Thursday, July 31, 2014

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

Summer Job Training Program in Full Effect!

Three snapshots:
1. The Crew, Carrots and Beets!
2. Jr. Staff member, Thairie, instructing the harvest.
3. Cesar, Leo, Miguel, Maria, and Esmeralda repping FoodWhat in New Mexico at Rooted in Community (national youth empowerment and food justice summit).
FoodWhat is family.
It is with abounding joy and sleepy eyes that Kirstin (my wife) and I share the news of the birth of our son, Asa Taylor Comerchero. Asa comes from the Old Testament and is translated from the Hebrew as "healer."  This little man is a total gem and it is my absolute pleasure to introduce him to all of you...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cooking with local chefs!

Every Tuesday and Thursday, we partner with a local professional chef for the summer program.  Using the produce we harvest at the farm, the youth make lunch with the different chefs.  With each guest chef, the crew learn more recipes and improve on their cooking skills as well.

Here are a couple of guests chefs we've had during the summer program:

Adriana Sierra is a personal chef and caterer for her business Organic in Home Cooking; she specializes in cooking for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.  Adriana truly believes that in order to be healthy, you need to be conscious of everything you put into your body, starting with food.  Adriana showed us how to make pasta salad! 

Eduardo Macotto has always been passionate about the culinary arts.  He is currently the executive chef for the Hilton in Scotts Valley.  Eduardo also likes to create tasty meals using fresh, local ingredients.  During his visit, Eduardo taught us how to make asian inspired lettuce wraps!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The FoodWhat Crew Run A Farm Stand!

We're so excited to say this is the first year FoodWhat has opened up a farm stand outside of the Dominican Hospital! 

We partner with the UCSC Farm and Garden to help distribute local, organic produce in the community.  

Running the farm stand also gives the FoodWhat crew the opportunity to learn distribution and customer service skills.

"I liked being able to interact with different
people... and practicing my math was fun 
too." -Ziah
One of the great things about running a farm stand outside of Dominican Hospital is that it provides hospital workers with a healthier alternative to hospital food.  Also, the location of the farm stand is perfect for emphasizing health, since a good diet is fundamental for good health (which is what hospitals are all about!).  Having an organic farm stand located outside the hospital will help 
encourage doctors to educate patients about the importance of a healthy diet.

"I liked being able to give people healthy food!" -Evann

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

FoodWhat and the Homeless Garden Project

Each summer we spend one day a week working at the Homeless Garden Project. Similar to FoodWhat, the Homeless Garden Project (HGP) provides job training and employment support through growing produce and flowers. While FoodWhat works with teens, HGP works with homeless and transitioning people in our community. Working together is great partnership and collaboration between our two programs.

Here at FoodWhat, one of the many things we've been up to this summer is harvesting lavender! We collect and bundle lavender for the Homeless Garden Project to dry and sell in their various lavender products.

Once we harvest the lavender, the Homeless Garden Project then dries the lavender in these drying racks pictured below: 

The dried lavender is then used to make products such as salves, dry reeds, baking mixes, essential oils, and many other things!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The FoodWhat Crew Go Biking!

Over the summer, one of the many projects the youth participate in is the bike deliveries.

Before the bike deliveries, the youth learned/practiced safe biking. 

We deliver flowers that are grown at the FoodWhat farm to businesses such as: the Delmarette, Lulu's, Lulu's at the Octogon, and the Penny Ice Creamery.  Folks can see our flowers at these businesses for the rest of the growing season.  We also deliver lavender to a senior center for the Homeless Garden Project.

Stay tuned to see what else the FoodWhat Crew have been up to this summer!