So we gathered today to celebrate the graduates of our most recent 13-week horticultural & entrepreneurial training. It was fantastic and fun – the food, the photo booth, the students’ presentations on their work. What was MOST amazing about the day though? Simply, the PEOPLE. RootDown, in the past 7 years has built a community, a family of sorts – folks who have increased their commitment to building healthier food communities in South Los Angeles. Today we had past students, current students, present and former employees, parents, peers, and next generation babies whose parents now value growing, cooking, and eating fresh food. Thanks to everyone who made this latest training, and this graduation day possible and memorable.
Here’s a big shout out to our project managers, Corinna G and the amazing Camille from “The Nature of Things”. They always keep the crew on task, They’re there to answer questions, lend a hand, encourage and grow the Cultivars to massive action. Not to mention product hook up and installation management.
We have many more gardens to install in the next twelve months, in accordance with our USDA grant. Would you like to help? Jump in! We can hook you up. And as always, any financial assistance is always appreciated.
The kids have been highly motivated and full of action. We have another class of Cultivars in session as I write this. Our goal is to create roots in the neighborhood and a sense of community that creates demand for fair, fresh and abundant food. It’s working.
Yes! This is exACTly what we are aiming for – to inspire and help others replicate our Youth-Driven Neighborhood Food Systems. This email just came in from our guests today from the Tzu Chi Community Clinic, Wilmington:
Thank you and your young girls for showing us your wonderful program this afternoon.This is a true great learning experience for us. Hopefully, we will be able to bring the model to the community we work very soon.
Our strong feeling is that this program will be a good replicate in our community and we think we are going to start with our monthly food giving program and encourage them to come and plant with us. If they come regularly and have a successful program, we will them also encourage the extended program like yours so they can go out to the community and grow in the neighborhood garden.
Please share with us about your training program and your grant proposal. I think if possible, we will write a grant and send kids from the community to receive training at your site and have them come back to help establish the program in Wilmington community.
I will invite some of volunteers to come to clinic and we will discuss on Friday and brain storm. as you said, we will pick from your brain and experience.
Check it out. Just this spring, 8 students completed RootDown’s first Horticultural & Entrepreneurial training, preparing them to design, install, and maintain food gardens as part of our Supply-side programming for building our Youth-driven Neighborhood Food Systems.
At graduation, they pitched a business project idea – to design and install 8 more residential gardens at our WECAN site. To date, they have completed three new gardens, are about to install another, and have presented designs for a fourth garden. They are unstoppable, and they are recording all this activity on a Facebook group page they created, called Food in the Hood. They’ve named themselves – the Cultivars.
And WATCH OUT – the second 13-week training kicks off in the coming weeks, over at our HQ site with Nuevo South! The focus of this training will be on distributing (and eventually selling) food from our gardens back throughout the neighborhood.
Get your tickets on Event Brite There will be a few words from our Exec Direct Megan Hanson.
You gotta come to this.
Saturday, July 19, 2014 5-8pm
Come eat a locally grown and harvested, sustainable, plant-based supper, while supporting
Muir Ranch’s summer internships!
Enjoy Plant-Based Cuisine by: Jennie Cook – Jennie Cooks Catering
Featuring recipes from Jennie’s Cookbook “Who Wants Seconds?“
Aperitifs (A choice of 3)
Citrus Elixir with Camille’s Elderflower Potion
Iced Minted Elixir
catalan gazpacho shooters and chubby croutons
potato tacos with muir ranch chard curtido and cilantro crema
sliced tutti frutti tomatoes with muir ranch basil and onions
green salad with grilled summer fruits
quick pickle cucumbers
baguettes and chèvre with fennel flowers and cilantro blossoms
summer slaw with muir ranch chard and…
ratatouille with Mud’s favorite white squash and ranch leeks
delicious bread and zucchini marmalade and roasted elephant squash
stuffed delicata squash with a classic cornbread stuffing
stone fruit crunch and cream
PARKING: Behind John Muir High School at 1905 N Lincoln. Park in rear Student Lot, enter at Canada Ave.
HEELS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR MULCH PATHWAYS
Your tax deductible dinner ticket purchase helps to support our summer internship program at Muir Ranch.
Our goal is to offer fully paid internships to 30 students this Summer.
Each student will earn $600 for 8 weeks of work.
We hope to raise $18,000 to cover the cost of these internships.
Get your tickets now, you don’t want to miss it!
Yesterday, youth from three South LA High Schools completed RootDown LA’s 13-week training course that prepared them to design, install and maintain a network of neighborhood gardens at our WECAN Urban Farm site. Developed by our Programs Manager, Karen Ramirez, and our Advisory Board Member, architect and permaculturist, Corinna Gebert, the training covered topics including: the changed food system, the importance of soil and compost, site analysis, seasonal and companion planting, non-toxic fertilization and pest management, harvesting, distribution, marketing, and value-added garden products.
The youth not only successfully completed the program, they signed on to continue working with RootDown to design and install 8 more gardens in the neighborhood over the summer. Yesterday they presented their project plan for funding. They will be funded to also develop the system through which future trainees will expand and replicate the “supply-side” activities of our Youth-driven Neighborhood Food Systems.
As part of our RootDown LA Youth Leader training (it prepares kids to teach others, lessons about food justice and nutrition, and techniques to make veggies taste better) the students are asked to cook at least two meals at home that include at least three veggies. These are pics from their home veggie cooking adventures.