Compost Learning at Van Ness School

New group of kids learning about compost.  We took a poll as to what [a cup of worm castings] worm poop was just by looking, touching and smelling the worm castings.  The students really were interested in what they could put in the Darth Vader like compost bin

PJ Johnson

Harvesting Embryos at Arroyo Seco

There was an abundance of fruit and now there’s an abundance of seeds to harvest at Arroyo Seco! Seeds can travel in multitudes of ways and we’re pretty certain that some birds or squirrels will be eating and defecating some of these seeds to start a garden in another place. But we were able to…
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Kid Powered Salad at Woodlawn

A great way to end a session is to make a fresh salad with ingredients straight from the garden! Everyone worked together to slice, chop and dice, tomatoes and various types of kale, green onions and carrots. We also added pomegranate seeds and dressed the salad with a splash of vinager, sea salt and a…
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Describing Worms at 20th Street Elementary!

I decided to modify a lesson to include exercises on describing using adjectives. After several attempts at tasting a beet salad and an apple and arugula salad, I noticed that when I asked students how they tasted, a lot of students responded using the words “weird,” “gross,” or “good.” As I explained to the students,…
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Marigolds and Dia de los Muertos at Toluca Lake

With a very high population of Hispanic students, we were thrilled to celebrate and talk about Dia de los Muertos! We also have the movie Coco to thank for getting kids educated and excited about this holiday. We are now working with fourth grade students and our main concept is diversity. We discuss native plants…
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Beans beans the wonderful fruit…at Riverside Dr. Charter!

There are beans everywhere. Coming out of our ears. Drowning our sorrows away. Keeping our digestive track going. We did a taste test with a few of our peas to see if we enjoyed peas or beans more. Peas won by a long haul but most students said they enjoyed both. We have been harvesting…
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Riverside Garden loves that sun!

At Riverside Dr. Charter we are starting with the basics in each class. The first rotation began the year in an almost empty garden-which was great! we planted LOADS of beans to help bring nitrogen to our soil, sugar snap peas, and flowers. With the weather still being quite warm, we were not ready to…
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Alumni visit

A visit from an ex first grader with her wonderful donation of flower and vegetable starts was a welcome surprise. Loretta Allison now a mother of a ten year old, grows vegetables and flowers in her home nursery and conducts easy to understand planting workshops at Artemesia Nursery in El Sereno. She teared up to…
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Sun and Soil, where it all begins!

Our gardening year began with getting journals made and observations written. Students wrote what they wanted to learn in the garden as well as the most pressing questions they had about garden class. Turns out everyone wanted to simply know ‘ how do plants grow?’ So ofcourse we began where it all begins – sunlight…
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Mayberry Magicians Learn The Hidden Part Of A Plant

Our Mayberry students took this week to learn the parts of a plant, both the visible and invisible parts. Students put on their observation hats and with their notebooks into the garden to find the six basic parts of a plant. For our younger students, we used our bodies to demonstrate how a plant grows…
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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,…

The Wait for Water is Over- Berendo is Blooming!

By Catherine Siefert | November 30, 2018

This month at Berendo Middle School, the students learned about the soil pie chart, producers & consumers, climates & seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students first exposure to the garden so there was lots to learn! With the construction going on, the water had been turned off for a couple weeks so…

Ladybugs, Seeds, & Weeds at 2nd Street!

By Catherine Siefert | November 30, 2018

This month, the students at 2nd Street Elementary learned about dirt, friends & foes, seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students’ first exposure to the garden class so we were starting from ground zero- very exciting! For the “Let’s Talk Dirt” lesson, the students got their hands dirty touching some wet clay soil…

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…