Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Meet the Fall FoodWhat Crew:

This fall we ran several successful business and projects in the community. In the Fall Program, the youth step up their leadership skills, solidify their professionalism, and take on assistant managing one of the FoodWhat projects. Check out some of the work we've done!

Flower Business

Jaime and Sarah ran the flower business this fall. They came to the farm twice a week to harvest flowers and arrange bouquets for local businesses in Santa Cruz. They managed all aspects of the business, became familiar with the proper handling of each type of flower and mastered the challenging art of bouquet making. 

This fall "I accomplished my goals. I learned how to make bouquets and I grew from this job in my attendance of coming every day all the way from Watsonville." -Jaime

"I did accomplish my goals with my leadership. I volunteered for a few speaking rolls and was great at them.  I accomplished learning how to make beautiful bouquets and how to take care of flower beds and I learned a lot more about flowers." -Sarah

Thank you to Cafe Delmarette, Penny Ice Creamery, Patagonia, Lulu Carpenter's, Gabriella Cafe, and the families at Gault Elementary School for buying our flowers each week and supporting FoodWhat.

Farm, Harvest and Farm Stand Management

The fall is the time to harvest the deliciousness of all the summer sweat and hard work in the fields. 
Eddie and Faith managed the harvest and post harvest handling of all of the produce this fall. Each Tuesday they came to the farm to harvest, clean and pack the food for the FoodWhat Farm Stand at Gault Elementary School. Over the course of the fall they harvested over 1400 lbs of produce that was then sold at discounted prices to the Gault community. 

I accomplished a lot this fall but one thing that really stands out is me taking responsibility for my own actions and being a better person overall. -Eddie

Faith was also the assistant farm manager this fall, weeding, planting, cover cropping, and preparing the farm for the winter.

Eddie managed the farm stand, learning all the skills it takes to manage that kind of business: display, sales, accounting, customer service, and responsibility.

Carrots, green beans, and small pumpkins proved to be the hottest items on the play yard amongst the students. Many kids bought bunches of carrots or green beans and passed them out amongst their friends to snack on during recess. 

Thank you to the Gault Community and the Santa Cruz Ed Foundation for your partnership and continued support on this project

 Culinary Crew

Estephanie, Anthony, Tyrelle and Noah ran all things culinary this fall. They cooked dinners for the rest of the FoodWhat fall crew, lunches for Life Lab workshop participants, assisted local chefs in preparing the meal for the FoodWhat Benefit Dinner, canned salsa for future use in FoodWhat programs, and ran a bike-powered smoothie station at the CASFS harvest festival.

"I definitely felt like this fall I stepped up my leadership skills 100%.  I improved my cooking skills also for me I felt like I took the role as a learner ‘cause half of the things we cooked I’ve never made myself so it was cool learning new things.  Even though some bad things happened (in my personal life) this fall, I just stayed strong and finished the job that needed to be done." -Tyrelle

"Most definitely I stepped up my leadership skills and gained more knowledge from this program than I ever imagined.  During the fall job I accomplished 3 things. First, stepping up as a crew member and becoming a more active leader.  Next I improved my culinary skills, and finally I finished strong in my work.  I grew physically from all of the food and labor too." -Noah 

Event Planners

Sammie and Luis did all of the planning and preparation for the 2013 FoodWhat Harvest Festival. They envisioned the event, prepared all the stations, did all the outreach, wrote press releases, and then executed it. With their hard work, on Oct 29th, FoodWhat successfully hosted 250 high school and middle school youth on the farm to engage in Food Justice workshops, carve pumpkins, shuck and pop popcorn, ride hay rides, and eat rainbow veggie quesadillas. 

"I worked very hard at event planning. I sent emails to people I didn’t know which helped my leadership skills for the future and my confidence in public speaking was boosted. I grew in the way that there was a lot more responsibility doing this job and I did everything I needed to and everything I was responsible for." -Sammie

Blast Crew
Each Friday Eddie, Luis, Tharie, Cy'rea, and Estephanie went to work in various school and community gardens. They tackled big maintenance and infrastructure projects to help the sites better executed their educational programs.  

"I feel like I did accomplish my goals.  I did a lot better than I thought I could. I feel like I made new friends.  I’m more confident in speaking to people and I feel like I’m making a difference not just in my life but other people’s as well.  I got more confidence in myself.  I’m not so worried about being judged as I was before because I realize people want to hear what I have to say." -Cy'rae

Bioneers through Luis' eyes!

Cy'rae, Sammie, Eddie, FoodWhat Associate Director Alex Carelli, Luis,
FoodWhat Farm & Program Manager Abby Bell, and FoodWhat Alumni Max Tejada
Hey what’s up Food What!? Luis Rodriguez here hoping that you’re all doing great. I want to help spread the word about Bioneers. So to start us off, we all left from Santa Cruz with Abby, Alex, Cy’rae, Eddie, Sammie, and myself to a workshop in Sebastopol called the Just Us For Food Justice. This day brought together youth food justice groups from the Bay Area to talk about the work they are doing and learn about new skills, then work together on a Participatory Action Research Project, food justice based art, and cook with the Ceres Project.

Next was the three-day Bioneers Conference in San Rafael. It had so many inspiring talks from past Brower Youth Award winners, environmental, and social justice leaders who spoke about social justice and environmental problems as well as solutions. All of them did something that would benefit the environment. It also included some amazing performances from poets and musicians. There were workshops in the afternoon on a variety of issues to show people new ideas and help them connect with the earth. Two workshops that I chose were Leading Edges of Design for a Sustainable world and Poetry Slam. I learned about designs that can support a six-story building with its electricity from the one and only sun. That’s pretty awesome right? Well it get’s better, it also has a compostable toilet on the sixth floor of the building! Phew, now let’s get on with poetry slam. Boy oh boy, that was something that really got my attention. I didn’t realize how much more powerful we youth are. We already know a lot of negatives in our environment, so how about focusing on the positives? A majority of the youth spoke strong words to do more than what we’re told, to step up and do rather than speak about our environment.

In the end I had an amazing experience and continue to help spread the word about food justice. One of my new goals is to see the world change little by little so my family and friends can have a better future and life.

                                                                                                ~Luis Rodriguez

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Food, What?!" November Photo of the Month

This photo was taken at our Alumni Reunion FoodWhat Thanksgiving event on 11/26.

Sending our Gratitude...

At this time of year we are spending our days counting our blessings with our friends and family members and taking the time to remember what we are truly grateful for. In the spirit of this season, we want to remind you of how grateful we are for your dedication and support. Our community and partners made 2013 a year of incredible success and growth and we want to take a moment to thank you all for the energy, passion, and love you bring to this work.

T H A N K   Y O U   F O R    A L L    T H A T   Y O U    D O ! 

Come celebrate the success of our year at the "Flow for Food Justice" event on December 12th!

There will be a by-donation yoga class at 6:30 PM followed by an amazing after-party from 8:30 - 11:00 PM.

We have DJ's, a live band, massages, food and beverages and more all for a $10 donation at the door.

[NOTE: You do not have to attend the yoga class to come to the after-party! It is open to the public]

This is not one to be missed...we hope to see you there!

Please RSVP on Facebook