At Sherman Oaks Elementary Charter the Thursdays are Green

Sherman Oaks Charter Middle School

At Sherman Oaks the new green generations have started to sprout.

We are very excited to start this school year with our hands in the ground. The first generation of Organic Gardeners began to plant the first seeds and seedlings in the raised beds.

We learned about some specific rules that we must follow in the edible garden:

Respect all living beings (that includes us, plants, insects and animals)

We do not harvest without permission (We have to ask our Garden Ranger, and follow instructions)

Two finger touch (because we respect all living beings, we have to be gentle)

…all in order to get a beautiful garden full of life and respect.

We introduced new concepts like: raised beds, irrigation systems, soil, and seedlings.

We explained how the irrigation system can help the garden to get water without having to be watered by us.

The automatic timer helps water the plants daily. The best place to plant our seeds, as we explained, is next to the drip holes.

Sherman Oaks Elementary Charter School

To celebrate our wonderful beginning, the parents donated some rosemary, thyme, lavender, oregano and mint. Which ones will bring an aromatic essence and pest protection in our garden? The students now can identify them!

Some new gloves and kid’s garden tools were donated as well! Again, thanks to the parents for such great generosity.

Sherman Oaks Elementary Charter School

To finish our first lesson, we started to plant some carrot seedlings and they are still looking happy! The students found out that to get a better planting, the roots must be placed underground carefully; otherwise they can suffer bad consequences if they are exposed to the sun. Only the leaves have to be above the ground level.

With more news on the next post,

Your Ranger



Angeles McClure

Everything started at my grandma's kitchen back in Mexico. All that she cooked with fresh cut ingredients. I thought her skills were amazing but also have a people coming to our door selling local products like vegetables and fruit it really touched my life. I noticed the difference immediately as I moved to the city, where everything was more expensive and for a cheap meal you would something tasteless and low in nutrients. Missing my hometown I started to investigated about how I can produce food in a small space, how to save money doing this Technics . So everything lead me to a single thing: Urban farming and sustainable. I am still learning about his beautiful world and I am very happy to be sharing this knowledge and of course receiving new information, because we love this home called Planet.

Friends Hard at Work

This week at St. Patrick’s School, the littles came out to learn all about the hard working and sometimes pesty creatures in the garden.  We discussed the reason insects flock to gardens by using our three Ps, predators, pollinators and pests.   The kids played an aphid and ladybug game of tag and helped me…
Read More

We’ve had a wonderful few weeks at Frank Del Olmo Elem. I’ve received a new rotation of students who were just as jazzed to be in the garden as the last rotation. After a few classes of clearing out summer beds and planting winter veggies, today we dug deep into the science of decomposition. Specifically,…
Read More

Exploration at Valley View

This week at Valley View Elementary the kids took advantage of the cool and crisp weather out in the garden.   The first graders used their five senses to describe plants in their journals.  They are wonderful little writers…my favorite descriptive word was “rumbly” to describe the texture of a leaf.  Kinders learned about the…
Read More

Hands in the soil

Hello again! Sherman Oaks is getting green, and red… yes red, because radishes are here! We just made our first harvest! To start, we based our experiment on questions like: “What the soil is made of?” “What grows in soil?” and “Who needs it in order to live?.”  We started to work in different samples…
Read More

Garden Artist in Action!

Hello everyone! This month we did tons of fun things! We started with some cool lessons about how a flower grows. We went through each part (roots, stem, leaves, flower and maybe after a fruit). Also we built our own colorful flower with some recycled paper and pom poms! And just not that! There is…
Read More

Growing in the City…

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,…
Read More

Welcoming EnrichLA to Jefferson Elementary!

The Jefferson school garden got a makeover this summer by the magic of EnrichLA.  Over 10 new redwood planter boxes were installed along with a drip irrigation system, shade sail and chalkboard for the teaching space! I am so excited to be their new Garden Ranger, teaching garden classes once a week and maintaining all…
Read More

PASSIONate about Gardening @ Kester!

  It’s a pleasure to be back in the garden with Kester Elementary after a long summer away!  So many treasures were awaiting us to explore, like a hiding watermelon, banana peppers, and a giant zucchini! A review of the Garden Rules, like Respect for all living things, 2-Finger touch, walking feet, asking before picking…
Read More

Curious Yorkdale Bean Sprouts

First Graders are kinda like little bean seedlings, sprouting creativity and eager to learn, reaching for warm autumn sun, putting their roots deep into the soil, their embryo coat burst with curiosity of gardening germinating rainbow colors in pages of their garden journals.  Utilizing their 5 senses, they listen to hummingbirds, two finger touch fuzzy…
Read More

Working the compost at Bryson Elementary

This month at Bryson, I’ve been emptying out the tumbler composter, so that kids can see decomposition at work as well as actively work the compost. Students have been turning the pile with a pitchfork to introduce oxygen to the pile and feeding the pile “Browns” and “greens.” After an initial watering, the compost has…
Read More

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,…

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…

Adjusting Lessons for Autistic and Special Needs Kids @ Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | October 29, 2018

One of my biggest challenges has been teaching children on the autism spectrum, not because they are different, but because I had such a limited scope of what these kids are able to accomplish individually. Initially, I believed that the lessons were too complicated for them to grasp, and after seeing how well they adjusted…

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle @ Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | October 29, 2018

The kids at Micheltorena had a great time with our reduce, reuse, recycle lesson. Not only were the kids already fairly aware about recycling, but they were ready to get their hands dirty by helping me sort items we use on an everyday basis at home. After reviewing definitions of reduce, reuse, recycle, we laid…

Learning can be meditative

By LaToya Granados | October 25, 2018

As mentioned in the last blog post, we have been learning about what an eco-system is and studying the eco-systems within each garden bed here at Taking The Reins this Fall. Each student is assigned a garden bed to explore and within that bed, I’ve challenged the students to each choose one plant to explore…

A praying mantis steals the show

By LaToya Granados | October 25, 2018

We were enjoying a lovely day following the class outline I had planned. We’ve been studying eco-systems for this session at Taking The Reins and everyone was busy working in their assigned garden bed. All of the sudden, a couple of students found a rather large praying mantis hanging out in the lemongrass. This lemongrass…

Tasty Inquisition at KIPP Comienza

By Denise Villalobos | November 4, 2018

Our friends at KIPP Comienza had the opportunity to use all of their senses in the garden this month; to learn about and respect all critters that call the garden their home; and how the world around us affects the plants we grow. Students have been bringing their science journals to the garden space this…

How Lovely is the Science of Growing Things at KIPP Comienza

By Denise Villalobos | October 29, 2018

Our kindergarten and first grade friends at KIPP Comienza have been spending Tuesday mornings learning about soil pie (it’s delicious for plants!), the life cycle of plants, food chains, and diversity in the garden. We are very lucky to have a classroom available for our lessons, and the children get really excited when I walk…

Hamlin Charter Academy loves vegetables!

By Melanie Golder | November 2, 2018

October 16, 2018 was a big day at Hamlin Charter Academy.  The irrigation system in the new garden has been successfully fine-tuned, and our seeds are starting to germinate in numbers to be proud of.  It was thrilling to see the new seedlings emerge from the soil at last!  Previously only a few peas had…

Lassen Elementary Kindergartners Learn to Garden

By Melanie Golder | October 30, 2018

The Garden Program at Lassen Elementary School started the 2018-2019 school year with three classes of kindergartners. They enthusiastically learned to hold their hands to make a safe cup so their seeds wouldn’t fall out or blow away.  Then each week we practiced using our “planting fingers” to determine the proper planting depth (one knuckle…