Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Internship: Week 7

We started off this wonderful week with a fun icebreaker called, "The Lighthouse." The object of the game is to travel through a maze of obstacles without hitting anything in your path. What made it interesting was that we had to do it blindfolded! Our partners guided us through the maze giving us only verbal instructions (they could not touch us or physically guide us). The goal of this activity was both to practice giving clear instructions, and to trust and carefully listen to our partners.

It rained this week so it was too wet to do any farming in the field. Instead, we stayed under protected shelter of the greenhouse and transplanted plants into bigger pots. We packed soil in the pots, took a plant from one of their beds, dug a small hole in the soil, and embedded the plant into the soil.

Follow the Taco
The workshop this week was called "Follow Your Taco". By comparing a Taco Bell taco to one that we make at FoodWhat, we learned about different aspects of a conventional food system and a more local organic one. We learned that the tomatoes, meat, and corn that are used in one taco from Taco Bell had to travel about 5,800 miles! We also learned how our food is shipped, the conditions of these products when they are shipped, and how much money the farmers actually make from selling these products. For example, tomatoes are under-ripe when they're shipped, and then halfway through their travel get sprayed with a chemical that makes them turn red quicker. The corn is chemically altered to grow bigger and faster, and the cows are forced to live together in close proximity, making living conditions unbearable and disgusting for them. Then we calculated how far a FoodWhat taco travels from the farm to our plates, and found it only travels 340 miles, compared to 5,800. I'll take a FoodWhat taco over a Taco Bell taco any day!

Angelique, Jahlil, Frankie, and Gianna pretend to be Cow living in a CAFO (concentrated Animal Feeding Operation)

Vicky (photo on rt), FoodWhat alum, came back to teach this workshop

So what did we cook this week?? 
...TACOS of course! Delicious, fresh, and non-chemically altered tacos. We homemade tortillas from organic masa. We cut up delicious fresh veggies from the farm, grated up some cheese, made our own re-fried beans from beans we grew, added some seasoned rice, and topped everything off with some preserved homemade salsa made from FoodWhat-grown tomatoes and peppersThey were SO GOOD! I wish I could eat them every day. 

As usual, we ended the day with Triumphs. It was another exciting and fun-filled week at FoodWhat. What will next week bring us?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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

Story time--this one's short and sweet...

Two weeks ago, we led a workshop called "How to Get a Job AND Keep a Job."
Following the workshop, these three superstar Spring Interns applied for summer jobs at the Boardwalk. One by one, they have come back to FoodWhat with huge smiles, and a strong sense of accomplishment, as they shared the good news that they each got the job...their first summer job!

(Luz, on the left, shared that in her interview for a Food Service position, they stressed the importance of getting the math questions correct that they gave her on the spot. She was two thumbs up yesterday when she proudly reported she scored 10 out of 10 correct and was offered the job!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Internship: Week 6

We started with an ice breaker called "Common Ground". The objective was to find similarities or common interests with others in the group.  Everyone stood in a circle with one person in the middle.  The person in the middle would say something about his or herself, or pick a suggestion card from the basket.  For example, if the person standing in the middle loves to farm, they could say "I share common ground with those who love farming." Anyone who loves farming would have to switch spots with someone else who also loves farming.  The person whose left in the middle then becomes the next person to share a statement.

 This week, we planted broccoli, green beans, dragon's tongue bean, kale, and chard!  

Once we finished planting the various crops, it was time for a public speaking workshop.  We discussed the difference between good and bad public speaking (what to do and not to do), and everyone took turns practicing their public speaking by telling us how to make their favorite sandwich.

After the workshop, we made potato latkes with apple salsa! YUM

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Internship: Week 5

This week we started the day off by playing an icebreaker called, "Pass the Egg". We each had a spoon and had to pass an egg around the circle, from spoon to spoon, without dropping it... while being timed! (We did have to give a moment of silence to a fallen egg). After some practice, we got the egg around the circle in under 30 seconds!

After our fun icebreaker, we headed down to the farm to do some planting. We were split into four teams: one team planted tomatoes and basil, the second team planted beans and kale, the third planted potatoes, and the fourth team planted Alyssum flowers, which attract beneficial insects to keep the farm healthy and balanced.

Next, we headed to the chicken coup to collect eggs for the omelets we were going to make later on in the kitchen.


After collecting eggs, Doron led us through a workshop called "How To Get A Job and Keep A Job". We started by checking out the job application for the Boardwalk. We dug into a conversation about best practices on how to apply and interview for a job.  We went through real scenarios of past FoodWhat youth and talked about our own attempts in going for jobs.  Then we practiced calling our bosses and leaving messages--Doron gave each one of us a scenario to act out and we had to call him to say we were going to be late, or miss a day, or had a family emergency, and so on.  We wrapped up talking about how to keep our schedule so we never miss a day of work or show up late.  At the end we discussed cursing and tricks to "flip the switch" off from any cursing while on the job.  This workshop laid it all out.

After the workshop, Abby took us to the kitchen and we began preparing our omelets. We diced up veggies, like broccoli, chard, and green garlic, grated up some cheese, cracked open the eggs and scrambled them up in bowls. Once we finished prepping, we cooked up the veggies in a pan. We then poured our eggs in a couple other pans and let them cook into fluffy omelets. We stuffed in some veggies and cheese and voila, Yummy!

Doron then talked to us about applying for the FoodWhat Summer Job. There are 20 positions to be hired out of the 50+ youth currently in the Spring Internship.  We will be paid $9/hour and work for about two months, Tues-Fri from 9am-3pm.  The focus on the Summer Job is PROFESSIONALISM.  We will be farming, cooking, engaging in leadership workshops, tackling food justice projects in the community and growing food for our families.  At each step of the way we will be learning critical job skills and boosting our leadership.  By the end of the summer we will have made $1280 and built a tool kit of job skills to succeed in any job in the future.  He encouraged us to apply if we were interested and to fill out the application by next week to then do an interview.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FoodSpeaks Radio Show on Building Community through Food!

Another fresh and local episode of FoodSpeaks...voices in the Santa Cruz food movement. This week, Doron's guest on the show was Kendra Baker--part of the dynamic duo with Zach Davis--that has brought our community Penny Ice Creamery, The Picnic Basket, and now Assembly and Pop Up.  Doron and Kendra dove into a rich conversation with Kendra sharing her own culinary and entrepreneurial path toward these local endeavors, social justice issues their businesses address, local economic development, and of course, how they build community through food!  Click the green "play" button below to hear this juicy interview!

Kendra Baker of The Penny Ice Creamery and Assembly
Doron Comerchero of "Food,What?!"



Thursday, April 3, 2014


This week we prepped beds, sowed seeds, made veggie fried rice, and learned about the importance of "Eating a Rainbow." 

Forking the bed
Gianna and Bryan sowing carrot seeds

The crew sowing carrot seeds
We got our first seeds into the FoodWhat field just in time for the rain. We forked, composted, raked out the beds, and sowed beets and carrots. 

We're not just talkin' skittles here, different color fruits and veggies actually help different parts of our bodies. We did a workshop to learn about the nutritional benefits of all the different colors...
Orange fruits and vegetables help our vision and help boost our immune system
After we worked up our appetite, we made Rainbow Veggie Fried Rice (recipe here) with Beets, Carrots, Leeks, Broccoli, Celery, Purple Cabbage, Turnips and Ginger, and Brown Rice. Most of us thought this was our favorite FoodWhat recipe so far!
Mmmmm, good!
Gianna and Angelique chowin' down