Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 5!

FoodWhat?! Spring Program Week 5

We had  a lot fun this week with Finger Grab, Prick Outs in Green House, Trace Your Taco, making our very own tacos and ending the day with our triumphs!

We started this week with a game called "Finger Grab". On a signal, The challenge was trying not get your finger caught by the person on your right while trying to catch the finger of the person your left. We was really hard to focus on both, and a good way to test our multi tasking skills.

This week we continued to help "prick out" plants for the annual UCSC Farm Plant Sale. This required us to take out plants from small cells and replant them into bigger cells. We enjoyed the time working while also getting to know some of the people who work on the farm, the plants, and figuring out the fastest way to carefully transplant all the plants we had. We pricked out chard, onions, flowers, parsley, and many more.
So many plants! We learn how to plant them properly to not hurt the baby plant, so they can grow up big and strong!


After a long day of planting we get sit down and learn about where are own food comes from, especially for a fast food restaurant like Taco Bell. We learn about conventional food systems and where most of the ingredients a Taco Bell taco. The tortillas, meat, and tomatoes travel roughly 5,800 miles to get to our local Taco Bell. We learn about how cows are kept close confined areas called CAFOs and how they are given antibiotics, even when they are not sick. We learn about the tomato pickers in Immokalee, Florida and the many hours of rigorous and heavy work they have to do in order to make a living wage. 

Then we learned about local and organic food systems by talking about the tacos here at FoodWhat. At FoodWhat we use organic masa from a company in California. We use beans and veggies and salsa that we are growing here at FoodWhat. We use meat that comes from a farm 120 miles away where the cows roam and feed on grass rather than being confined in a CAFO. The workshop made us think a little more about where our food is coming from, all the hidden work behind the ingredients and what it takes to make a taco. 

After learning all of that it was time make our own tacos! Working together we make the tasty tacos. We cook, chop vegetables, and make are own tortillas ! Mmmmmmm......... So good!

 We chop all the vegetables and grated the cheese
to make are very own tastier tacos full of delicious ingredients.

 After working hard and all the cooking, we finally got eat some great tacos. The end of the product came out tasting good. Many of us went back for seconds.

As we do at then end of each day at FoodWhat, we share our triumphs -the things that we are most proud of ourselves for from the whole day of hard work.                       

Wait until next week for another update from FoodWhat?! and for the next fun activities and events for all of us!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Internship Week 4

Spring Internship program is humming along. 
This week was all about chickens, the greenhouse, processed sugar, and youth dollar power

What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Today is was an egg.
For our game this week we timed how quickly we couldpass an egg around the circle on spoons... risky business! Our best time was 24 seconds with 10 people!

Then we were off the the greenhouse to "prick out" or transplant basil into 6-packs for the Plant Sale. Come out and support the farm at the UCSC Farm Plant Sale May 2nd and 3rd from 10am -2pm at the corner of Bay St and High St. 

What you think, What you Drink!
We all brainstormed the effects that processed sugar can have on your body: Energy peak and crash, acne, diabetes, obesity, rotting teeth.
Then we measured the amount of processed sugar in popular beverages:
Daniel read us the ingredients on the

This coke is almost half sugar!

It was shocking to see how much sugar is in a lot of the drinks we like. The final message however, was not only about sugar, but about how we all vote with our dollars. As teens we have a lot of power with what we choose to buy and support. If we the buy the coke or the Rock Star, we are choosing to support those companies and the effects of processed sugar in our bodies. Its our choice and up to us how we want to feel and what we want to support. 

Chickens and Omelets

We spent some time with the Life Lab chickens, held one, saw where they sleep and lay eggs. Then used the eggs to make some bomb veggie and cheese omelets. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Raise the Roof: HUGE Community Success!

Fantastic news to share:

More than 140 funders and local businesses have donated over $14,600 to 

Now, onwards! We are incredibly excited to begin building our first significant outdoor structure for our youth crews. This will be a space for youth to come together at the FoodWhat Farm for workshops, for straight talk, for deeply personal conversations, for leadership development, to dig into food justice, to share a meal together. This space will serve countless youth for many years to come. YOU are part of this success story! 

This was an incredible community effort where together we not only crossed the finish line in a short four weeks but exceeded the goal.

Keep checking the blog as the next big steps unfold: clearing the area, grading, constructing, beautifying, and (before we know it), engaging in this space with youth!

Special thanks to New Leaf Community Markets, Charlie Hong Kong, Companion Bakeshop, Assembly, The Penny, and Orchard Keepers for joining in on this campaign and investing in our local youth!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Raising [PIZZA] Dough for Raise the Roof!

On Tuesday over 50 people came to Companion Bakeshop's Pizza Night supporting Raise the Roof for FoodWhat youth! We ate almost 80 delicious pizzas like Kale Pesto with Sliced Potato & Ricotta and Zataar Roasted Carrots, Romesco Sauce & Yogurt made with produce from the farm. Companion donated 50% of the night’s proceeds to help build FoodWhat’s first outdoor gathering space/classroom for youth, and Odonata Wines jumped in to support with 10% of their proceeds from the night too!

With 120+ of you giving online and support from local businesses like Companion Bakeshop, Charlie Hong Kong, New Leaf Community Markets, the Penny, Assembly, Orchard Keepers, and Odonata’s we’re an incredible 94% of the way to build the first outdoor gathering space/classroom for FoodWhat youth!

Every gift, big or small, is extremely valuable and moves us towards the goal of having a gathering space thousands of youth will use for years to come.

...Less than 1 week to go! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!!

Monday, March 23, 2015


The FoodWhat family has been working for over a month to raise $12,500 to build our first outdoor gathering space/classroom for youth! This will be a space for youth to gather when they come to the Farm, have workshops, share meals together, dig into food justice, learn and grown. This week we were up to 50% of our goal, and kept pounding the pavement to keep momentum going. 

youth in the Spring Internship program... it's clear they need a roof!

THEN New Leaf Community Markets stepped it up with an extraordinarily generous $2300 donation to take us to the 75% mark!!! New Leaf has supported FoodWhat efforts like the Strawberry BLAST youth health education event for years, and we’re so grateful they helped us reach this huge milestone in the campaign.


Raise the Roof for FoodWhat Youth!

FoodWhat youth need a space to gather when they first get to the farm, for workshops, for straight talk, for deeply personal conversations, for leadership development, to dig into food justice, to share a meal together. We've got 14 days left to RAISE THE ROOF by raising funds to build an outdoor gathering space for youth on the FoodWhat Farm!

Thanks to super generous support from our FoodWhat Fam, we're well over the halfway mark. We've raised more than $7,000 so far and only $5500 to go! Help us get the rest of the way there with a donation or by spreading the word about our campaign.

Thanks to Companion Bakeshop (2341 Mission St, Santa Cruz), there's another fun way for you help us RAISE the ROOF! 50% of all proceeds from Pizza Night on Tuesday, 3/24 will go to support a space FoodWhat youth can call their own. Come on out!!

If you've already given, we are so very grateful! You make FoodWhat possible!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Program Week 3

This week we asked ourselves, 

What do we need to be healthy? What does the soil need to be healthy?

As always, we start the day with an opening ice breaker. This weeks game: "All Aboard" - How do we keep all of our teammates on the life raft with only a limited number of hands and feet touching the ground. We got creative


Healthy soil = Healthy ____________? 
If you said "plants or crops" you are right. As organic farmers, we need to nurture and build our soil in order to have healthy plants and good food to eat. Our bodies need nutrients to be healthy, so do our plants. We feed our bodies nutrient filled foods and we feed our plants with COMPOST. 
Today we learned how to make compost piles: 

We skimmed the fields for greens

And some food scraps
Then we added the browns -straw and goat manure

 We gave the pile a little bit of water. Then we repeated the processes -making layers like compost lasagna.


When our compost pile was finished, we headed in to do a workshop called EAT A RAINBOW ...we're not talking about tasting the rainbow like skittles, but actually learning that the different colors of fruits and vegetable nourish different parts of our bodies. Red fruits and vegetables nourish our hearts and brains. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables help our eyes and help strengthen our immune systems. Green fruits and vegetables tend to have a lot of fiber and calcium, helping our digestion, bones, teeth, nails, hair, and vision. Blue and purple fruits and veggies have lots of antioxydents to help our bodies fight off disease, illness, and aging. White and brown fruits and vegetables help strengthen our immune systems and decrease cholesterol. 
Antonio and Gabby show off the cards they made
to help them remember the different colors
corresponding to the body parts. 

RAINBOW VEGGIE FRIED RICE: After working on the compost and all this talk about food, it was time to cook up and eat a rainbow!

Jesus ate beets and broccoli for the first time in his life!
"Not so bad," he said

Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 Week 2 of FoodWhat Spring Internship?!

On Wednesdays we partner with Live Earth Farm to run our spring internship program in Wastonville for youth from Pajaro Valley High and Watsonville Community School. This Wednesday was a filled with an Opening Icebreaker called "Toe to Toe", making salve, prepping strawberry beds, playing Fast Food Jeopardy, cooking quesadillas with vegetables Mmmm......., and like everyday, ending the day with a personal daily Triumph!

Learn something new about each other with Toe - to -Toe
Next we headed out to the Strawberry field to prep beds with hay to prevent mud tracks and weeds in the berry rows. We worked together to get it done on time. Our work was rewarded with some delicious strawberries to eat!

Many hands make light work!

Salve Making 
This week we made a healing salve from the herbs that we collected last week (plantain, calendula, yarrow, lavender, and mallow --all herbs that are good for healing skin ailments). Heat the herbs in olive oil, add bees wax, pour into containers, and voila!


Fast Food Jeopardy
After a long day of work we got to play Fast Food Jeopardy to learn more about the fast food industry, farms, the health costs of eating just one fast food meal. 
"Sanitation for 200 please"

Cooking Time
We made Veggie Quesadillas which was the first time many of us had vegetables in our quesadillas. We worked together to chop and cook all the vegetables and then we each got to make our own quesadilla. It tasted better than most of us expected! Delicious!

"Really? Greens in my quesadilla?"

We all had a great time today. We enjoyed each other's company and worked together to make the best day happen. We learned some new things and we are excited to the next 10 weeks of the internship. 
Stay tuned for more next week!