Friday, November 2, 2012

FoodWhat Fall Jobs 2012

Many FoodWhat Summer crew members come back to the farm to work during the Fall program. The Fall Jobs are the next level in our graduated leadership model.  This is the time for full on application of all the job training from the summer, and for complete ownership and leadership over their management  positions.  There are seven FoodWhat Management Jobs this Fall: Farm and Harvest, Culinary Arts, Flower Business, Farm Stand, BLAST (school garden support crew), Harvest Festival Planners, and Community Educators. Taking on a fall job also means crew members become candidates for junior staff next year!  

The Farm and Harvest Managers keep the fields just as well-maintained as they had over the summer while harvesting a bounty of fresh produce for our Farm Stand each week! After harvest, the crew washes, organizes, and takes count of the day's yield. The day always ends with boxes of lettuce, chard, carrots, peppers, and endless tomatoes.


While the harvest crew is busy picking vegetables, the Flower Business Managers cut and arrange flower bouquets. Connor, Matthew, and Edgar work hard cutting a variety of flowers, ranging from baby’s breath to sunflowers. Their creativity comes into play as they arrange the flowers into bouquets to sell at our Gault Farm Stand and to local businesses such as Penny Ice Creamery, Café Delmarette, The Picnic Basket, Lulu Carpenters, Maple St. Clinic, Café Brasil, and Gabriella Café. Big thanks to these local businesses for their support!


The Farm Stand Managers take on the role of selling the produce and some bouquets to the community through our operation at Gault Elementary School. Brandon and Keyah work on their organizational skills by setting up the stand and making all of the produce look as appealing to the eyes as it will be to the taste buds. The farm stand also gives them experience with handling money and working on their customer service as they interact with people from the community. Families, many low-income, who buy FoodWhat’s produce know that they are getting fresh, local, organic produce at very affordable pricing. Seeing the vibrant vegetables at their school has even gotten students and their young siblings excited to shop at the farm stand.  This year we saw a new trend in students buying carrots as an after-school snack!


FoodWhat’s Culinary Arts Management Team continued to expand their culinary knowledge and sharpening their skills around the kitchen. Matthew, Deonte, and Crystal have worked on various events throughout the fall, such as making dinner for the FoodWhat Benefit, the Edible Monterey Anniversay Dinner, and even preparing lunch for Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and other influential books about the food movement)! Aside from working on large events, the crew used the season’s bounty of tomatoes to make and preserve cans of tomato sauce and salsa. In addition to all of this cooking, the crew also started a granola business! To get your hands on some of their homemade granola (lavender or original), check out the Gault Elementary School farm stand, the Homeless Garden Project Holiday Store, or contact us directly.

This year FoodWhat added the Community Educator positions to the Fall Management Jobs.  Keyah, Vicky, and Jose went to different sites to educate people about nutrition and food justice through a variety of workshops and projects. Vicky hosted a game of Fast Food Jeopardy for girls at the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center while Keyah and Jose led Food Justice workshops at the FoodWhat Harvest Festival earlier in the month. The crew also partnered with the FoodShed Project of the Santa Cruz Farmer's Market to lead monthly scavenger hunts around the market and educate people about nutrition and food justice.

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