Garden Announcements and Meeting Notes



2017 Grandparents and Special Friend Day Was Great

posted May 15, 2017, 8:40 PM by John Fisher   [ updated May 15, 2017, 8:43 PM ]


We shared Lemon Balm / Chamomile  and Mint Tea, FoodLab Short Breads, made family tea bags, sowed seeds, took guests on garden tours, cut flowers and taught visitors how we sift compost. IS Classes, Tk/K, 1/2 and 3/4 classes all had a great time. Thanks to our friends and grandparents for coming to visit!

Orchard Planting Day

posted Mar 7, 2017, 9:40 PM by John Fisher   [ updated Mar 9, 2017, 10:15 PM ]

Pacific School Orchard Planting Day

We planted 7 apple trees and 1 persimmon tree. 3 citrus and an avocado tree are on the way. This whole school project involved Tk/K, 1/2, 5/6, and IS classes. 3/4 will be planting the citrus, installing irrigation, and creating interpretive signs in the weeks to come.

We will be eating fresh citrus next year. Apples, persimmons, and avocados will come on in the years to come. Yum!


Thanks to a grant from the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC) and California Certified Organic Farmers for making this project a reality!






Fruit Tree Orchard Project Underway

posted Nov 30, 2016, 9:02 PM by Pacific Life Lab

In November, 2016 we began preparing our planting areas by weeding and cover cropping future planting areas.

See all the photos here.


June 18th Schoolyard Irrigation and Garden Workday a Success

posted Jun 20, 2016, 8:14 PM by John Fisher   [ updated Jun 8, 2017, 8:35 AM ]

We had a great day helping out our school garden and school yard.

We installed an irrigation system for the the lawn which was destroyed when the new construction went in. We also started a retaining wall project to protect the new classroom.

In the garden the kids helped with plum patrol collecting fallen plums and sorting them. They also dead headed flowers, mulched, watered, planted and popped bubble wrap!

The California Conservation Corps helped to finish our lathhouse roof and dug and rewired two garden beds!

We also trelised plants, installed irrigation, weeded and planted! 

Thanks everyone who helped!













Grandparents Tea in the Garden 2016

posted May 14, 2016, 9:27 PM by John Fisher

Grandparents Tea in the Garden - A Smashing Success - Click for more Photos


View More Photos

Kukuya Update 5/4/16

posted May 4, 2016, 9:44 PM by John Fisher

Volunteer Judy Stevens has been doing a great job removing this nasty weed.

Here is a little background on work that has been done over the past two years.

All of our beds will eventually have kukuya grass under them and they all have failed gopher wire except for the beds that have been revamped.

When they built these beds they used plain chicken wire instead of gopher wire. They used poor quality narrow weed cloth. The kukuya grass just grows in between the seems of the narrow weed cloth.

Beds 1-6 all have been fully dug and lifted. Kukuya grass runners removed, kukuya embeded weed cloth removed, soil sifted of Kukuya grass and new quality gopher wire was installed. We put down 10 foot wide high quality weed cloth that should keep the kukuya at bay. It is over lays each other across the paths. We also dug away the kukuya that was next to the beds and made a fence wall of weed cloth to keep the Kukuya from coming back to the beds. Beds 1-6 seem to be doing well, although I have a feeling bed 2 might have Kukuya seed in it?? There is some monocot that persistently comes up after tilling and planting.

Bed 9 also received the full renovation.  The mint, verbena will some day get the renovation treatment but I think beds 7 and 8 will be first since they have gophers.  It is a lot of work but I try to line up the CCC volunteers to do the work.

The Mint and Verbena bed looks great. I will make sure it gets water it would be great to see the mint come back. Before the drought the mint was out competing the kukuya once we cut water from the bed the kukuya took over. If you do have time to work on the path between the fence and the mint bed that would be great. We had spent a good amount of time digging grass and then trenched in a plastic barrier wall along the fence line but I am sure the kukuya has made it through and the remaining runners in the path have grown into the bed.

Winter 2016 Update

posted Mar 12, 2016, 11:02 PM by John Fisher   [ updated Mar 12, 2016, 11:02 PM ]

Rain and Rain and Rain!!! Thank you rain!!!

It is great to see the garden flourishing and not having to water over the winter. 

Big Thanks! to 2nd Grade IS Student Iphie's dad, Barkley Smith, for helping to put a new roof on the seed house and to 1st Grader Nash's grandma, Judy Stevens, for attacking the weeds in the garden.

Thanks to Big Creek Lumber for donating wood for benches and our new roof!

Here's What We've Been Up To In The Garden Lately
Lower grades have been observing the sun and tracking shadows; learning and about the senses and comparing and contrasting differences in the garden; harvesting greens; caring for worms; and sowing seeds. Older grades have been doing some of the same and also tracking different treatments on growth rates of native plant seedlings. These plants will be planted out for native habitat restoration. We started observing the fruit trees as they are coming in to bloom and have also planted and studied flowering bulbs. Did you know if you cut a tulip bulb in half it can still grow? That's what we have observed! We wonder what the flowers will look like!

Fall 2015 Update - Welcome Trish our New Garden Teacher for K-4

posted Sep 9, 2015, 7:14 AM by John Fisher

The garden is looking great after a hot summer, thanks to the families of Diana Steller, Caitlin Phillips, Anandi Heinrich, Stephanie Hudson, Melissa Wedlock and Katherine Walker who volunteered to care for the garden this summer! Big Thanks!

We have beds of popcorn and grain corn, flowers for FoodLab tables, and loads of potatoes to be used for potato night this October! (Date TBA) Just in case you were wondering, our garden is all on an automated drip system to be as water efficient as possible. We turned off water to the beds that we were not using and our fruit trees were heavily mulched in the spring to conserve water.

We Need Empty Bottles - If you have any large empty bottles with built in handles, we could use them in the garden as watering cans. Food or juice bottles are better than detergent bottles unless you rinse out the detergent well. Drop them off over the garden gate. Thanks!


Trish Hildinger and SonI am excited to welcome Trish Hildinger as the new garden teacher for K-4 classes this year. Trish was the garden coordinator at Green Acres School in Live Oak for 8 years, 2 years at Live Oak School, and garden nutrition teacher at Bay View. Most recently she was gardening at her son's school, Mission Hill. Her son is now at Santa Cruz HS where he is a waterpolo stud.
Trish is also a contracted trainer for Life Lab (the Santa Cruz-based non-profit), conducting teacher workshops across the nation, and a garden instructor for the Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden.

Trish's position is supported by the Pacific School Parents' Club which provides funding for weekly garden instruction for all K-4th graders. Trish and classroom teachers will be teaching in the garden on Tuesday and Thursday.
I will continue to teach Upper IS Garden Classes on Monday.

If you haven't stopped by the garden lately, please do.

John Fisher - Upper IS Parent Instructor and Garden Coordinator

Grandparents Garden Tea - A Smashing Success!

posted Jul 25, 2015, 9:56 AM by John Fisher


A fine time was had by all at the Grandparents (or Special Person) Garden Tea. Visitors loved their time being toured around by our garden students. Thanks for helping your student invite a special person. We plan to host this special event next year.

March 23rd Update

posted Mar 23, 2015, 9:03 PM by John Fisher

Hi Friends,

Lot's going on in the garden these days.

  • On Monday's we have been working on trying to weed the area by the back fence. 
  • We took on weeding the raspberries today- a bit more to do
  • We removed some netting from onions and peas in bed 10 - we will see how that goes. 
  • More radishes were planted in bed 11.
  • Jenna sowed some six packs of lettuce so that we may have some more to plant after spring break.
  • We applied fertilizer to the fruit trees and mulched them with the favas that were growing around them. (I hope that wasn't a project in progress)
  • Lots of tree dahlia has been potted up and cuttings of the tall red humming bird sage have been taken and kids will pot them up in the weeks to come. 
  • I would like to request that we let the red flowering favas in bed 10 to go to seed so that we can save some and eat some.


On the horizon: 
The close of the great snail hunt-the idea of having lower IS win is a great one but they are half the size of the 3/4 class. We could fudge the numbers a bit or give double point collection times for the k/1 kids. I am good with whatever you all want to do.

I am still waiting to hear back from teachers regarding the week of May 18th for the garden tea. I will follow up with them. 

I plan to remove the dahlias that have been planted in the past and replace with new dahlias. I believe the dahlias that were donated to us had Dahlia Mosiac Virus.

I will look into getting some garden laborers to come and dig out the last pestering patch of kukuya grass by the back fence and green house.

I hope to find some parent volunteers to help rebuild the lath house roof. With donated lumber from Big Creek it could be real affordable.

I will connect with parents club once play is over to discuss setting up online donations for the garden and discussing increased funds for Jenna to teach 3/4 next year.



DID YOU KNOW?
kikuyu grass  is native to the region of East Africa that is home to the Kĩkũyũ tribe.
It can climb over other plant life, shading it out and producing herbicidal toxins that kill competing plants.[1] It prevents new sprouts of other species from growing, may kill small trees and can choke ponds and waterways. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennisetum_clandestinum

Kikuyugrass is capable of sustained shoot growth rates exceeding 1 inch per day
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7458.html

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