Friday, May 30, 2014

The Marquez Edible Garden 20th Birthday Celebration

On May 28, we celebrated the 20th birthday of the Marquez Garden with a ceremony in the garden.

At the event, we honored the dedicated parents and community members who helped to build the garden and recognized those who are helping it today.  Norm Kulla, legal counsel for Mike Bonin, presented Jessica Lamden with a proclamation from the LA City Council. Jessica Lamden was a Marquez parent who spearheaded the garden project in 1994 as well as the installation of many trees on the playgrounds and the upper yard grass area. Other people in attendance who had helped with the project included Rachael Knotz, Hazel Tate, Bob Karp, Susan Karp, the Boy Scouts, Rich Chanin, and Dana Fein. (Absent were Jackie Ota, Nina Fisher, Linda West, Judith Kampmann, Candess Medress and others.) Marion Heller, a former 2nd grade teacher who used the garden in the 90's joined the celebration. Community volunteers Jack Sanders and Carolyn Hasselkorn attended the celebration. Garden donors present included Brittany Schaefer of Raw Inspiration, Rick Chanin of Gibson International Realty and Jack Sanders of the Pacific Palisades Garden Club. (Not present were representatives from Malibu Compost, Dan Urbach, Whole Foods and Gelson's).

Tour guides from 2nd and 3rd grade gave tours of the garden to the guests. They did a wonderful job! Thanks to Sophie Miller, Maile Roarke, Taylor Gair, Amelia Lessans, Samantha Kissane, Golden Yermilov-Miller, Kayla Catalano, and Molly Cohen.

Thanks to: Ericka Gair for the beautiful new garden sign and the donor wall;  Heather Haggenmiller for the ladybug decorations inside the garden; Veronica Kissane, Heather Haggenmiller, Bridget Guy and Beverly Jacobs for refreshments.

A bit of history: the garden was dedicated to Ron Cooper, a beloved plant manager who was recently deceased; John Raiit sang at the opening celebration; funding for the garden came from various sources including grants and fundraisers at school and in the neighborhood; Boy Scouts helped with building the seating area and the raised bed covers and many of the brick seating areas around the newly planted trees on the playgrounds; Wally Denton of Denton Jewelers helped fund the grass area on the upper yard. The grass area, the edible garden and many of the tree locations on both playgrounds were asphalt when the projects started in the 90's. Linda West designed a science pond that was originally in the garden. In the beginning the garden was open to teachers to use if they wished to plant.

Dr. Charles Flippen from Troop 223 and Norman Kulla

Hazel Tate, Marion Heller and Carolyn Hasselkorn

Ms. Williams gets a tour

Jessica Lamden receives an award from the LA City Council.

Ladybugs by Heather

Donor wall by Ericka Gair

Brittany from Raw Inspiration

Rachael Knotz, Jessica Lamden and Hazel Tate. Two landscape designers and an artist who worked on the project!

Mrs. Fein's class attended since she was one of the creators of the garden.

New garden sign designed by Ericka Gair

Why we do this: so kids enjoy planting and eating their veggies!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ms. Keller's class in the garden

On May 21, Ms. Keller's class planted seeds in biodegradable pots to take home. They'll keep the soil moist and plant the pot in the ground or in another pot when there are three sets of leaves. I recommend that they take out the bottom of the pot or make the hole bigger and to cover the top lip of the pot.

We also reinforced these facts: Jefferson was the 3rd president, he retired to Monticello, English peas were his favorite veggie.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ms. Smith's class reviews the Jeffersonian Garden and also plants to take home

On Friday, Ms. Smith's 5th graders reviewed details about Thomas Jefferson. These facts included: English peas were his favorite vegetable and he had contests with his neighbors as to who'd harvest them first; his plantation, Monticello was/is in Virginia; he was the 3rd president; he asked Lewis and Clark to bring back new plants.

The kids enjoyed choosing warm weather seeds to plant in containers to take home.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ms. Marie is teaching at the library on Saturday

Ms. Marie will be teaching a garden workshop at the Palisades Branch library patio on Saturday, May 17, from 10:30 am to noon. Students grade 2 and up can sign up for the young master gardener program. We'll be discussing and planting container gardens and composting as well as planting seeds in paper pots.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ms. Yoshida's class and Mrs. Fein's class last gardening class

On Monday, Ms. Yoshida's and Mrs. Fein's classes had their last gardening class. The kids discussed their favorite vegetables, fruits and what recipes we've made in the garden. They they wrote about this in their journals before having free time in the garden. Their choices included planting, worm composting or drawing their favorite vegetables. They enjoyed tasting the purple, orange and white cauliflower as well as chives.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ms. Gardner's class plants seeds in the butterfly garden

Today we reinforced the 4th grade science study in the garden. The kids discussed the main pollinators and what they do. The ones we're trying to attract to the garden are butterflies, hummingbirds and moth although bees are important pollinators.  The kids gave good descriptions of how the animal gets pollen on it and then takes that pollen to another plant!
They planted fast growing zinnia seeds which should emerge in 5-8 days.

The kids also planted seeds in individual biodegradable pots to take home. Watermelon, canteloupe, and lettuce were most popular. We discussed the meaning of biodegradable. The kids know that the pots will decompose in the wet soil once planted. They need to remove the bottom of the pot and cover the top lip or take it off when planting.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Marquez Garden is 20 Years Old! Let's Celebrate!

All Marquez parents are welcome to join in honoring the creators of the Marquez Garden and donors to the garden on Wednesday, May 28 from 9:15 am to 10:00 am. This group of parents, staff and community members took up asphalt, built raised beds, raised money, hammered, painted and planted. Some photos from their efforts will be posted later. Thanks to: Jessica Lamden, Nina Fisher, Sheryl Hallmark, Dana Fein, Bob Karp, Rick Chanin, Cheri Chanin, Rachel Kurtz, Leslie Steadman, Judith Kampmann, Julie Van Herwerden, Hazel Tate and others! We love the garden! Students will give presentations on their experiences in the garden. Please rsvp to

Big Sunday

Big Sunday weekend is May 17 and 18. This is a Los Angeles wide weekend of service. If you wish to see what opportunities exist, go to

We'll be having an edible garden work party from 9 am to noon on the 18th. We're getting ready for the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Marquez Garden. Please join us to paint, weed, hammer, plant and spruce up the garden. I'll give community service credit to middle school and high school students.

Making Salad for the Teacher's Appreciation Day luncheon

Today several 2nd and 3rd graders prepared salad for the Teachers' Appreciation Day lunch. They harvested some of the ingredients from our school garden, e.g. red and green oak leaf lettuce, sugar snap peas, carrots and nasturtiums. The rest of the ingredients were generously donated by the Pacific Palisades Gelson's store--lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, radishes and red cabbage. The children prepared the lemon and olive oil dressing, washed the ingredients, cut some of the ingredients with plastic knives (supervised by parent volunteers) and added combined the ingredients. Thanks to Kendall, Ava, Samantha, Odysseus, Sophie, Logan, Taylor, Laura, Kendall, Calvin, and several others. Thanks to Veronica, Beverly, Bridget, Amy, and Carolyn for helping the kids prepare the salad. Thanks also to Gelson's for the donations. We were happy that Neirith Parr, front desk manager, was able to join us, as well as folks from the Palisadian-Post.

Kids washing the produce.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ms. Bihari and her class visit the garden

Today Ms. Bihari and her class visited the garden. First, the kids reviewed the following native plants and their uses by the Chumash: Cleveland sage, white sage, black sage and hummingbird sage. We also discussed the Three Sisters Garden which we've planted. It has corn, beans and squash. These plants help each other: the beans grow up the corn stalk and the squash keeps the ground cooler. We've planted two types of squash: pumpkin and zucchini.

The kids then planted warm season vegetable seeds in biodegradable pots. The kids planted cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflowers and more.

Cleveland sage was made into potpourri

Ms. Schwartz's class in the garden

On April 28, Ms. Schwartz's class visited the garden. We reviewed local plants used by the Chumash, especially focusing on white sage (used for ceremonies), black sage (made into sun tea and then put on wounds), hummingbird sage (made into tea to drink) and Cleveland sage (leaves and flowers made into potpourri). The kids had a choice to either plant seeds in a biodegradable pot or draw a favorite veggie or native plant.

Ms. Connor's class and Mr. Jacob's class review veggies, plant and draw

Today, Ms. Connor's and Mr. Jacobs' classes reviewed cool season and warm season veggies that we've planted, the reason they are classified that way, planted some more onions, basil and tomatoes and drew their favorite vegetables.

To review, cool season veggies are those planted in the fall and winter that like cool temps and cool soil. Warm season veggies are those that are planted in the spring and summer that like warm temps and warm soil-above 50 degrees.  The kids mentioned the following cool season veggies: lettuce, kale, arugula, broccoli, sugar snap peas, radishes, beets (golden and red), carrots (various colors including red, purple, orange and yellow). Warm season veggies that we've planted include beans, corn, squash (zucchini and pumpkins), tomatoes, onions, cucumbers. We've also planted the following herbs: basil, chives and cilantro.

We discussed that tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro can be made into salsa.  We'll make salsa when the kids return from summer vacation. Basil can be made into pesto and also served with tomatoes in a salad.

Some children also drew their favorite vegetable.