Monday, May 4, 2015

2015 DIG DAY!

On Sunday, April 26th, Food, What?! hosted our third annual Alumni reunion, "Dig Day"! Alumni from each of the last 8 years of FoodWhat, came back to the farm and reconnected for a blowout day of farm activity, playing and sharing a meal together.
The first part of the day was filled with excitement, as Alumni began showing up to the farm.

After some initial mingling and snacks, we dove into a couple farm projects. Some folks began digging, raking and composting beds, while another crew got started tearing down the fence where our new FoodWhat outdoor gathering space will be built! 

While much of the crew got their hands dirty in the soil, a few Alumni got busy in the kitchen preparing lunch.

As we finished up on the farm, everyone headed out to the field to circle up and play some games. Doron officially welcomed everyone back, and then it was time for...

Alumni got with their year for a little photo opp --


Then it was Blob Tag time!

After a super fun game of tag, we all made moves back towards the circle bench to participate in an Alumni survey. The surveys offer us at FoodWhat an incredibly valuable opportunity to learn more about what Alumni are up to and gather feedback to create better programs for future FoodWhat youth.

Then it was time for lunch. Tacos! A FoodWhat favorite. Accompanied by fresh squeezed lemonade.



So great to come together again with our FoodWhat family!! Can't wait til next time. Much love!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Week 7 ! Woooaaahhhhhh!

Hey! Can you believe its already week 7 of the FoodWhat Spring Program? 

This week we focused on public speaking, did more work preparing and planting beds, interviewed for the summer job, and made pesto pasta. 

We started the day warming up our voices and confidence speaking in front of others with a game called "Common Ground". One person starts in the middle of the circle and reads or makes up a statement that he/she thinks others will have in common. For example, "I share common ground with all those who have a little brother." Whoever has a little brother then has to move to a new spot on the edge of the circle. The last person to get to a spot is in the middle reading a new statement. 

Logan reads a statement for "Common Ground"

"I share common ground with those
who like strawberries"

It was cool trying to see who we have something in common with and learning about new things about each other.

Then we head out to the field to finish skimming off the last beds of cover crop. We also prepared more beds for planting by forking and composting them. We planted out chard, kale, broccoli, cucumbers, summer squash, and kohlrabi!  

Jesus skims out the vegetation to clear the bed for planting

More skimming the beds clean

DeMaria spaces out the kale and
chard so others can plant them 
Jesus planting chard

Public Speaking
Next, we did a workshop to practice public speaking and learn some tips for staying calm when speaking in front of a crowd. 

Thumbs up or down to rate your confidence public speaking 

Public speaking can be scary for most of us but as we practiced, it became a little easier. We started by just saying our names a few times. 
Then we brainstormed the difference between a good public speaker and the signs of a bad one: stand up straight, make eye contact, talk slowly and clearly, don't fidget... We learned a few techniques to help calm our nerves when we feel scared. Then we practiced by telling the group how to make our favorite sandwiches. 

All the talk of sandwiches made us hungry. Gratefully it was time to cook. Pasta with veggies and Pesto: 

 We chopped all the vegetables and started sautéing them while the pasta boiled. At the end we added the pesto and a little bit of marinara sauce. The pesto and tomato sauce were made and preserved by the 2014 crew with FoodWhat veggies from last season. Wondering how it is going to taste hmmmm.........
Lee chefs it up

Mmmmm..... it came out so good! 
We ended the day with a tasty meal and shared our personal triumphs from the day.

See you next time !
Woah its hot!

Week 6, Whaat?!

Welcome back to a new week of the FoodWhat?! Spring Internship. It is Week 6 and as usual, we started today with our weekly game and activities. Our game this week was "Look Down, Look Up", then we made some delicious Stone Soup and Corn Bread, worked on the farm skimming, digging, composting and planting out beds, and ended the day with a workshop on how we can get and keep a job.  Read on for details. 

Posing for the camera!
Now time to make Stone Soup (Veggie Soup) and Cornbread! We split into a corn bread group and a soup making group. The corn bread group measured and mixed ingredients. The soup group chopped up onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, chard, and fresh herbs for the soup. We let that cook for about an hour with some water and vegetable broth. At the end we added some beans and noodles to make it hearty. It was nice making good food for all us to eat.   

After cooking we headed out to the farm to prepare more beds for planting. We skimmed down cover crop and added it to compost piles. Then we dug beds, added compost and planted out onions! It was a lot work, especially on hot day, but all the food that we will grow makes all this work worth it! 

 Skimming down the cover crops
Angie laying our onions for planting

"Many hands make light work"
We all worked together to get it done, and got it done quickly. We planted out almost 700 onions for this season! 

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!