Fall has arrived and schools are back in session. Which means we are busy but very excited to be connecting with so many young individuals. In the midst of our hectic tour season, we appreciate the regular visits from Wavecrest, the Santa Cruz Montessori Junior High. The familiar faces we see every Thursday make the chaotic week feel a bit more balanced. The Wavecrest students are learning about the diversity of jobs on the farm. With that comes a newfound appreciation for what you buy and eat, and how it gets from the field to your fork. We are able to share that appreciation with a meal every Thursday. We enjoy a delicious spread that has been prepared from foods everyone labored around. And to me, that is one of the best moments in life.
Each week the students are taking strides in their focus groups. They are finding the rhythm of the farm and doing great work. In the ‘Field Studies’ group, students work the land amending garden beds and field rows, preparing the land for new crops that will be made into delicious lunches in a few months. The extra hands are a grateful gift, making work light and quick.
In the ‘Micro Economy’ group, students harvest crops for the school farm stand. It is an exciting process learning how to harvest properly and getting the food ready for market. The students determine the price and are watching their profit grow week to week. They have also created some of their own products for market through preserving farm fruit and vegetables.
The ‘Art’ group has been busy constructing magnets inspired by birds as well as prayer flags for a school celebration. They were also instrumental in helping the Discovery Program with preparations for the fall fundraiser, creating beautiful thank you gifts for our guests. I look forward to seeing what inspiration the farm and surrounding nature provides, and the different types of media used to express their creativity.
All the while, each week, ‘Health and Wellness’ students labor away at harvesting and preparing delicious vegetarian and vegan meals for the whole class to enjoy. The wholesome meals are thought up, planned out and executed by the students themselves. We have had fresh tomato and vegetable soup, twice baked potatoes, a hearty kale and carrot salad with avocado dressing, and apple crisp to name a few dishes.
Together, these students are learning the diversity of farm jobs and energy it takes to get food to our plates. Every visit, they learn to be stewards of the land and develop a respect for nature and how it provides for us. They have become a part of the Live Earth Farm community, where understanding the origins of our food, ties us all together.