Articles Posted in What is Happening in the Garden

kid_pics.jpgBy Kailie Aguilar, Student Blogger

I am in second-grade Brownie Troop 1972. My troop painted pictures to decorate the water cistern in the TMA garden.

Before we started painting, Mrs. Streichenberger called up a few girls to show an example of how to paint on the special paper. We took a walk in the garden to get some ideas and then Mrs. Frank passed out the supplies. We started painting after that.

eagle_scout.jpgNathan Richardson, a former TMA student, is working on earning the prestigious title of Eagle Scout. He’s 15 years old, a sophomore at Foothill High School and is still active in Boy Scout Troop 36.

If you’re not familiar with scouting, becoming an Eagle Scout is not an easy task. A scout must complete a long list of requirements by their 18th birthday to reach their goal.

Fortunately for us, Nathan’s quest to become an Eagle Scout brought him back to TMA. One of Nathan’s requirements was to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school or local community.

cistern_jan.jpgWatering plants can be a chore but not in the TMA Garden. Recently, we added small cisterns throughout the garden.

Made from donated plastic barrels, these overflow cisterns pull recycled rain water from the primary 500-gallon cistern via a hose. The kids can conveniently pump water from the overflow cisterns to hand water nearby beds.

Here’s what some of Miss DeClark’s third-grade students think of the cisterns:

strawberries.jpgWhat’s red, sweet and makes yummy pies, jam and ice cream? Strawberries of course and they were just recently planted in our garden.

In early November, Koppes Plants graciously donated 200 bareroot Chandler strawberry plants to the TMA Garden. Chandler strawberries are the typical strawberry that is sold at roadside stands.

Koppes Plants, located in the foothills of the Yosemite Valley in California’s gold country, is a family owned and operated business that was founded in 1949 by the late Max Koppes. Max was a pioneer at every level in the production and distribution of strawberry plants worldwide. He was instrumental in the use of polyethylene plastic as a mulch in the field. He developed corrugated strawberry trays and plastic baskets to hold fruit, and he was an avid promoter of fresh strawberries as a cancer fighter and as an aid in preventing heart disease.

250px-Monarch_In_May.jpg

Ryan Solomon, Guest Blogger From Ms. Mahar’s Third Grade Class

I highly recommend going to the TMA garden because of all the wonderful sights like seeing all the plants and the growing develop. Last Thursday, when I went there with my teacher Ms. Mahar’s class, I enjoyed seeing all the magnificent bugs like the butterflies, moths and I saw a giant pill bug. In the Native Garden, I was highly fascinated in seeing the caterpillar my classmates found there that looked like a long skinny marshmallow with yellow and black stripes. We also found a green chrysalis hanging below a bird house with gold highlights. It was a Monarch butterfly chrysalis. Right next to it was an empty chrysalis. I wonder where that butterfly went to? I was also intrigued by learning how to plant and space correctly the carrot seeds that we planted. I can’t wait to see what colors the carrots turn out to be. In conclusion, I love seeing all the plants growing each time I go there and finally seeing the vegetables for sale at the TMA produce sale each week. I am a great customer!

jse_garden%20blog%20announce%203_sm.jpgDo you know how our garden grows? Well you can by simply subscribing to the TMA Garden Blog. It’s easy, just go to the subscribe box located on the top, lefthand side of the blog and sign up.

And if you subscribe during the month of November, you’ll be entered to win your own mini garden.

The TMA Garden Blog is great way for you to see what the kids are growing and learning in the garden. Each grade has it’s own curriculum where they’re combining their math and science skills in a hands-on, interactive setting.

pumpkin_sale.jpgThe rain didn’t keep the buyers away from our annual Dad’s and Donuts event. Due to the success of this event and produce sales, the garden sold a record amount of pumpkins and produce totalling more than $1,000. The proceeds will help fund PTO programs, such as Art Masters, John Yeiser, Composer Countdown and Physical Education.

Thank you to the garden volunteers that made this all possible. And we’d like to give a special shout out to Sofie Ngeth, John O’Brien, Ellen Kinoshita, Julie Ward and her husband, Jennifer Whyte, Caroline Demmerle and Joyce Howie.

The Garden will be selling pumpkins until they are gone. Produce sales are Thursdays after school, or we’d be happy to meet potential buyers in the garden at a time convenient for all.

water_saver.jpgBy Armen Balian, Guest Blogger and Dedicated Garden Volunteer

Seriously!! Every time it rains, Tustin Unified saves money. Here’s how it works. Walk into the garden and look to the left; you’ll see a very large black tank, known as a rain cistern. Pipes run from it to newly installed rain gutters.

It’s amazing how much 1″ of rain adds up when multiplied by hundreds of square feet of roof space. When it rains, water from the roof goes into the gutters. The gutters channel the water to the pipes that feed into the rain cistern. At the bottom of the cistern there is a faucet where a hose can be attached. You probably guessed it by now; we are collecting rainwater for irrigating the garden in our very own cistern; thereby reducing the amount of water used at TMA.

garden_workday.jpgBy Ashley Spinoglio, Third Grader

The garden work day a few weeks ago was very busy. We had 46 volunteers show up to help work in the garden for fall planting. Some of the jobs we did in the garden were pulling weeds, cutting pumpkins off the vines, cutting flowers, mixing soil in the planter beds and watering plants. The garden is growing such things as carrots, pumpkins and grapes.

Here are some things that the parent volunteers said.

•September 2010 – Launch 2nd grade Vermicomposting/Soil Building (science standards)

– Earthroots hired with $1200 CA Fertilizer award to train GMs/teachers to compost with worms

$1200 includes training session for GMs and teachers at end of September and 1-2 guided class sessions.