Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ms. Fein's 2nd Graders Plant in the Salsa Garden

Today Ms. Fein's 2nd graders planted in the Salsa Garden.  We introduced the lesson in the classroom. Several children knew that salsa means sauce in Spanish.  We also discussed the ingredients in salsa. We're planting tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, onion and garlic.

Ms. Marie showed the children a good way to plant a tomato seedling to make a stronger plant-take off the bottom 1/3 or 1/2 stems and leaves and flowers and then plant the seedling up to the current bottom branch. All of the hairs on the stem and the places where the other leaves and branches were will become roots.  The children helped plant the seedlings.

Children also planted seeds of cilantro and jalapeno pepper, onion starts and some garlic. They learned that you plant the seed twice as deep as the seed is wide. In the case of these seeds they barely cover them.

We put tomato cages around the plants to keep the branches and fruit off of the ground. Tomorrow we'll put a cover on top of the seeds to keep them warmer and help them germinate more quickly. Thanks to Ms. Ashley for helping.

After planting the children enjoyed a snack of salsa and tortilla chips. This food was generously donated by Gelson's Market, one of our community sponsors.  When the children harvest the vegetables as 3rd graders they will make their own salsa!

Planting a Sun Gold tomato seedling

Planting jalapeno pepper seeds donated by Renee's Garden Seeds

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Ms. Soo's 1st Graders Plant in Their Salad Garden

This week Ms. Soo's 1st graders planted in their raised bed. The bed is right by their classroom so they'll be able to watch the seeds germinate and grow.

Before planting the children used trowels to turn the soil. We had added some Armstrong's Organic Compost the day before. They learned that trowels are small and shovels are big.

The children planted heirloom lettuce seeds and carrot seeds that were donated to the school by Seed Savers Exchange and Renee's Garden.  They planted orange and purple carrots. The bed already contains some arugula that was self seeded from last year's plants.

The lettuce seeds and carrot seeds are very tiny. The children sprinkled them on the soil and then barely covered them. The rule for planting depth is to plant twice the diameter of the seed.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ms. Creed's 1st Grade Class Plants a Salad Garden

On February 28 Ms. Creed's 1st graders planted a salad garden in the raised bed. They planted heirloom seeds of lettuce and carrots. They planted seeds of both purple and orange carrots. The seeds were donated to our school by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Renee's Garden. We planted Renee's Rainbow Carrots and Snacking Carrots and Baker Creek's Carrot Nantes Scarlet.

Before planting the children mixed in the compost with trowels to feed the soil.  When planting they dribbled the seeds and then barely covered them with soil since the seeds are so tiny.

Feb. 28-Lettuce seeds planted.

We also planted two tomato seedlings. Ms. Marie took off the bottom one-third of the stems and planted the seedlings deeper in the ground. Where the stems were will become additional roots.

We covered the seed area with a white cloth to keep the soil warmer and speed up germination. On March 9 we could see that some seeds had germinated.

The children also planted lettuce seeds in recycled plastic bottles. The tops were covered with saran wrap until the seeds sprouted.
As of March 9 the seeds had grown about two inches!

March 9-Seedlings are tall!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Ms. Chaides' 4th Graders Plant White Sage and Vegetable Seeds

Yesterday Ms. Chaides' 4th graders did two types of planting.

We first reviewed the use of white sage by the Chumash-they dry leaves, tied them together and made a smudge stick which they then burn in a ceremony.  Some students then planted the plant outside the room.

Next the children planted seeds and a basil seedling in the Pizza Garden that they are sharing with Ms. Palo's class. They planted heirloom basil, cilantro and onion seeds. They also planted two roots from a green onion which will grow into new onions.

The bed already has a jalapeno pepper, two tomato plants and a kale plant.

Ms. Smith's 1st Graders Plant in their Salad Garden

Yesterday Ms. Smith's 1st graders planted in their salad bowl raised bed. They planted seeds of watermelon radish, red lettuce, oak leaf lettuce, cilantro, purple carrots and orange carrots. All of the seeds are heirloom seeds donated by either Renees or Seed Savers Exchange.  Carrots were very popular!  The children learned to barely cover the small seeds.

Ms. Marie planted an heirloom tomato plant and showed them the correct way to plant this type of seedling. We took off the bottom 1/3 branches (which will become roots as will the tiny hairs on the seedling). We then planted the seedling so the bottom 1/3 was covered by soil. This will make a stronger plant.

Before planting the children dug in the compost that was added to amend the bed and make the soil healthy.  We also added fertilizer before watering. We covered the bed to keep the seeds warm and help them germinate quicker.

Ms. Smith's class and Ms. Creed's class are sharing this bed.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marquez's garden is a Whole Kids Foundation School Success Story!

In 2015 Whole Kids Foundation (the non-profit arm of Whole Foods) awarded the Marquez School garden program a $2,000 garden grant. We used that for gardening supplies and other items to build our garden program.

Last fall they contacted us and asked if they could profile us on their website.

One of the strengths of our program is how it links the gardens to social studies. In 2nd/3rd we plant and discuss salsa and then the children make salsa.. In 3rd/4th we plant and then eat from the Native American Three Sisters-corn, beans and squash.  The children make succotash at the beginning of 4th grade. In 4th we plant and tend the Native American Garden featuring native plants that the Chumash and Tongva and other indigenous peoples use for food, medicine and other uses.  The garden has been partly funded by the Pacific Palisades Garden Club and Gibson International Realty. In 5th the children plant heirloom seeds from Monticello that Thomas Jefferson planted in his garden.  The children also eat from these gardens.

Planting, growing and eating are great ways for children (and adults) to learn and it's fun too !

The Whole Kids Foundation website has lots of good information. Check it out after you look at the post about Marquez!

We used some grant money to buy grow light systems from Gardeners Supply where we start seeds.

Salsa making has a writing component!

Native Americans used and use California poppies for food and medicine

Cleveland Sage is used for pain relief by the Chumash.
Children enjoy making a colorful salsa

5th graders plant heirloom radish seeds

5th graders harvest the heirloom radish!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ms. Soo's 1st Graders Learn about Fruits and Vegetables

Today Ms. Soo's 1st graders identified fruits and vegetables that were donated by Gelson's Markets. They then made a class ABC book of fruits and vegetables and had a snack.

The fruits and veggies included celery, lettuce, kale, mango, avocado, blueberries, banana, radish, beet, tomato, yellow pepper, jalapeno pepper, pear, peach, star bruit, grapefruit, lemon, watermelon, yellow carrots, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, sweet potato, onion and green onion.

Each child then got a paper with a different letter and drew vegetables or fruit that started with it.

They enjoyed a snack of mango and carrot when they were finished!

At the end of the class, one girl said she appreciated us for teaching them about healthy fruits and vegetables. She said that if she had a party that she'd like to serve fruit or vegetables. I've listed a recipe idea for a fruit kebob below.

Fruit on a Stick

pineapple chunks
shredded dried coconut
grapes (both red and green)
nonfat yogurt
wooden skewers

Wash fruit and cut into chunks. Separate into bowls and let children place on skewers or place on skewers for them. Roll fruit in yogurt and then in coconut.