Thursday, October 28, 2010

CSA and Farm Managers

Blaze, Jazz and Natasha run the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business. They harvest fresh produce from the Food What fields, prepare and bag it to be delivered to low income community members in the Santa Cruz Beach Flats.

"As farm and CSA Managers we are in charge of taking care of the plants from seeds to harvest. My favorite part of the job is learning about farm management. Someday I want to own my own organic farm, and I like knowing where my food comes from." -Blaze

After a days work, Jazz says, "my soul is cleared out and I always leave happier than I arrive".
We are gaining unexpected skills through this job that will help us in life like clear communication.

FoodWhat Flower Business Managers

Geoleal and Diego run our flower business. Each week they harvest flowers and arrange bouquets for local businesses downtown like Cafe Delmarette, Laili Restaurant, Penny Ice Creamery, Next Space and the Gault Farm Stand.


Geoleal and Diego
"We are responsible for taking care of the flowers by making bouquets and dead heading the old ones so more can grow. I like working with the flowers and seeing them at the businesses. Cutting flowers is a stress release and making bouquets is inspiring. I always admire the finished product; it is beautiful." -Diego, FoodWhat Flower Business Manager

As part of the flower business we grew hundreds of sunflowers and sold them as a U-Pick at the UCSC Farm Harvest festival. It was fun to see little kids running around with flowers as bid as their heads!

Culinary Arts Crew

During Abel and CC's job they create a beautiful farm fresh taco bar lunch for a group of CASFS funders. They are the culinary arts leadership team who cook healthy lunches for Life Lab workshop participants.

Abel says, "I'm learning to clean as I go and which food to cook in what order so that I can get it all done." He adds that he's gaining "a better sense of [him]self" through his job.
When CC is asked about what he thinks his favorite part is he exclaims, "Just the people, I wouldn't be able to work without the people I work with."

As part of their Job, CC and Abel teach other teens to cook delicious meals with vegetables. They partnered with Girls' Space of the Walnut Avenue Woman's Center to make farm fresh veggie quesadillas --a FoodWhat favorite!


Patrick and Jose work hard as a members of the "Blast" crew to help local school gardens maintain or start a garden.

"We clear brush, work with tools and meet new people and my best moment so far was clearing the garden at B40 Middle School. I like to work in the rain and we finish in two hours"-Jose, "Food, What?!" Blast Crew

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brower Youth Awards

We took a field trip to San Francisco for the annual Brower Youth Awards --an award ceremony, in the name of David Brower, honoring six young environmental leaders who are working to make an impact in their communities and for the planet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Seven of us ventured to the Bioneers conference in Marin for 4 days of inspiring and life-changing workshops, presentations, speakers and activities.

The first day we partnered up with Veggielution, Farm Fresh Choice, the Growing Youth Project, and the Marin Youth Center for the Just Us for Food Justice pre-conference where we dialogued and artistically expressed our relationship to Healing and Traditional Foods. Then we met farmers selling at the Marin farmer's market and finished the day by cooking a delicious meal for ourselves and the cancer patients through the Ceres Project.

Here is what some of the youth had to say about the conference:
"My time spent at the 2010 Bioneers Conference is an experience I would trade with no other. The motivation and drive that everyone there had to do what was right was moving. Between Mary Gonzales' presentation and the 'Ring the Bell Campaign', I am fully motivated to organize my community. In the Socially Responsible Herbal Medicine workshop I learned a lot about the economic as well as social struggle that medicinal herbs have on the market. The Youth Unity Tent was RAD!... overall Bioneers helped me have hope for our communities and the people in them. We just have to educate and motivate!" -CC

"It was inspiring to be with so many people for the weekend that really want to change the world and make it a better place for us and out future children. There were many speeches that stood out to me and really made me think. Alec Loorz's speech mane me realize that every generation really does need a revolution. If each generation choose one thing to stand up and fight to change, within 20 or 30 years we will have a much better planet to live on. If one day we all decided to change one thing we do, it could make a huge difference. For example, after the oil spill in the San Francisco Bay in 1971, John Francis decided not to use motorized vehicles. That one simple choice led him to walk the U.S. from coast to coast and take a vow of silence for 17 years. He began to change how people thought. That's all it takes, one decision to better the earth, led to a whole movement." -Josh

At the end of each day we told stories around a camp fire and rested our tired and inspired heads at China Camp

(Top to bottom, L to R) Abel, Josh, Geoleal, Carina, Abby, CC, Jazz

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gault Farm Stand with Josh & Natasha

Josh and Natasha run the Farm Stand at Gault Elementary on Wednesday. We sell high quality organic produce at low cost with the intention of increasing access to good food for the local community as well as attempting to connect what children learn in school about healthy eating and what they eat at home. We partner with the UCSC Farm, Happy Boy Farms, and FreeWheelin' Farm to provide food at the stand. On most days we sell out of the produce, and many families go home with armfuls of fresh veggies.

Natasha says she likes, "interacting with the people, the people are interesting" and Josh likes "seeing all the little kids going home stoked on veggies". They both agree that they're gaining math and communication skills from running the farm stand.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Annual 2010 Food What Benefit

Our benefit was a hit!
We set beautiful tables for the amazing 100 person meal we created with produce we grew and harvested!

On the menu:

Apple and Beet with Gail's Garden Goat Cheese
Roasted Veggie Kabobs
Amazing Bread Salad with Fresh Food What Tomatoes, Basil and Onions
Creamy Polenta and Food What Tomato Sauce

Tables of our supporters came to celebrate our hard work. They said cheers and enjoyed meeting eachother over a good meal.

Familiar faces from Freewheelin' Farm and friends.

Some of us like Malik, Jose, and Patrick (even Carol from one of our teachers from Natural Bridges High School!) stood to speak about how Food What is changing our lives.