On September 14, 2017 the after-school class of the Western Addition Beacon kids arrived in Koshland Garden full of enthusiasm to be outdoors. CommunityGrows Gardens Program Manager, Adrian Almquist, corralled the mostly kindergarten and first graders together to start a lesson on the what plants need to survive. Dirt..water..sun..and air. After taking attendance and helping everyone choose nature names for themselves, Adrian talked about the basics of helping plants grow. Youth then planted seeds which they will watch grow throughout the fall. Time was left for everyone to carry water buckets around the garden giving the plants much needed water. A great afternoon outdoors in the sunshine of the garden. For more photos, check out our Flickr Photostream here.
On Monday, June 26th the Western Addition Beacon Center youth came to Koshland Park for their fun time in the garden. Adrian Almquist, Garden Programs Manager led the class through the cycle of life—from seeds, to plants, to fruits and vegetables. They got to plant fava beans and starts of kale and then watered the garden. One of the highlights was looking at snails which Adrian passed around for the group to see. For more photos from the classes visit our Flickr Photostream here.
On Thursday, June 15, 2017 CommunityGrows arranged to take 40 kids and their mentors to Green Gulch Farm in Marin. It was a beautiful day of learning about meditation and walking through the fields exploring different areas of the farm. Sukey Parmelee, Garden Program Manager, even had her team share a mastodon tooth. Here’s a little information about the mastodons, that roamed the fields of Green Gulch Farm: The mastodon first appeared in the early Miocene and continued in various forms through the Pleistocene Epoch (from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago). In North America, mastodons probably persisted into post-Pleistocene time and were thus contemporaneous with historic North American Indian groups. Mastodons had a worldwide distribution; their remains are quite common and are often very well preserved.A characteristic feature of the mastodons, which appear to have fed upon leaves, is the distinctive nature of the grinding teeth, which in many respects are relatively primitive. They are low-crowned, large, and strongly rooted, with as many as four prominent ridges separated by deep troughs; the teeth are much smaller and less complex, however, than those in the true elephants. The prominent upper tusks were long and grew parallel to each other with an upward curvature. Short lower tusks were present in males but absent in females.
Mastodons were shorter than modern elephants but were heavily built. Although the skull was lower and flatter and of generally simpler construction than that of the modern elephants, it was similar in appearance. The ears were smaller and not as prominent as those of elephants. The body was relatively long, and the legs were short, massive, and pillar-like. Mastodons were covered with long, reddish brown hair. The reasons for their extinction are not certain, but, in North America at least, human hunting may have played a role.
Sharing the teeth of the mastodon was just one of the many adventures at Green Gulch Farm. Everyone also got to learn about bees, composting, planting and harvesting. After lunch in the lower garden everyone packed up and walked through the fields to Muir Beach. Lots of fun had by all! For more photos, check out our Flickr Photostream here.
Friday afternoon, June 26, 2015 the Western Addition Beacon youth came for a summer science lesson in the Koshland Garden. The first group was soon-to-be kindergardeners, and the second group, soon-to-be first graders. It is always especially fun to work with these age groups because they are new to the garden and just as energetic as can be! Both groups listened to a story, one about the color green (Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger) and the other about the Earth (The Earth Book by Todd Parr). Then they got to dig a bed with a pitchfork and plant kale and chard starts. Great Western Addition Staff, Margaret Nwabueze, Dayanit Rojas and Myra Carr joined the groups on their adventures. BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) summer intern, Meena Khan assisted Adrian Almquist with the classes as well. After planting the vegetables, everyone got a watering can and went off to water the garden. A great way to end the day on a Friday! For more photos, check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream here.
On May 20, 2010 the Western Addition Beacon after school youth weeded out their plots and dug for worms, as well as gathered seeds from vegetables that had run their course.
Imagine our surprise when we uncover delicious potatoes!
Lina Ortiz joined us for the afternoon and then went off to visit her family in Columbia the next day!
We also gathered eight of our biggest artichokes and brought them to the Hayes Valley Community Room to cook. Most of the kids had never had artichokes before. A good deal of ranch dressing made the artichokes taste delicious!
It was a great day to work with these lovely children. We hope to come back another time.