Monday, February 29, 2016

Ms. Schwartz's Students Help in the Garden

Today some of Ms. Schwartz's students helped in the garden. They amended the soil in two beds with new soil and compost. Then some of them planted wildflower seeds, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds in a new pollinator bed and the butterfly garden.  Others prepared a bed that will have a three sisters garden and some tomatoes. They also planted a few bean seeds.

Planting in the butterfly garden!
The kids were a great help!
Hard working kids amending the soil.

Ms. Connor's Students and Mr. Jacobs' Students Planted in Reusable Containers

Today Ms. Connor's 2nd graders and Mr. Jacobs' 2nd graders planted seeds in cardboard egg cartons. We discussed the concept of reusing-i.e. using again and how it was good for the environment.
We also discussed how many seeds they'd get if they put two seeds in each of the six cells-12! Then we counted by 2s to confirm. Here is the link for the project:

The children filled the cells with soil and then chose fruit, vegetable and herb seeds. They'll place the container on a tray at home and place water in the tray every other day. The soil in the cell needs to be continually moist. Once the seeds germinate they need to be near a window, if possible. When there are three sets of leaves the seeds can be placed directly in the ground or a pot. If kept moist, the cardboard will disintegrate or decompose. The cardboard should be covered with soil.

Students who can't transplant the seedlings outside chose herbs, kale and lettuce to grow inside.

At the end of class the children harvested lettuce and carrots from the Peter Rabbit Garden and took them back to their class. The carrots were purple, orange and white!

Planting in the cartons

The kids fed the worms some vegetable scraps. We have lots of worms now!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ms. Chaides' Students Plant in the Native American Garden

On February 26, some of Ms. Chaides' students planted in the Native American Garden. Before planting, they observed a California poppy and learned that it is the state flower. They planted penstemon, black sage and Cleveland sage.  They learned some of the uses of these plants by our local Native Americans. Penstemon leaves are made into a poultice and placed on wounds or insect bites. Black sage is made into a tea that Chumash soak their feet in.

Ms. Fein's and Ms. Yoshida's Students Plant in Egg Cartons

This week, the 2nd graders in Ms. Fein's and Ms. Yoshida's classes planted seeds in cardboard egg cartons and learned the concept of reusing.  The idea for this project came from the Whole Kids Foundation, which recently donated money to the edible garden. Here is the link for the project:

The students took the egg cartons home. Directions for care follow the photos.

Directions for care include: keep moist by placing carton on a tray or plate and preferably watering from below. Once seedlings have 3 sets of leaves they can be placed in the garden; they should be "hardened off" by staying outside 1 or 2 hours for a few days; before planting, separate the six individual cells if desired and cut off the bottoms. Then wet thoroughly and plant in the garden or a pot, making sure that the cardboard is at or below soil level. If the cardboard is above the soil level it will wick away water from the soil surrounding the seedling. Eventually the cardboard will decompose.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ms. Palo's and Ms. Gardner's Students Plant in the Native American Garden

Ms. Palo's students and Ms. Gardner's students planted in the Native American Garden today. They planted black sage and penstemon. The Chumash made tea from black sage and would soak their feet in it. The  Chumash used the local penstemon to heal their wounds. They made a poultice of the leaves and flowers and put it on wounds and insect bites.  We planted margarita bop penstemon which is adapted to our clay soil.

The students read the plant labels from Theodore Payne that give information on eventual size of the plant and amount of sun it takes. Some of the plants in the garden will do well in shade and others need sun.  These plants prefer sun. The students worked in teams to plant. They found out that clay soil is very hard. Native plants should be planted either level with the soil or a slight bit higher than the soil level. The roots will rot if planted too deep.

Each native plant that's planted will need two watering cans of water weekly for the first year. We are placing wooden markers by the plants so the watering teams can water them.

Planting penstemon

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ms. Bihari's Class Harvests Peas and Transplants Seedlings

Harvesting peas
Today Ms. Bihari's class harvested 30 sugar snap peas-enough peas for each child to have one. In addition they transplanted carrot, bean and nasturtium seedlings that they'd grown from seeds and cared for in their class. They also weeded and watered. They observed that some of the lettuce and spinach seeds that they'd planted a few weeks ago were growing!

Ms. Farrell's Class Makes Lettuce Wraps

Ms. Farrell's class had so much lettuce in their garden bed that they made lettuce wraps. Parents sent in additional produce (bell peppers, avocado, carrots, and lemons) and chicken.  They also added rice and salad dressing and then rolled the yumminess up with the lettuce!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thanks to Former Marquez Student, Piers Carmichael

We have some new colorful furniture and teaching equipment in the edible garden courtesy of former student, Piers Carmichael, a boy scout who chose the garden for his Eagle Scout project. The cold-frame, next to the shed, will enable us to grow seeds outside for longer as it'll keep them warmer. The root view box will enable the students to see the roots grow. Finally, the newly painted table and chairs will be useful for teaching and fun for the kids to sit on.  They had been covered with peeling white paint. Thanks to the scouts from Troop 223 who worked on this project!

Our new cold frame

The root view box will be a good teaching aid.
The table and chairs will be fun to use and useful! 

Ms. Yoshida's Class and Ms. Connor's Class Make a Fruit and Vegetable ABC Book

On Feb. 1, Ms. Yoshida's students and Ms. Connor's students listed names of fruits and vegetables alphabetically. Mrs. Vander Veen wrote them on the chart. Then each child wrote the names of vegetables and fruits on a letter page that will go in the class Fruits and Vegetables Book.  They also illustrated their page. Mrs. Vander Veen showed them some vegetables from a vegetable abc book to supplement their ideas. We'll be bringing in some of the less common fruits and vegetables this season for them to taste!

The students also added the worm salad that they made in December to the worm bin and reviewed the meaning of rot and decomposition.

For fun, Mrs. Vander Veen offered the students homework of writing down the fruits and vegetables that they eat for this week. Those that complete the homework will get some veggies or a new pencil!

Students generated a list of fruits and vegetables
The Fruit and Vegetable ABCs
Investigating the worms!