Posts found under: Garden Club Archives - Page 2 of 2 - CDI Kids

February 21: This week in Garden Club

little-boy-gardenerDear Garden Club,

We finally get down to some planting and getting our hands dirty! This week we’ll be pulling our peas, fertilizing, and making room for a few new seedlings.  You are welcome to take home any leftover plants for your own gardens.  February is the last chance for planting winter crops for Southern California–our warm weather tends to ruin peas and make lettuce bolt (go to seed and become bitter) starting as early as April/May!

February is also a good season to clean around your garden (if you have one) and to add some fertilizer as well as worm castings.  Worm castings are a slow-acting pest control, and spreading it now will help prevent the explosion of pests as dirtthe weather warms up.  For those of you scratching your heads (how does worm poop tell the bugs to get packing?), the current hypothesis is that worm castings contain chitinase, an enzyme that can break down chitin.  Chitin is the major component of insect exoskeleton, so the insects which don’t want to have their armor dissolved tend to avoid your plants.

So come join us this Friday at 9:30 to do some dirty work in the garden.  Please, please don’t dress your children in the finest fresh-pressed white shirts/dresses.  I’ve always wondered why brochures feature children in gardens with bright clean clothes…perhaps they Photoshop them in.

ELC Mom, Master Gardener, Parent Ambassador & Garden Club Coordinator


February 14th: This Week in Garden Club

Dear Gardening Club!

May this email find you well and enjoying the cleaner air from this weekend’s rain.  Unfortunately we need lots more rain to get out of our drought, but every little bit helps.

Garden Club JournalsThis week’s activity has a goal for gaining a long-term view of the growing season, and the growth of all CDI’s gardeners!  We’ll be making a journal to record major events during the year, such as planting, growing, and harvesting.  Since the process from seed to harvest is over several months, a journal links the pea planted in November to the towering vines in February.  We’d like to keep the journals at CDI, so that they’ll be ready to use for our activities, so don’t forget to put your first name and last initial (and your child’s name and last initial) on the inside cover.

If you garden at home, having a journal will help you keep track of what works (and what doesn’t) in your garden.  Many times, we’ve forgotten the pitfalls of last year as we gaze upon the shiny new garden catalogs of 2014.  A journal will remind us that while the local birds ruthlessly attack spinach, they avoid chard like the plague.  It can be as simple as post-it notes on your seed packets to a dated picture-filled scrapbook.

If you don’t garden at home, but would like to garden, you can request a small plot at CDI to try your hand!  I can section off the area with string or you can choose a pocket on our hanging garden in the outer zoo garden play area.  If you are interested, please email me or Allie and we’ll give you all the info needed.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s week and as Joan (CDI’s CEO) mentioned, there is not just the love between couples, but also the love between friends and community which we should celebrate this week!

See you this Friday 9:30 in the garden!

ELC Mom, Master Gardener, Parent Ambassador & Garden Club Coordinator


February 7th: This week in Gardening Club at the ELC

Dear Garden Club,

It was great to see many of you last week and I enjoyed the new format to chat with everyone about their gardens.  We learned a lot from each other!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, I wanted to recommend a gardening book which keeps our climate in mind.  Most gardening books are written for regions which have a “killing frost” and are covered in snow for a few months of the year.  However, as you noticed, the San Fernando Valley has a Mediterranean climate which has mild winters but very hot summers.  Many plants that are classified as spring vegetables (peas, spinach, broccoli) are actually better started in the winter here so they will have enough time to reach maturity before the scorching weather comes through.

Pat Welsh - Southern California Organic GardeningPat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month.  

This week we are moving the Gardening Club to Friday as a test and also because we want to harvest our carrots!  Come by at 9:30AM Friday, and we’ll start with a craft for the first 30 minutes while everyone arrives, then start the harvest at 10.  Then we’ll pick some stray peas, grab some arugula, radish, and lettuce and head on inside to make a simple salad.  The kids can try the vegetables directly out of the garden!  While I can’t guarantee that this will change your child into a veggie eater, you can count this as an exposure experience–sometimes kids need to be exposed to a food 15 to 20 times before they accept it as “normal.”

Hope to see you on Friday!

ELC Mom, Master Gardener, Parent Ambassador & Garden Club Coordinator


ELC Garden Club in the New Year – Thursdays at 10am

G1Dear Garden Club Friends,

Happy new year and I hope you are all revitalized from the holidays (or relieved they are over).  With the unseasonably warm weather, my thoughts have focused less on indoor activities and more on getting outside to enjoy the Mediterranean weather.

So welcome back to Garden Club Thursdays.  The time has changed to 10AM. In addition, the format of the class will change a little bit from your feedback (thanks!)

We’ll have an art activity for 10-15 minutes to let everyone get to CDI before the class starts.  Then we can talk for 5-6 minutes about an aspect of our garden (the children can continue with the art project, of course), followed by a hands-on experience in the garden.

This week we will decorate some wooden figures and glue a”magic” bean to it.  As the glue is drying, I’ll discuss growingpeas as an early spring vegetable.  Then everyone can harvest 1-2 peas from our pea plant which was planted back in November.  (To give you a feel on how long from seed to harvest is 60 days).

Julie also forwarded me a class which sounds really interesting–I’m going to try signing up!  Gardening club is

Garden 3

bolstered by information from everyone–that’s what makes gardening so unique.

Hope to see you soon!

Pin-pin Wei
ELC Mom, Parent Ambassador & Garden Club Coordinator

Join in the Garden Club, Thursdays starting at 10am at the CDI Early Learning Center!

Are you interested in getting more involved at the ELC? Let us know your ideas, thoughts and feedback via email or on the ELC Facebook page!

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