Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here We Are!

The Man Who Planted Trees (from Kelly Allen)

Hi lovely classmates. Take care of yourselves over the beautiful holiday season. Here is the link to the fabulous inspiring movie, "The man who planted trees." Enjoy-Kelly

Thank you so much,
Kelly Allen
Publish Post

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The "Health of The Earth Builder" Cover Crop

Above is a close-up photo of the cover crops Bonnie and Jenna brought into class in a glass jar this week.  As I listened to slide show presentations about their beautiful garden projects, and heard from other classmates about farming and gardening dreams - for home or farm or school or inn or neighborhood - I could see the way each person's imaginations has taken the threads of what we've learned this semester and woven those threads into a personal tapestry, a vision of cultivation. And I am in awe.

We all have day jobs. We all have obligations and limitations and reasons to be discouraged...Yet, somehow, we all have the same crazy notion that we can do better, we can go beyond "just managing" and simply "fitting in" to the current model of plant propagation and food production.  This is a class full of people who seem to have no doubt that we can thrive alongside, and in partnership with, the plant and animal kingdoms.  This is a group of individuals who are making the time and the sacrifices to gather knowledge and find a way to live more gracefully on the planet.

This is why I have come to think of this group as cover crop.  It is our job to go out and fortify the soil.  We will break ground, draw beneficials, and infuse nutrition.  We may or may not bear fruit, but our work will matter for all that follows.

Indian Valley Organic Farming Class, Fall 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Job Posting From John Malenic

Treasure Island Job Corps also provides academic training, including basic reading and math. Courses in independent living, employability skills, and social skills are offered in order to help students transition into the workplace.

One of our top goals at Treasure Island Job Corps is to ensure that every qualified student obtains his or her GED or high school diploma prior to leaving the center. Students who don't already have a high school diploma upon their arrival at Treasure Island can enroll in our GED program or through the SIATech Charter High School located on site.

Pay and Allowances:
Job Corps pays each student a living allowance twice a month while in the program. Our center houses 710 students in several dormitories. Students are provided three nutritious meals each day at no cost in one of the best cafeteria facilities in Job Corps. The wellness center is open daily for basic medical, dental, and optometrist services which are provided free to our students. The wellness center also provides 24-hour emergency medical services.

Graduate Benefits:
Job Corps graduates are qualified and prepared for today's professional workplace. Additional graduate benefits include:
    * $1200 transition allowance to assist with transportation and housing
    * Job placement assistance for up to six months
    * Career counseling
    * Relocation counseling services
The Treasure Island Job Corps Center Community Farm
TIJC was awarded funds by the Department of Labor Job Corps Center Green Projects Grant Program to construct a sustainable, organic farm on a three-quarter parcel within the center grounds. The farm will be constructed in 2010 and operate thereafter.
The farm will provide organic food for students, staff, and island residents; promote healthy life styles by making nutrient-rich organically-grown food available; enhance student learning by educating students about sustainable principles; encourage youth to learn about ecology, gardening, and composting; and serve as an open gathering space for community events.
The Community Urban Farm’s primary goal is to make organic produce readily available on Center for students, staff, and island residents. Most students enrolled in Job Corps come from low-income urban areas that are underserved by supermarkets, making eating healthy a difficult choice. The farm attempts to increase access to organic foods which are typically unavailable to low-income populations due to high cost, The Center will integrate organic produce into the daily menu of the cafeteria, serve organic dishes at the Center’s student-run restaurant, and provide the local community with access to a monthly farmers market.
The cultural shift associated with the implementation of the farm highlights the vast effect it will have on student health and the Center’s learning environment. The use of organic produce in the student-run restaurant will enhance culinary students’ knowledge while simultaneously providing local residents with the opportunity to taste the flavorful produce of a successful harvest. By incorporating the produce into the operation of the restaurant, it will allow culinary students to practice what gourmet restaurants are known for—using local organically-grown produce in their menus. Students will gain a greater understanding of new culinary trends and heirloom varieties of produce and, ultimately, become more employable in San Francisco ’s large high-end restaurant market.
Farming is becoming an increasingly important trade and exposing students to a multitude of farming techniques will strengthen their understanding of agricultural production. Our food system is currently becoming more localized due to the increase in the price of petro-chemicals. It is becoming increasingly unfeasible to transport crops large distances. As our oil supply continues to diminish food prices will continue to surge; localization is the key to driving costs down while simultaneously having fresh and nutrient-rich produce available for all.
It is critical to expose students to this reality and educate them of the importance of recycling. The farm is essentially a visual demonstration of a closed loop recycling system. The main input of the farm is food waste from the cafeteria, which will be turned into a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer by using a technique called vermicomposting. The compost is required for the farm to operate. Students will physically see their food scraps be used to feed the farm, which will connect them to the actual process of agricultural production.
The greatest benefit of farming is that is allows anyone with an interest to participate. The farm will develop student work ethic and give them the skill-set required to become urban farmers. It will teach students how to develop high yields in small areas. The hope is that students that participate will develop a skill-set that they can bring home to their low-income communities after they graduate. The farm’s purpose is to educate our community about urban agriculture, hopefully change the status quo and bring nutrient-rich produce into the underserved areas of our society.

Full time / Salary / Exempt / Compensation: DOE
Bachelor’s Degree and degree or certification in agricultural studies required. Five years minimum experience with agriculture operations and management. Teaching experience required. Previous experience with nutritional education programs, organic crop production, and Spanish language proficiency preferred.
1.  Supervise the construction phase of the new Treasure Island Community Farm and its subsequent educational agricultural programs.
2.  Responsible for budget tracking and providing supervision and expertise for farm projects, such as installation of garden beds, orchards, irrigation system, composting systems, etc.
3.  Considerable knowledge of the techniques and methods involved in planning, organizing and coordinating recruitment and training programs for volunteers and students.
4.  Responsible for daily maintenance of farm, equipment, and farm’s life-cycle (seedling propagation, crop planning, planting, amending, cultivating, pest management, crop rotation, pruning, animal husbandry, beekeeping, making compost, harvesting, etc.).
5.  Communicate and enforce farm and greenhouse procedures and maintenance schedules to program participants.
6. Develop a horticultural education program to teach Job Corps students about farm operations and involve vocational trades in farm’s daily operations.
7.  Provide initial student orientation, screening and training; develop and implement training programs.
8. Develop materials, manuals, and resource information for volunteers, staff and students.
9. Develop and handles volunteer/student work schedules and assignments.
10. Maintain records on volunteers and students time contributed to the farm as well as farm records on inputs and outputs.
11. Organize volunteer program to assist with farm’s operation and create marketing program to encourage community participation in the program.
12. Establish and maintain community linkages and serves as the primary contact and resource to outside organizations that want to participate in the farm’s operation.
13. Considerable knowledge of available resources within the local Bay Area community.
14. Develop appreciation and incentive programs for members of the volunteer staff.
15. Develop news media announcements and other recruitment information aids such as brochures, newsletters, and fliers and Participate in promotional and public relations activities for the Treasure Island Community Farm.
16.  Assist in scheduling, designing, planning, developing, staging and staffing special events.
17. Ability to plan and organize a variety of programs for groups of various sizes and establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide variety of people.
18. Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
19. Manage the overall performance benchmarks of TIJC Community Farm.
20. Perform other duties as assigned.

Interested parties should e-mail a resume, cover letter and references to:
Willow Rosenthal, TIJC Farm Consultant;

Bonnie Nielson's Green Tomato Recipes

The Down vest/purple dharma gang
Maria, Kristi, Bonnie and Jenna.
(Thanks Lynn, for the photo)

  Thank you, Bonnie, for these delicious recipes.

8 medium sized green tomatoes, sliced
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (feel free to add any other favorite spices)

Mix it all up and plop in a rectangle dish, add crumble topping of choice, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (you want to see the juices bubbling and thickening in the tomato part and the crumble browning on top before it's "done").

5 lbs. green tomatoes, chopped (about 12 cups)
6 large yellow onions, finely chopped
3-6 jalapenos (depending on your bravery), diced
4 red bell peppers, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cilantro, finely diced
1 cup lime juice
1/2 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cook 30-45 minutes (until the salsa is at its desired thickness), stirring occasionally. Bring salsa back to a boil right before spooning into sterilized canning jars, then process and continue as you would with any other type of canning. Makes ~ 12 half pint jars.

Enjoy with good company! :D

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Farm Class Presentation Schedule

Thank you Kelly Warner !


DEC 2                                          

Alden and Lisa                            
Linda Johnson                     

Bonnie and Jenna
Kelley W 
Ladd and Laura
Melinda C

DEC 16 
Maria K
Lynn T