Family Gardening

Some great ideas from American Community Gardening Association

Be comfortable with dirt. All kids are washable.  Wear clothes that are not fancy. If mud is a concern once the kids are going back inside set up a hand-washing and shoe-scraping station before they go back inside.

Bugs and crawly critters are cool.

Children aren’t inherently afraid of things that crawl and creep. They learn that these things are bad or scary or icky from adults. When you pass on an aversion to something because of how it looks, that’s called “prejudice.” Worms, caterpillars, grubs, insects, spiders and all sorts of wondrous creatures are out in your garden as part of the ecosystem. Please see them as integral parts of the system, and the kids will be amazed and curious, not afraid. Check out Worms Eat My Garbage and other great teaching resources on garden critters.

For more tips see their website:

https://communitygarden.org/

resources/ten-tips-on-gardening-with-kids/

 

Garden Jokes

"What does the letter "A" have in common with a flower? 
They both have bees coming after them."

 

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Books

“Our School Garden!” by Rick Swann

"Grandpa Green" Lane Smith

"The Giant Carrot" Barry Root

"Red are the Apples" Marc Harshman and Cheryl Ryan

Our School Garden

About Our School Garden

The Los Cerritos Urban Farmyard has been in existence since the year 2000. It occupies an area of approximately  60 ft. by 80 ft. Built on a formerly grassy site, it has grown from 4 raised beds, utilized by 2 teachers, to 22 raised beds, utilized by all teachers and students.  It includes pathways made of decomposed granite, borders of flowers and herbs, 6 fruit trees, benches for an "outdoor classroom," a composting area, a "barn" for storage and a chicken coop.

The school garden connects to the classroom in a variety of ways. It provides students with the hands-on experience of planting and maintaining a garden. This fosters a sense of responsibility and respect for the environment and all living things. The cooperative spirit, which arises through gardening together, transfers to the classroom in a strong sense of community and appreciation for others. Students have been able to observe worms, insects, lizards, frogs, butterflies and birds naturally in our organic garden. Ours is not the typical "big city" experience, especially since we have our own chicken coop. Come and see for yourself. There is nothing else like it in the Long Beach Unified School District!

Garden Kitchen - new feature!

Look for a new recipe to try every month!  Cooking is a fun way to learn. 

Egg Drop Soup

Your kids will love to watch eggs turn into feathery wisps as you add them into this simple soup. You can vary the vegetables in this soup with whatever you have in season.

Active time: 20 minutes  Total time: 20 minutes

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

Here's what you'll need:

2 leeks, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch chard or other dark, leafy greens, chopped

5 cups vegetable stock

2 eggs

2 tablespoons green onion or chives, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Soup pot

Here's what you'll do:

1-Sauté leeks with olive oil in your soup pot for 2 to 3 minutes.

2-Add 1 cup of chopped chard and sauté for another 2 minutes.

3-Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and cook until chard is tender and ready to eat, about 1 minute.

4-Beat eggs in a small bowl and slowly pour into the boiling broth, stirring gently.

5-Add salt, pepper, and green onions and serve hot.

Copied from: "The book of Gardening Projects for kids" page 214

Kid activities

Science experiment: Worm watch


What happens when worms are under the ground? Make a mini worm farm and see exactly what happens. Make your predictions and watch as it unfolds before your eyes .Experiments are all about observing so watch and learn with science.

What you need

  •  large plastic bottle
  •  soil
  •  sand
  •  dead leaves
  •  water
  •  earthworms
  •  food wrap
  •  dark paper
  •  pencil

Activity

Cut the top off of a large plastic bottle. Or be really green and use a glass jar

Fill the bottle with layers of soil and sand.
 
Add 4 teaspoons of water to the soil and put dead leaves at the top of the soil.

Dig around some soil outside and try to find 2 or 3 earthworms and add them to your soil.

Cover the bottle with food wrap and poke some holes in it with a pencil.

Tape dark paper around the sides of the bottle.

Add 2 teaspoons of water each day to keep the soil damp.
 
After 2 weeks, take the dark paper off.
 
You should see that the worms have mixed up the soil and made tunnels.

Notes:

  •  Don't forget to return the worms to where you found them.
  •  Make sure you don't put the bottle into direct sunlight.

http://www.kidspot.com.au/things-to-do/activities/science-experiment-worm-watch

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Primary Goals of Los Cerritos' School Garden

  • To connect the garden to the state standards and curriculum in a variety of ways including literacy, math and science.

  • To encourage students to make healthier food choices and expose them to a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.

  • To encourage character building and community involvement through sharing our harvest and empathizing with others in need.

  • To create a better understanding of where food comes from in order to more fully appreciate the role of agriculture in our society now and in the future.

  • To instill in students a love of the earth and concern for the environment.

  • To encourage a more active lifestyle by engaging students in additional outdoor physical activity.

Great Gardening websites

http://sagegardenproject.org/

http://kids.cfaitc.org/wgo/

http://www.kidsgardening.org/family-gardening

http://www.backyardchickens.com/

http://www.gardenforever.com/pages/parents-resource-guide-to-gardening-with-children.htm

 

Thanks to the dedication of our parents and our own resident Master Gardener, Dianne Swanson, Los Cerritos' garden continues to flourish. 

Our School Garden Locker

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Our Garden Teacher

Jessica Brimley was born and raised in Long Beach.  She attended Carver, Tincher, Hill, Wilson,and Poly. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Chemistry and English Literature- but don’t quiz her on the periodic table, she has never worked as a chemist. She has worked as a database programmer, daycare provider, seamstress,and textbook copy editor. She and her husband live with their three children (all LBUSD students) in the East Long Beach home where she grew up. They keep chickens and grow organic fruit trees. For the last two years she has been the volunteer gardener at Tincher, and for the last 15 years she has been an avid urban agriculture advocate. Don’t start talking to her about household graywater reuse or composting unless you have half an hour to spare.