Westminster School Garden Keeps on Growing

Nora Dvosin and Nancy Giffin began the Westminster Elementary School Garden (WE Garden) in Venice, CA in 2004/05. Amid a sea of asphalt they have doggedly carved themselves a thriving oasis.

The WE garden has grown over the years tripling its original size and now includes a new kindergarten area complete with flowering pear trees that will be espaliered along the fence.

The organic learning garden is fully integrated into student/classroom curriculum including: art, science, social science, language, history, & math.

For example, the colonial garden not only teaches history but replicates a colonial era kitchen garden with the same plants and herbs that were grown at that time.

Students are also able to participate in a “seed-to-table” experience through a partnership with long time Los Angeles chef (and school neighbor), Joe Miller of Joe’s Restaurant on Abbot Kinney.

In exchange for cooking classes that Joe performs in the garden, the WE garden dedicates one bed to Joe’s Restaurant and grows whatever Chef decides. Currently there are Okinowan spinach, Caribbean thyme, 3 different kinds of peppers, and a feathery cilantro variety.

School never tasted so good.

4 Responses to Westminster School Garden Keeps on Growing

  1. Kathy Vilim says:

    wonderful idea. teaching history + colonial gardening. good to see chef/restaurant owner Joe’s pitching in.

  2. Jane D ...Delaware says:

    What a great way to get kids interested in social studies, science, and possibly a lifelong habit!! They can see where food comes from and how much better it can be when it is seasonal and locally grown!

  3. Ricardo .... Cruz- Zapien says:

    I love my school garden, it has yummy fruit and vegetables my school is cool……..

  4. […] W.E. (Westminster Elementary) Garden is primarily an organic vegetable garden, however, it also features beautiful fruit trees. Various types of trees have been planted throughout the garden, which not only beautify the space, but also provide shade to the students of Westminster Elementary. Its education program is extensive, with lessons integrated into the school curricula and the use of outdoor classrooms. W.E. Garden is partnered with the Nature Conservancy and is implementing their new program, Nature Works Everywhere, which connects garden activities with the course curriculum. […]

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