Skip to main content

A Full Day: Collective Roots, The Carey School & Second Harvest Nutrition Class

Every once in a while the stars align: all the things you wish you could do in a day actually fit into the day's schedule.  Yesterday was one of those days.

The morning was spent in East Palo Alto - helping with a new garden installation with Collective Roots, part of the Fresh Approach organization.  Najiha (pictured in the blue & white plaid shirt) leads volunteer teams to install raised bed gardens for Fresh Approach clients.  Today's install was for Karla (pictured in a green sweatshirt) who is originally from Peru.  Karla will be attending one of the Fresh Approach Veggie RX classes to learn more about nutrition and healthy cooking - and there she'll receive seed packets that she can then plant in her new raised bed garden. 

Our 5 person volunteer team made quick work of the garden install.  Then it was off to The Carey School to talk with the 5th grade class.

From left to right: Mr. Bill, Ms. La Trice, Ms. Jessica and Mr. Daniel
The 5th Graders at The Carey School are very interested to help our We GROW for the Pharmacy program and were super enthusiastic and attentive.  Ms. La Trice and I will be invited back in the near future to learn the results of the brainstorm session.

From left to right: Eiko & Anni - Health Ambassadors for the Second Harvest Food Bank
The day's last activity was a Nutrition & Wellness class for Diabetes Management, put on by the Second Harvest Food Bank at the Samaritan House clinic on 39th Ave.  The topic for the class was "healthy snacking" and Eiko made up two recipes for everyone to sample:  1) Sweet yogurt fruit dip; and 2) Avocado tuna salad.  My favorite quote from the evening: "Just call it (pico de gallo) Mexican Salsa - the salsa is red, white and green and so is the Mexican flag".  So grateful for these types of classes to help folks make quick & easy recipes that are good for them.

Hope everyone has a great second half of the week.

GROW San Mateo!


Popular posts from this blog

#LeavetheLeaves - Do nothing and help the climate

With signs of the climate emergency now in constant view - you may be asking yourself: "What can I do to make a difference?  Choices in consumption are obvious examples - with a view towards the fossil fuels involved, ie. what we eat (fertilizers, pesticides, mass farming), how we get from one place to another (ie. gas fuel) and the energy we use to power our homes.   Another opportunity is right outside the front door. The suburban lawn was something we invented in the 1950's as tracts of homes sprouted up by the thousands.  Someone thought it would be appropriate if homeowners had lush, green grass in their yards - and the rest is history.  Billions of dollars are spent each year on lawn maintenance - and importantly for us in San Mateo, CA - millions of gallons of water are also used to keep them alive.  Lawns are the largest crop in the U.S. and produce nothing, other than an outdated aesthetic - yet the majority of residential water usage is sent into the air through spri

Turn your lawn into a garden!

With the pandemic keeping us socially distanced and largely at home, you may be thinking about transforming your outdoor space into a garden.  Having gone through this in 2014, I thought I'd share some practical advice to hopefully save you some time and effort. Sheet mulch complete (July 2014) Six years later (August 2020) Tip #1: Don't dig...mulch! Your first instinct may be to start digging, but there's a better way - it's called "sheet mulching".  You basically use cardboard, compost and wood chips and make a lasagna of organic material on top of your old lawn.  In essence, you compost the old lawn under layers of organic material.  Here's a photo of our sheet mulch in progress: Sheet mulch in progress.  Notice the new material is simply placed on top of the old (brown) grass The white powder is a combination of gypsum & azomite, which puts minerals back into the soil that have been gradually leached away over time.  The dark brown is compost.  The

Getting Started: Wine Barrel Planters

Gardening in a small, urban space requires a bit of creativity.  Our challenges are many: buildings & trees frequently block sunlight;  various critters like to snack on new seedlings and just ripe fruits & vegetables; and here in San Mateo, irrigation is a must.  To increase your probability of gardening success, consider adding recycled wine barrels into your urban garden.    Having tried many types of growing containers over the years, the wine barrel has made it to the top of my list.  My galvanized tubs always seemed to need more water than wooden barrels - perhaps due to the different heating/cool properties of the metal vs. wood?  Aesthetically, a recycled barrel looks like it's been there for years - which I love.  And the smell!  There is no comparison. Cost is definitely a consideration.  A wine barrel at Home Depot is $40 whereas a 35 gallon galvanized tub is $55.  You might say that growing in the ground is $0.00 - but in some locations, the extra 18 inches off