Diggers Needed!

28 Sep

Kids help is needed to till soil and worm hunt! Our cucumbers succumbed to blight and were going to squeeze in a snap pea bumper crop.

SAT 5:15-5:45pm Dig and Till

SUN @10:30am Till + Plant seeds

Hope to see you out in the play area garden! Thanks.

Harvest Potluck Fundraiser Oct 19th: You’re Invited!

23 Sep


All residents are invited to celebrate the 2019 Garden Harvest!  We’re holding an outdoor fundraising event and potluck in the children’s play area on Saturday October 19th from 4:30 to 6pm.

Who:  Members of CVEarthlab, the educational community garden, invite all residents (with & without small children) to join in!

Where:  The Garden & Children’s Outdoor Play Area, behind 195 Adams St / next to 230 Jay St

When:  Saturday October 19th, 4:30pm to 6pm

Why:  The garden is self-funded and requires money for the 2020 season. Learn about ongoing costs and more at CVEarthlab.com

Members of the garden committee invite you to harvest some herbs from the garden and use them in a potluck dish to share at the party. (Potential ingredients to pick include: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lavender, lemon verbena, as well as dried garlic that was harvested in August.)

If you’d like to help the garden grow, we invite you to donate money at the event. Checks made out to CVOI can be submitted via Shari Rueckl (195 Adams St., Apt 15B) or the management office at 215 Adams St. You can also Venmo to Shari Rueckl (@misssha). Thank you!   See photos (and recipes) from previous years here: recipes harvest party; 2018 harvest party chocolate beet cake


Meet Monarch #3: Greta

13 Sep

After discovering more Monarch caterpillars at the end of August, I put one in a new mesh cage.  Over the Labor Day weekend, she turned into a pupa.  That was about 12-13 days ago, and based on the timing, a new Monarch butterfly should emerge any day.  Her name is Greta, a nod to climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Stay tuned for news this weekend, and check out the habitat hanging outside the play area if you walk by.  The pupa is small, green, and near the top zipper.

With luck, we may be able to tag and release Greta this weekend.   This will need to happen within hours of the emergence; be ready if you want to observe her first flight!  — Denise



Save the Date: Sat Oct 19th

27 Aug

The fall harvest party will be held on the evening of Saturday, October 19th!

More details to come…

Photo of Caterpillars

17 Aug

How Many Caterpillars Do You See?

17 Aug

The parsley in the standing bed outside the play area is filled with feasting caterpillars. They arent Monarchs, look like swallowtails or painted ladies.

Monarch Butterfly Was Tagged, Released Today

11 Aug

After only about 11 days in chrysalis, our Monarch butterfly emerged!


His name is Leif.


Kids gathered to watch Mila, who cared for the caterpillar in her home, release the beautiful butterfly after grownups tagged him with coded stickers.  The tags are part of Monarch Watch’s citizen science tagging project, which allows people to attach small stickers to Monarchs in order to help scientists study the migration patterns of this at-risk species.

Leif, a male, was marked with code AACB 225, and was released from CV on 08.11.19.milamonarchmomentIMG_4991

Today Leif embarked on a 6-to-8-week journey, and if the tag is recovered (hopefully in Mexico, the migrating Monarch’s destination) we will know he made it!  Or, if he makes it only as far as Texas or another US state, and his tag is recovered, we will learn those details.

Monarch Butterfly #2 Is Born

11 Aug

More info about tagging and releasing later today to come.

Update On Monarch Caterpillar #2

2 Aug

Thanks to everyone who offerred to care for this guy! Mila and her mom, Dana, have been doing a great job and it looks like the little guy is already moving into pupa stage.

Based on the interest, I will look into purchasing an additional habitat for future Monarch caterpillars. This would allow more families to participate in the raising and tagging of these very important creatures.

More info to come!


ISO Caterpillar Stewards (Response Needed By Wed Afternoon)

30 Jul


Are there any volunteers to help care for the caterpillar over the next week and a half?  I will be traveling and I know I cannot refresh the cage with milkweed every day or so.

Wednesday July 31st Is the Last Day to Volunteer

Read on if you are interested. Thanks in advance for your consideration.  If we don’t have volunteers very soon, I will release the caterpillar Wednesday night so she can get all the milkweed she needs in the wild of CV. This means we will lost the opportunity to observe the transformation and tag and release the Monarch butterfly in mid to late August. To volunteer, post a comment or email cvearthlab@gmail.com.

You Can Help Care For Caterpillar Outside, Or Bring Her Into Your Apartment

The caterpillar habitat is outside, but if one person wants to commit to caring for this caterpillar until she goes into pupa (cocoon-like stage) over the next week or so, that person could care for the caterpillar indoors.  (Caterpillar shouldn’t be kept in super cold air conditioned room)

Care Is Easy But Must Be Done Daily

Care tasks include cleaning the cage everyday or so, which means replacing day old milkweed with fresh leaves (these are available inside and outside the play area), cleaning out the caterpillar poop and generally monitoring the caterpillars growth until she goes into crysalis/pupa/cocoon.  This will likely happen around August 6-9th.

Daily Care Tasks Will Only Be Needed Until About August 6th or 7th

Once she’s in pupa stage, she doesn’t need to be monitored as closely until about 1.5 to 2 weeks have passed.

Butterfly Will Be Tagged and Released Around The Week of August 19th

After she emerges as a butterfly, she will need to be released within a day or two.  By that time, around August 21-23, Benji and I will be back and can take over.

Benji and I got the tags from Monarch Watch and plan to tag her before releasing her as part of their citizen science project; Benji will likely document the process for an extra credit science project. Thanks!  -Denise

More information is here:  https://cvearthlab.com/2019/07/28/welcome-monarch-caterpillar-2/



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