Week of December 15 - December 19, 2014

Dec 15 2014 Planting broccoli.jpg
This was a big planting week! First up, broccoli planted by Mrs. Harvey's 2nd graders.

Dec 15 2014 Planting cabbage.jpg
Then, red cabbage (from tiny to more mature) planted by Mrs. Coate's 3rd graders.

Dec 15 2014 Lettuce interplanting.jpg
Taking advantage of the soil space, red romaine lettuce was inter-planted with all the new cabbage and broccoli seedlings.

Dec 15 2014 Green lettuce.jpg
And more green lettuce was added to one of the lettuce beds.

Dec 16 2014 Cauliflower seedlings.jpg
Small cauliflower plants replaced some of the harvested ones.

Dec 15 2014 Pea seeds.jpg
Over 70 pea seeds were added to the snap pea bed.

Dec 17 2014 Flooding morning.jpg
Then the garden was closed due to rain. Yikes, this is what the entry looked like the morning the sun returned.

Dec 17 2014 Flooding afternoon.jpg
But this is what the garden looked like at the end of the school day. Where did all that water go?

Dec 17 2014 Produce beds.jpg
Our new broccoli and cabbage beds got row covers to protect them from animal nibbling.
Thank you, Farmer Roy, for the supports and cloth!

Dec 18 2014 Geranium.jpg
The fourth graders propagated 3 trays of pink geraniums from the garden.

Dec 18 2014 Wigglers.jpg
We also talked about composting and decomposers. We looked at the red wigglers in the worm bin up close.

O.jpgDec 19 2014 Multi Broccoli.jpg
Ms. Herman's 5th graders came into the garden for a special harvesting on Friday. We started with the broccoli.
Here's another multi-trunk one! These weren't quite ready for harvesting...

Dec 19 2014 Harvest.jpg
...but lots of others were!

O.jpgDec 19 2014 Caulif tasting.jpg
We taste tested one of the cheddar cauliflower heads. Tastes pretty much like white cauliflower!

Dec 19 2014 Broc and caulif weight.jpg
Our biggest heads of broccoli and cauliflower were about the same size.
Seeing them on the scale shows you just how much heavier those cauliflower heads are. More than double the weight!

Dec 19 2014 Red lettuce.jpg
A couple of the pretty red lettuce heads were harvested.

Dec 19 2014 Tangerine.jpg
And our tangerine tree is really putting out now!

Dec 19 2014 Produce beds.jpg
Every bed has something growing in it now.

Dec 19 2014 Blooming succulent pot.jpg
Here's another pretty succulent in full bloom this week.

Dec 18 2014 Lynx Spider.jpg
Those spiderlings have still not hatched? Poor, mama spider.

Dec 19 2014 Brick install.jpg
Friday was Mrs. Marshack's last day as principal. The kids helped to install a piece in the garden to remember her by.

Dec 19 2014 Principal brick.jpg
Goodbye, Mrs. Marshack! Visit us often!

Dec 19 2014 Garden.jpg
And goodbye, garden. Stay well over winter break...

Week of December 1 - December 5, 2014

Dec 10 2014 Strawberry Sale.jpg
Thank you to everyone who helped with the strawberry sale and to those who purchased a plant or strawberry rock.
We sold over 180 strawberry plants!

Dec 10 2014 Produce beds.jpg
The beds got a few new additions this week. There are three mini row covers protecting the new lettuce seedlings.

Dec 10 2014 Planting lettuce.jpg
Mrs. Kajita's 2nd graders planted romaine lettuce on one side near the carrots...

Dec 10 2014 Lettuce planting 2.jpg
...and some on the other side between the tomatoes and kohlrabi.

Dec 8 2014 prep pea bed.jpg
We renewed the old sunflower circle this week as well. The kids helped to prep the bed by removing the old straw and
mixing in some soil and worm castings.

Dec 8 2014 Chubby worm.jpg
Some amazingly chubby and long worms were in that bed!

Dec 9 2014 Pea planting.jpg
Mrs. Golden's 3rd graders planted peas here.

O.jpgDec 11 2014 Pea bed.jpg
We planted over a hundred seedlings. They're tall and skinny plants, so we've got room for even more.
We'll fill in the bare spots with seeds next week.

O.jpgDec10 2014 Kohl rab bed.jpg
We removed the cover from the radicchio and kohlrabi bed. They're big enough now to withstand some animal nibbling.

Dec 11 2014 Barometer plants labelled.jpg
Our texas sage plants, AKA "baramoter bush," looked like this on the day before the big rainstorm. Instead of being in full
bloom, there were a total of 3 unopened flower buds! The 4th graders decided to propagate from the coast rosemary instead.
Perhaps only coincidence, but it was in full bloom. This allowed us to continue our rosemary theme...

O.jpgDec 11 2014 Rosemary roots.jpg
...as we separated our herbal rosemary plants from their 2 communal pots. These little guys were cut from their mama
plant 10 weeks ago. So cool to see all the roots that grew out from their woody stems!

O.jpgDec 8 2014 Broccoli bed.jpg
Our biggest broccoli plant...

O.jpgDec 8 2012 Cauliflower.jpg
...and cauliflower were harvested this week.

Dec 10 2014 Broccoli harvest.jpg
Beautiful heads like this one...

Dec 10 2014 Cauliflower colors.jpg
...and these...

O.jpgDec 10 2014 Cauliflower harvest.jpg
...come form big plants! This is how the harvested cauliflower looks before the biggest leaves surrounding the head are removed.
Sad that you only get one crown from a cauliflower plant.

Dec 8 2014 Broccoli.jpg
But when you harvest the broccoli there is often...

Dec 10 2014 Broccoli shoots.jpg
...a surprise beneath! We'll get many mini-crowns from these plants.

Dec 10 2014 Green Lettuce.jpg
It was nice to see the previously nibbled green lettuce had grown large enough to harvest beneath the row cover.

Dec 10 2014 Harvest.jpg
We harvested 5 of the lettuce heads, our first 3 crowns of broccoli, 5 crowns of cauliflower, kale, tomatoes and french sorrel.

Dec 11 2014 Milkweed seeds.jpg
Now that the monarch caterpillars have left the milkweed, we can collect the milkweed seeds.

O.jpgDec 10 2014 Chrysalis.jpg
One monarch chrysalis was spotted on the nearby tomato plants!

Dec 11 2014 Hornworm.jpg
The kids also found a chubby tomato hornworm!

Dec 8 2014 Rock purslane bee.jpg
Lots of succulents are blooming now in the garden.

O.jpgDec 10 2014 Lynx spider.jpg
Mama lynx spider continues to protect her egg clutch. It should be any day now that the spiderlings hatch.

O.jpgDec 8 2014 Raccoon prints.jpg
Raccoon prints were in abundance around the portables (across the grass from the garden). So far none have been found inside the garden!

Week of December 1 - December 5, 2014

Dec 4 2014 Strawberry rocks.jpg
These are some of the strawberry rocks made by 5th grade students that will be on sale on Wednesday, December 10th
as part of the school's strawberry plant sale!

O.jpgDec 2 2014 Paperwhite.jpg
We were greeted by several pretty things on our return from Thanksgiving break, like the fully opened paperwhites...

Dec 1 2014 Lettuce.jpg
...the lettuce and...

Dec 5 2014 Rad and Kohl.jpg
...the radicchio and kohlrabi growing well under their row covers...

O.jpgDec 1 2014 Native mallow.jpg
...the first blossom on the native California mallow....

Dec 1 2014 Lynx spider.jpg
...the green lynx spider still hanging with her egg clutch (there can be up to 600 eggs in there!)...

Dec 1 2014 Broccoli and cauliflower.jpg
...and the broccoli and cauliflower bed bursting with new growth!

Dec 5 2014 Broccoli bed.jpg
You can finally see real heads of broccoli!

Dec 5 2014 Broccoli.jpg

O.jpgDec 5 2014 Triplet broccoli.jpg
One plant decided to branch out into 3 arms!

Dec 5 2014 Triplet broccoli crowns.jpg
And each arm is making a crown!

O.jpgDec 5 2014 Jumbo Cauliflower.jpg
And the cauliflower? Yes, it's even bigger!

Dec 1 2014 Cheddar cauliflower.jpg
And there are real heads too!

Dec 5 2014 Cauliflower harvest.jpg
Some heads were even big enough for harvesting! Nine pounds in all!

Dec 5 2014 Biggest cauliflower.jpg
This is the biggest one we took out this week.

Dec 5 2014 Cheddar caulif base.jpg
Neat to see the bottom of the cheddar cauliflower heads. That orange coloring runs through the center of the entire stem!
That orange color makes these cauliflower high in Vitamin A - just like orange carrots.

Dec 5 2014 Lettuce.jpg
Yummy lettuce was harvested too.

Dec 5 2014 Harvest.jpg
Here's the total of Friday's harvest. This is the first time the citrus has been numerous enough to collect for donation.
Tangerines, oranges, and one lemon is in that bag. Mrs. Herman's 2nd graders helped with the kale harvest.

Dec 5 2014 Kale spider.jpg
The kids spotted this spider on the kale.

Dec 1 2014 Squash beds.jpg
It was time for all the winter squash and melons to be pulled out.

Dec 1 2014 Grubs.jpg
It was not surprising to see grubs in the soil as we pulled out some roots.

Dec 1 2014 Produce Beds.jpg
We cleared 3 beds before the expected rainstorm.

O.jpgDec 1 2014 Barometer bush.jpg
Let's look at the Texas sage, AKA "barometer bush," to see if the plant forecasts rain. Not a single bloom! Barometer bush says clear skies ahead.

Dec 4 2014 Flooding center.jpg
Barometer bush was wrong! We got a deluge. After 2 days, the low spots in the garden were flooded. The center...

Dec 4 2014 Flooding entry.jpg
...and near the entry.

Dec 5 2014 Green Lynx.jpg
Let's check in with Mrs. Spider to see how she handled the storm. Whew, she and babies made it through okay

Dec 5 2014 Carrot planting.jpg
With blue skies again, it was time to plant one of those cleared beds. Worm castings and Kellogg's soil were mixed into
the former melon bed. Mrs. Herman's 2nd graders planted carrot seeds.

Dec 5 2014 Carrot mulch.jpg
The seeds got a light covering of straw to help keep them damp. It'll take some weeks before we see green there!

Week of November 17 - November 21, 2014

Nov 21 2014 Harvest.jpg
Mrs. Coate's 3rd graders helped with some of the harvesting this week. That's French Sorrel on the top left. There are also 3 varieties of kale!

Nov 21 Russian kale.jpg
This was the first time we harvested the purple veined Russian Kale.

Nov 21 2014 Lettuce.jpg
We also took out a bunch of the pretty purple romaine. This bed pictured was allowed to get bigger under...

Nov 18 2014 Lettuce cover.jpg
...another protective row cover.

Nov 21 2014 Cover repair.jpg
Our first row cover needed a few spots sewn up. Kid or animal damage, we're not sure.

Nov 21 2014 Seedlings.jpg
And underneath the cover? Yikes, more nibblage!

Nov 21 2014 Evidence.jpg
Aha! Evidence! Yes, that's poop.

Nov 21 2014 Culprit.jpg
And the culprit! A cabbage looper! He went to town on the radicchio and kohlrabi.

Nov 18 2014 Hornworm.jpg
One chubby hornworm was found this week on the tomatoes.

Nov 18 2014 Hummer.jpg
We knew the aloe blooms would delight the hummingbirds. And they are!

Nov 18 2014 Newborn cutworm moth.jpg
Several cutworm pupa were found last week. The one we found this week was wiggling! Here he is just after crawling free.

Nov 18 2014 Cutworm moth.jpg
And here he is after a few hours, his wings dried to full length.

Nov 18 2014 Lynx with eggs.jpg
Our pretty green lynx spider went into hiding for a few weeks. When she emerged again, she was guarding an egg sac!

Nov 21 2014 Lynx mama.jpg
And a good mama she has been. Here is how she positioned her eggs from rain.

Nov 20 2014 Rockrose.jpg
Propagated this week by the 4th graders were 2 varieties of rockrose, one sticky-leaved (on the right) and one not.

Nov 20 2014 Barometer bush.jpg
This Texas Sage will be the next plant we'll be propagating from the garden. We learned that this plant is called barometer bush. That's because it bursts into flower several days before a rain! This is how it looked before our latest rainfall. From now on, we'll try charting its weather-forecasting abilities.

Nov 18 2014 Seed pod monarch.jpg
The monarch babies are continuing to flourish on the milkweed in the mint bed. Munch, munch, munch.

Nov 21 2014 Bulbs.jpg
And it won't be long now until our bulb garden is in bloom.

Week of November 10 - November 14, 2014

Nov 14 2014 Harvest.jpg
Friday's harvest with Mrs. Harvey's 2nd graders included lots of kale, squash, and melons. Also harveted were tomatoes, lettuce, and French Sorrel.

Nov 14 2014 Kale.jpg
One of the curly kale leaves was a twin! This was the first time we found one stem break off into 2 leaves.

Nov 14 2014 Lettuce.jpg
Our nightly 4-legged visitor has been busy munching on the green lettuce. Interesting that they have left the purple variety untouched!

Nov 14 2014 Seedlings.jpg
The critter didn't touch these! Our kohlrabi and radicchio seedlings are coming along well under their protective row cover.

Nov 14 2014 Nasturtium.jpg
Popping up all along the back fence are the nasturtiums. We should have a riot of color back there in a few months.

Nov 14 2014 White Cauliflower.jpg
The cauliflower heads are becomming visible! The white...

Nov 14 2014 Cheddar Cauliflower.jpg
...and the cheddar.

Nov 13 2014 Aloe.jpg
Also popping out are the flower buds on one of the garden's aloe. These will make the hummingbirds happy.

Nov 13 2014 Strawberry Prop.jpg
Our last bunch of strawberry plants were propagated by the 4th graders this week.

Nov 13 2014 Senecio.jpg
We also did the succulent senecio, or blue chalksticks.

Nov 13 2014 Monarch on mint.jpg
The kids found this baby monarch in the mint bed (the old butterfly garden).

Nov 13 2014 Monarch Cat on milkweed.jpg
We moved him back to the milkweed plant above him. He thanked us by promptly eating three flower buds.

Nov 12 2014 Larva and pupa.jpg
Another mealworm larva and 2 of these cutworm moth pupa were found this week.

Nov 14 2014 Ladybug.jpg
It always brings a smile to our faces to see ladybugs in the garden. This one was munching a grey aphid on the stevia. Not all lady bugs have spots!

Nov 12 2014 Compost bin.jpg
Thank you, Grandpa Fred, for the compost bin! In transferring material from one bin to the other, we discovered lots of chubby beauties -- ...

Nov 10 2014 Grub.jpg

Nov 10 2014 Grubs.jpg
Lots and lots of them!

Week of November 3 - November 7, 2014

Nov 6 2014 Succulent.jpg
It was succulent week in the garden.

Nov 7 2014 Rock Purslane.jpg
The fourth graders propagated from the rock purslane...

Nov 6 2014 Succulent propagating.jpg
...and jade plants...

Nov 6 2014 Succulents.jpg
...to make lots of little beauties...

Nov 7 2014 Pots.jpg
...to add to our growing propagation zone, AKA plants to sell for our springtime garden fundraiser.

Nov 5 2014 Guava air layer.jpg
Two more trees were also air layered, a pineapple guava and a pink tropical guava.

Nov 7 2014 Lettuce bed.jpg
Lots of pretty multi-colored lettuce was ready for harvesting this week.

Nov 7 2014 Lettuce.jpg
These were pretty big heads!

Nov 7 2014 Harvest.jpg
Mrs. Herman's 2nd graders helped collect these lettuce, tomatoes, squash, melons, and kale.

Nov 7 2014 Mealworm.jpg
Turning over the lettuce bed revealed our first garden mealworm...

Nov 7 2014 Grubs.jpg
...and more grubs (june beatle larva).

Nov 6 2014 Cabbage looper.jpg
The kids were helpful in finding lots of the little cabbage loopers on the cauliflower leaves.

Nov 5 2014 Painted Lady.jpg
The first painted lady butterflies of the school year visited this week.

Nov 5 2014 Planting.jpg
Mrs. Kajita's 2nd graders added one more "funky" veggie to our kohlrabi bed -- radicchio! These will make bitter, softball-sized heads that look like cabbage.

Nov 4 2014 Compost.jpg
Lots of cafeteria waste for the compost bins this week. On Tuesday alone, it was almost 30 pounds!

Week of October 27 - October 31, 2014

This week we received notification that we were among 100 schools in CA to be awarded a a $1,500 School Garden Grant.

Thank you, Western Growers Foundation and the California Department of Education!

Oct 31 2014 Pots.jpg
Thanks to some donated plant cuttings by a Rolling Hills Grandma, our pots gifted by Western Growers last month are now filled with succulents.

Oct 31 2014 Cauliflower.jpg
The weekly fish fertilizer is paying off. Check out the size of the cauliflower leaves!

Oct 31 2014 Borage.jpg
Last year's borage plant has happily self-sowed.

Oct 30 2014 Tomatoes.jpg
The silly tomatoes wait until fall to finally take off.

Oct 30 2014 Lettuce.jpg
This is perfect lettuce growing weather.

Oct 30 2014 Bulbs.jpg
And our silly bulbs continue to push up thinking it's spring.

Oct 30 2014 Harvest.jpg
We harvested with Mrs. Golden's 3rd graders this week. Pictured are Caribbean squash, lettuce, melons, kale and tomatoes.

Oct 30 2014 Dragonfly.jpg
The class found this dragon fly. He was no longer living, but still awesome to pass around.

Oct 30 2014 Hummers.jpg
We were pleasantly interrupted by this pair of courting hummingbirds. The little guy literally sung his heart/throat out.

Oct 30 2014 Baby ladybug.jpg
The kids got to see one of the recently hatched ladybugs on the kale leaves.

Oct 30 2014 Blue belly.jpg
They also spotted this young western fence lizard sunbathing under the oranges.

Oct 31 2014 Repaired squash vine.jpg
During last last week's leaf trimming, this squash vine was accidentally cut into. The repair is holding up well.

Oct 30 CA Milkweed.jpg
Thank you to the Resource Conservation District for their donation of CA native narrowleaf milkweed to our school! We planted a dozen of these seedlings in the butterfly garden for the monarchs.

Oct 31 2014 New bug.jpg
This bug was found in the butterfly garden. Not sure what he is. Looks a little bit like a milkweed bug.

Oct 30 Air layered fig process.jpg
We experimented with air layering as a demonstration for the 4th grade propagation classes. As shown on this fig tree, we started with a cut...

Oct 30 2014 Air layered fig.jpg
...and ended with something that looks like an aluminum pineapple.

Oct 30 2014 Air layer guava process.jpg
On this strawberry guava, you can see that after we cut and peeled away the bark, we filled and attached a bag with growing medium, taped it secure at both ends, and wrapped the whole thing in aluminum foil. We'll check it in 4-6 weeks and see if roots are growing. Once there is enough growth in the bag, we'll cut off the branch and have another tree!

Oct 28 2014 Row cover supports.jpg
The nightly critters wouldn't leave our kohlrabi bed alone. It was time to resort to a tactic the professionals use - a row cover. We had the special cloth, but not the special metal hoops. These are bamboo sticks!

Oct 31 2014 Row cover.jpg
Our seedlings were safe and snug all week long.

Oct 27 2014 Geranium caterpillars.jpg
Lots of these geranium budworms were found feasting our our propagated geranium plants this week.

Oct 31 2014 Bagrada.jpg
Although far less a nuisance than they use to be, the bagrada bugs just won't go away. They wait in the ground when it's cool, but when the warm sun comes out, so do they!

Week of October 20 - October 24, 2014

Oct 21 2014 Produce beds.jpg
Lots of changes to the garden this week. But it still looks pretty much the same from this view!

Oct 24 2014 Harvest.jpg
Mrs. Coate's class took part in this week's harvest.

Oct 21 2014 Cauliflower.jpg
The cauliflower is growing well...

Oct 21 2014 Cauliflower holes.jpg
...despite some of the nibbled leaves. Who is making all these holes?...

Oct 21 2014 Cab Loopers.jpg
...That would be these little cabbage loopers! See the three eggs and the little guy starting a new hole?

Oct 21 2014 Cucumbers.jpg
We said goodbye to the cucumber vines and trellis.

Oct 20 2014 Zucchini removal.jpg
We also said farewell to the old zucchini.

Oct 20 2014 Mulch removal.jpg
We removed all the old straw mulch...

Oct 20 2014 Good and bad.jpg
...and turned over the soil. We collected 33 grubs (the bad guys) and admired all the earth worms (the good guys).

Oct 21 2014 Kohlrabi.jpg
Good stuff was added to the soil (Kellogg planting mix, worm castings, and chicken manure) to prep for the new veggie -- Kohrabi! Mrs. Harvey's 2nd graders helped with the planting.

Oct 21 2014 Kohlrabi planting.jpg
Kohrabi's enlarged stem looks like a turnip with leaves shooting out of it. You can plant a lot of these in a bed and they grow super fast. Another plus, every part of the plant is edible - the stems, the "bulb," and the leaves.

Oct 21 2014 Mulching.jpg
The last step, a sprinkling of new straw to keep the bed moist.

Oct 20 2014 H Scarecrow.jpg
Our corner scarecrow got a new head and hands this week.

Oct 23 2014 Garden board.jpg
And the garden board was refreshed with new photos and info. Thank you, Miss Simone!

Oct 21 2014 Sunflower.jpg
One of the tallest Mammoth sunflowers somehow got its flower bud chopped off before it ever opened. And look what happened, it grew another!

Oct 21 Black Eyed Phoebie.jpg
This little black-eyed phoebe was very active catching bugs in the garden on the foggy mornings.

Oct 22 2014 Crab spider.jpg
While the crab spiders moved into clear view to dry off.

Oct 21 2014 Crab spider.jpg
We got to see one of the smaller ones with a fly she had caught.

Oct 21 2014 Mealybug Destroyer.jpg
Haven't seen one of these in the garden before. It's a mealy bug destroyer. When it grows up it will look like an orange-headed, dark-bodied, ladybug.

Oct 21 2014 Grasshopper.jpg
Fewer and fewer of the "big" bugs are being seen in the garden as the weather cools, but we still spotted a couple on the kale. This green one on the curly-leaf...

Oct 24 Grasshopper.jpg
...and this darker beauty on the dinosaur kale.

Oct 23 2014 Torpedo bug.jpg
Another new garden bug was seen near the pots of propagated plants. He's called a torpedo bug. He's cute, but he's not a beneficial bug!

Oct 23 Propagation.jpg
The fourth graders propagated native plants this week! We started lemonade berry, cleveland sage, and brittlebrush. We also started more strawberry plants. Look for an after-school strawberry plant sale in a few weeks time!

Week of October 13 - October 17, 2014

Oct 17 2014 Guess the weight.jpg
More "Guess the Weight" this week with the 2nd graders. This Caribbean squash weighed in at just under 10 pounds. We kept one of the 2 we harvested to decorate one of the garden scarecrows.

Oct 17 2014 Sorrel.jpg
We also harvested some French Sorrel leaves. They have a tart lemony flavor.

Oct 17 2014 Harvest.jpg
Here's the rest of the donated produce for the week. This is probably the last of the zucchini from the garden. They're the next plant to be swapped out for a winter crop.

Oct 13 2014 Garden Tours.jpg
Garden Tour Week had lots of kids trekking through the garden.

Oct 15 2014 Scarecrows.jpg
We have two little kids who stay now. Thank you to Ms. Simone for the decorations!

Oct 14 2014 Mint bed.jpg
The mint bed got a serious haircut and a protective surround to prepare for the 4th grade propagation. We gave everything in this bed a fertilizing and heavy water spray, startling a large group of...

Oct 15 Wet Sulphur.jpg
...cloudless sulphurs from the lemon tree! Sorry for the wet wings, butterflies, but thank you for posing.

Oct 16 2014 Mint propagation.jpg
The 4th graders pulled up lots of mint runners for potting...

Oct 16 2014 Strawberry.jpg
...plus, cut away the strawberry runner plants from their mamas (check out all those roots in just 3 weeks time!) and potted cuttings of bush daisy.

Oct 15 2014 Nectarine.jpg
Our poor confused nectarine tree is full of new leaf growth and many blossoms.

Oct 14 2014 Sunflower head.jpg
The last of the big sunflower heads were cut away to harvest their ripe seeds.

Oct 17 2014 Lettuce.jpg
The new varieties of lettuce are growing well. Check out those adorable red romaine in the back. Also surviving in this bed is the last remaining marigold from last spring's plantings.

Oct 17 2014 Flower spider.jpg
These marigold flowers sometimes hold enchanting surprises.

Oct 16 2014 Crab Spider.jpg
Like this awesome crab spider, waiting patiently for her prey to land.

Oct 17 2014 Brown Spider.jpg
Other spiders seen this week was this fiddleback spider on the curly kale...

Oct 14 2014 Spotted spider.jpg
...and this cute spotted spider in the butterfly garden (probably one belonging to the Steatoda, or false black widow, family of spiders).

Oct 15 2014 Squash bed.jpg
The winter squash is still receiving weekly leaf-cuts to help it keep producing.

Week of October 6 - October 10, 2014

Oct 6 2014 Squash Bees.jpg
Last week we mentioned the numerous bees on the squash blossoms. They continue to amaze!

Oct 10 2014 Harvest.jpg
A small harvest on Monday of this week, but a little bigger (and heavier!) on Friday.

Oct 10 2014 Guess the melon.jpg
We played guess the weight with the kids. This honeydew weighed in at 4 pounds.

Oct 6 2014 Guess the squash.jpg
And the heaviest of the Caribbean squash was a hefty 9 and a half pounds. This one went to decorate the school's office.

Oct 10 2014 Fourth Grade Pots.jpg
Our fourth grader plant collection is growing.

Oct 9 2014 Propagating Lavender 2.jpg
This week we propagated lavender...

Oct 9 2014 Propagating African D.jpg
...and African daisies.

Oct 6 2014 Bagrada Bug.jpg
Ugh, the hot weather has brought back the unwelcome bagrada bugs to the kale.

Oct 10 2014 Sulphur.jpg
Nice to see the cloudless sulphur caterpillars are still going strong.

Oct 8 2014 Lynx Spider.jpg
The biggest flower spider (or hunter spider) to be found in the garden was hiding out on the native yerba santa.

Oct 8 2014 Lynx Spider closeup.jpg
Isn't she a beauty? She's a Green Lynx spider. Around this time of year she should be making egg sacs and becoming a very protective mama. She'll shoot venom at anything that gets too close!

Oct 9 2014 Swizzle Stick.jpg
A first blossom opened up on one of the swizzle sticks succulents. We should all take a sniff. They are said to smell sweet.

Oct 8 2014 Flower Bulbs.jpg
Bulbs are popping up in the flower bulb garden.

Oct 6 2014 Compost Bucket.jpg
We have a bigger cafeteria compost bucket! This one should keep the overflow in check.

Week of September 29 - October 3, 2014

Oct 1 Garden.jpg
Just a pretty garden picture. :)

Oct 3 Harvest.jpg
A big harvest on Friday. We had to finish up with the help of the recess volunteers.

Oct 1 Squash Beds.jpg
We gave up keeping this path clear between the melon/ winter squash beds.

Oct 3 Squash Blossom.jpg
Such wonderful bee activity around the squash blossoms in the mornings.

Oct 3 Bee.jpg
Thank you, bees, for all your hard work.

Oct 2 Propagating.jpg
The fourth graders propagated fragrant plants this week: rose and peppermint geranium...

Oct 2 Rosemary.jpg
...and rosemary.

Sept 29 T Hornworm.jpg
We're still catching tomato hornworms on the tomato plants, the big...

Oct 2 Hornworms.jpg
and the "small."

Oct 3 Kale Caterpillars.jpg
Also around are some kale pests. From left to right: cabbage worm with chrysalis (turns into a white butterfly), and cabbage looper with cacoon (turns into a brown moth).

Oct 1 Sunflower Moths.jpg
The sunflower moth caterpillars are having a feast with the seeding sunflower heads.

Oct 1 Seed Damage.jpg
Here you can see how they tunnel through the shell to gobble up the seeds.

Oct 1 Seeds.jpg
We still managed to save a handful for planting.

Sept 29 Compost.jpg
Nice collection of cafeteria scraps for the garden compost on Monday. Weighed in at 13 pounds.

Oct 1 Kale Refurb.jpg
The Dinosaur kale bed was refurbished on Wednesday. Kellogg garden soil and fertilizer was mixed in, garlic was planted, and one dying plant was replaced with a seedling. We also installed new bird scare tape and cut off the blooming/seeding parts from 2 plants. The pruned plants continue to thrive. We harvested from them on Friday!

Sept 30 Kale Seeds.jpg
We collected all the kale seed pods that were produced.

Sept 30 Beetle.jpg
New beetle spotted in the garden. Still needs identification.

Sept 29 Broccoli bed.jpg
A bed of winter crop #2 was put in by Mrs.Golden's third graders.

Sept 29 Broccoli planting.jpg
We planted broccoli!

Sept 29 Soil Pests.jpg
While turning over the bed with worm castings and chicken manure, we found a few soil pests. Here is one cutworm and 2 grubs.

Sept 29 Grub Chompers.jpg
The grubs like to feed on fine roots. They're the larva of June beetles, most likely the fig beetle we've been seeing flying through the garden. You don't want to hold these grubs for long. They've got a pair of pinchers on them that can bite!

Sept 29 Harvest.jpg
After planting, the kids helped with a small harvest.

Week of September 22 - 26, 2014

Sept 23 Western Growers Event.jpg
An eventful week! Western Growers has partnered with the American Cancer Society for supporting healthy, nutritious school gardens. And they visited OUR garden (and brought lots of goodies -- scroll down to find out more)!

Read coverage of the event from Western Growers Foundation here.

Sept 26 Golden Beet.jpg
This week was time to clear out another bed for winter crop planting. The beets had to go...

Sept 26 Beets Finale.jpg
There were lots to pull...

Sept 26 Beets.jpg
Some could have used more time to plump up, but they're still pretty, and with plenty of leaves. Don't throw the top part away -- the beet greens are even more nutritious than the root!

Sept 26 Harvest.jpg
Also harvested that day were lots of cucumbers. zucchini, kale and more.

Sept 25 Propagating class 1.jpg
The first 4th grader propagation event happened this week! We plan to start something new from the garden every week - from succulents to edibles.

Sept 25 Planted strawberries.jpg
First up were strawberries...

Sept 25 Seeding.jpg
...and chocolate flower (by seed). Look for these plants for sale at the next garden open house!

---------------------------------------WESTERN GROWERS & AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY EVENT-----------------------------------------

Sept 23 Western Growers plus Amer Cancer Soc.jpg
Pictured from left to right: Sabrina Blair - Western Growers Garden Program Coordinator, Kathleen Marshack - Rolling Hills Principal, Paula Olson - Western Growers Vice President, Ella German - Rolling Hills Garden Coordinator, and David Veneziano - American Cancer Society Senior Vice President.

Western Growers brought us lots of nutritious things to plant in the garden - cauliflower seedlings and a pomegranate tree!
The American Cancer Society gifted a healthy kid's cook book and coloring book for all the 3rd graders who participated in the
planting and the talk on healthy eating. Not pictured are the additional gifts from Western Growers -- 2 ceramic pots for the
garden, hand tools, lots of kid's gardening gloves, carrot seeds, bookmarks, and fruit and veggie snacks for the students. Wow!

Sept 23 Planting Pomegranate.jpg
We planted the dwarf pomegranate in a sunny spot near the entry.

Sept 24 Pomegranate Fruit.jpg
This little guy is already loaded with fruit!

Sept 23 Planting Cauliflower.jpg
The third graders made quick work out of planting the cauliflower seedlings. Gifted to the garden were several varieties, including cheddar. Yes, it's yellow!

Sept 23 Mulching cauliflower.jpg
We mulched with straw that afternoon.

Sept 24 Cauliflower.jpg
By the following morning, they had perked up.

Sept 24 Bug watchers.jpg
What draws the kids into the garden more than anything else, ESPECIALLY the girls?...

Sept 24 Bug harvest.jpg
The bug catch of the day!

Sept 22 Grasshopper skin.jpg
With so many grasshoppers caught recently, I'm surprised we haven't come across one of these before now. It's the shed skin, or exoskeleton, of a grasshopper. They shed, or molt, about 5 times as they grow to adult size. Amazing to see so much detail.

Sept 26 Cabbage loopers.jpg
We were thrilled to find only a handful of bagrada bugs on the kale this week. We can't say the same thing about the cabbage loopers!

Sept 22 Caterpillars.jpg
Here you can see some of the variety of "bad" garden caterpillars. From left to right, a cutworm (moth), a cabbage looper (moth), and cabbageworm (butterfly).

Sept 26 Stick caterpillar.jpg
And don't forget the stick caterpillars. We don't find them very often (they're so darn good at camaflouge!), but they're easy to see when they hitch a ride on your pants!

Sept 23 Harvest.jpg
The harvest from Monday included a few unharvested carrots that were discovered as the soil was turned over in the bed.

Week of September 15-19, 2014

Sept 19 Produce Beds.jpg
Goodbye carrots. One bed was cleared to make way for our first winter crop planting. That meant replenishing the bed with nutrients...

Sept 19 Worm castings.jpg
...like a bucket of worm castings from the worm bin!

Sept 19 Hoverfly larva.jpg
What rich and wonderful stuff, filled with (surprisingly) some beneficial bugs like this hoverfly larva.

Sept 19 Prepping bed.jpg
We also mixed in some chicken manure. The kids helped to break up the large pieces of soil and even everything out.

Sept 19 Ladybug Larva.jpg
Glad to keep finding ladybug larva in the garden. This one was on a basil leaf.

Sept 19 Turantula Hawk Wasp.jpg
Some really cool new bugs this week. Like this giant tarantula hawk wasp. If a girl, this bug gives one of the most painful stings of any bug. As its name suggests, they prey upon large spiders, stunning them and laying their eggs inside them. If a boy, they are harmless and feed on nectar from flowers like milkweed!

Sept 15 Slug.jpg
Hard to believe, but this is the first slug seen in the garden since last winter's cabbage. And it's a beauty!

Sept 19 Raspberries.jpg
Our poor raspberries. They continue to suffer from bunnies...

Sept 18 Twig Caterpillar.jpg
...and these pesky twig caterpillars.

Sept 19 Cucumber Vine.jpg
All of the squash plants get their leaves trimmed at least once a week now to control powdery mildew. The cucumber vine got its first major clean-up on Friday.

Sept 16 Bug on Carrots.jpg
Not sure what this little guy on the carrot leaves is. Spittle bug or leaf hopper?

Sept 18 Carrot harvest.jpg
The last carrot harvest gave us some surprises.

Sept 18 Chubby carrot.jpg
Like this monster chubby one...

Sept 18 Funny carrot.jpg
...and this funky forked one.

Sept 18 Harvest.jpg
Lots of melons (cantaloupe and honeydew) and cucumbers in Thursday's harvest.

Sept 19 Baby lizard.jpg
We've released 3 lizards in the garden for beneficial bug control. And they appear to like it here -- they're making babies!

Sept 15 Cabbage looper harvest.jpg
When you let the kale leaves grow big, you're bound to have some creepy crawlies underneath. Here's the total caterpillar harvest from Monday. These cabbage loopers were placed on one leaf, not found on one leaf!

Sept 15 Harvest.jpg
Monday's harvest also included melons and zucchini.

Week of September 8 - 12, 2014

Sept 12 Squash with melon.jpg
Lots of big beauties harvested on Friday, including these Caribbean squash, butternut, cantaloupe...

Sept 12 Beets.jpg
...and lots of golden and red beets!

Sept 12 Harvest.jpg
Also harvested were cucumbers, zucchini and lettuce.

Sept 12 Grey Fly.jpg
Not sure what kind of big fly this is, or what he's doing to that other fly beneath him, but it doesn't look very nice!

Sept 10 View from senna.jpg
Still lots and lots of cloudless sulphur butterflies flying to the senna.

Sept 10 Yellow Sulphur.jpg
Which means lots of nibbled leaves, lots of pretty caterpillars...

Sept 10 Jumping Spider Feast.jpg
...and some predators hard at work. A red jumping spider made a meal out of one of the caterpillars.

Sept 9 Hornworm egg.jpg
Where there are caterpillar eggs, there will be...

Sept 12 Hornworm.jpg
...caterpillars! Yikes, tomato hornworms!

Sept 11 Hornworm Count.jpg
Lots of Tomato Hornworms. As you can see, they rely on camaflouge for protection. Can you find all 5 in this picture?

Sept 11 Chubby Hornworms.jpg
My, do they get chubby,

Sept 11 Holding Hornworms.jpg
...which makes them very easy to pass hand to hand!

Sept 9 Grasshopper.jpg
Also taking advantage of the warm weather were the grasshoppers. The grey...

Sept 11 Grasshopper.jpg
...and the green.

Sept 11 Bug catch of the day.jpg
Thursday was the best bug catch day of the week. Final tally: 19 caterpillars, 4 grasshoppers.

Sept 9 Harvest.jpg
The harvest on Tuesday included lots of curly leaf kale.

Sept 12 Garden Beds.jpg
The produce beds look a bit shorter now. The beans and old corn stalks were pulled out...

Sept 9 Composting the old.jpg
...to be chopped up and made into compost for the garden.

Sept 10 One Sister left.jpg
It's a lot easier now to see what was hiding underneath all those bean leaves...

Sept 10 Caribbean Squash.jpg
...like these plump Caribbean squash.

Week of September 1-5, 2014

Sept 5 Last bean harvest.jpg
The last beans were harvested by the second graders on Friday. A total of 54 pounds of beans were donated from the garden. The plants have served us well.

Sept 5 Harvest.jpg
Also harvested were lots of dinosaur kale and many pretty cucumbers.

Sept 3 Umbrellas.jpg
Thank you, Grandpa Fred, for the new patio umbrellas! Their bright colors dress up the garden and make it a more pleasant place to be when the sun is shining.

Sept 5 Brown Widow.jpg
New spider sighted in the garden -- pretty, a little creepy, and possibly venomous. This is most likely a young male brown widow spider. He's hanging out on the tool storage container (the place where you put your hand to open it!).

Sept 2 Emerged Sulphur.jpg
We're finally catching the cloudless sulphur butterflies as they emerge from their chrysalis.

Sept 2 Emerged Sulphur 2.jpg
Welcome, newborn butterflies!

Sept 2 Harvest.jpg
Tuesday's harvest contained some melons, a giant Caribbean squash, and more pretty cucumbers.

Sept 2 Cucumbers.jpg
Love how those cucumbers dangle!

Week of August 25-29, 2014

Aug 29 Harvest.jpg
Lots of variety in Friday's harvest.

Aug 29 Caribbean squash.jpg
The harvest included our first caribbean squash,

Aug 29 Beets.jpg
...lots of gorgeous beets,

Aug 29 Carrot harvest.jpg
...and carrots in many colors.

Aug 29 Carrot snacks.jpg
Many of the carrots were served to the 2nd graders as a snack. Not the sweetest carrots, I admit (too hot for that?), and the rainbow ones (though pretty) were the worst.

Aug 29 Carrot pulling.jpg
But it sure is fun to pick them!

Aug 29 Carrot hug.jpg
Awwwe. You get lots of cuties when your soil is too rich.

Aug 26 Harvest.jpg
Tuesday's harvest still had a decent batch of beans. By the week's end, you could tell the plants were nearing their end. Lots of big plump zucchinis in there too,

Aug 26 Fat Cucumber.jpg
...and one very plump cucumber!

Aug 26 Sphinx Moth.jpg
The week wouldn't be complete without a bug picture. This one looks like a One-eyed Sphinx moth. He was found near the entry gate, still drying out its wings. Their host plant is willow and there's a willow at the entry.

Week of August 18-22, 2014

Aug 21 Bean harvest.jpg
Still lots of beans for the kids to pick on the first harvest of the school year.

Aug 21 Harvest.jpg
Thursday's harvest also included lots of dinosaur kale.

Aug 22 Monarchs.jpg
Lots of monarch caterpillars in the garden again.

Aug 18 Native labels.jpg
All the garden's native plants now have signage.

Aug 20 Produce beds from herbs.jpg
This is what the garden beds looked like on the first day of school. That's stevia (sugar plant) in the foreground on the right,

Aug 20 Produce beds from rear.jpg
...the impressive basil overtaking the tomatoes,

Aug 20 Produce beds from rear 2.jpg
...and the beans starting to collapse their bamboo supports in the 3-Sisters beds.

Aug 22 Geranium Bud Moth.jpg
New bugs this week included these bothersome geranium bud caterpillars,

Aug 18 Pink Moth.jpg
...this really pretty pink moth with an ugly name (a Crambid Snout Moth),

Aug 18 Black Ladybug.jpg
...this helpful Twice Stabbed Ladybeetle,

Aug 22 Giant Swallowtail.jpg
...and a Giant Swallowtail butterfly. Did you know that their caterpillars resemble bird droppings?

Aug 20 Cabbage White.jpg
We continue to see these pretty (but bothersome) cabbage butterflies,

Aug 22 Grasshopper.jpg

Aug 22 Black lightning bugs.jpg
and the not-so-common black lightning bugs.

Aug 20 Lettuce cuc bed.jpg
Maybe this sign needs to say lettuce, cucumbers and marigolds? The flowers are trying to take over!

Aug 18 Cucs over lettuce.jpg
But the the lettuce doesn't seem to mind the crowding.

Aug 18 Cucumbers.jpg
This was our biggest cucumber harvest so far. It was a late planting, so they are just starting to take off.

Aug 18 Harvest.jpg
Monday's harvest also had our biggest one-day take of beans -- 6 pounds!

Aug 21 Sulphur.jpg
The yellow cloudless sulphur caterpillars ate all the yellow flowers from the senna tree. So now all the caterpillars are changing from yellow back to green.

Aug 21 Sulphur on sign.jpg
They do still find the oddest places to make a chrysalis. This one chose the earth friendly garden sign!

Week of August 11-15, 2014

Aug 11 Beans.jpg
The abundance of new beans continues to astound us. They're doing well, in spite of all the bugs pecking away at their leaves...

Aug 11 Grasshopper.jpg
like the grasshoppers...

Aug 14 Cabbage looper on beans.jpg
...and the cabbage loopers.

Aug 14 Harvest.jpg
A total of 8 pounds of beans this week!

Aug 12 Cabbageworm on kale.jpg
The ESS kids were really excited about catching the produce-eating caterpillars and grasshoppers. Sometimes those green bugs are hard to find, even if they hide in plain site!

Aug 11 Lizard #2.jpg
Another blue belly lizard was released into the garden. We were happy to see that both of them have chosen to stay.

Aug 12 Fly.jpg
An interesting fruit fly was sitting on a kale leaf - each wing has an image of a spider. It's named Goniurellia tridens, and from what we can find out, it should not be in the United States!

Aug 11 Red Jumping Spider.jpg
We continue to see the pretty red jumping spiders in the kale and strawberry bed.

Aug 14 Zebra Spider.jpg
And here's a new one. A zebra jumping spider on the tree near the entry.

Aug 11 Sulphurs.jpg
The cloudless sulphur butterflies have become so numerous, very few are choosing to make their chrysalis on the host plant.

Aug 11 Roaming Sulphur.jpg
Instead, they're roaming far and wide.

Aug 15 Sulphur on Chalk Sticks.jpg
This one chose the nearby senecio, or blue chalk sticks.

Aug 15 Sulphur on Westringia.jpg
This one chose the further away westringia.

Aug 15 Sulphur on Fence.jpg
And a few ventured even farther to the perimeter fencing (not the smartest ones when it comes to camouflage!).

Aug 12 Mating skippers.jpg
A mating pair of skippers on the bean leaves. They spent a long time attached to one another.

Aug 15 Figs.jpg
Figs from the garden!

Aug 12 Cucumber tendrils.jpg
*Enh!* The cucumber vine made it from one side to another.

Aug 12 Cantaloupe.jpg
Neat to see the cantaloupe hanging from the trellis.

Aug 14 Sunflowers.jpg

Aug 11 Harvest.jpg
Monday's harvest.

Aug 8 Sweat Bees.jpg
More cute little sweat bees visited the calandrinia blossoms in the succulent circle,

Aug 8 Chocolate flowers.jpg
...and we're not the only ones who are enjoying the chocolate flowers.

Aug 4 Monarch Waystation.jpg
The garden is now an official Monarch Waystation! See the little girl flying in at the top left-hand corner?

Aug 8 Raspberry caterpillars.jpg
Two unidentified grey caterpillars and one grasshopper were found nibbling the raspberry leaves.

Aug 8 Raspberries.jpg
But we're still getting lots of beautiful berries.

Aug 8 Sunflowers.jpg
The strawberry blonde sunflowers have begun to open.

Aug 8 Hatched ladybugs.jpg
At first glance, we thought these were aphids on the underside of an old bean leaf. They're not, they're newly hatched ladybugs!

Aug 4 Beans.jpg
The beans are making a come-back.

Aug 7 Harvest.jpg
Lots more beans picked this week than last.

Aug 4 Flower Spider.jpg
We only noticed this yellow flower spider in the marigolds because it was holding onto a fly.

Aug 8 Flower Spider.jpg
We see these white flower spiders more often.

Aug 4 Grasshopper eggs.jpg
Grasshopper eggs in the kale bed,

Aug 6 Bagrada eggs.jpg
...and bagrada bug eggs hanging from the kale sign,

Aug 6 Bluebelly lizard.jpg
...call for something that likes to eat bugs! We relocated this blue-belly lizard from the front of the school to the garden. We hear they like to eat bagrada bugs!

Aug 8 Kale.jpg
The kale is doing much better now. It may be from the lizard's help, the double spraying of Orange Guard (a natural spray made from orange peels),

Aug 4 Cabbageworm.jpg
...and all the hand-picking of caterpillars. This one is a cabbageworm, offspring of white cabbage butterflies...

Aug 4 Cabbageworm chrysalis.jpg
who make a pretty neat looking chrysalis like this.

Aug 5 Cucumber Beetles.jpg
New garden pests -- cucumber beetles! Pretty, aren't they?

Aug 4 Harvest.jpg
A big harvest on Monday. Lots of curly leaf kale, and our first winter squash,

Aug 4 First Butternut.jpg
...a pretty butternut.

Aug 8 Sulfurs.jpg
This week we counted 11 cloudless sulfur caterpillars and 3 chrysalis on the senna.

Aug 4 Sulfur chrysalis.jpg
The chrysalis are much harder to spot now that they've turned green to blend into the foliage.

July 30 Garden.jpg
Like leafy monsters, the vines from the produce beds are crawling toward each other. It's hard now to walk between the 3 sisters beds.

July 29 Senna.jpg
So many cloudless sulphur butterflies in the garden now! They're flying toward their host plant, senna, to lay eggs.

July 28 Green Sulphur.jpg
Some of the sulphur caterpillars prefer to eat only the leaves, so they stay green.

July 30 Sulphur eating blossoms.jpg
And some prefer to eat the yellow blossoms...

Aug 1 Yellow Sulphur.jpg
so they turn yellow!

Aug 1 Sulphur hanging.jpg
In the morning we spotted two of these preparing to make a chrysalis.

Aug 1 Sulphur Chrysalis.jpg
Several hours later, they looked like this! Soon they will shrink and turn green to blend into the foliage.

Aug 1 Hummingbird Moth caterpillar.jpg
A very pretty hummingbird moth caterpillar munches on a weed that grows all around the garden. The weed often pops up in the produce beds. It's called purslane. It's edible, and quite nutritious.

July 31 Basil.jpg
That's not a tomato plant, it's a very happy basil!

July 30 Green Bee.jpg
A metallic green bee was found feeding from the calandrinia blossoms in the succulent bed. Unlike honey bees, these are solitary bees.

July 28 Weevil.jpg
A better shot of one of the Fuller's rose weevils, of which we found several this week. These girls like to damage citrus. Interesting fact: there are only females of this species -- they produce without males!

July 30 Beet.jpg
The beets were popping up above the soil. Time to harvest!

July 31 Beets.jpg
Showing less than a quarter of those we harvested.

July 31 Beet Harvest.jpg
Interesting that the red variety grew much quicker than the yellow.

July 31 Carrot Harvest.jpg
Also harvested for the first time were the carrots. We tried to pull up only the tallest plants.

July 31 Carrots.jpg
Not the prettiest looking bunch, but they are sweet!

July 31 Cucumber.jpg
Our first cucumber!

July 31 Harvest.jpg
Thursday's total harvest. We're getting fewer green beans now.

July 29 Jumping Spider.jpg
Cute jumping spider spotted in the kale bed.

July 30 Stick Caterpillar.jpg
The raspberry leaves continue to be devoured by critters; caterpillars...

July 30 Grasshopper.jpg
and lots and lots of grasshoppers! Here, one rests on a squash leaf.

July 28 Harvest.jpg
Monday's harvest.

July 29 Coriander.jpg
We allowed the cilantro to go to seed. These are coriander seeds.

July 28 Hoverfly.jpg
Lots of beneficial bugs trying to help keep the aphid population in check. Here, a hoverfly larva.

July 28 Lacewing.jpg
And here, a lacewing larva.

July 29 Cabbage White Laying.jpg
Lots of cabbage whites flying into the garden...

July 30 Cabbage White egg.jpg
to lay eggs on the kale...

July 28 Cabbage White Caterpillar.jpg
to grow into these chubby green caterpillars. CORRECTION: This is a cabbage looper, offspring of moths. Cabbage worms are a little darker and fuzzy. See pic from Aug 4 above.

July 24 Monarch.jpg
A chubby monarch caterpillar was spotted while watering.

July 24 Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar.jpg
The cloudless sulphur butterfly eggs have started hatching! Here's one of the baby caterpillars.

July 24 Ladybugs.jpg
A delightful variety of ladybugs continue to be drawn to the aphids. Here, a multi-spotted orange and red crawl on the bean vine.

July 24 Strawberry Lettuce.jpg
The romaine lettuce has been enjoying the many recent cloudy days. Here's one blending into the large strawberry leaves.

July 24 Lettuce Harvest.jpg
We harvested seven heads on Thursday.

July 24 Harvest.jpg
Thursday's total harvest.

July 21 Beet Planting.jpg
We planted beet seeds to replace the former radishes.

July 21 Harvest.jpg
Monday's harvest.

July 14 Cloudless Sulphur.jpg
We've been watching these pretty yellow butterflies come to the garden to drink for months now. Sadly, they've ignored their host plant, a senna, in the garden...

July 18 Cloudless Sulphur laying.jpg
...until now! This pretty lady was very busily (and quickly!) laying lots of eggs on the senna leaves. Those little white dots on the underside of the two nearest leaves to her wings are eggs.

July 16 Weevil.jpg
Although cool to look at, we were not so thrilled to see new harmful bugs in the garden. Several of these Fuller's rose weevils were found in the garden this week.

July 15 Black Firefly.jpg
This guy was an odd visitor. He's a black firefly, hanging out on the native sagebrush.

July 17 Radish Harvest.jpg
Fed up with the bagrada bugs, we pulled out all the radish plants.

July 17 Radishes.jpg
Most of them were big enough for harvesting.

July 17 Harvest.jpg
We would have had 2 more bags of dinosaur kale in Monday's harvest if not for the goldfinches...

July 15 Kale eater.jpg
Caught, pecking away at the leaves!

July 17 Pecked Kale.jpg
This is what those cute little birds can do!

July 16 Bird Scare Tape.jpg
We installed mylar tape strips to scare them away.

July 16 Raspberries.jpg
The raspberries are very happily growing up the back fence.

July 15 Lacewing Egg.jpg
Awww, it's a green lacewing egg. Many of these were found while harvesting dill seeds.

July 15 3 Sister Bed.jpg
One of the 3 Sisters beds showing off...

July 15 Squash Blossoms.jpg
their beautiful squash flowers.

July 14 Produce Beds.jpg
Hard to see the corn plants now. Those beans have really taken over!

July 14 Melon baby.jpg
Some wonderful things in those beds. Like cute fuzzy baby melons...

July 14 Ladybug.jpg
and lots of ladybugs, some with many spots...

July 15 No spot ladybug.jpg
and some with no spots at all...

July 14 Ladybug Pupa.jpg
and others still working out their spots.

July 14 Searching Hoverfly.jpg
This hoverfly was attracted to all the sweet smells from the harvest.

July 14 Hoverfly lands.jpg
The silly girl landed on top of a zucchini, where she promptly laid an egg.

July 14 Lacebugs.jpg
Another new bug in the garden started feeding on the young sunflower leaves. They're called lacebugs. Lucky for us, they can't do too much damage.

July 14 Garden Spiderlings.jpg
Another awww moment. Yellow and black garden spiderlings hatched on the mulberry tree.

July 14 Corn.jpg
Yea, corn!

July 14 Harvest.jpg
and yea first melons! Monday's harvest included a cantaloupe, a 3 pound honeydew melon, and lots and lots of beans. Not shown is a small amount of tomatoes.

July 11 Bagrada Spray.jpg
Our battle with the bagrada bugs continues. Here we are spraying a home-made concoction of diluted garlic, cayenne pepper and dish soap to try to salvage the radish plants.

July 11 Garlic with kale.jpg
The bagrada bugs have begun to nibble the kale leaves! Since they don't seem to care for garlic, we planted lots of garlic cloves in all the kale beds.

July 11 Hoverfly.jpg
Nasturtiums are magnets for black aphids. Here you can see the aphids attracting ladybug larva and an incoming hoverfly.

July 11 Hoverfly landing.jpg
The hoverfly is laying eggs in a spot where her babies can feast on the aphids.

July 10 Top of the Beans.jpg
A pole bean clotheline in one of the 3 Sisters beds.

July 10 Ripe Corn.jpg
Ripe corn!

July 10 Shucking Corn.jpg
Shucking the corn.

July 10 Strangled Corn Shucked.jpg
Here's the poor ear that was being squeezed by a wrapping bean vine.

July 10 Corn Harvest.jpg
We cut off the kernels from 3 of these and distributed them in little cups to the kids who helped with the harvest.

July 10 Harvest.jpg
The last ear was added to the day's donation.

July 9 Grasshopper.jpg
The 3 Sisters beds have been attracting several kinds of new bugs to the garden, including grasshoppers (this guy was the biggest - more commonly seen are little green ones)...

July 11 Carpenter bee flight.jpg
carpenter bees (see the face in the pollen on its back?)...

July 11 Carpenter bee landing.jpg
who love to drink from the bean blossoms, and in doing so, scare the children with their size and noise (isn't it cute how they hug the blossoms to hang on?)...

July 10 Ladybug Larva.jpg
and lots of ladybugs in various life stages - here in larva form...

July 10 Ladybug forming pupa.jpg
here changing into a pupa...

July 9 Ladybug Pupa.jpg
and here in full pupa formation in the zucchini bed.

July 10 Milk Spray.jpg
You can see the powdery mildew on the leaf with the ladybug pupa. Again we sprayed all the squash leaves with a milk and baking soda solution. It seems to be helping.

July 8 Dill Seeds.jpg
All the dill plants are setting seeds now.

July 8 Tomato bed.jpg
Again we removed and replaced diseased tomato plants. Only 2 tomato plants from the original set remain. The tallest plants you see in that bed are now basil.

July 7 Harvest.jpg
The harvest from Monday.

July 8 Caterpillar Harvest.jpg
Our fine caterpillar hunter, here displaying her catch of 1 armyworm and 2 cabbage caterpillars.

July 7 Cabbage Butterfly.jpg
And here is the possible mama of the green caterpillars, a female small cabbage butterfly.

July 9 Armyworm Moth.jpg
This is what you get flying around your kitchen when you allow your kids to bring home a fat armyworm caterpillar as a pet.

July 7 Baby Butternut.jpg
Butternut squash are so pretty when they're young.

July 2 Harvest.jpg
The harvest from July 2nd.

July 1 Bean supports.jpg
The beans were weighing down the corn too much in some spots. Bamboo tepee structures were added for support.

July 1 Hoverfly Larva.jpg
This hoverfly larva was spotted underneath a radish leaf. He's a good guy -- they love to eat aphids!

July 2 Armyworm.jpg
A not so good guy. He was found munching (and heavilly pooping!) under a kale leaf. He's a armyworm moth caterpillar.

July 1 Milkweed Bug.jpg
Another new bug flew into the garden and came to rest on a strawberry leaf. He's a Large Milkweed Bug. Like monarch caterpillars, they eat milkweed to make themselves toxic to predators.

June 30 Harvest.jpg
The harvest from June 30th.

June 30 Bell Peppers.jpg
This was our first harvest of bell peppers. We harvested them green, not red, because the fruit was resting on the ground.

June 30 Harvesting.jpg
This was also our first harvest of green beans.

June 30 Bean Harvesting 1.jpg
This entailed a fun search.

June 30 Bean Harvesting 2.jpg
We found lots!

June 30 Sunflower Seed.jpg
We also snacked on sunflower seeds.

June 30 Sunflower.jpg
Lots of them.

June 30 Sunflower Caterpillar.jpg
Several sunflower moth caterpillars were found on the edges of the largest blossoms.

June 30 Cantaloupe.jpg
The cantaloupes are getting bigger.

June 30 Honeydew.jpg
And so are the honeydew.

June 27 Staightened Oak.jpg
The oak tree now stands proud and tall with the help of some rebar, rope and a leather garden glove.

June 27 Hummer.jpg
This little visitor can thank us. He uses the oak as a resting perch just about everyday.

June 27 Monarch watching.jpg
The monarchs continue to visit the garden, even though there is little milkweed leaves to be found.

June 27 Monarch on kale.jpg
They seem old and tired, somehow. They rest on random plants, like here on a kale leaf, for long stretches.

June 24 Chrysalis.jpg
The butterfly chrysalises have been extremely hard to find! But it was easy to spot this oddball that chose to hang from the blue tarp covering the soil bags.

June 26 Fig Beetle Top.jpg
This fig beetle was found just outside the garden fence.

June 27 Fig Beetle Bottom.jpg
They have beautiful metallic green undersides.

June 24 Sunflower Seeds.jpg
Every remaining sunflower bloom has sunflower seeds now. The birds have yet to notice.

June 27 Caterpillar harvest.jpg
Here are some of the cabbage caterpillars picked off the kale leaves on Friday.

June 26 Harvest.jpg
Thursday's colorful harvest.

June 25 Chocolate flower.jpg
Chocolate flower was planted near the herb garden. It really smells like chocolate!

June 25 3 Sisters.jpg
Can you spot the three sisters -- the corn, beans and melon?

June 23 Corn corn corn.jpg
In case you couldn't find the hidden corn ears, hear they are!

June 24 Yellow Canna.jpg
The mystery plant that grew up in the bulb garden turned out to be a yellow canna. Beautiful!

June 24 Raspberries.jpg
The raspberry plants are growing well!

June 23 Catching beetles.jpg
The bug collecting crew on Monday. We're searching for destructive beetles.

June 23 Harlequin.jpg
We found lots! These are Bagrada Bugs, or Painted Bugs. We previously thought they were Harlequin Beetles. They look very similar!

June 19 Harvest.jpg
The first ESS harvest of summer 2014 - kale, lettuce and zucchini.

June 18 3 Sisters.jpg
The corn is finally taller than the adults.

June 18 Produce beds.jpg
The 3 Sisters beds (corn, beans and w. squash/melon) have filled out nicely. The melons have taken off ahead of the winter squash.

June 19 Cabbage Looper.jpg
Several cabbage loopers were found under the kale leaves.

June 19 Harlequin Beetles.jpg
The kids helped to hand-pick these harlequin beetles from the radish/beet bed. These bugs have been ravaging the beet seedlings. CORRECTION: these are Bagrada Bugs!

June 18 Goldfinch.jpg
Sorry, goldfinch, there are no more sunflower leaves to eat!

June 18 Borage for bees.jpg
The borage has gotten very bushy and covered with fuzzy blue blossoms for the bees.

June 12 Produce Beds.jpg
A shot of the produce beds on the last day before summer vacation. The garden has come a long way.

June 11 Garden Bricks.jpg
Thank you to everyone who purchased a commemorative garden brick! These have begun to be installed along the concrete circle.

June 11 Radish and beets.jpg
Third grade students inspected their beets and radishes on their last day of harvesting.

June 11 Harvest.jpg
We got lots of kale and some zucchini.

June 12 Butterfly Garden.jpg
Watch your step everyone! The caterpillars are moving just about everywhere...

June 11 Caterpillar on gate.jpg
...on the entry gate...

June 11 Caterpillar underfoot.jpg
...and on the pathways, like this one on the gravel beneath the patio tables.

June 11 Caterpillar morphing.jpg
This guy was smart to make a home in a pokey aloe plant. Here he's attached himself by the tail end...

June 12 Chrysalis.jpg
...and the next day he was a beautiful chrysalis!

June 11 Grasshopper.jpg
This cute grasshopper made some holes in the native yerba santa. He matched the color of the plant to a T.

June 10 Baby Caterpillar.jpg
The monarchs start out so tiny!

June 11 Baby corn.jpg
Awww, a little baby corn and a stalk getting hugged by pole beans.

June 9 Strawberries.jpg
The strawberries have responded real well to the fish fertilizer.

June 9 caterpillars banquet.jpg
Wow. There are lots of caterpillars in the garden now! As you can see, these young monarchs are eating everything - flowers, stems, even the seed pods.

June 6 Harvest.jpg
Friday's harvest for donation: two types of kale, romaine lettuce and some zucchini.

June 6 Dill.jpg
The dill is getting tall!

June 5 TK rocks.jpg
The TK students painted new lady bugs and bumble bees for the garden.

June 6 Daylilies.jpg
The first daylilies to open this year.

June 4 Sunflower.jpg
Sometimes it takes a bee to remind us that sunflowers have multitudes of flowers within a flower.

June 4 Monarch caterpillars.jpg
Last week we saw the Monarch butterfly eggs. This week it's the caterpillars!

June 6 Monarch caterpillars.jpg
Muncha, muncha, muncha...

June 2 Diseased tomatoes.jpg
Several of our tomatoes caught a disease from a sucking insect. The leaves turned purple, curled, and the fruit would not set.

June 3 Tomatoes.jpg
Seven tomato plants were pulled out and replaced with healthy seedlings.

June 2 Squash Trimming.jpg
The zucchini got a haircut. To control powdery mildew, we cut off all the lower leaves.

June 3 Naked Squash.jpg
Our naked zucchini showing off their funny knobby stems.

May 30 Volunteer Appreciation.jpg
The Rolling Hills Volunteer Appreciation Assembly was held in front of the garden the morning of May 30th. Such a sweet event!

May 30 Gate Repair.jpg
The broken gate screen was replaced by 1/2" hardware cloth to stop the bunnies from nibbling the lettuce.

May 30 Skipper.jpg
Lots of butterflies in the garden. Here an orange skipper feeds on a Rose of Jupiter blossom.

May 30 Monarch.jpg
The monarchs have arrived!

May 30 Monarch feeding.jpg
They were very busy around the milkweed - feeding....

May 30 Monarch laying.jpg
...and laying eggs!

May 30 Monarch eggs.jpg
Little monarch eggs!

May 30 Harvesting.jpg
Weighing the letttuce portion of Friday's harvest.

May 29 Sunflower Bed.jpg
More blooming sunflowers.

May 30 Sunflower.jpg
They look so tussled when they first open.

May 30 Corn Bed.jpg
One of the 3 Sisters beds. Growing up...

May 30 Beans on corn.jpg
And here I thought we'd have to help the pole beans grab onto the corn. They seem to have figured it out on their own!

May 27 Glad.jpg
Another shot of the blooming gladiolas.

May 27 Root Crop Beds.jpg
Cabbage and cauliflower are out; 4 bags of Kelloggs + Bioflora (chicken manure) and the beds are good for the next session of crops.

May 30 Beets & Radish Signage.jpg
We planted root crops - beets and radish on one end, carrots on the other.

May 27 Dino Kale.jpg
Showing the proud kale before Monday's harvest.

May 27 Curly Kale.jpg
The curly kale is so fluffy. A shot before Monday's harvest.

May 27 Harvesting.jpg
All the remaining mini cabbage + some zucchini.

May 27 Full Harvest.jpg
The total harvest for Monday.

May 23 New Layer Start.jpg
A fifth grade class helped create a new layer for the worm bin. We soaked shredded newspaper and tore up cardboard. We mixed these with coir (ground coconut husk) and a little dirt.

May 23 New Layer Finish.jpg
Bed complete, we gave the worms a treat of cornmeal.

May 23 Bulb Garden.jpg
Our first gladiolas are beginning to bloom in the bulb bed.

May 22 Sunflowers.jpg
The sunflower leaves have been getting picked on by lesser goldfinches. See her sitting up there?

May 22 Goldfinch.jpg
Here she is! Pretty little birds.

May 22 Corn Bed.jpg
The side shoots on some of the corn are amazing. Multiple sources say to let them be.

May 22 Collecting Seeds.jpg
The kids have been very helpful by collecting all the newly dropped nasturtium seeds.

May 20 Kale Pests.jpg
This cabbage looper cacoon was spotted underneath a kale leaf. See the few grey aphids on the leaf too?

May 20 3rd Grade Salad Harvest.jpg
The 3rd graders collected their produce for their Make a Garden Salad Event this week.

May 20 3rd Grade Salad Composting.jpg
Lots of outer leaves to remove from the mini-cabbages.

May 21 3rd Grade Salad Event.jpg
Five teams with five colanders came back to the classroom to wash and prepare. Not pictured is team 1, zucchini and tomatoes.

May 19 Fine C.jpg
Some cauliflower made it through last week's heat spell very well.

May 19 Squirrely C.jpg
Others, not so much.

May 19 Harvest.jpg
Monday's mini-harvest for donation.

May 14 Harvest.jpg
Wednesday's harvest for donation.

May 14 Garden Salad Harvest Cabbage.jpg
Harvesting one of the pointy cabbages for one of the 2nd grade Make a Garden Salad Event.

May 14 Garden Salad Harvest Prep.jpg
Five teams from the class collected produce, herbs, and edible garnish in colanders. We took it back to the classroom to wash, shred, tear, or chop. Very yummy with classroom-made orange honey dressing!

May 13 Harlequin.jpg
This beautiful Harlequin Beetle was found crawling beneath the dinosaur kale. These are pretty, but destructive bugs. CORRECTION: this is a close relative of Harlequins, a Bagrada Bug

May 12 Twins.jpg
You get some funny shapes when the zucchini start crowding together. Here, two melded into one!

May 12 Harvest.jpg
Monday's harvest for donation: curly leaf kale, mini cabbage and zucchini.

May 9 Picking Kale.jpg
The other 5th grade class came to help with a harvest.

May 9 Harvest.jpg
We collected some zucchini and a giant bag of dinosaur kale.

May 9 Green Lacewing.jpg
The kids found a green lacewing -- unfortunately, deceased. It's a good sign to find evidence of beneficial garden bugs!

May 9 1st Sunflower Blossom.jpg
Our mini mammoth. Less than three feet tall and it opened into full bloom. Hopefully the others will live up to their name!

May 8 New Grapes.jpg
We added a couple grape vines near the back fence. This one is near our resident gardener.

May 7 1st Pineapple Guava Blossom.jpg
Our first pineapple guava blossom. These petals are so sweet and tasty. The mockingbirds think so too.

May 6 First Figs.jpg
The garden's fig tree may be a shorty, but he's full of little figs.

May 6 TK Butterfly Release.jpg
More classroom-hatched butterflies were released, this time by the TK class.

May 6 Painted Lady.jpg
Look at all that fur! We planted African daisies this week just for these painted ladies.

May 5 Milkweed.jpg
Lots of flowers for the butterflies are bushing out in full bloom, like the milkweed for the monarchs...

May 7 Butterfly Bush.jpg
...and the butterfly bush.

May 6 Zucchini.jpg
Hard to stop taking photos of the pretty zucchini...

May 5 Zucchini Blossom.jpg
...especially when their blossoms are fully open. Thank you, little bee.

May 3 Zucchini.jpg
We're harvesting these guys twice a week now.

April 28 Nectarines.jpg
Lots of nectarines on the tree. They're red, but not ripe.

May 2 First Raspberries.jpg
Our first baby raspberries!

May 1 Meal for Ladybug.jpg
Go get 'em, ladybug! Lady and aphid were spotted on the romaine lettuce.

April 30 Lettuce.jpg
The Romaine seems to be coping better with the heat than the Magenta.

April 28 Bolting Magenta.jpg
Here's the Magenta lettuce with the start of a flower! We'll soon have a cucumber trellis over the lettuce to offer some relief from the sun.

April 28 Harvest.jpg
Monday's colorful harvest, 3 heads of the Magenta lettuce and a bag of zucchini.

April 30 Garden Beds.jpg
Garden showing the completed 3 Sisters beds.

April 29 Cloudless Sulphur.jpg
Our first Cloudless Sulphur butterfly was spotted in the garden! We planted a host plant, a senna, for them.

April 28 Markers for beans & squash.jpg
Markers in the 3 Sisters Beds awaiting planting of beans and squash, and thinning of the corn.

April 28 Planting Beans & Squash.jpg
The second graders hard at work.

April 30 Three Sisters Beds Complete.jpg
All done!

April 25 Cabbage.jpg
The cabbages' days are numbered. We're gearing up to plant these beds with root crops.

April 25 Assembly line picking.jpg
It was a special treat for a fifth grade class to come in to help with a harvest. Here's our assembly-line method of picking the zucchini...

April 25 Jucchini jenga.jpg
...all the way to the scale to get weighed.

April 25 Curly leaf kale harvest.jpg
Lots of kale harvested on Friday by grade 3. Here we are trying to get one weight reading for the curly leaf variety. On the left, everyone's attention is drawn to some green caterpillars the students found.

April 25 Green caterpillars.jpg
They took turns admiring the pesky, but lovely, cabbage looper caterpillars.

April 25 Total Harvest.jpg
Friday's total harvest - 6 bags full of kale, cauliflower, cabbage zucchini, and lettuce.

April 25 Tomatoes.jpg
Our tomatoes are growing up...

April 24 Sweet Alyssum.jpg
Sweet Alyssum was added to the lettuce and kale beds. Allysum attracts beneficial hoverflies, whose babies eat harmful aphids.

April 24 Companion Planting.jpg
Some funny companion planting. Strawberries, lettuce and garlic grow well together!

April 23 Tree for Arbor Day.jpg
Welcome home, our little plum tree. Thank you to The Arbors at Rancho Penasquitos Assisted Living for their donation in honor of Arbor Day!

April 23 Arbor Day Tree Planting wiki.jpg
The youngest students, the TK class, assisted in the planting.

April 23 Sprouting Corn.jpg
Just one week after planting the corn seeds, and already it's living up to its fast-growing fame!

April 21 Crazy Cauliflower.jpg
Cauliflower gone crazy in the sun. The third graders got to taste-test this one. The verdict - yummy!

April 21 Cauliflower Harvest.jpg
These nicer heads of cauliflower went to donation. Glad to know that the purple tinge wouldn't effect the flavor.

April 21 Cabbage Harvest.jpg
On the same day, we harvested a few of the assorted mini-cabbage.

April 18 Nasturtium blooms.jpg
Fun to see the wide variety of nasturtiums now blooming. The kids have really been enjoying to taste the orange blossoms, one of the most prolific right now.

April 18 Native Penstemon.jpg
One of the prettiest natives is in bloom. Hummingbirds, come and get it!

April 16 Three Sisters Diagram.jpg
Our plan for the 3 beds that held broccoli. A traditional Native American method. Companion planting at its best -- beneficial to grow together, beneficial to eat together.

April 16 Corn seed markers.jpg
Markers for the kids to know where to plant the seeds (& how deep) and for us to know which spots have been planted. Yellow circle means empty, corn label means planted.

April 16 Corn beds.jpg
Three beds for corn seeds, all planted.

April 14 Worm Feeding.jpg
There has been great variety in the lunchtime waste collection. Our worms are so lucky. Doesn't their weekly meal look yummy?

April 14 Monster Squash.jpg
Lots to harvest when we returned from Spring Break. You can see that the zucchini really loved the warm week!

April 14 Mini Cabbage.jpg
We got to harvest our first couple heads of mini cabbage. Only a few tiny bug holes...

April 14 Cauliflower Harvest.jpg
We also got to harvest our first batch of cauliflower.

April 14 Cauliflower Pinned.jpg
Cauliflower can sunburn, so their leaves were clipped together for protection.

April 14 Bye bye broccoli.jpg
Time to say goodbye to our winter crop of broccoli.

April 14 Baby Shoots.jpg
The baby side shoots on the broccoli are all grown up.

April 14 Bee Welcome.jpg
The acacia tree at the entry is in full bloom and the bees are loving it. Their numerous little wings make a rather scary welcoming sound.

Mark, our irrigation volunteer extraordinaire, prepared this picture slideshow showing the history of irrigation work for the garden.

Irrigation Video - YouTube

April 4 Worm Food Collection.jpg
Very proud of the kids' lunchtime worm food collection from April 4th. Weighed in at 15 pounds!

April 4 Lettuce Harvest.jpg
Mrs. Kajita's 2nd graders helped to harvest 10 heads of our magenta lettuce and a bag of kale leaves on April 4th.

April 3 Open House.jpg
The Garden Open House on April 3rd. Thank you to everyone who came or helped out to make this a wonderful community event.

April 4 Garden from rear.jpg
Finished mulching around the veggie beds!

March 28 Mini Cabbage.jpg
Nice to see the heads getting bigger on the assorted mini cabbages. Look at the variety of leaves! Like I ask all the kids, can you guess which one is the purple cabbage?

March 28 Adding mulch.jpg
Adding weedblock and mulch between the beds. Lots of pretty contrast between the straw and woodchips.

March 26 K butterfly release.jpg
Mrs. Harvey's K class released classroom hatched painted lady butterflies in the garden.

Spring Harvest on March 24.jpg
March 24th's awesome harvest.

March 24 Adding straw.jpg
Lots of fun for the kids to see a straw bale in the garden.

March 24 Adding straw 2.jpg
We added the straw to all the veggie beds.

March 24 Adding straw complete.jpg
Not only does the straw look nice and smell nice, it's cheap! One $10 bale was enough for all the beds.

Broccoli harvest on March 21.jpg
Broccoli harvest #1!

Broccoli taste test March 21.jpg
The broccoli harvest was followed by the broccoli taste test by the second graders who helped out. And WOW! what a sweet harvest.

Broccoli grows bigger March 17.jpg
Exciting to record the growth spurt on the broccoli. It's getting bigger...

Bok choy bolts March 17.jpg
What sometimes happens when you come back to school after a warm weekend. The start of a flower grew by at least a foot!

Bee Visits Bok Choy March 17.jpg
The flower is not great for the leaves below, but the bees sure loved it.

March Kale Harvest.jpg
A third grade class harvest. Our first clippings of Tuscan kale and one bok choy on March 10th.

March garden tour.jpg
This month we started garden tours for each class.

March worm talk.jpg
Each class gets to meet the worms up close.

March - baby broccoli.jpg
The broccoli are forming heads! Their gorgeous leaves collect such pretty water droplets.

Our vermicomposter is back in service! Cafeteria food waste = food for worms!

Worm food collector.jpg
Our cafeteria worm food collection bin. Our best day this week - 10 pounds of food! Very thrilling to see a tea bag and eggshells in addition to the fruit, bread, and veggies!

March - last bed to fill.jpg
Our spring bed - tomatoes, garlic, bell pepper, and summer squash

February 26 2014 Baby Raspberries.jpg
Baby raspberry plant donation! Five were planted along the back fence where they'll catch the water overspray from the grass sprinklers.

February 26 2014 Sunflower Bed.jpg
New Sunflower Bed is planted - February 25th, 2014.

February 24th 2014 - Kellogg Donation.jpg
Thank you, Kellogg, for the donation of organic soil, fertilizer, and natural bug spray!!!

February 24th - first bulb blooms.jpg
First blooms in the bulb garden came up just before President's Day - Narcissus, or Paperwhites

January 2014 Planted Raised Beds.jpg
Raised beds planted, January 2014

January 2014 Bulb Garden.jpg
Start of the flower bulb garden, January 2014

January 2014 Overhead.jpg
All beds planted w/seedlings for winter (one saved for Spring), January 2014

January 2014 Butterfly Garden.jpg
Butterfly Garden Beginnings, January 2014
January 2014 Milkweed Flower Vertical.jpg
Milkweed for monarchs

January 2014 Purple Cone Flower.jpg
Purple Cone Flower for butterflies
January 2014 Native Sage Sized.jpg
California native sage for butterflies

January 2014 Herb Garden.jpg
Start of the Herb Garden, January 2014

January 2014 Herb Garden Thyme.jpg
January 2014 Herb Garden Lavender.jpg

Greenhouse of Farmer Roy.jpg
Where our seedlings started - Farmer Roy's Greenhouse at Sunshine Care - thank you, Roy!

January 2014 Seedlings with Flowers.jpg
Bok Choy and Kale Seedlings with Nasturtium, January 2014

January 2014 Veggie Tags.jpg
January 2014 Succulent Garden Beginnings.jpg
Succulent Garden Beginnings, January 2014
January 2014 Succulent gardeners.jpg
Succulent Garden helpers

November 2013 Planted fruit trees.jpg
Nectarine & Plum Tree planted, November 2013
October 2013 break time kids.jpg
Snack/recess time for 2nd & 3rd graders = garden help, October 2013
October 2013 prep for fruit trees.jpg
Digging holes for fruit tree additions in October 2013
October 2013 Weeding around beds.jpg
Weeding around the veggie beds in October 2013

Sunflower in the garden, 2012

Rolling-Hills-garden-June 2011.jpg
The garden shortly after the grand opening, June 2011