Articles Posted in What is Happening in the Garden

Mrs. Aarvig’s second grade class enjoyed a harvest party in the garden!

Garden%202014.jpgThe children harvested their own multi-colored carrots, cleaned and peeled them, and ate the delicious carrots with ranch dressing.

Garden%202014.jpg%201.jpgThese sweet carrots they planted from seed in October, watered, weeded around them, fed with compost “tea” from the worm castings, and watched them grow for four months.

by Mia Noel Rose E. DiLalla

20140130_114030.jpgOn Thursday, January 30th, my class, Mrs. Toohey’s fourth grade, had their day in the garden. I was assigned to be a maintainer. This is the first time I have been assigned this task. As a maintainer, you have to pull up weeds and throw them away. We also have to pick up dead leaves and put them in the compost barrel with the grubs.

I liked being a maintainer because I liked to use the hoe. With the hoe, I scraped up the weeds and tilled the garden soil. I even found a grub in the onion bed. I also used a shovel and dug up the roots of the weeds. I prefered to use the hoe over the shovel. I worked with John on the weeding of the onion bed. I was hot and sweaty but I really liked it. Adam’s grandparents helped us with supervising our maintaining chores. We worked great together.


By Justine Streichenberger
Garden Bucks are something that you earn when you are doing good work in the garden. The parents (Garden Masters) or our teachers give them to us when we work hard in the TMA garden. They are worth .50 cents at the Garden Sale on Tuesdays. I like to buy treats such as lemon pops at the Tuesday sales. You can also buy fresh lettuce, apple juice, cookies and treats. The ingredients come from the TMA garden and is grown and harvested by TMA students.

Green bucks are green with pictures of 3 broccoli and across the top is says Green Bucks. Next to the broccoli it has two money signs. My friend’s mom designed them. I love the idea of Green Bucks, it’s fun to earn them, it’s fun to spend them. Green buck for all.

Come learn things like this and so much more at the GM training workshop tomorrow, 1/14 from 8:15-10:30am. Refreshments and coffee served.

Sophie Ngeth showed Mrs. Cohen’s 2nd grade class how to grow green onions indefinitely! She chopped of the green parts of the onion and had the kids plant the roots-down into the soil. In just a few weeks the scallions regrew themselves to their original size. We’ll be able to continue to chop off the parts of onion we want to use and they will just continue to regrow and regrow.




The Garden Sales team wishes to thank the TMA community for enthusiastically supporting our weekly sales efforts!! We have thoroughly enjoyed providing produce and creating foods and treats with a fun garden twist. Remember the beet smoothies, kale chips and mac n’ cheese with squash? We look forward to bringing back these “best sellers” plus many other goodies next school year to help support PTO programs. Have a safe and healthy summer!

Naomi Dei Rossi, Ellen Kinoshita, Joyce Howie, Carolyn Demmerle, Leda McCarry, Lori Kroko, Sophie Ngeth and Jennifer Whyte

This year, the Garden Sales Team helped raise $7,505.43. $2,000 of that was from the Whole foods grant, but the rest was raised through garden sales! Our awesome team includes Naomi Dei Rossi, Ellen Kinoshita, Joyce Howie, Carolyn Demmerle, Leda McCarry, Lori Kroko, Sophie Ngeth and Jennifer Whyte. They deserve a huge thanks!

All the second grade students take turns collecting food scraps like banana peels, apple cores, and egg shells to feed the earth worms in our worm compost bins.

Garden Energy Pyramid: The Energy Pyramid is a 4th grade Science Standard concept that the 4th graders learn about when they participate in the hot compost program.

The second grade students wear vests when they collect food scraps to tell other students what our earthworms can and cannot eat.


The 2nd and 4th grade composting programs were designed by Mark Hay of Coast Live Oak School. Parents who are fortunate enough to be the classroom COMPOST Garden Master, learn first hand how to compost and the science behind it. He co-teaches the first two composting classes with the class COMPOST Garden Masters and makes himself available via phone and email throughout the year. He is a great teacher who engages every student. Parents don’t just learn about composting, they learn how to manage groups of kids to keep them engaged, as well.

Our Tustin Memorial Academy School Garden is a science laboratory where students learn CA State Science Standards through real, hands-on experiences, long term observation, and data collection. TMA students are able to observe real processes like decomposition in hot compost pile, over extended periods of time, and collect data to understand these processes. The real data students collect is synthesized in the classroom using CA State Standards in Math.

These two PowerPoint presentations, 2nd Grade Worm Compost and 4th Grade Hot Compost, are part of the year-long composting programs for 2nd and 4th grade. Parents and Garden Masters, you can watch these to see the concepts we study in the compost programs, and to learn more about composting yourself!


Mrs. Wigley’s kindergartners have been busy in the garden. They’ve already planted and harvested a bed of radishes this year and are now growing yummy carrots. Mrs. Chavez taught them the life cycle of a plant from seed to veggie. They were able to pick their radishes, wash them and take them home for their families.

They have also been very busy keeping the garden clean. In December, they had a great time re-mulching the strawberry bed with straw to keep the soil moist. Then in January, their favorite thing to do was rake leaves and add them to the compost pile.

Alder Lam was pushing the cart of leaves to the compost pile and said, “Wow, this is like we are real garden workers!” And Emily said, “Yes, this is so much fun!”

kellogg_2.jpgKellogg, one of our garden’s major sponsors, recently donated bags of gypsum, soil amendments and mulch. We’ll use these bags during our May and July garden workdays. This material will help prepare our soil for planting in the fall.

Known as a premium garden soil, potting soil, mulch and fertilizer provider, Kellogg has been donating to the TMA garden for more than two years. Each year this California-based business provides us with amended soil in the fall and again in the spring. Their delivery includes 125 bags of material worth more than $5,000. Thank you, Kellogg!

Here’s the donation breakdown:

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