Organism of the Year Our Purpose In this magazine you will learn about the purpose of soil and organisms. You will learn how this little resource sustains the world in the way we know it.
Spring 2 013
Soil Organism of the year C o v e r
S t o r y
Soil I sit here in this dirty soil I try to look at the glowing flowers But all I can think of is you The disgusting earthworms, moles, ants, mites, bacteria, fungi And whatever other living things may be under me at this very moment I think of what a better world it would be if these disgusting things weren't here I would be able to sit on the soil freely Ruling it without even giving the slightest gesture to those living things But I am a living thing too And I too am part of this soil So here I will sit Because the soil treats us equally As I should too -Christy
Westridge Girls walking the labyrinth in Arlington Garden
One Wild and Precious Life Above me I hear birds and see an umbrella with the sun's gaze through it In the distance As far as I can see I see houses painted with vines of leaves Right under my ear I can hear a deep voice explaining the different plants And annoying birds making their usual sounds In the distance The wind slips through the gaps of the tallest trees I look straight ahead and my eyes lay upon two creepy men One of whom I know Dressed in orange and khaki With the usual lingering walk I see Mr. Cross I am able to smell lavender, fresh air, and a faint smell of perfume through my allergy stuffed nose I close my eyes and reach out I feel a pattern Ouch I get a splinter I look right and see a group of lost girls looking for a wishing tree I zone in on one thing A single lavender petal gliding in the soft current I look around and see bloomed plants and trees I remember it is spring I remember that another season came and another season is going to go Just like how we will go one day So I think Let us enjoy this moment now It will never last forever - Christy
The class of 2018 at a garden in the making, pulling out weeds. Helping the garden, part of our purpose
This a labyrinth at Arlington garden. This labyrinth was made by a Mayfield Sr. class. The point of this labyrinth is when walking inward think of all your problems and when you reach the center release them. Then when walking back, walk back as a happier person.
Here we have a group of girls at a garden in the making. Here we are turning over and mixing fresh, rich soil.
At Arlington Garden, we had the assignment to practice tree pose or vrksasana. During this pose, we had to find our drishti, or gazing point at a tree. We had to look at the tree as a living, breathing equal. Here we have Siena practicing this pose.
This picture was taken at Arlington garden where Kelsey, Makala, and Maya were collecting samples of soil to see if there were any living organisms.
The view of mountains from the top of the Descanso Garden hiking trail.
Barbaric Yawp Poem Something startles me from where I thought I was safest
I heave myself up and run in the opposite direction of the danger
The humus crunching underneath my bare soles
The trees racing past me
The animals staring at my speed
I can still hear it plodding after me
I am careful not to destroy anything in my way
I start to forcefully slow down when my toes hit the sand grains below me
I start to speed again when my feet are covered by water
By now it is speeding towards me
Westridge Girls pulling weeds to prepare the community garden. Page 8
One Wild and Precious Life
I look up What do I see? Above are orange, brown, and green leaves waiting for the wind I look out What do I see? Cars racing past, not having a care in the world I hear across from me A bird waiting to find its lunch I hear far away A child more than willing to stay I sniff What do I smell? The scent of nature at its best An essence trying to impress The perfume of a flower I feel a smooth but rough surface under my touch, along with a cool breeze What is it? Itâ€™s a leaf moving in the wind I slowly slide my hand over to an ancient tree It feels like a sheet of paper that has tears in it I stare into the distance, thinking; I never notice the details in life, I only focus on the big picture
I see the hawk swooping to get its daily ration of food,
So many gods we do not notice. Do we see soil as god?
A mouse, unaware of its predator, eating a blade of grass,
Do you even see soil at all?
I see the blade of grass, being plucked from rich soil,
Do you see water as god?
The rich soil filled with organic matter and microorganisms,
Do you see?
Or do you only see a space filled with brown? Do you see food as god? -Kathryn
Don’t you see the miraculous cycle of soil? How can it live? Solely on the dead bodies of the leaves and animals, Yet it provides the nutrients needed for the plants. Soil, the giver and the taker of the dead. It gives all of its self. It takes the dead’s nutrients To provide for others. Do you give as the soil gives? Do you give gratitude to soil? Do you ever see the soil as the provider of your meal? Soil is the god, Yet we only see it, And see nothing. We dismiss the god. We do not worship it as other gods. Shouldn’t you give sacrifices to the god? Bedrock is yet another god. Bedrock helps provide soil. It crumbles under our feet, Yet we don’t know. Gods that are ignored, What we do to worship them?
Kathryn and Ada are drawing the tree in front of them for the digital magazine.
â€œOne Wild and Precious Lifeâ€? Above me there is the sky, blue splattered with white splotches, I see a lone palm tree stretching into the sky, I see many trees surrounding a plant-infested patch of the world, I hear the muted chatter of people enjoying their lunch, Birds chirp their greeting and their conversations fill the air, I smell the delicate fragrance of flowers around me, The musty smell of dirt surrounds me, I see burgers steaming in the sun, The burgers in the nearby table, emits a tempting smell, My fingers run through the rough and chalky feel of a tiny object, It is paper, blank and white, ready to be filled with color, It is an elephant, its solidness hard to break, The wooden chairs sit idly in the provided shade of an umbrella, Along with the chairs, accompanies a wooden table laden with burgers and fries, The paint of a nearby fountain is peeling, Underneath, are a variety of colors competing to be shown, The rocks shone with a dimmed light, Light that almost matches the afternoon, My whole afternoon spent, With enjoying the colors that shine, Brightly in the midst of dull gray colors. - Kathryn
Dear Readers, I greatly liked learning about soil in this unit. I found out about the three types of soil, how it turns into soil, and how organisms use the substance in different ways. I had a lot of fun at our field trips, which included Arlington Garden, Pasadena Community Garden, and Descanso Gardens. I especially loved the labyrinth at Arlington Gardens, because when I walked in I had many problems in my head but when I came out I couldnâ€™t even remember them. It felt nice to clear my head and connect with the nature around me. It felt rewarding when we helped out at the Pasadena Community Garden, just knowing we were making a difference encouraged me to do more. I also enjoyed the hike at Descanso Gardens; it had a lovely view from the top, beautiful flowers, and was a great form of exercise for our PE Adventure. Overall I had a lot of fun in the Soil Unit, and will take my soil information with me to other people. Sincerely, Amy
Amyâ€™s Special Creative Project.
Dear Readers, In this soil unit, I learned not only about soil, but also about nature. I learned how not only soil contributes to this world almost as equally as everything else. Without soil this world that we live in would not be ale to function run the way we know it too. It may seem like a small resource that doesn't contribute much to this world, but in this soil unit I discovered that it can do more than we know. One of the most important things that is usually overlooked about soil are crops. Soil allows crops to grow. Without soil, the worlds main food source would not exist. Also, by growing your own garden with fruits and vegetables and anything else you might add, you are eliminating the fruits and vegetables that you buy from the grocery store from your diet. Not only will this save you money, you are eliminating the toxic chemicals and processing that the food item has gone through to reach you from your daily diet. Not only is soil a resource to humans, but it is a recourse to animals as well. For example, forests are primarily made up of soil. Forests are home to several animals. Gardens, trees, anything that is grown from soil is home to animals. Humans as well. Soil sets the foundation for building and structures. Without building humans would have nowhere to live. This soil unit was not only lessons on soil, but also several hands on field trips and plating. We had the opportunity to go to the Arlington Garden. There were able to observe nature, write about nature, collect samples from nature, and clear our minds as we walked through a labyrinth. We were also able to go to a garden in the making, There we leaned about the different types of soil and each important role they play. We got to help the future garden by pulling weeds and making rich soil. We were able to hike up the trail of Descanso gardens and see the beautiful garden. My personal favorite was the planting day that we had at Westridge. We were able to plant our own strawberry plants, contribute to one of the gardens here at Westridge, and create a brand new herb garden for the cafeteria to use in their everyday cooking. Not only did we get to plant, but we also got to learn about trees and compost, This soil unit was very interesting and very informing. I learned this that I would have never known about soil. i learned things that i would never had known about soil. It may seem like a small resource, but it does more than we thought. But not only did we learn about soil, but nature in itself and how important it is to this world. Sincerely,
Dear Reader, In this Soil unit, I have learned many things about soil. I learned that soil is very important for humans and animals and how soil provides the nutrients for plants. The type of soil you have is essential for a plants growth. Some flowers are so sensitive that they change color for the change of soil. I have learned so many ways to help and “preserve” our soil. I was very surprised of the Fibonacci sequence that occurred many times in nature. When we went to Arlington Gardens, I have experimented many things. I learned there were many organisms in the air and on Amy’s nose. I also learned to meditate with the labyrinth. After the labyrinth, I felt so much more relaxed and calm. I learned that Arlington Gardens was about three- acres of land. I was very surprised that there was so much land that was devoted to the garden. I thought that many people would not care about gardens and what is happening to our soil and plants. I was also surprised about this plot of land. I thought it was just a small garden but when I went inside it was very beautiful. It had a very amiable atmosphere and I was surprised that it was so big. On the outside it looks small but when you get inside it is huge. There is also the time when Mr. Cross read us the stories Clyde’s Pickup and Saint Phocas as Fertilizer. I was amazed at what could happen if a truck was left outside for a year. So many plants could thrive in a place so ordinary like the back of a pickup truck. Clyde’s Pickup showed me that plants could live almost anywhere with just soil and water. Saint Phocas as Fertilizer story was a little bit surprising. To me it was kind for him to give his body to the plants but it was also very creepy. I hope people enjoyed reading this magazine and that you learned many things about soil and our organism, Mycorrhizae. Thank-you! Sincerely, Kathryn
West ridge Girls walking the Labyrinth.
Our drawing of the Mycorrhizae.