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! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

2015 FoodWhat Spring Program has Begun!!!

This week was the first week of the 2015 FoodWhat Spring Program! We are excited to have 55 new youth from across the county, digging into job training, growing vegetables sustainably, cooking teamwork, and life skills. 

Meet the friday crew (13 youth coming from Pondorosa, Natural Bridges, and Delta Charter): we started the day with a name game so we could learn each other's names (pictured below)

Tossing oranges to learn names

Afterwards, we took a tour around the sunny farm and collected different medicinal plants that we will use to make a salve next week. We were shown different parts of the farm, and smelled and tasted different herbs.

We took a break from the hot sun and wrote down and discussed the things that are important to us in our current lives. We wrote some community goals for how we want to work together in this internship. Then we signed our contract for FoodWhat. Everyone signed up for this amazing few weeks to come!

Then it was time to move our bodies and get to work! We got our hearts pumping and worked together to flip and combine compost piles. We flipped two big piles in no time and worked up quite an appetite.
Cooking Time! Pumpkin muffins made from butternuts that the FoodWhat crew grew last season, and fruit smoothies with strawberries and persimmons from the farm. Many thanks to Straus Family Creamery for donating yogurt for our smoothies! Super refreshing on this hot spring day! 

Overall, it was a super fun day. We got to learn some new things, get to know each other a bit, and  better! This will be an exciting new year for FoodWhat!