family,  food,  homeschool

descanso gardens

This past week my kids and I were able to visit Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, CA on a field trip.  It’s a lovely, quiet garden nestled close to Glendale and Pasadena.  It’s also the site where my husband and I were married!

Our homeschool group, iLead Exploration led a field trip to Descanso Gardens, and since we hadn’t been in years, it was finally time. I was taken aback by how much it has changed since I got married.  It is currently Spring, so the gardens looked gorgeous.  So many new roses had been planted.


The Harvest Garden is where we had our class.  It’s actually located adjacent to the main entrance.  Our guide laid out some rules for the learners to follow first in order to respect the habitat of all the insects and creatures.


The kids began with choosing what to plant.  The guide instructed them to draw out squares with their choices.  My sons picked Nasturtium Flowers, which are an edible variety, while my daughter and her partner picked green beans.  They all planted their seeds in the square foot garden on site.




Next, they moved on to to create a take home plant.  They were each handed biodegradable pots and nutrient rich soil, and then Nasturtium seeds of their own.  Their assignment also included instructions on diagramming the growth of their flowers.  Once sprouted, the entire thing can be planted right into some more soil at home.






The last part of our learning experience was quite tasty!  First, the kids picked oranges. Then, they got to use them right away…






My youngest enjoyed the challenge of using a juicer to get every last drop of juice from that orange 🙂







My oldest had a great time helping out a younger sister of one of our learners in the group.  They worked together to pick the petals of the Nasturtium Flowers off the stem.






From there, they mixed up all the ingredients of the salad dressing (see kid friendly recipe below) and built a salad of mixed greens, sunflower seeds and nasturtium flowers.

Orange Vinaigrette:

1/3 c fresh orange juice *approximately 1 large orange (cut in half and let the kids juice it)

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 T Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


Gently pour all ingredients into a jar (mason jar with a tight lid works great!), make sure the lid is secure, and shake to your heart’s content.  Toss with mixed greens, sunflower seeds and nasturtium flowers and eat!  Delicious!


What are your favorite kid-friendly salad dressings to eat, and better yet, for them to make?  Drop me a line in the comments!

Overall, it was a great visit to Descanso Gardens and we cannot wait to visit again. Perhaps during one of their many events (definitely during the Enchanted: Forest of Light event – I hear it’s pretty spectacular!) View their entire calendar here.

If you have a favorite field trip venue in the L.A. area, please let me know!  We are always trying to get out and explore our home city 🙂






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