Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Internship 2014: Week Three

We can't believe it's already week three of our spring program! We got a lot done this week.  First, we started with an icebreaker where everyone was divided into groups of three and given a large piece of paper, representing a raft.  Doron would give out different challenges to the teams, such as "only two feet and one hand can be on the raft." The teams used team work and problem solving skills to achieve the various commands. 

After the ice breaker, we headed to the kitchen to prep the vegetable soup and corn bread muffins.  

While the soup was cooking, we all worked on the farm for a bit.  This week, we learned about the importance of composting: how compost is made and why we do it.  Compost gives the soil nutrients and is better for the environment than throwing away food scraps.  The first thing we did was skim the cover crop off the bed, so that we could use the cover crop to make compost piles.  The youth were divided into two groups, and each group was assigned a leader to give out tasks for making the compost piles.  Using cover crop, straw, and food scraps, we were able to make compost piles by layering them on top of each other, and adding water.

After we finished making our compost piles, Doron led a workshop called "What You Drink, What You Think: Youth $ Power." During this workshop, we filled out a survey that asked us for our opinions on food, and the affect it has on us.  After we discussed our thoughts on the affect food has on our bodies, physically and mentally, we talked about the cons of processed sugar.  We also looked at the ingredients and grams of sugar in some popular sugary drinks, like Arizona tea, Coke, and Rockstar.  We guessed how many grams of sugar were really in these drinks; after pouring the amount of sugar in these drinks into an empty cup, seeing how much sugar was really in these drinks was a shock.  Afterwards, we got to sample some healthier juices, such as sparkling apple cider and coconut juice.

We ended the day with eating the vegetable soup and corn bread muffins we prepared earlier, and saying our triumphs for the day. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Internship 2014: Week Two

This week, we started off with an icebreaker called "Elbow to Elbow." We teamed up with a partner and touched elbows (or heels, fists, shoulders, etc.), and Doron asked us a question (for example, "If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?"). We told our partner our answer to his question. Then, we switched partners and did it all over again.

After our icebreaker, we grabbed the plants that we harvested last week and started making our salve! We broke the plants into small pieces, put them in a jar, poured some olive oil into the jar and mixed it all up. We put the jar into a pot of water (double boiler) and heated, so the plants could release their healing properties into the oil. We then strained the oil, added bees wax and poured it into tiny containers so that we could all have our own personal salve.

After we made our salve, we got our hands dirty by flipping beds. This was a multi-step process. We first skimmed out the cover crops from the beds and added them to cooking compost piles. Then, we forked the beds to break up the soil underneath the surface and added compost so that our vegetables have lots of good nutrients to help them grow. After that, we raked out the bed and planted seeds. Some of us planted carrots, and others planted radishes, peas and spinach (yum!). It was a long process, but it was fun, and hopefully we will have fresh veggies soon!

Then, we played Fast Food Jeopardy, where Doron asked us different questions relating to health, nutrition, farming, sanitation, and money. He split us up into two teams and started asking us questions related to these themes. Each question he asked had different amount of points associated with the question, and each team had a chance to answer at least one question before the next team was able to go. Not only were the answers to these questions really interesting, but we learned a lot and had a lot of fun playing.

After our game, we made veggie quesadillas! We took vegetables from the garden- like onions, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, and other veggies- and diced them into little pieces and cooked them up. We then got to make our own quesadillas, piled with the veggies inside. A lot of us had never  had a veggie quesadilla before. They were so yummy!

We ended the day with triumphs, where we each said one thing that we felt triumphant for during the day. This was an amazing FoodWhat second week, and we can't wait to see what happens next!

Friday, March 14, 2014

FoodSpeaks Radio Show on Farm Labor Justice!

It was a pleasure to share the mic with recent FoodWhat alum, Victoria Bernal, to talk about farm worker justice.  Vicky is a Pajaro Valley High School graduate, a current UCSC Student concentrating in Farm Labor Justice, and grew up in the berry fields of Watsonville bringing her first hand experience to this important conversation.  You can listen to this episode of FoodSpeaks by clicking the "play" icon below!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Food, What?!" March Photo-of-the-Month


Short Haiku (loosely)
FoodWhat Spring Internship
Buds of curiosity bursting open
Bustin' out compost heaps
Two words
Strawberry Smoothies
Food What! 
Click here to read the Blog Post on Week 1 of the Spring Internship!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Internship 2014: Week One

It's that time of year again: Spring! We're really excited that the Spring Internship program has started, and we've got 50 new youth joining us from all over Santa Cruz County!

We started off the first day with introductions and an icebreaker (which consisted of tossing a piece of citrus at one another and trying to remember each other's names). Afterwards, Doron and Abby gave a tour of the farm. During the tour, we learned about some of the crops we grow on the farm, and collected various medicinal plants, such as plantain and lavender, for next week (the youth will use the plants they collected in order to learn how to make a salve).

After the tour, we all sat down together, and participated in an activity where we were invited to discuss what we value most in life through putting our "most important word" on the board. We also brainstormed a big list of how we want to work together as a team.  Then we dove into our contracts looking at the expectations of us in this job, and then what FoodWhat offers in return. After everybody was on board, and the contracts were signed, it was time to grab some shovels and forks for some garden work! This week, we busted out flipping some compost piles.  Doron and Abby were very impressed with how quickly we got the work done!

We ended the day FoodWhat style, with making pumpkin muffins and strawberry smoothies, and reflecting on our triumphs for the day.

A successful FoodWhat first week!