Friday, May 30, 2014

Strawberry Blast!

2014 Strawberry Blast Organizers: Cy'rae, Sammie, and Roanna
Last week we had our 7th annual Strawberry Blast event! We had about 175 middle and high school students from across the county come to the farm for a morning of food, farm, health, and empowerment activities. Everyone had an amazing and fun-filled time going to all of the different stations, making and creating things, and eating really good food. Here's a look at what went down:

At the front, people made name tags and received a map of all the different stations that were at the Blast. Then they followed signs to the strawberry field. Everyone was able to pick a few berries and while they ate them, they could read the signs that were placed in the field about strawberry justice. (Thank you Liz, Army, Cleo and CASFS for sharing your berries with us)!

Then everyone headed towards the FoodWhat area where the rest of the action was!

Grow Your Own Food station- the youth could come and fill up a 4” pot with soil and transplant lettuce or chard into the pot to take home. They then put a directions sticker on their pots so they knew how to take care of it when they got home.

Smoothies: An all-time favorite! Participants blended smoothies made from local organic strawberries, bananas, milk or rice milk, and yogurt using a bike blender (or an electric blender). No extra sugar added and, as always, the smoothies were so good! Thank you to People Power, Straus Family Creamery, Live Earth Farm and Dirty Girl Produce for helping make this station possible!

Goats and a Sheep: At this station, there was a real baby goat and a lamb! They were a little nervous because there were a lot of people, but Gail Harlmoff of West Side Feed and Farm gave them a bucket of food, and they calmed down quite a bit. They were so cute!

Rainbow Veggie Quesadillas: What if school lunch was this delicious and healthy? Fran and pulled up with Truck Stop and whipped out some rainbow veggie quesadillas topped with strawberry salsa. As Jaime passed them out he told folks about the health benefits of eating vegetables of all different colors. Those quesadillas we so good I probably went back 5 times throughout the Blast. It was one of the best tasting things there!

Strawberry Tarts: At another station, we got to make our own strawberry tarts. We went in front of a cutting board, chopped up one or two strawberries, grabbed a crust and filled it with yogurt, and then we placed our strawberries on top of the yogurt. They were a bit messy, but they were sweet and really good.

Pop- Up Fruit Stand: At another station, MAH was hosting the Pop Up Fruit Stand. We chose a fruit or a vegetable and shared a story that associated with that fruit or vegetable that we had. Then we wrote that story down so that everyone that came to that station could read our story and then share their own story. The after we told our story, we got to make our own buttons to show off to everyone!

Race to the Plate: A group of three to for of us received around 10-15 cards with food products on them, and then we gathered at the starting line and raced each other to 5-6 plates on the ground a few feet away from the starting line. We had to match the food the the right group that it belonged to, like if it was a starchy food or something else. The first person to get rid of all their cards and sprint back to the finish line won.

What You Drink What You Think: Under the canopy, we learned about how much sugar we are actually drinking at this workshop. We learned things like how much sugar was actually in an energy drink can and how bad it actually is for us. At the station behind the canopy, we played Fast Food Jeopardy, where we had to answer questions about food, fast food, and the fast food industry. We split into two teams and the team that had the most points at the end won the game!

And we had even more stations than that! The Strawberry Blast was a huge success. There was great food, lots of information to receive, and there was plenty of opportunities to have fun. I had an amazing time and can't wait for next year's blast!

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

48 Youth Successfully Complete 2014 Spring Internship!
(Farm Olympics as part of final day)
We closed the last day of each group in a circle where each youth and staff offered personal "triumphs" from over the course of their Spring Internship:

Pedro: “I think my triumph is going through the trials and tribulations of coming here and working hard and breaking a sweat; but it was a good sweat and I enjoyed every single second of it.”

Gianna: “Mine would be to, like, build a family with all of us, cause that’s what I think of us as. And meeting new people; and just being able to learn how to grow things in lots of different ways.”

Oscar: “I learned that farming ain’t that bad. I’m actually down to work at a farm now. And before I didn’t really drink a lot of water--I was just drinking soda and it was messing me up. Now I feel better. And another triumph is the way I eat now. Less McDonald’s and more vegetables.”

Jahlil: “My triumph was retaining all the information that I learned here. And this is the most cooking I’ve ever done in my entire life. It was definitely fun learning all the recipes, and I’m glad I have them. All you people are wonderful. Anybody that tells you otherwise is a downer. Thank you all. Thank you all.”


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring Internship: Week 10!

We can't believe the Spring Program has come to an end!  The past 10 weeks have been such a success, and we couldn't be prouder of all the youth and everyone who participated in the program.

For our last ice breaker, we started things off with the "FoodWhat Olympics," which consisted of a three legged race and a wheelbarrow race!

Next, we headed to the kitchen to prep pizza dough and chopped up veggies to use for toppings.

Afterwards, we headed to the farm to plant some popcorn!

Once we finished our farm work, Doron gave us a workshop on writing resumes.  We discussed how to properly format a resume, what information should be included, and tips on getting a job in the future.
After the workshop, we all headed back to the kitchen to make pizzas and bake them in a wood-fired cob oven.. Delish!

To celebrate all our hard work these past 10 weeks, we got some surprise gifts: a FoodWhat 
t-shirt and a Cookbook/Photo book of all the recipes we made during the spring program with our photos in it!  We also each received 2 credits in school and a $175 stipend for successfully completing the full Spring Internship!  Some of us even got Perfect Attendance Awards

 And of course, we ended our time together with Triumphs and high fives for all of us!