Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Next Step...A Garden Festival!!

Sunday, November 4th from 11-4 come join us for the first annual Garden Festival! Let's celebrate the new green spaces we are creating for our school by doing some planting and some artwork with the children! This will also be an opportunity for families to donate something on the garden wish list (on the left) perhaps a shovel... and then they can put that shovel to use!

We also have a list of things we could use help with that have nothing to do with the Garden Festival and everything to do with organizing and communicating the garden "chores". We have developed a "SDCCS Garden Guide" Binder ". This essentially will be a Plant "How To" Guide, that will be accessible to everyone. It will be stored in outdoor trunks along with tools. We will also have a white board at each Garden with the design layouts, and a calender that will let anyone who comes to volunteer, Teachers and Students what needs to be done in the way of planting, watering, weeding, fertilizing. etc. This will be a great tool for Garden Liaison's, Teachers and Volunteers to Communicate. We can also use the Blog to help us as well. We are not sure if the Blog is working as a good communication tool, so please feel free to comment at the end of the post to let us know your thoughts. Its easy to do, you just need to register a name, don't be shy !! Comments are great way to ask questions, and give us your idea's, we check them daily.

Here is Our "NEXT STEPS LIST", things we really need now to proceed smoothly...

1. We need a plumber who can help us add some hose bibs so watering can be done more quickly. We also need MORE hoses and splitters!
2. We need someone to start and help maintain our composting system and even a worm farm...we have a good spot for it, just not the time to implement it. We could use the help in this area!!
3. We really need an ongoing Donations Coordinator whose job would include scanning Craig's List for free plants, tools etc and then arranging these items to be picked up or delivered. There is so much free stuff out there...we just need to get it...gardens are expensive, especially in the first few years!

If anyone has any ideas they can put into action let us know!
Please comment below or e-mail Amy or Annie (addresses at the left)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It Takes A Village....of Very Hard Working Volunteers!!

Our Big Dig Day was a huge success !! We were so happy and excited about how great our day went!!



Here is what we accomplished in 9 hours.

In the K-2 Garden, we ammended the soil, rototilled and layed out cobble around the bed designs. With the expertise of one of our SDCCS Parents, Joe Rich, we had the most beautiful fence, along with two incredibly charming Arbors built. If you ever need any type of landscape or hardscape work done, Joe is your Man! Check out his work at Fortress Fence and Landscape. Joe not only designed the fence, he brought a whole truck load of tools and extra supplies! Joe, Thanks so much for everything !! The Garden will forever have a bit of YOU built right in !!

With the help of Alan, Shawn, and Pepe, 6 Raised Beds were built and moved over to the Dirt Area in the Big Playground for the Upper Grades. Both Alan and Shawn were in awe of immense power of the Nail Gun that Joe Supplied. Thanks Guys !! After that, more Volunteers worked tirelessly not only to level the beds, but shovel 10 yards of top soil in each and every one. There was lots of sweat, laughs, and great ideas flowing out there !! Thanks to Matt, Riaz (great design layout!), Sue, Jeff, CJ, Melanie, Jack, Amy, and anyone else I missed for all that hard work!

The Kids were involved as well. They painted wonderful designs on 4 different benches, and we placed them in various area's around the school. Thanks Haley, Chloe, Lucy, Lilly, Kristen,and again whoever I may have missed. We love our children's Artwork!

We also had the children help us plant our very first fruit tree, a semi-dwarf meyer lemon, along the new chain link fence out in the front of the school. We envision each grade planting there own fruit tree, to build a small SDCCS Orchard. Let's hope we will have some lemonade to share this summer. Thanks to Chloe, Lucy, Haley, Annie, Amy for planting, and Jay and Kit for digging that hole !!

There are many more people to acknowledge for their incredible effort... from Arnold who delivered benches days before and worked all day long on Saturday, to Matt, Riaz, Sean, Jose, Emil, Jay, Sonja, Tara, Laurie, CJ and Jeff for tirelessly working the fence, and rototilling. To Jay and Pepe who worked every corner of that place along with Dmitry, Matt, Kit, Tara, Christine, Sonja, Sarah... Thank you Lydia and Daleth for moral support, childcare and refreshments...really! Thank you Merrill for wheeling endless amounts of cobble stones back and forth and back again, with such a happy face, (we have video!)... Sarah, August, Jose, and Amy for help everywhere you were needed... There's more! Sue, Melanie, Jack, Linda, Juliane...Thank You too!! And Sarah, for giving new life to the four dying ficus plants around the school, Thank you! Lauri, for all those late nights you spent re-working the Whimsical Garden Design sketch for the K-2 Garden, your vision and plant knowledge is just wonderful..Thankyou!! Emil, thank you always, for the great visual documentation and helpful hands! It's amazing what can happen in one day when we all come together!! I also want to thank all the people on the Garden Committee who have been working behind the scenes to make all of this happen! What a wonderful group of people !!

If you would like to see more photo's from the day, please visit our flickr photo group pool here: Flickr: The SDCCS Green Room

See you in two weeks for the Garden Festival. Sunday, November 4th (11am to ?)...we promise to ask you only to dig one or two holes...the rest is for the kids !!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Just a taste of what went on...

bigdig 10-20-2007 5-12-28 PM (by You)
...a Meyer Lemon Tree is honor of our school that always seems to make lemonade out of lemons!

bigdigpano2 (by You)
Six 4ft X 12ft raised beds were made and filled...ready for planting!

grim diggers sepia (by You)
Just a few of the "Grim Diggers"

bigdigpano1 (by You)
A work in progress!

Friday, October 19, 2007

getting ready for tomorrow!

Yes, it was a busy day with every delivery coming during recess or some otherwise busy time...but it all worked out! Cobble stones, compost and amendments, wood and cement, and 10 cubic feet of topsoil!

The dumping of the stones was the highlight for the kids.

Amy driving a dump truck was a sight to see!

...and the kids did a bit of digging on their own, creating a town and river!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Time is NOW!!

Okay everyone...we need your muscle, your brute strength and your enthusiasm. We need you to grab a shovel, rake, hoe, gloves, wheelbarrow...whatever you've got to share for the day...and come on down! SATURDAY OCT.20th, 8:00am-5:00pm
It's also a good idea to bring a snack and a drink!
Our plans for the day include building 6 raised beds, building a fence, rototilling the k-2 bed, planting 20 passion vines and a weeping mulberry. And if we have time, painting a few benches!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


...a garden just isn't a garden without them!

We Need Benches!!! If you have an old one that could be painted or spruced up, let us know! If you'd like to go on a bench hunt at thrift stores or garage sales...go for it! We prefer the cost to be minimal or even free !!

Colorful, natural, small, long as it can be outside...we want it!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Moving Right Along...

Friday's meeting (October 5th) was very productive thanks to all who attended. We are fortunate to have an SDCCS Parent who is a Landscaper, and another parent who is a Landscape Architect, both who have offered us great planning advice and resources. With their help and others we are well on our way in our planning.

We spent much of the meeting discussing how Saturday,Oct. 20th's first Big Work Day will look like. The Kinder Area (yet to be named) will be roto-tilled, the soil amended, perhaps weed cloth laid down and cobble stone beds laid out. We also started thinking about what type of irrigation system to use.

As for the other Garden (yet to be named) for Grades 3 through 8, which will be located between the two play structures towards the back of larger playground, we have decided to build raised beds despite the warning that it is difficult to plant under eucalyptus trees. We figure we will give it a try this year because we are not sure what is happening with the blacktop and don't want to be in the way of progress there. We feel very strongly about having all grades having a space to plant in ! We decided we would build the raised beds so that they are movable.

We are also working on detailed drawings of these spaces, and will post them when they are done, that way our community will have a better understanding of the spaces we are going to utilize and how wonderful they will be !

Another question discussed, concerned the passion vines (these will be planted along the fences). How many should be planted and where? We know that in one year passion vines planted 5 feet apart make a solid wall of maybe we'll plant them 10 feet apart and be a bit patient while saving money! Not only will we have passion fruit to make juice out of, but we will have lots of beautiful Butterfly's surrounding our space next spring.

It was great having Mr. Plapp and Dmitry at the meeting...bringing the teacher/kid perspective to our plans, that's really what this is all about! It was helpful to hear their ideas about shade and layout. We can't wait to get more feedback and wish lists from our teachers!

We are also thankful to have Parents who are Carpenters Volunteering their time. We have plenty of raised planting beds, benches, trellises, & fences, that will need building. We are always looking for more help in this area.

As for donations, the "Thank You" list on the left side of our blog will be updated regularly to keep everyone informed about all the great donations we've received. So far, we've been given a nice amount of soil from Walter Anderson Nursery and there is more coming from The City Farmer Nursery . In addition, we were gifted trowels and money to spend from the nearest Home Depot on Genessee & Balboa, and an SDCCS family's business gave us a wheel barrow. Big thanks to all !!

We invite ALL of you in the SDCCS community to join in our ongoing efforts to make our school GREEN and GROWING!

What can you do, you ask?...

...Well, can you dig? Do you have a shovel? A rake?
Then, come on down to SDCCS on Saturday,Oct. 20th for our All Day Work Event. This is the dirty work, literally. We need folks who want to build, haul, dig BIG holes in HARD soil and work with noisy machinery.

Bring sturdy footwear and tough clothes, don't forget gloves...and, if you need to bring the kids, keep in mind that most of the chores for the first dig are not very kid friendly. They can always play on the play structures and sand box as we all work. We will also be providing water and some snacks to keep you nourished!!

As we get closer to October 20th, we will keep you updated on time and details, so keep checking back here.

(There will be a Fun-for-the-Whole-Family
garden event in November where planting
will be involved!)

So,if you are Garden Giddy like the rest of us and you just can't wait...this garden really needs STUFF! Check the wish list to the left. We update the list as things are donated from individual families or big businesses. If you have something to donate that is not on the list, please contact Amy or Annie (e-mails to the left). We are not in the position to take anything and everything as we have limited storage space...we are really looking for the right things at the right times! If you or anyone you know would like to donate money towards a specific item (for example; a composter, garden benches etc.) just let us know.

If you plan on coming on Saturday, leave us a comment ( or just email Amy) and some contact info so we can plan accordingly ! Thanks in advance for all your efforts !! We could not do this without the support from our School Community !!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dream Big...

The Canyon School Garden Project...a wonderful garden...
inspiration for us at SDCCS.
We, too, can surround our kids in green!

The greenhouse. Inspiration for the middle school!

For more great photos, check out the link to the left!

garden to table...

Organic Veggies

The Passion Flower Vine (with edible fruit!)
This is what we are planning to plant on much of the chain link!

...a close up

Herbed Inspiration!