Monday, December 29, 2014

Whole Foods' Kale, Carrot and Avocado salad

We're growing kale and carrots in the Marquez garden. Here's a recipe from Whole Foods that uses these cool season vegetables. We'll be making it at school soon.

Kale, Carrot and Avocado Salad

Serves 4

1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce

Instructions: Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to thoroughly mash avocado into kale. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow kale to soften.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ms. Palo's class plants again in the Native American Garden

On December 15 Ms. Palo's 4th graders planted yarrow, black sage, Douglas iris and mugwort in the Native American (Chumash inspired) garden.  We discussed that Chumash used yarrow leaves to stop bleeding and that black sage was made into tea.We reviewed the uses of some of the plants that had already been planted, such as hummingbird sage and Cleveland sage. One child in each group was a scribe and wrote down information about the planting.

We have only a few more plants left to plant in this woodland area of the garden.

Thanks to Reese's mom for volunteering. Thanks also to the LAUSD gardeners who helped take out some bushes today. We also appreciate the cooperation of our plant manager, Mrs. Miller!

Planting yarrow

Planting yarrow
 Busy gardeners!

Transplanting black sage

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ms. Gardner's Class plants in the Native American Garden

Today Ms. Gardner's 4th graders planted 12 plants in the Native American Garden.  1/2 of the class came at a time. They planted coffeeberry, purple sage, deer grass, hummingbird sage and yarrow. We reviewed the uses of the plants by the Chumash. Yarrow was used to clot blood, deer grass to make baskets, coffeeberry for medicinal purposes, hummingbird sage for tea, and purple sage attracts butterflies.  Coffeeberry also attracts birds.

To prepare the soil for planting natives, holes had been dug and then filled with water prior to the students coming to plant. The kids then dug the holes deeper, wet the plants and gently removed them from the pots before planting at soil level. Several kids discovered that we have very hard clay soil in that area!

A member in each group functioned as a scribe and wrote down information about the plants and what the kids did. Another member was the group photographer. The kids did a great job, helping to get the plants in the ground before the rain.

Thanks to Bob at Matilija Nursery in Moorpark for selling the plants to us at a generous discount!

Planting coffeeberry


Planting deer grass

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Marquez Charter receives a $1500 grant for the edible garden

Marquez was just awarded a garden grant of $1500 from the Western Growers Foundation. Western Growers Foundation (WGF) proudly partners with the California Department of Education (CDE) to award 100 K-12 schools $1,500 each—plus seeds and other materials to grow and sustain a fruit and vegetable garden. This program is made possible through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, administered through California Department of Food and Agriculture, to WGF. We will use the funds to expand our edible gardening area and purchase cooking and gardening supplies for our seed to table program. Children in grades 2-5 get gardening enrichment class but all students in all grades 1-5 are able to visit the garden at recess. More details about our grant and how we're using it will be in another post.

Thanks to Rachel Burch for helping with the grant.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ms. Chiades' class works in the Native American Garden

Today Ms. Chiades' 4th grade students worked in the woodland part of the new Native American Garden. We first reviewed of some of the native plants that they studied last year. They planted Cleveland sage and hummingbird sage plants. In addition, they sowed seeds of blue lupine. Most of the students remembered that the Chumash (and they) made potpourri from the leaves of Cleveland sage. The students that didn't plant measured the perimeter and area of the two 4th grade "adopted" beds in the front of school. One of the boys said it felt like math class and I reminded him that measuring and math are part of gardening.

We discussed that we have a landscape plan designed by a landscape architect and will plant the plants based upon the design. One of the students was the scribe and wrote in the class garden journal.

The temporary Native American Garden sign in the garden was painted by Ms. Bihari's son.

This is what our Cleveland sage will look like in a year!
The students planted three Cleveland sages and one hummingbird sage.