Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harvest Fest 2011

On October 27th, 300 high school and middle school students from Santa Cruz to Watsonville came to "Food, What?!" for a morning of fall farm activities and food justice education: pumpkin carving, cider pressing, hay rides, mini apple pies, farm fresh pizzas, food justice wall, "the hydration station", a fair trade and food miles workshop, a skit about healthy decision making and more. See the video and great press below to get a feel of the day.

And some press from the day

Edible Monterey Bay  “You get to experience food you’ve grown and cooked yourself,” says Jacques Jackson, a 17-year-old high school senior who wants to study culinary arts at Cabrillo College next year. “I’ve learned how to cook, what’s in my food, what’s healthier for my body, and what will fill me up more.”
Jackson’s job this fall has been to co-manage the FoodWhat flower business. This involves harvesting flowers and arranging bouquets that are bought each week by local businesses and restaurants and sold at the FoodWhat farm stand at Gault Elementary School.

Hub Pages nice photos and a video of FoodWhat youth reciting spoken word on his FoodWhat experience.
“I used to smoke,” Salvadore said. “I used to drink. I worked here, I started thinking outside the box. People…who didn’t have a backyard to grow their own food…came up to me and asked me for vegetables and stuff. I’m the man.”

Santa Cruz Sentinel  Students also were able sample different varieties of apples, or most popular, fresh veggie pizzas wood-fired by Jamie Smith, Santa Cruz City School's director of food services. With a hot fire, Smith churned out pizzas in the farm's outdoor oven, using squash, peppers, beet, and other fresh organic vegetable. Hands grabbed for slices before he even finished cutting them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

FoodWhat Lavender Ice Cream?!

This week The Penny Ice Creamery used FoodWhat lavender to make Lavender Honey ice cream! Head down to the Penny Ice Creamery this week to try it out!

Monday, October 10, 2011

2011 October Photo-of-the-Month

Top Photo: Steven Valadez and Sam Gouveia harvesting youth-grown produce to feed our community.

Who gets this farm fresh organic nourishment?
-8 low-income families in Beach Flats
-1 day care center for neighborhood children
-and The Beach Flats Community Center for their brand new healthy snack program (inspired by our partnership)

For that past 22 weeks the FoodWhat Youth Crew has been growing, harvesting, and packing veggie shares worth $25 for an affordable (subsidized) rate of $10 each for folks in Beach Flats.  Today was the last day of the shares, and in total the crew harvested an impressive 1800 pounds!

Bottom Photo: Angel Chisholm and Sal Vasquez managing the Gault Farm Stand.

Yesterday was the final day of the farm stand that Sal and Angel have been running as their Fall Management Job.  Selling fresh, organic produce at the same cost of conventional produce at the local Esperanza Market, and accepting EBT, Sal and Angel have served many happy parents and teachers for the past 9 weeks.  Everyone who came was expressing how sad they are to see the market go and wished it could be there all year.

Angel reflected:  “I’m proud that I’ve had this job this long…that I stuck with it.  I learned how to hold down a job, do customer service, and accounting, and show up on time, and learned to schedule my (personal) appointments on days other than work.  You guys have really taught me a lot…"  Angel also spoke about how Brian King, one of his teachers, shared how proud he is of Angel for sticking with it, and finishing strong.

(Lots of thanks to our partners at Beach Flats Community Center, Gault Elementary, Santa Cruz Education Foundation, Freewheelin' Farm, Happy Boy Farm, and UCSC Farm and Garden!)

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CC's Story at Civil Eats

In a recent Civil Eats post writer Amber Turpin interviews past Food,What Junior Staff CC:

...In 2009, CC was attending an alternative education high school. Doron Comerchero, director of “Food, What?!”, came to the school one day offering internships. His local program empowers youth through the growing, cooking, and sharing of food. Though CC signed up in order to get out of school early on Fridays, his hooky plan became a serious commitment.

“Doron pulled my ass out of the gutter. It was a really bad year for me,” he recalled in hindsight. That initial 12-week internship led to a “Food, What?!” summer job program in which he was paid to participate. Earning actual money reinforced the value of the life skills he was learning and cooking and catering turned out to be something that CC actually really loved.

The full circle process of growing, harvesting, menu planning, cooking, and presenting “felt like a lot more than a catering job, in a good way,” he said....

Read the full post