White Memorial changing in September

Processed with VSCO with 6 preset

We never stopped growing food and working in the garden over summer vacation. We even had some parents come to some classes over the summer. The parents learned why we do no-till in the garden, weeded, and fixed up the beds. They learned about and how to sheet mulch with cardboard and mulch, and planted blue corn. They were also amazed when they learned about the anatomy of a flower! It was a wonderful summer with them and our summer kids!

Now in September, we are back to our regular after school garden classes!

So far, the members have enjoyed lots of sorrel! They learned about seasons, made native seed bombs, and even helped the garden with some weeding! We have also been slowly harvesting some of the blue corn that was planted by the parents. As the cooler season starts to come in, we are also slowly taking out the warm season veggies. Once everything is taken out, we will be working on a good sheet mulching once again!

Getting Seedlings planted in the garden.

Mother and son watering the seedlings

Before sheet mulching.

Cardboard down.

After…mulch on top!

The first harvest of the blue corn. These ones didn’t come out so blue.

Enjoying the sorrel!

Native Seed Bombs in the making!

Learning about cool and warm season plants.

-Ranger Cindy


Cindy Soto

It all started when Cindy took an environmental science class at PCC that sparked her interest in Sustainability. She transferred to CSUN, and pursued a degree in Geography with a minor in Sustainability. During her senior year she was the student manager of the compost facility and food garden on campus. Wanting to continue being involved with a garden and compost, she found Enrich LA. She believes that if we want people to care about the environment, we need to teach them young, and gardening is an avenue to teach kids how important it is to take care of this earth and be good stewards! When she's not gardening, she's out camping and enjoying nature!

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…