Category Archives: Instructional Activities

Indoor Seed Starting

seedlings

I’m buying seeds as we speak getting ready for the Spring. Being in Southern California I may be starting a little earlier than you, but with indoor growing you can be planting all year as well.

If you have a window, or glass wall that faces south, you can grow anything indoors.

Stages of the Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle. The four stages are: the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. At Hamilton High School the students have established a habitat for the Monarch butterfly by planting milkweed.

The photo below was taken recently of a caterpillar that has attached itself to a Brussels Sprouts leaf. If all goes well a chrysalis will form and a butterfly will emerge. I’m crossing my fingers that a bird doesn’t get to it first. Nature can be so cruel.

catapillar

Saving Lettuce Seeds

Various Loose-Leaf Lettuce Varieties Bolting

Lettuce has been around for centuries. According to Wikipedia, the Egyptians first cultivated lettuce as edible leaves as early as 2680BC. It then made its way to Greece and Italy where it flourished.

Today, we see four main varieties of the species, Lactuca sativa, in our backyard or school garden. These include:
Crisphead or Iceberg
Butterhead, Boston or Bibb (which is also a heading lettuce)
Romaine or Cos
and Looseleaf or Leaf Lettuce

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Fall 2018

 Greystone Demonstration Garden

The University of California Cooperative Extension is organizing workshops in various communities throughout Los Angeles County to teach residents how to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Where: Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
** Entrance on Doheny Rd.

When: Sunday September 16, September 23, September 30, and October 7

Jr. Master Gardener Classes at Greystone Mansion Summer 2018

New gardening class for children ages 6-12. Everyone knows kids who grow broccoli eat broccoli. You don’t want to miss this.

Where: Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
** Entrance on Doheny Rd.

When: Sunday, July 15th and July 22nd

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Spring 2018

The University of California Cooperative Extension is organizing workshops in various communities throughout Los Angeles County to teach residents how to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Romanesco Broccoli and the Fibonacci fractal

Romanesco Broccoli is a variety of the species Brassica oleracea. It is a cool weather crop that enjoys a steady diet of nutrients. We fertilized with fish emulsion every other week.

The beauty of Romanesco lies in its unique flower structure. When we consume Romanesco, other than the stems we are eating flower buds.

These flower buds are very well known in science circles for being a natural example of the Fibonacci fractal. In mathamatics a Fibonacci fractal will go on forever, ad infinitum. A broccoli plant obviously does not go on forever, but the pattern does repeats itself in every bud.

This article explains it well, Fibonacci-Shaped Romanesco Broccoli Is the World’s Most Visually Stunning Vegetable

See other natural fractals in this Wired gallery.

Other than being really healthy for you, Romanesco broccoli is a cool way to bring math into the classroom.

Here’s one place to purchase seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.