Gjelina Good Food Program

In June, 2016, Seeds to Plate, the Gjelina Volunteer Program, Mark Twain Middle School and the Venice Boys and Girls Club teamed up to 20 students with a hands-on workshop to create their own restaurant.  They designed their menu, learned to cooked an appetizer, entree and dessert, divided themselves into front of house and back of house staff, and served their family a three course meal in Mark Twain's Secret Garden!

Clara the Farmer Visits the Classroom!

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Last week, 200 Mark Twain Middle School students attended our Farmer in the Classroom program and were treated to a visit from Clara, of Tutti-Frutti Farms, located outside of Lompoc. Clara brought all kinds of fruit and vegetables from her farm; carrots, tangerines, avocados, squash, white and sweet potatoes and more, and taught us through stories and photographs just how their organic farm works to grow and distribute their delicious produce. She also helped explain how important the nutrients from all fruits and vegetables are for our health. Specifically, Clara explained the health benefits of the carrots from her farm; how each carrot contains a high amount of vitamin A, which helps our eyes, skin, and brain. She brought carrots for all to taste, along with tangerines, and students happily munched on these organic goodies. Students had an opportunity to ask Clara questions. Most were curious about whether she liked being a farmer. She loves it and invited students to think about becoming farmers themselves!

More Kale, Please!

UCLA Interns help blend smoothies with yogurt, juice and bananas after harvesting kale from the garden with students. After initial hesitancy on the addition of kale and requests for "just an orange or something", 100% of the students finished the entire cup. A zero waste day and introduction to the health benefits and good taste of kale! Special thanks to Whole Foods for donating the smoothie ingredients!

Salad With a Side of "Wonder"

Thanks to Harvest of the Month from the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (N.E.O.P) program our teachers were able to feed a fresh salad to hundreds of students on Friday, with many coming back for seconds. Here, students are enjoying salad while reading the novel, Wonder.

Finding Hope Through Anne Frank's Window

From her only window to the outside world, Anne Frank could see the sky, birds and a majestic chestnut tree. "As long as this exists," Anne wrote in her diary, "how can I be sad?"  In preparation for their trip to the Museum of Tolerance and visit to the Anne Frank exhibit, 6th and 7th grade history and language arts students reflected on Anne Frank and her quotes on how the view from her window changed.  They chose a spot in the garden, wrote about their feelings on what they saw in their "window" and will revisit their spot and feelings in late spring.