Garden Team Meeting Open to All

Please come join the garden team to learn more about the garden and how you can get involved. There are many ways to participate and no garden experience is necessary! The last meeting of the year is coming up on Wednesday, December 19 at 11:30.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Learning in the Garden

School is in full swing and the students are already back in the garden! The garden is such an important part of learning at CRA and is just one example of how the project based curriculum is implemented. It offers them real-world projects through which they develop and apply skills and knowledge. It promotes environmental awareness and stewardship for the world in which they live. It additionally provides opportunities for the students to be empowered and develop skills that will lead them to be successful today and in the years ahead.

Interested in learning more about the CRA Discover Garden and how you can help? Come join us Wednesday, September 26, 11:30-12:30 for the next Garden Volunteers Meeting followed by “Lunch on the lawn” at 12:30. Be a part of this amazing experience for the children!


Composting, Rain Barrels & Sails, Oh My!

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. — Alfred Austin

It has been roughly a month since the last blog post and oh what a month it has been! The end of April brought us the start of composting at CRA. Two new compost bins were installed in the garden and students began their efforts collecting food scraps on campus and adding them to the bins. We will be making our own soil!

Rain barrels have been installed and the middle schoolers are working hard using their project based learning skills to get the water from the rain barrels to the garden in order to provide much needed water to the garden and the plants within it.

And thanks to the many families that save their box tops! Their efforts raised over $1100 for the sails that were installed in the garden last week! These sails will provide much needed shade in our learning garden. Also thanks to the members of the garden committee that came out on a Saturday to see that they were installed!

And last but not least…the garden has exploded with growth in the last month! The garden is giving the students the opportunity to connect with the natural environment, improves the attitudes towards fruits and vegetables, provides real life problem solving opportunities, the chance to learn about key science concepts, and additionally gives the students another forum in which to learn and practice math skills. What an amazing teacher the garden is for our students!


Spring is a time for many transformations, the temperature begins to rise, trees that lost their leaves during the winter begin to blossom and grow, the hours of daylight increase and the days get longer. Transformations can be seen in the CRA Discover Garden as well. The planter boxes are being switched out, seedlings are sprouting in the green house, the students are learning and growing as much as the plants they tend. What a glorious time to be a part of the CRA Discover Garden!
On behalf of the CRA Community we would like to express gratitude to the following  individuals and families:
Thank you to the
Hersons for donating the materials for the new wood planting beds
McDermots for buying the plants for planting
Haydens for donating time and resources to improve the garden irrigation
Tina Kachini for creating whimsical garden signage
Lyndsey McCraw for leading our parent team of volunteers this year
Cynthia Price for sharing her knowledge and passion
It takes a village.
Pictures from the “Worker Bee Day”
Greenhouse Seedlings
The new wooden raised beds
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Spring has sprung!

Spring is here and exciting things have been taking place in the garden! The children and the garden committee are working hard to prepare for the growing season and make updates to the patch. One of the goals this year was to replace all the stone garden beds with redwood plank beds. Progress is being made on this goal and most of the beds have now been switched out. This change has created more space in the walkways and within the garden beds themselves. It also gives the garden a cleaner look and has given the garden committee the chance to put in weed and critter barriers. Check out the changes for yourself when you get a chance.

The garden committee began a regular watering schedule in the greenhouse this week. They are nurturing and tending to seeds that the students have planted for the growing season. Check back regularly in the coming months as we will be posting updates and images with information on the latest happenings!

Enjoy some images from the sky that were taken back in November of 2017.

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We have had some crazy weather this winter, filled with rain and rainbows and along with it came a messy, weedy, water swept little garden patch at CRA. All the pretty growing beds were no longer surrounded by clean pathways. To make it look beautiful again and to prevent further weeds and wash away would take a little miracle. This came to CRA through both a very generous donation of 10,000 pounds of gravel and lots of sweat and muscle from scholars, faculty, and parent volunteers.

Before 10,000 pounds of gravel + sweat and muscle

We are extremely thankful for Gary Herson at HPD Custom Home Remodeling along with Home Depot Santa Ana for donating 10,000 pounds of gravel to transform our little patch back to the beautiful garden we all love. And so the gravel arrived…

But before the gravel could be laid down between the beds clean up was needed. Kinder, 5th and 6th grades put in lots of sweat to clean up the patch to ready it for the gravel to make it beautiful again. And let us not forget the parent volunteers who are always a huge help in making all these transformations possible. And so in 3 short days, they worked away to transform the patch…

Time had arrived for the 10,000 pounds of gravel and this is what it looked like…
And then it was time for gravel to fill the pathways between the beds! With some milk cartons converted to shovels, a lot of little helpers, and parent volunteers the gravel was moved from a mountain to the pathways…

And now for the big reveal…

If you are in need of any home remodeling please consider supporting HPD Custom Home Remodeling who have been so generous in supporting our school. You can learn more about them at


This coming month everyone will be busy little bees again as the second round of planting begins – so stay tuned.