From RDLA's Executive Director - We've gotten so good at growing veggies the past 2 years, sometimes we forget we are experts at pushing the veggies too. I went into our Jefferson garden yesterday and was astounded - we had TONS of winter greens growing, enough to raise hundreds of dollars IF we were selling at the Hollywood or Santa Monica farmers markets. * Our kids get discouraged sometimes. * They've worked hard to dismantle the myriad barriers that get in the way of getting healthier food to their peers, parents and neighbors - lack of land, dead soil, pests, thefts, summer school shut downs leading to garden lock-outs, prohibitive policies for selling healthy food on school campuses, resistant potential partner organizations...the list goes on. Yesterday they stood and looked at all those winter greens with furrowed brows. How will we ever sell these for a profit? I reminded them what we are here to do - first and foremost - to GET PEOPLE TO WANNA EAT THEIR VEGGIES. I reminded them, we don't have to achieve everything at once. Each time someone comes into one of our gardens and tastes a new veggie and likes it, or takes herbs home and comes back, raving and asking for more (see Jonathan, our LAUSD maintenance and ops. guy, above) we collect another win.
This week, our youth staff are going to host a "buck a bunch" winter greens giveaway outside of Jefferson High and the Student Empowerment Academy. For all who can give a buck, we'll take that as a donation. For those who can't, we'll give them a giant bunch of greens anyway. Our customers will also get a little "recipe" card reminding them how easy it is to just chop an onion and some garlic, heat those in little oil, then toss in the chopped winter greens until they wilt, and throw this all over a fried egg or pile it on toast for a TASTY healthy meal.
Slowly but surely, we work towards balancing supply and demand to help create more just and healthy Youth-driven Neighborhood Food Systems in South Los Angeles. RootDown LA - You're Gonna Wanna Eat Your Veggies!