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Rooted Futures & One Step A La Vez

posted May 13, 2011, 11:32 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 6, 2011, 11:58 AM ]


Teens for the One Step A La Vez Center participated in the Rooted Futures Series.  It was an amazing experience, that left us inspired and empowered.  Rooted Futures grew out of the educational programs offered at Join the Farm.  When neighboring Oxnard schools couldn’t afford transportation costs for farm visits, Abundant Table Program Coordinator Sarah Nolan and JTF Educator Erynn Smith began thinking of ways to better connect with Oxnard schools and how to make farm-based visits relevant to students’ relationships with food, food system, and cultural food traditions.  Sarah Nolan developed a larger vision of working with community partners to create a longer term program that would allow students to experience a range of land and food-based connections and relate these connections to their own experiences with food and broader environmental and health issues in our food system.  One Step A La Vez engaged in a semester long program experiencing, reflecting, and restoring healthy relationships with locally produced food, native herbs and plants, traditional medicinal plant knowledge, and formed a community around food.   One Step Members visited Join the Farm!, and the Community Roots Garden in Oxnard.  Members learned about our food system, using native plants for healing and health, and the why’s and how’s of building community in our family, school, and community food system.  Rooted Futures inspired One Step to initiate and start their own community garden which is slated to open in mid-summer 2011.  A big One Step THANK YOU to all the partners who made this series so successful: Kaiser Permanente Fund, Erynn Smith, Alise Echele, Julie Barajas, Antonio Sanchez, Katerina Friesen, the gardeners and the One Step Youth!!!


Teens toured the farm, observed and studied the differences between JTF organic farm and operation and JTF neighboring conventional land.  They also discussed on the different parts of food system and how the pieces effect labor and environment.  Teens observed, discussed and harvested different plants, and took home a mini-csa box.


The teens also visited Community Roots Garden Oxnard.  There, they learned about and how to tend an herb garden with some of the community gardeners.  The gardeners shared their traditional herb knowledge with the teens.  Antonio Sanchez of Nopalito Native Plant Nursery shared how Chumash used native plants for healing and health.  The students got to take a native plant home.