Thank you garden volunteers! – Los increíbles voluntarios del jardín

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MV PTA’s garden committee and Eastbay DIGS teamed up last Spring and secured a $20,000 grant to improve and develop teaching around our beautiful gardens. This past weekend we teamed up with the El Cerrito Boy Scouts and did an incredible amount of work. Thanks, guys!

 

 

 

 

 

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El Comit  é de jardín del PTA de  MV y el equipo de Eastbay DIGS se unieron durante la primavera y nos aseguraron una donación de  $ 20,000, para mejorar y desarrollar la enseñanza alrededor de nuestros bellos jardines. Este pasado fin de semana  junto con el club de niños exploradores del El Cerrito hicimos  una increíble cantidad de trabajo. ¡Gracias chicos!

Come celebrate with Mira Vista and West County DIGS!

gardenreportsquashYou are cordially invited to join us for a garden party.

When: May 13, 5:30 to 7:30

Where: Mira Vista gardens

Details are in the invitation link. Please RSVP by email to Molly Wahl (address in invitation) by Friday, April 29 if you will attend.

-Spring Fling Invitation

Green thumbs and handy people, we need you!

Our fantastic gardens need some help. We are seeking parents who are handy with tools and construction or who want to help teachers take their classes out to the gardens. The garden committee has plans for a new shed and a greenhouse, and we can always use handy people to help with other projects like garden box and fence repairs. As for classroom help, teachers can always use more volunteers to assist in the gardens—if your child’s teacher hasn’t taken the class out to the garden lately, it may be because he or she doesn’t have support. If you have some time to spare, please email gardens@miravistaschool.com.

Next time you notice one of our hard-working volunteers in the garden, please stop and say thanks! We wouldn’t have beautiful growing spaces without them.

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September Garden Report

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gardenreportsquashThe garden is a delight, filled with many autumn gifts. Students have been harvesting gigantic squash, tomatoes, corn, apples, strawberries, parsley, basil, and cucumbers.
Several classrooms have made salad, vegetable stir fry, and lavosh with cream cheese and vegetables. We have definitely been getting our vitamin C with the incredible feasting on tomatoes and vitamin A from our huge carrot crop. Many thanks to parent Barb Cavoto for her dedication to the garden and preparing delicious vegetable treats in the fourth-grade classrooms.

The planter boxes are being prepared for winter crops. Mrs. Bauer’s class planted pea starts and worked on many garden projects.

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gardenreport2Fall is an excellent time for learning in the gardens. We collect and study seeds and talk about the different ways they travel. Insects abound, and a special visitor—the orb spider—provides many teachable moments. Caterpillars can be found on the milkweed bushes, promising the birth of monarch and tiger swallowtail butterflies.

Learning Center students harvested castings from our worm bins to provide rich compost for our planter boxes.

928mulchSpecial thanks to the parents, teachers, and volunteers from Wells Fargo for all their effort on the work day on September 29. Both gardens got a great makeover. Fifth-graders and a few other students came out and helped spread mulch and build shelves for the upper garden shed. We filled an entire trailer with weeds and compost!
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Thank you, volunteers!

Wells Fargo team

A big thank you to the Wells Fargo team and all our parent, staff, and community volunteers who helped out yesterday. The gardens look great! More details to come.

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Garden Work Party with Wells Fargo 9/29

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Bring your water bottle and gloves and join the hardworking volunteers from Wells Fargo on Tuesday, September 29 for a Garden Work Party. We’ll be working to get our outdoor classrooms looking their best from 10 am to 1 pm; stop by whenever you can.

Click here for more details.

Can’t make this day? Please email gardens@miravistaschool.com to schedule another time with us to support our gardens. We are also looking for parent representatives for each class to help teachers bring more students into the gardens.

What We Do Here

Here’s a quick rundown of garden news and activities from last spring.

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Teacher Training and Leadership

Ms. Rossi attended  Life Lab’s UC Santa Cruz Growing Classroom Workshop, learning hands-on, garden-based lessons linked to Common Core Language Arts and Math and Next Generation Science Standards.

Ms. Janora and Ms. Rossi attended the 2015 Healthier Generation Northern California Summit with the purpose of networking with other school leaders to support improving school nutrition  and physical education. We think that the school gardens can play an important role in teaching students about healthy eating and exercise.

Jamba Juice Work Day and Awards Ceremony

We know one thing: when kids grow it, they eat it!

Fourth-grade students learned about tmarch3he five different food groups and how to eat for optimal health.

march4The Garden Girls prepared fava beans, kale, parsley, and garlic from the garden with rice and shared it with their classmates, promoting healthy food.

Students from Mrs. McLachlan’s class picked kale and made frittatas with parent Barb Cavoto.  The Garden Girls made a Hakuna Matata Frittata for Niah’s healthy birthday celebration. Everyone had seconds, if not thirds.

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Garden Activities help students grasp the real meaning of scientific and math concepts. They learn to ask questions and plan investigations.

march6Students in the Learning Center and Ms. Bauer’s class dissected fava beans to learn the parts and functions of a bean seed.

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Students grouped insects and spiders into different categories to understand their characteristics.

Second grade students observed fava beans with new hand lenses from National Kids Gardening Association, funded by Jamba Juice.

Math For Real—fourth-grade students read seed packets to determine how to divide up a garden bed on graph paper to ensure proper seed spacing.

The Garden Girls and special guest herbalist Janet De Haven made a salve with Mrs. MacLachlan’s third-grade class. We learned about different medicinal uses of plants growing in our gardens and in the schoolyard, many of which are common weeds, and collected them to make an herbal preparation for our skin. Some students studied specific herbs and reported to the class about their uses.

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Students testing different garden soils for mineral and acid content for a science project.

The Garden Girls and Ms. Rossi had the privilege of attending the Goldman Environmental Prize Event at the Opera House in San Francisco. We were so inspired by these heroes from all over the world who work to protect the natural environment, often at great personal risk.

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Items Received

From West County DIGS—15 pairs gloves, 30 magnifying glasses, 3 yards compost, 10 trowels, 200 plant labels, 30 plants from the DIGS greenhouse, and 12 clipboards. Madera School lent wheelbarrows and shovels for a workday.

The Jamba Juice grant gave $1,200 in National Garden Association materials, including flower and bug building kits, an inflatable butterfly cycle, two outdoor bulletin boards, six large hand lenses, and a planter box for the upper garden. Jamba Juice also donated $250, which was spent on herb and vegetable starts and supplies for garden lessons.

Late Summer Harvest

School is just around the corner, and the garden is lush and thriving thanks to the loving care of the garden volunteers. Enjoy the pictures, and look carefully—you may see a few surprises!

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West Coast Lady

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fennel

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peas and fava beans

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monster zucchini

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heirloom tomatoes

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new residents

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Late Spring Harvest and Butterflies

Thanks to our great garden volunteers, who are keeping both gardens lush and productive, not to mention creating a lovely home for our local lepidoptera.

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What’s for dinner

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Carrots and strawberries

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Mylitta crescent

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Monarch

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Jumbo zucchini

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Beets and chard

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Common checkered skipper

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Planters, tenders, and end users

We Need Summer Volunteers!

Interested in volunteering to help care for Mira Vista’s bountiful gardens over the summer? Please come to one of our two orientation meetings this week, where we’ll go over how to get into the gardens and care for them.

Meetings will be held:
1) Wednesday, June 3 at 6:00 pm. Meet at the entrance to the lower garden just outside the lunchroom.

2) Saturday, June 6 at 10:00 am. Meet in front of the school at the yellow gate closest to the circle by the school’s main office.

If you are unable to make either meeting, then please email gardens@miravistaschool.com to schedule an alternative time to go over the garden instructions and rules.

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