SCCLC Garden Project

designing a working school garden

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Chickens return to CLC…

We have some exciting news, chickens have returned to CLC!  We are so excited to have a new flock of ladies on campus.  They arrived today from Salinas (they were delivered to us by their owner) and are adjusting to their new home.  We spent several hours sprucing up their run and coop in preparation for their arrival.  They are a little stressed out, but hopefully will adjust to life at CLC in the next couple weeks.  Please stop by and say hello to the hens, but don’t go into the run area, feed them, or toss things at them.  If you see any learners doing this, please encourage them not to, as we want our hens to be safe and healthy.  You can also help by picking up and trash you see lying around the coop area, as we don’t want them eating trash.  Please say hello this week to the ladies.

Coop Preparation:

Alex vacuuming up all the black widows and spider families…IMG_7427

JD setting the coop door timer…

IMG_7429 Alice and Amanda prepping the food and water…IMG_7430


The hens checking out their new home… IMG_7431 Meet the hens:




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Farm To Table Auction Dinner

This past weekend, the CLC garden was full of busy parents.  At the school auction, these parents bid on the opportunity to participate in a farm to table dinner experience.  At the event, parents worked in the garden together to prep, cook and enjoy a bountiful dinner.  During the feast, everyone shared their own personal wish for the garden (or their experiences in the garden).  It was a great time and everyone walked away with new ideas and wishes for our garden looking forward.  It was a lovely event, with open and flexible participants.  It was truly a fabulous experience.  Hopefully next year, you will get the opportunity to participate.


scissor salsa, massaged dino kale, citrus carrot salad, spring mix salad with herb dressing, quinoa cakes, rice noodles with greens and cilantro pesto, sprout wraps, infused waters, and rasberry/mint sorbet

Here are some photos from the event…

IMG_2223 IMG_2224 IMG_2225 IMG_2226 IMG_2227 IMG_2228 IMG_2229 IMG_2230 IMG_2231 IMG_2232 IMG_2233 IMG_2234 IMG_2235 IMG_2236 IMG_2237 IMG_2238 IMG_2239 IMG_2240

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How are you peeling….

We are having a great time in second grade! This week, we continued to learn about our feelings through the imagery of buckets. We brainstormed ways we could fill one another’s buckets and discovered that when we do kind things to others, it fills our buckets too! We are all trying to be bucket-fillers…when you come into the classroom, notice the class bucket display filled with all the bucket-filling behaviors we have noticed. We are also learning how to avoid dipping into our friend’s buckets and how to problem solve with friends when we have conflicts. If you would like to learn more about bucket-filling, there is a great website you can visit:
During our garden time, we read a great book called, How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods. The book is filled with wonderful photographs of fruit and vegetable sculptures that depict different emotions. We decided to create our own sculptures using tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and peppers. The children used beans and other found objects in the garden, such as acorns, leaves, and twigs to create amazing, expressive faces.
 Garden Time Working together Vegetable sculpting happy tomato foods with moods surprised pepper

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The great seed harvest…


Last year, my goal was to plant everything you see in the garden from seed with the learners.  My second goal was to be thoughtful about what was planted, so that these plants could mature over the summer and the learners would arrive to a garden full of new seeds.  On Monday, the learners spent the day in the garden harvesting seeds.  It was a very powerful experience for them in which they had the opportunity to experience the final stage in the life cycle of the plants in the garden.  We collected tons of scarlet runner bean, pole bean, bush bean, stevia and amaranth seeds using a variety of dry processing methods:

Dry processing is used for seeds that mature and harden on the plant in husks or pods, including legumes, corn, let- tuce, and radish. A variety of processing tech- niques are used, depending on the seeds’ size…

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K-8 learners in the garden

Today I had the amazing opportunity to work with several classrooms and their educators in the garden.  The goal of the day was to get as many different learners into the garden, and for the educators to learn different ways to utilize the space.  Having a shared community space takes a lot of coordination, but there are great benefits to having a shared space versus each grade level taking a bed in the garden.  A community space means that we all work together to amend, turn and massage the soil.  We all plant, we all nourish, and we all enjoy the harvest.  It takes a lot to have a school garden, so this was a great opportunity to get some energy and excitement into the space.

With spring coming, there is much to do in the garden to get it ready for the spring and summer growing seasons.  The morning started with the eighth graders visiting the garden.  They helped turn a a bed that the k/1 learners would plant sunflowers in later in the day, they started a renegade knitting project along the fence line, which the 3/4 learners would continue later in the afternoon, and they did some work in the chicken coop.

The k/1 learners visited next.  They explored the compost soil, and looked for bugs and other interesting things inside the compost with magnifying glasses.  They planted Armenian cucumbers and birdhouse gourds in seedling pots, and they helped massage the soil in a bed that would be later turned by the second graders.  There was a lot of energy in the garden with the little ones in the space.  It reminded me of how amazing and patient the k/1 educators are, and gave me a great appreciation for how hard they work each day!

The second graders did a lot of hard labor.  They learned how to turn a bed using double digging.  They learned how to properly use garden tools and how to work together.  They turned and amended two beds, and they weeded and cleaned two others.  They also had the opportunity to sketch the chickens.  I was really impressed with how much they loved to work and how well they worked together as a team.

In the afternoon, some of the 3/4 classes came to the garden.  They finished up the knitting started earlier in the day and helped finish a lot of the work that was started by the other learners earlier in the day.  They planted two bed ends full of bachelor’s button and sunday purple sage (two beautiful flowering and edible plants).  They planted an above ground sweet potato (a bit of an experiment) and they finished prepping the beds the second graders had turned.  Even some eighth graders came back during their flex to weave more hearts on the fence.

By the end of the day, the garden looked amazing.  Not all the learners got to visit today, but part of the garden grant is allowing me several opportunities to spend the day in the garden with the k-8 classes.  I can’t wait for the next day I get to spend with the learners.  It was a real treat to work with them and celebrate their enthusiasm.  Stop by the garden over the next few weeks and see if you notice all our hard work.  Hopefully you have already heard stories from your learners about how much fun they had today!

Kindly, Elysha

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Sweet Peas and Salsa

Marianne and Lale’s 3/4 class visited the garden this week to do some weeding, art, planting and cooking.  This was the classes first visit to the garden in some time, and the learners were really excited.  There were three stations to visit.  The first was an art station where learners drew a beautiful blossoming tree with pastels.  The second group worked with Elysha turning and amending a bed, then planting sweet pea seeds.  The third group worked with Heidi making scissor salsa.  The learners really enjoyed cooking and are excited to see their seeds sprout and eventually flower.  Here are some photos from their visit, along with the recipe if you would like to make it at home (as many of them said it was the best salsa they ever had, most likely because they worked together to make it).

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Room 25

We had a very exciting morning, examining seeds we did have to look at in the classroom!  Learners made scientific observations of the seeds and I heard lots of great discussion around the room.  Here are some of the questions they brought up that we talked about as a class:
“Does the size of a seed tell you how big the plant will be?”
“How long does it take for a seed to grow into an adult plant?  Does it grow faster if the seed is bigger and slower if the seed is smaller?”
“Does a seed need the entire seed in order to germinate?”
“Lots of people brought in tomato seeds but they all look very different.  Why is that?”
They are already thinking of experiments they can do to test some of these questions, as scientists.

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