Planting Seed of Knowledge

More than a dozen La Mirada grade-school students broke ground Monday on a project that will involve much groundbreaking: a school garden. The 35-by-55-foot plot will become a hands-on, dirty-fingernails learning lab for Foster Road Elementary School, which has adopted a comprehensive environmental curriculum.

Students from kindergarten through seventh grade will study what the school has defined as seven spheres of the environment: the hydrosphere, the earth's water systems; atmosphere, the earth's gaseous envelope; lithosphere, the earth's crust; thermosphere, the earth's energy systems; cryosphere, the earth's polar caps; biosphere, the earth's living organisms; and technosphere, man's interaction, including the effect of technology, with all of the above.

Principal Patricia Almada said all of the school's 640 students will have a hand and a spade in the garden.

As one of the planned projects, each student will plant a tree in the garden and chart its progress.

"The grass is hard," noted 10-year-old Jennifer Burks, above, a veteran gardener, thanks to her experience nurturing tomatoes and jalapeno peppers at home.

Richard Lepe, 7, was entirely focused on getting his spade into the ground, right. Meanwhile, 5-year-old James Buchanan, below, said he would like to "build carrots" in the garden.

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