Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A Great Garden Celebration

On June 4,  twenty-five Marquez students grades 1-5 talked about their garden experiences this past year to an audience of parents, donors and the local press. Elenor Buckner serenaded us on the violin. After the speeches and refreshments, students gave tours of the raised bed vegetable gardens and the native plant garden.

Students from Ms. Creed's class, Ms. Yoshida's class, Ms. Fein's class, Ms. Gardners' class, Ms. Farrell's class, Ms. Schwartz's class, Ms. Bihari's class, Ms. Palo's class, Ms. Chaides' class and Ms. Keller's class participated.

2nd graders talked about starting seeds under grow lights and transplanting them as well as working in the lower garden before school;

3rd graders in Ms. Farrell's class talked about planting pumpkins, making salsa as well as having a visiting chef, Chef Sam, who made ratatouille with them and making lettuce wraps. Ms. Bihari's students talked about planting the Three Sisters Garden and how some Native Americans such as the Navajo planted one. Ms. Schwartz's students read the recipe for the rainbow salad.

4th graders discussed their study of California native plants and gave descriptions of deer grass, white sage and monkey flower. They learned the botanical names of the plants and the uses by Native Americans. They also drew the plants in their notebooks, copying them from their i-pads. Thanks to Sharon Agabra for teaching these units.

5th graders from Ms. Keller's class talked about Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president, and his gardens at Monticello. They told us that peas were his favorite vegetable.

The refreshments included a rainbow salad made by the 3rd graders in Ms. Schwartz's class.

We recognized members of the PP Garden Club, which has been a donor to our garden program as well as GardeningKnowHow, Kellogg's Garden Products, Gelson's, Renee's Garden and Seed Savers Exchange. Finally, we also thanked the valuable parent volunteers including Sharon Agabra, Winter Armm, Gaby Valensi and Laurie Vander Veen, and the many teachers who are essential for the garden program's success.

California Poppy by 4th grader
California Poppy illustration
3rd grade thank you

Rainbow salad by Ms. Schwartz's class

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Ms. Farrell's Class Starts Melons and Squash Seeds

In early May, Ms. Farrell's 3rd graders started melon and pumpkin seeds under grow lights.
They attempted to harden off the seedlings at the beginning of June but the local squirrels ate most of them.  We'll try to harden some off under protective netting and hopefully transplant them soon.

These will be the first pumpkins successfully grown at Marquez!

Seeds started and placed on seedling heat mat and then under grow lights.

Transplanting seeds into pots donated by the Pacific Palisades Garden Club members

Ms. Creed's 1st Graders Start Chives in Milk Cartons

Recently, Ms. Creed's 1st graders started chives in milk cartons. When the chives germinate and are fairly long, the students will be able to give their chives a haircut!  The children sampled chives before they planted the seeds.

The containers were covered with plastic wrap until the seeds germinated.

Marquez School 2nd Graders Celebrate Earth Day

This spring Marquez School 2nd graders celebrated Earth Day by planting in peat pots and eating a garden salad. Each class visited the lower edible garden with their teacher. We discussed that the peat pots will decompose in the soil.

Children chose between lettuce seeds and basil seeds. They were able to taste basil.

The children enjoyed eating and relaxing in the lower garden. Some drew and others looked at the plants and bugs.

Thanks to the parents and community members who helped serve the salads at the "salad bar". Thanks also to Gelson's for donating the salad ingredients.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Activities for National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month. At Marquez Charter we're using this month to reinforce eating fruits and vegetables-aka Eating a Rainbow. Vegetables and fruit should make up half of your plate.

We're lucky here in California to have so many fresh fruits and vegetables!

The basis of our edible garden program is that If You Grow It You'll Eat It!! 

Kids from preschool on up usually know the colors of the rainbow. Have them think of a vegetable or fruit for each color...

The following resources for teachers and parents might give you some ideas:

1) Rainbow on my Plate

2) Superkids Nutrition  worksheets, activities, book suggestions

3) Nutrition Bytes by Jessica Siegel, Gelson's Nutritionist

4) Choose my Plate  Tips for getting the picky eaters to eat more vegetables


I really like the points made in the Choose my Plate article. Try some of them!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Me. Soo’s 1st Graders Harvest

Last week, Ms. Soo’s 1st graders harvested some of their arugula. They learned that you can eat the flowers as well as the leaves!

Mrs. Farrell’s and Ms Schwartz’s Classes Plant Herb Gardens

This month two 3rd grade classs planted herb gardens. Ms. Farrell’s class planted some seeds inside under grow lights and some outside in recycled coffee cans. Ms. Schwartz’s class planted seeds outside in coffee cans.

They planted camomile, dill, cilantro and chives outside; sweet basil, lime basil, spearmint and marjoram inside.

Ms. Schwartz’s herb garden

Mrs. Farrell’s herb garden