Friday, February 20, 2015

Thanks to Renee's Garden!

This week Renee's Garden,, distributor of heirloom gourmet vegetable, herb and flower seeds, donated many dozens of seed packets to the Marquez Garden program.  We'll start planting these seeds soon, both indoors and outside. One of the varieties will be Italian Heirloom Kale, Lacinato, also known as dinosaur kale. This will be planted by the 2nd grade.

Ms. Farrell's Class Starts Study in Native American Garden

On February 10, Ms. Farrell's class learned about some native plants used by the Chumash and Tongva. They smelled the white sage and learned that these Native Americans burned it and used it in ceremonies. They also went to our Native American Garden where they saw Cleveland sage and hummingbird sage among other plants. We looked at the Coast Live Oak in the garden. Most kids didn't know it was an oak tree. They were excited to see an acorn and a bird! They learned that the Native Americans mixed ground up acorns with water to make into a mush.  At the end of the lesson, the students made potpourri from Cleveland sage to take home.

Potpourri from Cleveland sage

An acorn in the oak tree

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mulch and signage in the Native American Garden

The first signs are up in the woodland section of the Native American Garden. Many of the plants were used by local Chumash and Tongva for food, medicine and other uses. We'll have more professional signs soon. Meanwhile, 3rd and 4th graders and everyone who walks by the garden can see what the plants are!

Also, note the mulch that covers the ground. This Xerimulch was donated by Kellogg's Garden Products.  Mulch has two purposes: it reduces the need for frequent watering because it helps retain moisture underneath; it also slows weed growth.

Mrs. Fein's Class Visits the Garden

On February 17, Mrs. Fein's class visited the garden.  Today we reviewed composting and planted. We reviewed the names of some greens (vegetable and fruit waste) and the browns (egg shells and paper and tree products)  that go in the worm bin. The kids wrote in their journals. They then had the choice of looking at the worms in the worm bin and/or planting swiss chard or carrot seeds.  Most kids did both activities.

Planting carrot seeds in Peter Rabbit's Garden

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ms. Reeve's Class Makes a Kale Salad

This week, the young chefs in Ms. Reeve's class made a kale salad. They could choose from a variety of ingredients.

Kale, Carrot and Avocado Salad


kale (we used curly leaf)
carrot (grated)
cherry tomatoes
feta cheese
other possibilities: onion, strawberries, beets, etc.


1 T. olive oil
1 t. lemon juice
1 sliver of garlic
shake each of salt and pepper

We first quadrupled the recipe a couple of times and then added extra olive oil if the kids wished more.


Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces. Cut other ingredients in bite sized pieces. Add dressing and massage kale to make it softer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ms. Abrams' Class in the Garden

On Feb. 9 Ms. Abrams' class visited the edible garden. We first discussed the brassica family of plants, which include broccoli, cabbage, arugula, kale and cauliflower. The students observed that the leaves of these plants look similar.  They also saw that the broccoli flowers and arugula flowers have four petals each.

After writing in their journals, the students planted and observed the worms in our new worm composting bin. Thanks to UCCE Master Gardener, Sarah Spitz, for donating her bin and worms to the students at Marquez! There are lots of worms! The worms eat vegetable and fruit scraps.

Red wriggler worms eat vegetable and fruit scraps.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ms. Bihari's Class Makes Kale Salads

On Feb. 5, Ms. Bihari's 3rd graders made kale salads. Each student had their own bowl into which they put the ingredients that they wished. Their options included kale, spinach, strawberries, broccoli carrots and avocado.  Then the kids at each table made a serving of salad dressing for their group. We discussed the relationship between 1 t. and 1 T. and that 3 t.s = 1 T.

Thanks to the many parents who helped with the cooking lesson!

Kale Salad

ingredients of choice, e.g. strawberries, avocado, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, celery, feta cheese

1 t. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
sliver of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Cut ingredients in bite size pieces, add dressing and massage the kale or let sit with the dressing a few minutes to get softer. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ms. Farrell's Class Makes a Kale and Spinach Salad

This week Ms. Farrell's 3rd graders made a Spinach & Kale Salad using the kale salad recipe from Kirstin Uhrenholdt and Laurie David's "the family cooks" as a start. I explained that they were all chefs and that they could decide what went into their salad.

They could choose from kale, spinach, avocado, strawberries, broccoli and carrots. Of course, at home they could add more, e.g. tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, etc.

Each child could tear their kale, cut their strawberries and broccoli.  They used plastic knives. The food scraps were saved to be placed in the compost bin in the edible garden. We discussed the relationship and abbreviation for 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon.

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale-amount depends on side of individual bowls
assorted other ingredients

Dressing (note for 5 children, quadruple)

1 t. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1 sliver of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

The children enjoyed the salad very much!

Whole Kids Foundation Grant for 2015

Marquez School has received a Whole Kids Foundation grant for 2015 for our edible garden program. The Whole Kids Foundation is the non-profit founded by Whole Foods Market. The funds will be used to enhance our seed to table program of growing and eating.  More details will be forthcoming in March.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Thanks to our guest chefs!

We had several guest chefs during the recent Fresh Kids Week. We appreciate their time, talent and enthusiasm!

Chef and author Kirstin Uhrenholdt cooked with Ms. Palo's 4th graders. She is the co-author of two cookbooks with Laurie David: The Family Cooks and The Family Dinner.

Jessica Siegel, Gelson's Dietician, made a Kale, Carrot and Avocado Salad with Mrs. Fein's 2nd graders.

Chef Elisa Hunsinker, a former parent at Marquez, cooked with Mr. Jacobs's 2nd graders.

Victoria Polakoff, a former Palisadian and Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods on Wilshire, cooked with Ms. Yoshida's 2nd graders.