Monday, May 31, 2010

Week 11: Coming full circle

After tasting some delicious, straight-off-the-plant strawberries, we planted some flowers for our flower business this summer.

The spinach that we planted a few weeks back is now ready for harvest! And what better recipe to use them for than Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Turnovers).

Before the day started, the students did an exercise where they had to pay attention to their partners physical appearance. As they closed their eyes, their partner would change 3 things about their appearance to test the other person's attention to detail. Being attentive is a key in communication. Later in the afternoon, Doron led a workshop about effective communication: you must be a good listener as well as a tactful speaker.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 10

Trust and communication exercise to start off the morning.

Planting summer squash. "I put love in with every finger." --Kaiya

Giving the plants some love Food, What style.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 9: All about POTATOES!

The morning started with a collaborative exercise to work up a good appetite for some potato pancakes.

We're in this how can we get up?
Definitely a struggle for some.


Now a lesson in communication: Doron illustrates how difficult communication can be if you're not detailed and clear. "Tell me how to eat this banana." (Doron)
"No! Not like that." (frustrated student complained)

Success yet?

Now it's the students' turn to try it. One-way communication can be difficult when you're trying to get your partner to draw an exact replica of the drawing in front of you.

We ended the day by planting some potatoes in Food, What's new plot of land on the farm.

We laid next to the potatoes, to feel what they may be feeling and to give them strength and love to grow.


High school students from all over Santa Cruz county joined together in celebration of the strawberry harvest! Workshops, Fast Food Jeopardy, educational tables, yummy smoothies, and strawberry tarts were all a part of the festivity.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week 7: Three Sisters, Popcorn, and Sushi!

First, the students learned about intercrops. What are they, you ask? And intercrop plant is when more than one type of plant grow to together. One of the most popular type of intercrop is called the Three Sisters. Three Sisters consist of corn, beans, and squash (illustrated by the students below). They grow together because they live in a symbiotic relationship where they all benefit from one another. For example, corn uses up nitrogen in the soil and beans put it back. In return, corn provides a sturdy stalk for the beans to climb on. And squash aids in suppressing weeds for all of the plants.

Speaking of corn, let's make POPCORN! Abby explained how there are different types of corn, one of which is popcorn. Just pop off the kernels from the cob, add a little bit of oil to a pot til it's piping hot, thrown in the kernels, shake up the pot once in a while to prevent burning, and viola! You have popcorn! Last step, EAT!

How do corn plants grow? In a line or in bunches? The answer is bunches (illustrated below). Why? Because corn pollinate by using the wind to blow their seeds; they pollinate easier in every direction if they grow in bunches.
"If we were corn, how would we grow?" --Abby

Food Systems Workshop
Abby illustrated on the white board the process of going through a direct market and a non-direct market. What are the benefits and consequences of both? How much energy does it take to produce and market a product? If the production process takes longer and exchanges more hands, do you get paid more or less? Which would you prefer?

The student on the far right is illustrating how much energy it takes to produce and market a strawberry by doing jumping jacks.

Remember, YOU have the power to vote with your dollar. You can choose to support your local producers and farmers so that they get a better price while also helping the environment.

SUSHI TIME! Abby gave the group a lesson hand rolling vegetable sushi. Yum.