Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Garden Workday November 8

You're invited to the Garden Workday 
Saturday, November 8,  9-12 noon

We'll rehabilitate the Friendship Garden, meet Farmer Ben, and find out more about the 6 distinct garden areas we have at MES. 

Bagels and coffee will be provided! 

For more information, please email Joanne Luby, Garden Volunteer Coordinator.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Garden to Cafeteria at MES!

Last Friday, the delicious pasta was even more delicious thanks to basil from our garden! The Garden to Cafeteria program has begun! Farmer Ben delivered a beautiful bouquet of herbs to our kitchen manager, Maria Cortez (center) and chef, Jamie McGee (right). They were delighted. Farmer Ben and kids will be planting more crops specifically for the lunch menu. This meal is just the beginning of kid-grown food in the Montclair Cafeteria. 

Be part of the excitement and SAVE THE DATE for the November 8,  9-12 Garden Workday!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to School Garden

Welcome back!

For the first time, the annual first day coffee was enjoyed in the garden. What a great place to catch up with old friends, meet new families, and yes, shed a few kindergarten tears. 

Stay tuned for 2014-2015 MES Garden info, including this year's garden schedule. It will be posted here- on the side banner.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Garden Fairies Watered!

Thanks, Leslie and helpers for keeping our new plants healthy over spring break! Irrigation is almost up and running.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Work of a Mighty Crew

Our workday happened to fall on the last weekend for completing the infamous science projects- which probably explains the small group. Our size did not deter us, and we accomplished an impressive amount (and ate everyone else's share of bagels).

We moved all of the supplies up from the Ottortorium. 

We started sorting them.

We planted three thorn-less artichokes.

We installed drip irrigation in 10 of the 19 beds.

We planted and protected two trees- a fuyu persimmon (in the raised concrete entrance bed) and an apple (in the picnic grove). Thanks to Berkeley Horticultural Nursery for donating the apple and compost!

We all had fun and felt grateful for this new garden and a chance to work with Farmer Ben!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Welcome Spring... and Farmer Ben!

Spring brings plenty to MES: the new garden space and a new teacher- Benjamin Goff. The beds have fresh worms, garden has a new schedule (see the calendar to the right), and Farmer Ben already has plans for us! Please give him a warm welcome when you see him. He will be on campus Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons. He sends this message to the school:
Hi, MES community. I am Benjamin Goff aka "Farmer Ben". I have been teaching experiential, hands-on gardening classes with students in Berkeley Unified School District since the Fall of 2000. I began as an Americorps Member with the Willard Greening Project at Willard Middle School and in the Spring of 2001 became the Garden Instructor at the LeConte Elementary School Farm and Garden Program. I have found that a garden classroom can be a great way for students to deepen their understanding of core curriculum as well as develop an understanding of themselves and the natural world around us. I look forward to working with the MES community to create a vibrant, flourishing garden program.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fall 2013

Montclair Community- This Fall we jump started our new garden program by bringing on Ms.
Margaret Niles to teach garden classes to our children.  She is engaging our little ones with the magic of the garden. We are working our smaller friendship garden while we wait for our larger main garden to be completed.

From Ms. Niles~ 11/5/13

Students in different grades have been sowing a variety of seeds-sugar snap
peas, bush beans, radishes, fava beans, onions, and calendula flowers. They have
planted cloves of organic garlic and spread bean seeds widely.
It’s time to make way in the garden for this cooler time of year and so
sunflowers, corn, and pumpkins have been harvested and seeds have been saved for
next year’s crops.

Third through fifth graders have been transplanting winter greens such as
kale, lettuce mixes, broccoli, cauliflower, and some less familiar vegetables such as
Bright Lights Chard.

Students have been learning about the different parts that make up a plant,
the role these parts play in the plant, and which parts we eat. It’s been a surprise to
discover that a pumpkin is actually the fruit of the plant, and similarly, a cucumber
or squash is really a fruit from a biological standpoint.

We are also learning that there are many more varieties of common fruits
and vegetables than what is available in the markets and about what’s in season
We will also be planting outside the Friendship Garden and inviting wildlife
to visit through lavender, rosemary and a dwarf pomegranate-all of which are
supposedly deer resistant…we shall see!

Please feel free to sign up to volunteer
with the volunteer coordinator, Kim Cardoso…the more hands on deck, the better!