We ventured to the San Francisco Opera House for the Brower Youth Awards -a night of honoring six youth leaders from all around the country who are making positive environmental and social change. The night started with a ride in the party van up to the city and an awesome, farm fresh, pesto pasta dinner that Devin prepared for us.
At the event we learned about the Vermont Sustainability Heating Initiative that is helping schools run their heating systems on locally grown prairie grass pellets and not oil. We heard about environmental justice projects in the Washington DC area that are bringing communities and students together. We learned about a youth-run non-profit that is restoring the native rain forest in Costa Rica and connecting how the global environment impacts us locally. We were also introduced to the devastation of coal mining and mountain top removal processes. We all enjoyed a sugar-rush at the dessert bar before we hopped in the party van for the ride home. It was an evening the remember.
T-town, BD, and Luis stormed the Bioneers Conference this year demanding more and more information on Biomimicry and wild mushrooms. As part of the Just Us for Food Justice youth track, we got to connect with youth from around the nation doing positive work around food. After long days of soaking in all the latest environmental, economic, and social reports from top thinkers, we came back to our camp site to kick it with our friends from LA. With Brighton responsible for building the fire (which always became a raging bon fire), T-town on the games, and Luis regulating our smores (too much high fructose corn syrup), we enjoyed the company of Katy and the ladies from Los Angeles...
The Sunflowers that we planted with the Rooted In Community conference in July came to fruition at the CASFS Harvest Festival! We set up a "u-pick" operation as a fundraiser for "Food, What?!" and sold every single flower! We had a successful day and fun time watching all the little kids run around with sunflowers bigger than their heads.
Sam, Will, and Devin are the Chefs Extraordinaire this Fall. Each Thursday they came to the farm to cook farm fresh delicious food for the Field Crew. On Tuesdays they went to the Teen Center too cook healthy and tasty food with the local teens there.
Kitty, Brighton, and T-town are the the Fall Farm crew rocking out all the fall farm tasks each Thursday and Friday. They harvest the bounty for our CSA shares in the Beach Flats, take care of the farm, and of course, harvest tomatoes -so many tomatoes!
We ended the summer program with a celebration on the farm accompanied by our friends and families. We pressed apple cider, cut bouquets, ate farm fresh lasagna, sauteed green beans, apple pie, and rapped about our summer job at FoodWhat!?
In the past weeks Food What has been a part of 3 'Super Spudderific Tater' harvests. The UCSC Apprenitces were kind enough to introduce us to the procedure when we assisted them with a potato harvest for their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
The second Potato harvesting adventure we embarked on took place at FreeWheelin' Farm. The 'FoodWhat' crew goes to FreeWheelin' every Thursday, to gain experience on a working farm. Their potatoes were spudtacular to say the least!
Our final potato harvest occurred in our own field(yay!), where we dug up the spuds we planted in the spring program, back in March! Today we are making fresh and healthy roasted potato wedges, Yummy!
Enriching fact: Its the year of the potato, according to the UN! -Maya and Kitty
All sixteen members of the FoodWhat?! youth crew attended the Santa Cruz day of the RIC conference but only about seven of us went to the entire conference in Berkeley. These short blog entries are written by three of the seven youth crew who were able to attend the full conference.
I have never been to a conference, so hearing about this one made me excited. I was glad I got to go with my friends and people I work with. I was expecting boring lectures and classes, but it was way more than that. And everything we did was so much fun. I met people from all across the county and I became very close to some people. My highlights from this conference were the beach, marching, and learning about other things in the Bay Area. -Christy
Hmm... When we got to Berkeley we made name tags, started to meet new people and went to the opening circle. For the intro there was an Aztec group that came to dance for us. It was great. At the conference, I went to a media workshop where I learned how we get the information and news that we do. I thought it was great too. I thought all the different ideas and points of view were neat, and we all had something in common. My favorite thing about RIC 2008 was all the new faces and ideas that i saw and heard. -Devin
I feel like this conference was really eye opening, and I learned a lot in the workshops about everything- from beekeeping, to seed saving, to how to find my voice and express myself. It was very encouraging to meet other teens from around the country who cared about the same issues i did, despite the fact we came from different programs, cultures and circumstances. At one point during an evening I participated in a youth cipher, where I was able to discuss issues relevant to the lives of young people. I was with 10 other youth at the cipher, most of whom I'd never even spoken to. We talked for over three hours, and I feel like the experience really brought us together! I know I grew as a person and that these experiences will stay with me for a long time. -Kitty
FoodWhat?! had the awesome chance to host the second day of the Rooted In Community Conference (RIC) Here is a sldeshow of the Santa Cruz day hosted by FW.
We got to make pizzas and salads for dinner, and got pie from pie ranch for dessert! Everyone also participated in workshops lead by FoodWhat crew and apprentices! Maya lead tea making! Kevin did pizza making! Christy lead opening games and dough making. Esdres lead a bee workshop with John and Leon! Elyza and Tyrell did a tour of the FoodWhat Farm! Check out the Santa Cruz Sentinal Story on the RIC event We all had a BLAST! ~Maya & Christy
I had a good time at the Santa Cruz day. Leading the scavenger hunt was cool, I met a neat girl named Chrystal who was on my team. The bike ride was fun and the food was great. At first I thought their would be weird people but when I met them they were actually nice. I didnt realize that the day would turn out so good! -Kevin F
These are photos from the first week of our beach flats farmers market .Doron took us to survey the stores in beach flats, where we learned that not all local stores have fresh fruits and vegetables. When we were there we got to sell our freshly picked organic fruit and vegetables, in an area with out an adequate source for fresh produce. I enjoyed helping others in the community. I cant wait to go back next week. -kevin f. Our market takes place Fridays 4-6pm at the community center in beach flats! Puesto/Mercado todos Viernes 4-6!
Every Thursday we go out to Freewheelin' Farm -a local 1 acre organic farm up highway 1 run by Kirstin, Darryl and Amy. We help them with their CSA harvest, any farm tasks like transplanting and weeding, we take care of the ducks and chickens, cook lunch from their veggies, and do "Straight Talk" -a check-in and evaluation process for ourselves and each other.
Some thoughts from the crew about Freewheelin' Farm:
“The first day we came here we cleaned garlic for CSA bags and thinned carrots. Someone explained about different types of soil and how to know which one you have, and I knew I was really learning.”
“I’ve had a really fun time here on Freewheelin’ Farm. Planting seeds and then watching them grow and harvesting them for the CSA.”
“I have learned a lot at Freewheelin’ Farm like taking care of chickens and ducks. I have had a lot of wonderful experiences here. I learned to harvest crops and build character. We always have wonderful food here.”
We learned to thin the baby fruit off of the apple trees so that the trees can focus their energy on growing bigger more flavorful fruits rather than dispersing all of their growing power to lots of fruit.
When the squirrels started to discover our wheat crop, we knew that it was ripe and ready to harvest. We went out the the field with spades and twine, tying up little bundles and under cutting the grass. Once it was dry, we threshed the grain off of the stalk, winnowed the seed with the wind and a winnowing basket, ground it into flour, and made mall style pretzels in our cob oven... mmm good!