Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Reverie of butterflies...and a bee...and a scorpion...

...drawn, woodburned
and painted by Allison
Bell's students
(with help from awesome parents too!)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Garden Workday, A HUGE Success!!

We had a great turnout of SDCCS Families& Teachers to help build an outdoor classroom, with benches & a platform. We also added 5 more raised planters to the garden, and a circular raised mosaic bed that will become a butterfly garden. In addition we made larger compost area's, redesigned some of the K-2 garden, and made cut out wood painted designs for the fences in the garden.

A special thank's to Shawn Strande who spent many hours planning, designing and building the Outdoor Classroom, Kit Camp for making some beautiful benches, Dan Renner for teaching us how to apply broken tiles and glass to create a beautiful mosaic design (and donating all those tiles!). Of course a huge thanks to everyone else who came to help build & create! We could not have accomplished this without you !!

(click to enlarge any of the pictures!)
If you have pictures of the day and would like to add them to the flickr photo group, scroll down to the right for the link to join.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Garden Workday, November 8th!

Come One, Come All!

Saturday, Nov. 8th 
(building starts at 8:00 am, gardening and art projects start at 10:00 and continues all day!)

~gardening includes: making compost areas, planting
~art projects include: working on mosaic for butterfly garden, painting, making wooden flower fence decorations for chain link beautification
~building projects include:outdoor classroom, benches, tables, raised beds, compost corral

What to Bring!
work gloves, water, sunscreen
tools for building (hammers, drills/bits, framing square etc...)
tools for gardening (shovels, wheelbarrows...)
broken pottery or mosaic pieces, old tiles, plates, cups for mosaic project
A Bag or two of Organic Top Soil (Home Depot, EarthGro Blend)

questions? contact amy zink at

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monarch Caterpillars

We found 6 different Caterpillars in the K-2 Garden Yesterday! We planted milkweed last year to attract the monarch butterfly's, so we were so excited to see that they were feeding on a few of the garden plants. Both Mr. Jacob's Kindergartners and Miss Jen's first graders observed them first hand. They found that they are "soft" to the touch and have "two heads" on each end. We talked about how they got there, and how we should all make sure that we leave them safe to make it to there next stage of the life cycle, to form a chrysalis, because after that, we think in about 2 weeks they will become beautiful Monarch Butterfly's. You can go the this link to read in detail about them.

We will be making a chart describing all the interesting facts about Monarch Butterfly's and will place it in the Garden for everyone to read and share with their family's and friends. So go see them when you get a chance, most of them are feeding on the plants in the image below, which is in Mr. Jacob's Powerful Puma's bed. We are not sure what these plants are since they were seeds that were planted in the summer, but are very anxious to see what flower they produce, and that our caterpillars have something yummy to eat !

Friday, October 3, 2008

Greenhouse Models

Pattie Krohn's 8th grade class has been working on a greenhouse design project. The first step was to come up with innovative ideas for portable, small and inexpensive greenhouses and make prototypes.

Two designs have been chosen. Over the next months the class will work to collect the building materials necessary to see their designs in action.  Some of the materials will be recycled and some will be donated or purchased. One helpful website with all sorts of ideas is who also will be donating some of the PVC used.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gardens Popping up Everywhere

Miss Jenn's 1rst
grade class has started 
a recycled vegetable 
garden made from an 
old bookshelf turned 
on its side.

There are also new plantings springing up in the 3rd-8th grade garden where Jennifer Kelly's 6th grade elective class "Simple Life for Teens" is planting vegetables to use for the cooking portion of the class.

Merrill and Dmitry's 3rd grade classes are also working on their garden beds .

If you'd like to help with these new gardens contact Jolie Barboa, garden liason for these classes, at...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Name That Bean?!

Do you know what type of bean Olive is holding??  You guessed it. A Chinese Yard Long Bean! Miss Morgan's Kindergarten class planted these last spring and the new Kinders are picking them, cutting them up in pieces and eating them. We hear they are quite yummy. To read more about the Chinese Yard Long bean, click here.

Take a look at our little apple tree, and all the fruit it is going to gift us with this year. As some of you know, when we took over the school site this was the only living thing planted in the K-2 garden. Last year it only had one apple on it, and since it has had lots of TLC from our caretakers, its much happier now ! We can't wait till the children can eat them !

Out in the Raised Bed Garden, the 3rd graders are busy getting there beds ready for a new season of fall crops. They worked hard to mix in compost, and water with there friends. Lots of digging going on. Very exciting !!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

fresh garden start!

The herb gardens look great after a sunny summer...just in time for the cooking classes to harvest!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Welcome Back Gardeners and Nature Lovers

After a wonderful summer we are all excited to start tending the many garden spaces we have created at SDCCS, in it's second season. Many families participated in watering and harvesting over the summer, taking good care and enjoying it's bounty...and for that we say THANKYOU!!! Now its time to think about fall planting and tending.
If you are interested in helping with your classroom garden plot, talk to your teacher about how you can get involved.
We will have a garden day on November 8th where we will begin to build the outdoor classroom, some more garden fencing, benches and general garden maintenance.

Hope to see you all in the garden!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Films About Food

If you are interested in seeing a great documentary about how the First CSA was created, (CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture), mark your calenders for Saturday August 16th, and see the Film highlighted below. Slow Food San Diego, & San Diego Roots are featuring films about food to bring about awareness to our community. Please take a look at there upcoming films here.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

Saturday, August 16, 6pm
Joyce Beers Community Center
3900 Vermont St., San Diego 92103
(Hillcrest, Uptown District Shopping Center)
The Real Dirt on Farmer John will turn every idea you've ever had about what
it means to be an American farmer, or an American dreamer, on its head.
Meet Farmer John, the incredible human being whose inspirational story
of revolutionizing his family farm and redeeming his own life has won accolades
and awards at film festivals around the world.
After this film we'll raffle off five pairs of tickets to the Jack Johnson concert at the Cricket
Amphitheater in Chula Vista on August 30 and "San Diego Loves You" t-shirts!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Celebrate Summer Solstice at a Local Organic Farm !

If you & your family would like to get away from the city this Saturday, and spend some quality time at an amazing farm, check out the information below. I have been attending the monthly potlucks at this farm for over a year now, and each time I walk away nourished, inspired and in awe. For more information about LaMilpa Organica farm you can go to their website here.

Also, check out the San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project Website at the end of this post. Read about The Willow Glen Farm Project and watch the video produced by the students at the Terra Nova Garden at Morse High School, some amazing stuff happening right here in San Diego ! San Diego Roots has served as inspiration for us at SDCCS.

Roots Fundraiser & Farm Summer Fest
@ La Milpa Organica Farm | Escondido
Saturday, June 21 @ 4pm to 10pm
9928 Protea Gardens Road, Escondido California 92026

Live Entertainment | Puppets & Circus Acts | Potluck & Pizzas
family-friendly films under the oaks after dark

This is a perfect opportunity to visit this little agricultural gem. Farms are nice places to hang out, and what Barry Logan (farmer) has created  is a perfect example of how beautiful things happen when a community embraces a farm -- and a model of what  Willow Glen Farm is intended to be. There will be fun entertainment and they'll serve freshly made, wood-fired pizzas. After dark they'll show a family-friendly, inspiring food-related short film -- including a cartoon or two -- under the oak trees. Rain cancels.

For a map or more information about San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project, visit their website:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Have a Wonderful Summer Everyone!

While relaxing on the beach, let
your mind wander to our school
gardens and try to imagine how you
would like them to be. Design an
"outdoor classroom" in your mind. If you
come up with something please let us know.
We would love input from the entire school
community if possible.

And if you are one of our fabulous teachers,
ask yourself how you'd like to use the garden
next year and how/if it could be incorporated
into your curriculum planning.

See you in September!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summer Watering....HELP!

There are 11 weeks in summer and we hope to have 2 people/families per week to "adopt" our gardens. It will involve coming in on Monday and Thursday of that week during business hours to water and turn the compost. It will take about 1 hour to accomplish this. (That's only 2 hours the whole summer to put towards your volunteer hours!!) Your kids will enjoy helping or playing at the K-2 playground while you tend the garden and you are welcome to bring a picnic ... enjoy the grass and shade...
The schedule/sign-up will be posted all summer long on the link section to the right, but here it is so far. If you are interested in helping us out, e-mail Amy at We will have a quick walk-through on Thursday June 12th from 11:30 to 12:30pm just before school lets out, to go over what needs to be cared for.

June 16 and 19.....1)Annie 2)Amy Z
June 23 and 26....1) Gabby 2) Tara Border 3) Susana Anaya (June 26 only)
June 30 and July 3......1)Tammy 2)Mark Decker (7/3 only) (need one other 6/30)
July 7 and 10.....1)Polly Camp 2)Amy Hooker
July 14 and 17...1)Annie 2) Gabby
July 21 and 24....1)Juanita & Lee 2)_______
July 28 and 31.....1)Lydia 2) Robin Roberts
August 4 and 7......1)Robin Roberts 2) Susana Anaya
August 11 and 14......1)Lydia 2) Susana Anaya
August 18 and 21...1) Susana Anaya 2) CJ Lucke
August 25 and 28.....1) Amy Z 2) Susana Anaya
Sept 1 and 4......1)Juanita & Lee 2)_________

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thank You

We are so happy to announce that our SDCCS gardenening project has been selected to receive a 2007-2008 Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant from the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF). This grant will award us the sum of $5000, which we will use to expand the 3rd through 8th grade raised garden beds, build an outdoor classroom, and a Greenhouse ! A big thanks goes to our own SDCCS Parent Kari Finch for writing this and other grants for the garden.

We would also like to thank The Village Garden Club of Lajolla for a generous financial donation which funded our reed fencing in the K-2 garden and our Succulent Garden. In addition, we would like to thank Rain Bird for donating irrigation supplies that we will be installing sometime over the summer or at the beginning of the new school year.

One last thank you goes to the National Gardening Association for awarding us the 2008 Youth Garden Grant earlier this year. With this award we received a $500 gift card for Home Depot, and an assortment of excellent books to help us learn more about Garden Curriculum. They believe that "today's youth are the future of American Gardening" ! So do we !!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The 3-8th Grade Garden is Looking Healthy!

Corn, beans, tomatos, squash, strawberries, california natives...and more!
Thanks to many different classrooms and a few very dedicated parents, this garden is flourishing! In a month many of these veggies will mature and it will be time for a feast!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Botanical Drawings

One of the garden options is always to make botanical drawings.
It's amazing how much easier it is to learn about and remember the names
of plants when examined through the art lens. The drawings above
were made by some of our 1rst and 2nd graders. (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beyond Our School Garden

~For Earth Day ~

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
~Native American Proverb

In the spirit of Earth Day, please take a some time to read this article, "Why Bother", and think about how you can start your very own Garden.

Monday, April 21, 2008

4th Grade Spring Planting

Check out the newest garden addition; a Culinary and Medicinal Herb Garden planted by our fourth graders:
Ready for some soil, water and hands for planting:

Out in the gardens bright and early this morning, our fourth grade kids...

Watering and diggin in the soil:
Tag teaming the sage plant...
By the end of the year they will be able to enjoy putting these herbs into yummy salads or on breads or pizzas. We might even get crazy and make some gorgeous smelling sachets.

Culinary Herbs: Basil, Bay Laurel, Curly Mint, Licorice Splash, Greek Oregano, Himalayan Silver Mint, Thyme Mint, Creeping Thyme, Lemon Frost Thyme, Hopi Red Amaranth, Royal Burgundy Pole Beans, Chamomille

Medicinal and Aromomatic Herbs: Andean Sage, Cleveland Sage, Germander Sage, Chamomille, Sarah Lavender, patchouli