Published October 25, 2013
Suspect carrots. Not so nasty after all.
I started RootDown LA because I seemed to have a knack at getting even the most stubborn eaters to eat their veggies. I never expected, the kids would start coming back at me one day, forcing me to the eat veggies that make MY nose crinkle. Last month, Chopin put some bitter veggie on a plate and laughed his head off when I tasted, then promptly spit it out. Everyone else liked it and they weren’t tolerating my resistance, “EAT IT!” they shouted at me. I couldn’t bring myself to do it (so thank GOD I instituted the rule early on – if you REALLY don’t like it, you can spit it out).
Then last week, I was handed a plate from a cooking class at Nuevo South. Sitting at the edge of the plate were cooked carrots (NOT a favorite, thanks to bad Thanksgiving carrots I ate growing up in Ohio). My nose crinkled again. I figured I could choke down the carrots less I offend some of the new students that day. Wow. Was I surprised. The carrots were simply blanched and perfectly seasoned. I wolfed them down and found myself wanting more but alas, all the students had eaten them up before I could have seconds.
That’s what happens here at RootDown LA – we’re changing minds about nasty veggies – one beet, carrot, onion and nasty (still unknown to me?) bitter cucumber-looking veggie at a time.
Published September 13, 2013
Our volunteers rock. Simply said. Mud, Camille, and Madeline HUGE HEARTS and veggie love to you! (Not to mention our youth staff who volunteer LOTS of time outside of paid hours – Johnny & Chopin!) You make days like this possible.
Published September 13, 2013
RootDown’s afterschool program resumed at Jefferson High this week. We’ve already converted at least a dozen former tomato, onion and broccoli haters. RotoDown LA – You’re Gonna Wanna Eat Your Veggies!
Published August 31, 2013
Queeny Gutierrez has become the resident photographer at the WECAN Urban Food Forest. She’s got quite an eye for veggies and the kids that are learning to love them.
The BEST thing about building youth-driven local food systems? The neighbors who greet us with cheers and and loud requests for fruit and veggies.
Published July 20, 2013
So I show up at one of our sites today and Gerry and Johnny are hanging out, tending the compost pile. They report that they just brought 10 new neighbors into the neighborhood compost program. Then I notice a little line of jars filled with water and tomatoes on the porch railing. ‘We’re separating the seeds.” Johnny explained. “Oh, and guess what, Jorge said we could try to make wine from the grapes at Nuevo South.”
I wondered, “How do you know how to do that?”
Gerry said, “We Googled it – YouTube.” Of course.
How many young adults spend their days Googling seed separation and viniculture?
RootDown LA – we get young people to eat their veggies then inspire them to build youth-driven Local Food Sites. Please consider supporting more jobs for our youth. You can donate to RootDown LA, via our parent org, Community Partners:
Published July 19, 2013
:) South LA tomatoes, grown entirely by the youth in our programs. Priceless.