This month, we finally got back to McGrath Family Farms with Vanya Hollis' health class from Manual Arts High School. Vanya was the first teacher to host RootDown LA when we began our trial programming three years ago. We showed up with cutting boards, veggies, chefs knives and our goofy Food Systems Mural - depicting the change in our food system the past 100 years. Students learn in just one hour - we've gone from eating mostly nutrient-rich whole foods to eating processed foods containing too much sugar and chemicals that can make our bodies sick. Why don't we eat our veggies? Because they are NASTY if you don't know how to make them taste better. So we cook, chop, dice and season foods the kids can't BELIEVE are healthy. And we leave them asking for more.
The farm trips offer youth a chance to get out of the city and see where the healthiest food comes from - the earth! Students giggle when they pull carrots from the ground and taste berries right off the bush. They can't believe how GOOD, even lima beans taste when they are farm fresh and cooked well.
But food from the earth also can be grown in the city!
This summer, our Youth Leaders will gain entrepreneurial skills when we help WECAN further develop their Urban Food Forest - setting up a new supply of fresh foods grown right in South LA backyards, to RootDown's after school program and to our neighbors.