 days of sunlight it took to turn the tomato seed into a healthy tomato plant – That the little tomato seed first made tiny roots to soak up the rain, and the plant made stems to take the water to the leaves where the energy to make the tomato is made – That the plant had to grow flowers and attract a pollinator before a fruit could be made – That the sum of all of these events led to the moment of a ripe fruit in their hands. Then I allowed them to place the tomato in their mouths and listen for the sound that is made from squishing the fruit against the roof of the mouth with their tongue. And finally, to taste all of the rays of light and days of rain that made this moment possible. Here is a picture of the little ones crowded around our tomato plant.

photo 2

 

EnrichLA Team

Proudly inherited my green thumb and love of gardening, growing & eating vegetables from my mama, a landscape architect, my grandmother & great grandfather all from Savannah, Georgia. My mama said she designed gardens to make the world a peaceful, beautiful place to sit and day dream or picnic and take a nap. Planting edible gardens with children is a joyful experience. Watching children explore, learn & grow while seedlings germinate reaching for the sky reassures me the earth is in good hands for future generations. My little girl Maya, LOVES to eat green veggies including kale, chard, spinach, bok choi and lettuce. Thank Goodness for Gardens.

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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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“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…
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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:…
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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…
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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…
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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…