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The Weekly Worm

Includes a Scandalous Quiz

Refreshing Recipes to help you cool off this Summer

Art work Made from organic materials

Includes an Exclusive Poster on Organic Foods

Soil Organism Of the Year: The Worm

Exclusive Work From Our Editors

Table Of Contents: Page 1: Quiz– Which Veggie are you? Pages 2-3: Exclusive work from your editor Kaitlin Page 4: Healthy Recipes! Page 5-7: Exclusive work from your editor Helena Page 8-9: Organism of the Year Pages 10-11: Exclusive Work from Your Editor Carolina Page 12: Organic Poster! Page 13: Letters from your editors


Which Healthy Veggie are You? Yes

Would You like to live above




High in Vitamin K or Vitamin C?



Congrats! You are Broccoli ! High In Vitamin C and amazing with cheese!

Congrats! You are Kale! You are high in Vitamin K! And Super food!


Red or Orange?

Congrats! You are a Beet! You are High in Iron and they have lots of energy!


Congrats! You are a carrot. You may be a jokester, but you are great for eyesight

The Eagle Kaitlin

The jet black crow glides by; she questions my dirt stained face, my toes in the lapping water. I too am mysterious, I too am deep, yet I am not all good, And I too, soon fly off to my safe place, my place of freedom.

I disappear, turned into pixy dust only to reappear again. This time somewhere, somewhere nicer where all the worms, dung beetles, red deer, oak trees, poppies live how they’re supposed to live.

If you want me, again look. Open your eyes and look; look all around you. Look at that pesky ant, look at this persistent praying mantis, look at that cannibalistic nematode; look at those diseased, elderly redwoods, look at that brilliant California Lilac. Open your eyes. Open up your soul. I’m all around you, watching you, caring for you… you cannot elude me.


Real Lies Realize By Kaitlin Above me butterflies performing their intricate dance twirling and whirling through the worn, callused hands of the tree over the silken fabric colored with hues of blues and purples that one volant creature’s stained glass wings casting a beautiful imagea warm day in the sun a rosemary lemonade on the table

with a sprig of mint lingering like the canary’s song sickly sweet Why are lies sweeter than the truth? This piece of art was not made using paints, but the various colors of different vegetables and spices, like beets, spinach, and turmeric.


Healthy Recipes!

Healthy Raspberry Sorbet   2 1/2 cups (12oz) raspberries (fresh or frozen)   2 tablespoons of agave syrup   Combine raspberries and honey/agave in a food processor and blend  on high speed un l smooth. If you use frozen raspberries, you may get  sorbet immediately. Serve immediately or transfer to container and  keep in the freezer. If using fresh or thawed raspberries, pour mixture  into ice cream maker, and follow ice cream maker's instruc ons. Serve 

Chia, Strawberry, and Raspberry Mint  Popsicles    Made by   Yield: 10‐12 popsicles   Total Time: 10 minutes   INGREDIENTS: 1 lb fresh organic strawberries 6  oz fresh organic raspberries 2 Tbsp chia seeds  0.5 oz fresh mint 2 Tbsp maple syrup   DIRECTIONS: In a blender add all of the ingredi‐ ents. Then pour into popsicle molds and put in  4

ABC Juice:    1 Apple  2 Beets  3 Large Carrots   Op onal:  1 (1 inch) piece of ginger  Spinach or Kale     blog.william‐sonoma–/30‐days‐ of –juicing/ 

Jacaranda Trees: The Truth! Helena When taking a walk around the streets of Pasadena, you’re almost guaranteed to see many jacaranda trees, scattering their petals on the sidewalk. Most of us walk right past them, since we see them so often in our everyday life. On my street alone, there are four jacarandas, and there are many more in the backyard of the house right behind ours, often spilling their leaves into our tomato plants. I’m actually okay with that, though; they give the soil color, as do the orange peels I often see that have been chewed up by rats. Since Southern California has such a large population of jacaranda trees, people often think that jacarandas are native here. In fact, they’re not. They’re indigenous to Brazil, where their wood is often used as lumber. There are also thousands of jacarandas in Pretoria, South Africa. Every year when they flower, the streets are coated with purple flowers. It’s been commonly accepted that the most stunning part of a jacaranda tree is the flower. The flowers often bloom in small clusters, yet I rarely see many bees buzzing by.


The flowers are a light lavender, with small ruffles on the ends and a darker purple tip. There are four stamen and one pistil, which appears to be rather furry. Jacaranda trees are also very popular in Australia, and there is a Christmas carol that references them, “Where the Gum Tree Grows.” One of the verses goes like this: “Christmas where the gum trees grow There is no frost and there is no snow Christmas in Australia's hot Cold and frosty is what its not When the bloom of the Jacaranda tree is here Christmas time is near.” Without jacaranda trees, Southern California would be duller. It would lose the bright purple flowers on the sidewalks and the bloom of a familiar tree. Without jacarandas, many cities worldwide would be bland. Jacaranda trees are not only beautiful but make up part of the culture of our Los Angeles lives.

One Wild and Precious Life Helena The wind rushing through the brown leaves of the palm and the beeping noise of a cargo truck in reverse. I spy the purple jacaranda flower that is a wool blanket on a winter’s night. I spy the origami poppy swaying in its cherry universe. The green tendril speckled with patches of brown, steadily spreading. And the poor small flowers, imprisoned by the cobwebs that swing from leaf to leaf. Above me, I see the cloud, being pinched and poked into another form. The monarch, ruling its nectar. That cactus in all its glory, its green, thick leaves staying adamant and rigid. The shadow of the bee growing steadily bigger as it zooms toward the ground. A tangle of trees, ever fighting to be in the spotlight. Aren’t we all? We will forever be remembered. 6

Simple Dirt

A long time ago

By Helena

a small girl was squatting in the

It was a long time ago


and I can remember naught but

behind the batting cage at her brother’s baseball game.

one minute but that minute was not just any

With nothing to do, she dabbed her


finger in the dirt and scooped up that sand into little

It was a minute of memory;


a minute of caring.

There was nothing she could do

It was a minute of the love

but that

between a girl and her playmate.

But that was all she needed.


Soil Organism of the Year: The Earthworm

Soil. One of the most important things on planet Earth. If it is so important, how come no one is trying to save it? The soil has a plethora of organisms living in it that are vital to our planet. So, if all the soil disappears, all those organisms do too. One extremely beneficial organism that makes the soil its home is the earthworm. That is why we chose the earthworm to be this year’s organism of the year. Earthworms. Those disgusting slimy worms that do nothing all day but sit in the soil and wriggle around. You may not think so, but they’re more than they seem. Earthworms make your vegetable garden more fertile in a process called decomposition. What they do is take organic matter, such as leftover lettuce or empty eggshells, and eat them. After it passes through their digestive system, it has been broken down into fertile material that is useful for plants to grow in. If you sprinkle compost on your garden, your plants will grow like never before. It works like magic! Earthworms are also a source of food for other animals, such as birds, lizards, moles, gophers, and many more species. Earthworms are stereotypically pictured as “bird food.” I’m sure all of us have heard the saying “The early bird gets the worm!” I’m also sure most of us have ignored that and slept in. Earthworms can live almost anywhere on land. you name it, they’re probably there, whether it be in your garden, in a puddle, or dead on the sidewalk after a hot day. You may sometimes see worms laying on the sidewalk after a rain storm, thinking they’re dead, but they aren’t. Worms use the moist days to travel above ground. If they were to go above ground on a hot day, they would dehydrate because they breathe and absorb moisture through their skin. water in the soil is necessary for this process. In fact, you could put a worm in a glass of water and it would be able to live for a relatively long time before it dies. 8

Soil Organism of the Year Continued Worms benefit soil, and soil supplies life on Earth in many more ways than one. There are definitely too many to count, and there are many more that we haven’t even figured out yet! For one, soil provides a strong foundation for our buildings, whether it be your office building, fire department, or your house you live in every day. Also, without soil, there would be no food for us to eat. No plants could grow for animals to eat. Then we would have no salad or steak! Worst of all, there would be no dessert, with no milk for the ice cream, no butter for the cookies, and no flour for the cake! Additionally, soil provides homes for not only plants, but animals also. Moles live in soil, as do bacteria, mushrooms, and worms! Just one cup of rich soil may contain as much bacteria as people on Earth. That’s over 7 billion bacteria! Soil loss or degradation is a huge problem now in the world. It is practically the world’s silent killer besides drought and climate change. Soil degradation is when the upper part of the soil is either washed or blown away. It is a very serious issue that is occurring in many different countries around the world. We rely on the soil for our food, forestry, and wildlife. If we didn’t have soil it would cause all of these things to no longer be as easy to obtain as it is now. The remaining land would no longer be able to produce these necessities. We can solve these problems by using organic compost, or cover crops, nitrogen - fixing plants, mulch, and compost teas to cover up the barren land. Without soil, we would lose a bunch of animals that rely on the soil and the animals living in the soil, not to mention the plants, and eventually us. We may be losing soil as we speak, but there are many things that we could do to reduce our loss of soil. Although the early bird may get the worm, it won’t if the worm’s a late riser . 9

The Jacaranda

Dirt above me there hovers a large Jacaranda tree slowly shedding its small purple blossoms onI sit, to the dusty earth In a wooden chair. In the distance I can see tall palm trees flowStripped from its beauty, ing in the slight breeze To become a modern piece of “art.� I hear the soft sound of the leaves whistling in the wind I can smell the mud getting thicker and thicker Atop this wooden floor. with each spritz of the sprinkler Why is it there? I can smell the soft scent of the small blosTo cover up the soil in which it soms gliding down the Jacaranda tree came from?

In which animals live and plants grow? Is it because we think it is not beautiful? We are just covering it up with its old inhabitance.

As the bees buzz as they collect their keep of Jacaranda The wind carrying off the bursts of lavender petals spreading throughout the garden The Jacaranda stays giving to the bees and creating humus for the earth The Jacaranda lives. Carolina


How is soil formed?  Soil is a blend of rock, mineral fragments, water, air, and humus.  Humus is carbon ‐ rich and is made of organic material le  be‐ hind by living things. Wind, water, ice, carbon dioxide, and oxy‐ gen break down rocks and minerals. Some mes chemicals and  heat pressure can also cause rocks to weather. Erosion is when  something causes rocks to move or disintegrate by the ac on of  water, wind, gravity, and ice. A er many years of weathering and  erosion (about 10,000 years) the earth or rocks are broken up  enough for small pioneer plants to grow. Once those plants have  died they create a layer of dead plants or Humus which works as  a fer lizer for newer and more complex plants and insects. The  roots of the plants also help break up the rocks under the sur‐ face. A er many years of the ground collec ng humus it be‐ comes soil.    

I drew this photo to represent how the plants that grow in the garden. It shows the roots of the plants, and shows the plants from different perspective.




Letters from your editors A Le er From Your Editor, Kaitlin  Dear Reader,    To start off, you may not think that soil is the most interes ng thing to learn or talk about.  And I would have  to agree with you.  Although soil may not be the most interes ng thing to learn about, it certainly is an important  thing to learn about.  Over the course of this past week and a half, I learned a lot, and I also made a lot of new  memories.  Our soil unit was definitely an interes ng unit.  We had the opportuni es to go to the Arlington Gar‐ dens right next to our school, plant a mini garden next to our cafeteria, make guerrilla worm composts, and other  crazy fun stuff.  At the Arlington Gardens, we wrote poems, bred bacteria, and walked through a calming labyrinth.   Although there were some challenges with ge ng our ideas together in our group, I’m really proud of us being able  to pull our thoughts together and create this e‐zine.      Two days later, the group I was in, the Wonderful Worms, had the opportunity  to go mulching.  We shov‐ eled and raked for three long hours, but it was very rewarding in the end.  Over the next few days, we made post‐ ers promo ng healthy ea ng, we planted the mini garden, and made the guerrilla worm composts.  We also  learned about how we can conserve water to help California in its drought.  Well, that’s enough of me and what I  learned for right now.  If I had to make sure that you took one thing from this, it would be to try something new.   Try building a rain garden, try plan ng an herb garden, or just even try promo ng a healthy Earth.  I hope you en‐ joyed this ar cle and would consider giving these things a try.  Chao! 

Hello Reader,  This le er is addressed to each and every one of you. I want you all to hear my story about this magazine. I  have many of them to tell.  It all started on a rela vely warm morning. My classmates and I had already gone through two classes, and we  weren’t exactly eager for many more. But when we heard we were going to a garden, and not just si ng down in a  damp and s fling room, we got more excited. The garden was called Arlington Gardens, and luckily, it was right next  to our school, so we didn’t have to walk a long distance to get there. That would just be excruciaƟng. As we arrived there, we pondered over what substances to put in petri dishes to watch bacteria mulƟply, how to end our “One Wild and Precious Life” poem, which you will see in this very magazine, and how to manage to get through the Labyrinth without thinking at all, which is much harder than it sounds. Once we finished with our neon popsicles and walked back to school, it was over. The Ɵme flew by to Tuesday, where we learned about the benefits of planƟng a community garden, the Fibonacci Sequence, and how to write our Cover Story! What!?!?!?! You don’t mean the cover story in this very magazine!? But yes, I do mean the cover story in this very magazine!  Thursday really helped me realize what soil is to this environment, where I dragged wheelbarrows up a hill and  raked out the mulch that had just been dumped out of them. Not only can mulch help protect water from droughts, it  can also help with different problems, such as floods. On Friday, I finished up my ar cle about jacaranda trees, which  you can find on page ____.  Soil is one of the most important things in our lives, and while most people may not recognize it, it s ll con n‐ ues to play its part, whether that means providing a strong founda on for our homes, growing our vegetable gardens,  or bestowing shelter for pest‐ea ng insects.  Making this magazine has been a very special experience, and without any of these days, this magazine would  not be what it is. I’m not just ran ng on about my days. Each of these events has helped to form this magazine to its  very best, whether it helps me understand worms, soil, or pu ng together a magazine, and I hope you really enjoy  the fruit of our hard work.  Sincerely,  Helena 


Carolina May 27, 2014 Soil Unit, Letter from the editor Hi There! Its Carolina here, and this is my reflection of my time during the soil unit. During the Soil Unit we learned about how soil is made, how our food is processed, we also learned about Victory gardens, and how they were 40% of the food income in World War two, and it was a neat experience to mulch for the first time. The Soil Unit was such a blast! I loved all the field trips we went on and all the different things that we learned about, and I thought it was really cool how we are making a magazine to understand different insects and fungi. My favorite part of this experience was either being able to mulch or learning how soil is made. I never knew that soil mainly consists of Humus, which is a layer of dead plants. Also that mulch helps prevent floods and it soaks up water for the soil. Some things that surprised me these past two weeks were how far our food travels to get to us (about 1,500 miles), how many chemicals are used in our foods, how terrible the western diet is (fast food…), and a lot about mulch/mulching. It was really cool how we got to grow our own bacterium from the Arlington Garden and see how many different types we grew. I had so much fun these past two weeks learning about soil. Thanks, Carolina

Once again, thank you all for reading this magazine! Let’s help make this world a healthier and happier place! Thanks Again, Your Editors, Kaitlin, Carolina, And Helena 14

Soil unit magazine carolina kaitlin helena  

7th grade Soil Unit 2014 Carolina Kaitlin Helena

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