Learning from the ground up!

Decomposers, compost, worms, OH MY!  Fresh from our Vermiculture Bin to your computer screen, we bring you news of our hardest workers in the garden: the Red Wiggler Worms. 

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These worms eat all the food scraps from our cooking classes and turn them into rich, beautiful, and nutritious soil!  These red worms are known as Natures Wonder Worker because they eat their body weight in compost almost daily!  Without them, all our food waste would go straight to the landfill and all those nutrients would be lost. 

So in honor of our Red Wiggler Worms’ dedication to the garden, we celebrated a worm appreciation month full of compost sorting races, worm biographies, even taking turns to feed the worms by hand!  The students were not afraid of getting their hands dirty when inspecting the “cool” and “cute” worms in our compost bin.  Students learned the importance of giving the worms a well balanced diet of plants, sticks, food scraps, and paper.  They also learned the valuable role compost plays in putting nutrients back into the soil in our raised beds. There is so much to learn and discover in the ground under our feet!  With the help of decomposers like our worm and Rollie Pollie friends, we are able to grow beautiful vegetables to eat in our cooking classes. 

Let’s give three cheers for the bugs under our feet who truly dedicate their lives to improve the world around them!!

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Citrus Beauty Pageant

"I believe that my fruit should be crowned 1st place in the Citrus Beauty Pageant because it's the complete package! It's beautifully round and orange with a shockingly crimson inside! My fruit is sweeter than all its cousins, and if you juice it and serve it to your friends it will make any party a hit! If you cut it up and put it in a salad, you will be delighted as the juices dress your leaves. Finally, just like all its cousins, it has enough vitamins and minerals inside its peal to keep you strong and healthy! Vote for the Blood Orange, for 1st place in the Citrus Beauty Pageant!!"

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This month in cooking class, our third graders are competing in a Citrus Beauty Pageant. The students work together in teams, trying to sell their story. Writing a persuasive article, they explain why their kumquat, grapefruit, lemon or blood orange is the most beautiful, tasty and healthy treat.

Citrus Pageant

Once the winning team is crowned, they squeeze all the juice from their fruit and have a toast to how much they love this winter treat!

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Garden Guess Who

Winter in Los Angeles can be a confusing time since we aren’t wearing down coats or out building snowmen. So how do we know that it’s winter when the outdoor thermometer reads 70? Luckily for us we can look to the garden for clues with a little game we like to call, Garden Guess Who.
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When Kids Make Salads

Who says kids won't love a healthy snack?

Quite often when we tell people what we teach our kids in cooking class their response is, "Do they even like it?" Every time, with a satisfying smile, we reply, "Yes, they do!" And our doubter is left amazed. Take our Fourth Graders for example:

We walked Ms. Lafleur's fourth grade class to the orchard and began to harvest some of the last Granny Smith and Fuji apples of the year. The kids were literally jumping with excitement over the prospect of picking this delicious fruit.  After we collected a bowlful of apples and took it back to the table, we washed and cut the apples.  The students then learned all about fennel and chopped the bulb up as well.  They also cut up some mint and sorrel they had harvested from the garden and tossed it all with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Finally, we took our forks in hand, and as a class we counted "one...two...three"...and we all tasted it! At first it was quiet, as everyone chewed up their first bite.  But then, the exclamations started coming from all directions! "This is GOOD!!"  "I love it!" "I'm going to want some more!" Every single student had  something wonderful to say about the tastiness of this snack.  Then from the side I kept hearing, "Miss Cassie, Miss Cassie" and so I walked over to my friend at the table.  He stood up and looked at me with an almost desperate countenance and pleaded "Please! Can I take this recipe home and give it to my mom so that she can make it for me for my birthday?!?" At once my heart was overjoyed at this most sincere stamp of approval.



Fourth graders enjoying the salad

Try it for yourself and tell us what you think! 

Apple Fennel Salad 

Ingredients: 

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and halved

2 bulbs fennel, sliced thin

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

optional: 1/4th cup chopped sorrel

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Method:

 1.  Cut the apple into thin slices and place in a medium bowl with the fennel and sorrel.

 2. Whisk together the lemon juice, mint, and olive oil in a small bowl.

 3. Toss the apples, fennel and sorrel with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 4. Enjoy!

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Featured

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The Garden School Foundation’s City Seedlings Summer Camp is an invigorating, holistic weeklong program encompassing elements of nature exploration, cooking, science, gardening and art! City Seedlings Campers will spend a week in our beautiful 1-acre kitchen garden and outdoor laboratory in the Historic West Adams neighborhood. Campers spend each morning planting, harvesting, and preparing lunch fresh from the garden; and each afternoon making garden crafts, playing games, exploring the wonders of nature, and forming new friendships!

Click Here for more information and to register