Beets are rad(ish)!


Beets are rad(ish)!

This year, Valentine’s Day was full of nostalgic excitement, as I remembered my days of elementary school, full of sugary candy and a “holiday”. This was my first year teaching on Valentines Day, and I wanted to share something special with the students of 2nd  Street Elementary. I decided to do a lesson plan on the heart! What foods are good for the heart? Why is it that the red color of beets or even a radish, are good for the heart? What do you love that isn’t a material item? These are all questions that I proposed to my students. I decided to make dye out of beets and radishes. I chopped and boiled the beets and radishes (bradishes) overnight .In the morning, I put them in a clear mason jar. I also made a visual poster of natural dyes and food that make them. Some things that stood out in the lesson were the student’s amazement that turmeric and seaweed can make dye! Many of them didn’t know what turmeric is. I had them smell turmeric, kelp, coffee grounds and onions. It was a rain day, so we had an indoor discussion of their sensory experiences as well as breaking down antioxidants and why they help the body function and give certain foods color. Their favorite part of the lesson was at the end, when we painted in our field journals with the beet dye. I gave the kids each a piece of fennel paintbrush from the garden, and they painted a “love” note to the garden. It was one of their favorite activities and had them wildly engaged.

Sarah Shutman

Finally flowers on the peach tree

Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. … This includes such botanical fruits as eggplants, bell peppers and tomatoes.  
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A sunflower tries to grow

The sunflowers sadly do not have enough space to truly share their cheer at Marshall. To protect from our squirrel friends, our beds are all fenced in and not quite tall enough for one of my favorite flowers. But they are persisting!  
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Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Poster Contest at Mid-City

In February, the 3rd grade class at Mid-City expressed their “3 R” desires with a poster contest! In groups, the created posters on how they desire to reduce, reuse and recycle and here are some examples of their awesome work! PS – We also discovered some amazing friends in our garden this month and took…
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Pico de Gallo from our 4th Grade Chefs

This was our last week with 4th grade at Lassen Elementary, so we prepared a meal from our garden along with some tomatoes and limes from the grocery store.   The students learned about knife safety and then went to work with their plastic lettuce knives and cutting boards to dice tomatoes, onions, radishes, slice…
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Carrot Harvesting with TK and Kinder

Mr. Diaz’s class has been so disciplined throughout our 6 weeks, from being respectful to insects, to planting seeds in their new Kinder garden bed. Today, as a reward for the patience, we harvested carrots! Check out these amazing pictures – starting from Mr. Diaz leading the charge to the kids harvesting. I am so…
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Reducing Landfill Waste at Micheltorena

Wheeew, what a week and it’s only Wednesday! We have been hard at work teaching lessons at Micheltorena, and during our down time, working on getting the kids to eat healthy, find homes for perfectly good food and compost what can’t be saved. I’ll start with harvesting, it was lesson 6 in our rotation. Meaning…
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Anyone can compost, anywhere.

February was a rainy month, but between the welcome downpours and cloudy days we used the sunny interludes to build and maintain several composting piles and techniques, as part of 5th grades 8 week project based learning.  Closing the cycle of food waste, and turning presumed trash to black gold, compost feeds soil, improves its…
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Valley View Digests

I looooove teaching the kindergarteners about the six parts of the plant so so much.  I love it because the best part of the lesson (other than learning what an amazing job all those parts have) is getting to eat those parts as we go along!   From flowers like purple broccoli to seeds like…
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St. Patrick’s Connects

The middle school kids at St. Patrick’s have spent a LOT of time in the garden at this point.   They’ve also learned a lot.  But after coming back out for a second session this year, I asked them to connect with the plants that they planted a couple months earlier.   They really went…
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Corn, Poppies, Broccoli

The garden at Frank Del Olmo has seemed to reach its winter climax. The past month has been filled with opportunities to snack on beets, sugar snap peas, broccoli, radishes and celery. When I arrived for the first time in late September we did a total overhaul of the summer plantings and now we are…
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Hummingbirds feasting @ oregano flower

By David Ames | March 22, 2019

2nd rotation of the year started at Angeles Mesa Elementary. K, 1st and 3rd graders have been interacting with the garden and enjoying Unit 1. 3rd graders are so intrigued and curious about bugs, they liked the Friends & Foes lesson a lot! We recently harvested arugula, more radishes, chard; and have planted sweet snow…

Freshening Angeles Mesa Elementary

By David Ames | January 31, 2019

We have been super excited and entertained during our first Unit at Angeles Mesa. Kids from Pre-K, K and 5th grade have enjoyed learning and interacting with plants and garden. EnrichLA resumed activities at Angeles Mesa in the middle of November, bumping into a few days-off due to Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and then the strike,…

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,…

Multnomah Elementary goes on a Scavenger Hunt

By Olivia McCallum | March 8, 2019

This week at Multnomah Elementary the 4th graders went on a scavenger hunt in the garden looking for native plants! Each native plant in the garden was given an information sheet and a reason as to why we plant it in the garden. Do they attract butterflies? Are they water wise? Students were given three…

West Vernon Celebrates a Winter Harvest!

By Olivia McCallum | March 8, 2019

This week at West Vernon Elementary, we wrapped up our winter rotation. The students harvested what was ready from the garden which included broccoli, collard greens, cauliflower, purple beans, snap peas, chard, carrots and kale! We made some vegetarian tacos, using collard greens as the “tortilla” and each student was able to help make and…

Welcome Tulsa Gardeners!

By Catherine Siefert | March 11, 2019

Welcome Tulsa gardeners!! I had the honor of teaching Tulsa Elementary’s FIRST garden classes to some wonderful 5th graders! Over winter break, I had come to the garden to plant some seedlings so that our new gardeners had some plants to explore when they got back. This included kale, broccoli, spinach, chard, and carrot seedlings.…