Monday, March 14, 2011

Food, What?! Spring 2011 Begins

The first day of “Food,What?!” 2011 Spring session, oranges flew through golden afternoon light. Nine new interns, Koa, Jose , Sylvia, Nick, Zack, Edwin, Alyca, Maribel, and Steven; students from Highlands and Star high schools, called out each-other's names as they tossed the fruits back and forth. FoodWhat?! Director Doron Comerchero and Program Manager Abby Bell led the students through the day's activities.

The students toured the grounds of the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, collected medicinal plants for making a salve, and learned of their responsibilities as Food,What?! interns.

The group identifies Calendula, a wild flower with anti-septic properties . Students picked leaves of Plantain, a weed that helps cure itching from bug bites and bee stings to use in a salve later.

After touring the farm, the group gathered under a cool shaded tent for a team building exercise. The group discussed ways to co-operate and make a friendly work environment.

Then the interns collected forks, pitch forks, shovels and wheelbarrows to build a compost pile. They layered dried plant matter and dirt until the mound was waist high. A tarp was stretched over the heap, and it was left to decompose.

Sweaty, tired, and laughing, the Highlands and Star interns cleaned the garden tools and washed their hands. As the sun set they made a smoothie with frozen strawberries from the farm from last season and fresh milk from Straus Creamery; it was ice cold, sour-sweet, and rich with cream.

From left to right; Steven, Sylvia, Maribel, Alyca, Jose. The group mixed smoothies as the day came to a close. Nick(left) Edwin(center) Steven(right) Sylvia(far right)

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