Community Voices

Young Observers: Early June 2023

Kids Rule

by Jules, 6th grade

Strawberry Fields Forever

In the heart of Irvine is one of the last remaining parcels of farmland in Orange County, Tanaka Farms. It is a family-owned business that is open to the public and has seasonal events throughout the year with paid admission. The current seasonal tour is strawberry and vegetable picking. The tour includes a wagon ride around the farm, learning about the history of Tanaka Farms and their farming practices. Then comes the high point of the tour, eating and picking fresh strawberries from the field.

The farmhands provide containers, and then you’re free to go and pick your berries from the vines. Your hunt begins for the largest and reddest strawberries you can find. After strawberry picking, you can continue the tour picking your veggies. The farmhands will demonstrate how to properly harvest the vegetables from the ground. Then depending on what is mature, you pick your vegetables, which can include a variety of green onions, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, or collard greens.

There are also farm animals like chickens, sheep, alpacas, and cows in a small animal farm area. A store within the farm enables visitors to purchase more fresh fruits, vegetables, and plants grown right on the farm, along with a locally-sourced honey and bakery items. It’s fun to be out on the farm. Let’s explore the world together!

Book Review

by Katie, 11th grade

Happy Place is my fourth Emily Henry book, and as usual, it did not disappoint! But unlike her other books, this one clicked with me on another level, and it instantly became my favorite romance from her collection.

We follow the story of Harriet and explore the tight-knit friend group, the past relationship between her and Wyn, her ex-fiancé, and how it grows. Harriet and Wyn’s relationship is the definition of soulmates—they are so intricately intertwined that one cannot exist without the other, they are each other’s perfect complement. They are truly each other’s happy place. Someone you can go to whenever life’s not going your way, and someone you can go to for comfort and unconditional love. They have such an intimate connection, and I really loved how they are always there for each other and the way they know each other, like the back of their hand.

Harriet’s character especially resonated with me, especially when the chapters jump from the present day to happy memories in the past, because I’m someone who loves replaying my best memories in my head, and if anything, I love remembering rather than forgetting. Reminiscing on these memories gives me such a comforting feeling. Emily Henry has such a special way with words, and her writing never fails to evoke emotion.

This story, especially with a second chance romance and a friend group, reminds me of my own. She always creates the perfect balance between funny moments and bittersweet ones, balancing every emotion. Happy Place has become my favorite Emily Henry romance, and I can’t recommend it enough!

Let’s Go Green

by Mateo, 9th grade

May 29 is “Learn About Composting” Day

One of the biggest issues in today’s world is how people deal with waste. There are millions of tons of trash in the ocean; plastic covers our streets, and litter kills thousands of animals each year. Even though there are multiple ways people can work together to reduce the spread of this waste, it seems to be one of the most overlooked issues in our society.

One of the best ways people can help fix this issue is by developing a compost area, and today, May 29th is dedicated to teaching people about composting, a waste-removing method that involves turning your scraps into soil fertilizer. Here is how composting works and how you can establish a compost area in your own home.

To start, compost is a decomposed form of organic matter. Decomposition is extremely useful in nature, as it allows various resources to be reused as energy or fertilizer after they have already been used, and by composting, you can implement this efficient technique in your own yard. One of the main reasons compost is so reliable is that it can be made out of many different items, from banana peels to lawn clippings to even newspapers. The only organic resources that cannot be used for compost are processed foods and meat products, including fish.

So, why exactly is composting so good for the environment? It creates an environmentally safe fertilizer out of the resources it decomposes, saving large amounts of water, energy, and money while still growing a strong garden for your yard. The use of a natural fertilizer prevents harmful chemicals from getting into the soil through factory-made fertilizers, and it gives animals such as bees and worms a place to stay, further boosting your compost. Also, the soil that is fertilized by compost is stable and less prone to disease due to its high nutrient intake, so it is sure to produce a beautiful garden. Most importantly, it gives people a way to dispose of their waste in an efficient way.

These benefits allow composting to contribute to the three environmental R’s: Reusing, Recycling, and Reducing our waste. So, how do you start a compost area of your own?

It’s actually way easier than you may think, just follow these steps:

  1. Designate an area of bare soil for your compost.
  2. Gather a pile of organic waste that you want to compost and place it on top of the soil.
  3. Add a source of nitrogen (nitrogen fertilizers work well) and water to your compost to begin the decomposition process.
  4. Finally, mix up the compost every once in a while to ensure that the necessary materials spread to all parts of the compost, and just like that, you have made your own compost.

If you are looking for a way to make the Earth a cleaner place and to be more sustainable, then look no further. Take some time to learn about composting today as we celebrate Learn About Composting Day, and you can achieve these goals while having some fun in the yard.

Rosie LeeFeatured Pet & Animal Trivia

by Rosie, 6th grade

Meet Ming

Ming is an Alaskan Malamute. People-lover, attention-craver, and walking expert Ming will be dazzled by a family who can keep up with her physical fortitude. With a striking mane of hair and her charming, magnetic spirit, Ming will attract compliments and turn heads. Loving and affectionate, Ming will follow you wherever you go, ready for any adventure headed your way.

Animal ID#: A1811822


Call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an appointment today! (Walk-ins welcome)

Green Sea Turtles

Q: Do Green Sea Turtles eat jellyfish?

A: In truth, Green sea turtles are herbivores. Their diet consists of seaweed and algae. Like most reptilian animals, green sea turtle hearts are made up of four chambers. Their endangered status is due to oil spills and marine pollution. An estimated 90 percent decrease has occurred in the Green Sea turtle population over the last half-century. There are about 85,000 nesting females today. Extinction for all turtles is ominously approaching in the next twenty years.