Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Week 10 at FoodWhat?!

This week the FoodWhat Crew drove five miles up Highway 1 and met at Freewheelin' Farm to get some experience on an 8-acre production farm! Run by two local farmers, Kirstin and Darryl, Freewheelin' Farm provides organic fruits and vegetables to local restaurants, has a CSA (farm subscription program), and is in the Scotts Valley Farmer's Market.

The youth started off their time at the farm by planting pumpkin and winter squash seeds, which will be harvested in the fall.  FoodWhat is growing 300 pumpkins out there to be used for the fall Harvest Festival.  Using a seed depth equasion learned earlier in the program, we planted seeds twice as deep as they are long, at an interval of every foot.

We then headed to the lettuce beds.  Abby explained how both Freewheelin' Farm and the Central Coast in general are known for the highest quality lettuce! We worked along the beds, dividing up into teams of two.  We pulled out weeds to make room for the young lettuce starts to grow and tried not to get stung by stinging nettles!

After finishing up our work in the fields we sheltered ourselves from the wind by gathering in the farm's awesome yurt for a workshop on 'Straight Talk' which is a format of direct communication where you offer "positives" and "improvables." Doron emphasized the importance of offering feedback or communicating in a conversation in a direct and kind manner, using details to explain the positives and improvables.

Doron then invited up youth to practice this technique in a role play with him.  Youth role played conversations with teachers, parents, other youth, and more.  To wrap up, each youth gave themselves Straight Talk for their job in the field work today; gave themselves Straight Talk for their performance in the internship over the last 10 weeks (in detail); and then offered Doron and Abby Straight Talk on their job performance throughout this internship, sharing out positives as well as what could be improved.

After finishing in the yurt, we moved to Freewheelin's awesome outdoor kitchen.  We harvested some onion and garlic from the farm then worked together in the kitchen to cook up some delicious pesto pasta with fresh veggies.

Fortunately there were opportunities for seconds (and even thirds!) as we cleaned up and discussed our triumphs for the day!

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