The Micheltorena School and Community Garden is a shared project between the school and community, and is open every Saturday from 10am to 2pm for folks to come pick and eat fruits and vegetables, commune at the picnic tables, or take a class taught by local experts.  The garden is located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Micheltorena Street in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Micheltorena students, parents, teachers and neighbors, with donations from the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, Enrich LA, Councilmember Eric Garcetti and others, are proud to host a school / community garden that replaced the parking lot located on the corner of Micheltorena Street and Sunset Boulevard in November, 2010.

We are having a great time in the garden with parents, teachers, kids and neighbors.  Every Wednesday during the school year, a group of parents and community volunteers host classes with teachers in the garden for Micheltorena Elementary students.  And every Saturday, the garden is open for all to visit, smell the flowers, and chat with the neighbors, or dig into the ground and pull some weeds, turn some compost, or take a class!  During the summer months, the garden opens at 7pm every Thursday for a community potluck.

Think you’d like to get your hands dirty with us?  Watch the action unfold here!  Lisa Rau, a student at the USC film school, made this great video recently about gardens and community featuring the Micheltorena Garden.  And read this article about the garden in the LA Times blog here. Micheltorena School Garden is on Facebook and on Tumblr!

Garden crew with our new hydroponic tower garden! From left to right: Lucy Crane (on table), Lisa Villasenor, Antonieta Gutierrez, Scott Kennedy, Eden Kennedy (in air), Rebecca Crane, Jordan Crane, and Sara Sterkel.

Activities in the garden include in-school classes that teach gardening and ecology basics, illustrating science and math concepts taught in the classroom.  The garden is entirely organic, and houses a solar panel to run the drip irrigation system, composting and worm composting systems, a rainwater collection system, stone fruit and citrus fruit orchards, and a picnic area.

Installing our solar panel to power our irrigation system and lighting for the garden. Solar panel was purchased with funds provided by City Councilmember Eric Garcetti!

“By filling our garden with multifunctional plants and other elements, we create a dense web full of many niches of wildlife, and a rich place for humans as well: a wealth of food, flowers, medicinal herbs and other products, and a place of beauty.  Diversity offers a cascade of benefits.”  - Toby Hemenway “Gaia’s Garden:  A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture.”

Click here for our calendar of events.

Molly with friend

 

BECOME A MASTER GARDNER WITH THE UC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION!

Hollis, Charlie and Frances making compost tea to fertilize the garden.

To contact us to volunteer (or any other queries), please email us at greenschoolgarden@gmail.com

 

 

PREVIOUS EVENTS IN THE GARDEN

January 2012:  Silver Lake Farms will be hosting a gardening workshop at the garden on Saturday, January 21 at 10am.

November 15, 2011: our one year anniversary!!  On this day, the asphalt was pulled up off the parking lot to make room for our beautiful garden.  It has been a marvelous year.

October 29, 2011:  Workshops in the garden during the Great Pumpkin Festival:  beekeeping with Kirkobeeo of Backwards Beekeepers, off-the-grid solar workshop with Leonardo Chalupowicz and Aaron Murphy of the Echo Park Time Bank, native plant gardening with Theodore Payne Nursery, and composting with Charles Herman-Wurmfeld.

Spring 2011:  We are happy to now have Lisa Fontanesi of  Kidding Around the Kitchen (KATK) and her “hands on” cooking lessons at Micheltorena to complement our garden and nutrition curriculum!  Lisa is currently working as a consultant for Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution TV show, and her cooking program has been recognized by Michelle Obama’s Chef’s Move to Schools / Let’s Move programs which target childhood obesity.  KATK classes are full of interesting recipes, nutritional facts, and quick kid-friendly tips.  Classes use local and farmers’ market produce when ever possible and if available, use fruits and vegetables grown in the school’s garden. KATK classes cover a variety of ethnic foods and traditions, nutrition information, food history and fun facts, as well as kitchen safety.

On Saturday, April 2, 2011 the Hollywood Beautification Team and the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, in conjunction with LADWP and the Sanitation Bureau’s Watershed Protection Division, will host a rainwater collection workshop and rain barrel giveaway at the Micheltorena Garden.  WORKSHOPS & DISTRIBUTIONS will happen at: 9am; 9:30am; 10am; 10:30am, first-come, first-served.

On January 15, Treepeople came to our school to plant trees and teach students about basic tree care.  We had over 100 volunteers on campus from Treepeople, the school and the community, digging and mulching and sweating on that beautiful Saturday morning.  Micheltorena now has an orchard of citrus and stone fruit trees on campus that will nourish the students as well as the community, thanks to the generous donations of Treepeople and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.  What the heck are we going to do with all of this fruit?!  Plans include starting a school CSA, fruit stand, and juicing station.

On December 12, 2010 with the help of dozens of Micheltorena students, parents, community members, and a generous donation of citrus trees from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, a fruit tree orchard was planted in two locations on campus.  The first group is located along the fence facing Sunset Boulevard and Micheltorena Street in our new corner garden, the second is located in the front lawn of the school on Micheltorena Street.  The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation is accepting applications for next years planting program!  If interested, please fill out the form and email it to them: www.ftpf.org/application.doc

GARDEN MISSION

The Micheltorena Elementary School garden will be shared with the Silver Lake community and will provide numerous opportunities for teaching and education, as well as plenty of food and flowers for both students and community members.  Ongoing garden projects include a garden of drought-tolerant and native plants, a rose garden, and a reading garden on the patio outside the new school library.  Planned education activities in the garden include participation in the Harvest of the Month and Farm to School programs, permaculture classes, cooking classes, canning and preserving classes, and composting classes taught by local experts.

Click here to read our original garden proposal.

Friends of the Micheltorena Garden

This garden would not exist without the support of LAUSD and generous members of the community.  We want to thank the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council for providing us with generous start-up funds for the garden.  Councilmember Eric Garcettidonated funds for a solar panel for us to use in the garden to power our drip irrigation system. Canelé restaurant and Closed on Mondays hosted a delicious dinner in support of our garden, which helped us raise over $2000. Gobi Restaurant in Silver Lake and Liza Shtromberg jewelry have also hosted fundraisers for our garden this year.  We are very thankful to fellow Silver Laker, urban homesteader, and author Erik Knutsen of Root Simple (formerly Homegrown Evolution) for testing the soil in our garden, as well as offering invaluable advice on all things sustainable.  Silver Lake MOMS hosted a garage sale to raise money for our garden in the summer of 2011.

LAUSD has been very supportive of our project and generous with their guidance on construction and logistics.  The Los Angeles-based non-profit organization Tree Peopleis helping us design and plant a fruit tree orchard on campus, scheduled for January of 2011.  Multitudes of community members have offered their volunteer manpower.

Scott Kennedy, a member of Friends of Micheltorena, produced and directed the Academy Award nominated documentary ‘The Garden,” a movie about the South Central Community Garden, the largest of its kind in the U.S., and its complicated struggle for survival.  Please read more about this movie here.  It is a powerful story about our city you will not soon forget.

Kids Garden Weblinks

… and check out these great garden and farm links:  LAUSD GREEN SPACES: a toolkit for starting your own school garden at LAUSD!  GARDEN ABCS is a school garden share site.  LIFE LAB SCIENCE PROGRAM promotes science and garden-based education, and provides activity guides, curricula, and workshops from its demonstration garden in Santa Cruz.  GARDENING WITH KIDS from the National Gardening Society has loads of books and garden curricula.  KIDS GARDENING is also from the National Gardening Association, and features activities, more curricula and a resource directory.  The GREEN EDUCATION FOUNDATION website provides links to lots of resources for incorporating the garden into classroom learning.  FARM FELIZ is the sponsor of the student garden at Thomas Starr King Middle School.  CALIFORNIA SCHOOL GARDEN NETWORK connects gardeners and provides instruction and connection for California school gardens. THE EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD is a project led by the queen of school gardens, Alice Waters. Partnership for a Plant-based Education is provided at AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. BUTTERFLY GARDEN WEBSITE has discussions, “how-tos,” and school project profiles. DISCOVERING THE FOOD SYSTEM is a website from Cornell University, and provides an on-line curriculum for kids to help them learn about their food system.  Also from Cornell, GARDEN MOSAICS, a site dedicated to linking children and elders through gardening and learning science.  Designed for teachers and leaders of middle- and high-schooled aged youth, this website has downloadable lesson plans, activities, and more.  DISCOVERY GARDENS provides a wealth of information on designing and sustaining outdoor gardens, schoolyard habitats, and other landscapes for children.  KINDERGARDEN is a school garden site focused on younger children.  THE MAD SCIENTIST NETWORK: Receive answers to your questions from botanists and ecologists!  URBAN AGRICULTURAL NOTES: Community gardens, worm composting, school gardens, and more.  LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY GARDEN COUNCIL works to connect people in Los Angeles to community garden space. The LOS ANGELES NEIGHBORHOOD LAND TRUSTworks to create small, accessible, green and open spaces for the Los Angeles urban community. The ORGANIC GARDEN PROJECT website compiles articles about local sustainable food production and school and community gardens in urban areas.  FOOD CORPS is a new national service organization seeking young leaders for a year of paid public service to build school gardens, teach kids about healthy food, & help change what’s for lunch.  The DIGITAL GARDENER’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VEGETABLE PLANTING GUIDE will help you figure out when the best time to plant your eggplant seeds.   FLOWERDELIVERY.NET is a great resource for all things flowers; they also have a great kids’ gardening section.  GARDEN FOREVER has great tips on water conservation.
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