Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Michelle Obama on food deserts/childhood obesity


Hey all,

Come to the garden as usual this Thursday starting around 3.30 pm for harvesting, composting and coop building. The chicks are growing quickly and the coop is almost complete. If all goes as plans it should be done after this week!! Elissa is bringing upside-down blood orange cake as a nice treat!
Our t-shirt selling extravaganza in the quad went well last week; we made $230. We still have a lot of shirts to print and sell which we can continue to work on this semester.
Due to rain and other circumstances the trip to Ojai did not happen this past weekend but we will be going in the near future. So listen up in the upcoming weeks about it!
Unfortunately I won't be able to make it this Thursday cause I have a midterm during garden time, but I'll be there in spirit. Enjoy the blood orange cake for me!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spring Garden

Giulia and I have both been collecting seeds when possible for the spring garden. I just got a bunch in the mail from the Seed Saver Exchange-- a website where you can find heirloom varieties of all kinds of seeds. We got a bunch of different kind of tomatoes, melons (watermelon chanterais, boule d'or), summer squash (ronde de nice)...we also want to do a lot of strawberries. Keep your eyes out for cool seeds, we'll plant as much as we can! Also, leave some suggestions in the comments section. please.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gardening, t-shirts and OJAI!

Hey all,

Get excited for the chickens! They're coming soon. Get ready for this Thursday cause hopefully we're gonna finish the coop! We have composting as always and
we can do some planting as well. Also, we will be selling FEAST t-shirts on the quad on Friday at lunch from 12:30 to 1:30 in the quad. Bring ten dollars to buy one and a big smile to help get others to buy one too! All proceeds go directly to our club account...proceeds that are sorely needed! Also, anyone interested in visiting REAL LIVE organic farms in beautiful Ojai this coming Sunday should contact Elissa ( It will be an awesome all-day affair.

See you all on Thursday!

Trip to Ojai this weekend!

Anyone interested in visiting some real farms in Ojai this coming Sunday the 21st should contact Elissa ( In the meantime, here are some pictures of the farms we will be visiting:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keeping in touch with the real world

Hi Everyone,
Today I attended a talk by author Susan Dworkin about her new book "A Viking in the Wheatfield" which is about the negative effects of monoculture, GMO seed production, and the positive work currently being done by seed savers and seed banks throughout the world. She primarily spoke about international efforts to create seed banks to promote regional seed practices, sustainable farming, and to protect the safety of the future of seeds (in the event of a catastrphic event). The question I had for Susan (which she readily answered) was: where is the connection/ is there a connection being made between these seed banks and local growing efforts. In effect, how do we connect people who may only know about and have access to genetically modified seeds, hybrid seeds (which you can't collect seeds from), etc. to these immense heirloom, locally procured seed banks? Are there efforts being made by the seed banks to create that connection? My question was provoked by Michelle Obama's recently announced campaign agsint childhood obesity and how childhood obesity happens primarily in communities who don't have access to healthy food and how healthy food can be grown in low-income/limited access communities -- why shouldn't they have access to good seeds. In any case, Susan told me that people like me (or anybody from F.E.A.S.T.) are the people who have to make these connections, community acitivists like UEP and community gardeners across the country have to create the education tool and the network to teach communities and gardners about these seeds.
All in all, I wanted everyone to realize their potential, that they (you) are the way that change (even small change) can happen. I know it sounds cheesy (totally cheesy), but growing and producing food is something that can happen at the most local level. Teaching your nieghbor about these seed collections, or a community garden can change the way that we grow our food and change the way that we eat.

On a side note, this is a pretty awesome series of maps.

Monday, February 8, 2010

This week!

Hey all,

Last week we had an awesome Thursday in the garden. The Environmental Problem Solving class stopped by and lent their hands which was a huge help! A BIG thanks to all of you! We got the chicken coop resting in the ground on a sturdy foundation. We still have to construct the roost area which we will start on this week. So we got rained out of selling t-shirts in the quad last Friday but hopefully we will be doing that sometime next week but the date isn't certain yet. We will keep all of you posted.

Composting and work will start this Thursday at 3.30 and as usual we will work until dark or so. We can also prepare some beds for planting!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chicken Cooping

YEssssssssssss.....Due to some serious efforts on the parts of Giulia, Gio and Dylan (among others) the coop and chickens are getting closer and closer to reality. Here are some pictures from coop construction last week!

This Semester

I thought we had a great partial e-board meeting on Saturday and the soup was delicious! Just as a quick recap of the stuff we talked about. We are gonna keep meeting on Thursdays starting at around 3.30 pm so be there this Thursday! We'll be composting as well as continuing to work on the chicken coop and possibly building a couple more raised beds that Bruce bought lumber for. The chicks are gonna come in mid-February but we won't put them in the coop until their big enough which will be a little while.

This Friday we are gonna sell t-shirts in the quad and get people to sign up for FEAST and the Sustainability Fund. Anyone who's free let me know so we can arrange a schedule.

In terms of events we are trying to get a table up in the garden for multipurpose use and then also coordinate with the art department to have the chicken coop painted. Let me know if anyone would like to organize that effort.

I also think that it would be fun to experiment with vermi-composting. We have to decide if we just wanna buy a smaller setup that would serve just the garden or if we want to build something a little bit bigger and handle more waste, especially food from the marketplace.

In terms of fun stuff to do this semester outside of working in the garden we are gonna arrange some weekend fieldtrips! I know Bruce is really interested in going to see a large-scale vermicomposting operation, maybe the one at Santa Monica College (which is 19 feet long, 7 feet wide and has 300 pounds of worms!). We are also hoping to make it to the Pitzer garden at some point and to Earthtrine Farm in Ojai in late March or early April. More details on the dates of those trips to come soon.