Tag Archives: Beet Rangers

BEET Ranger Graduation!

Today we said farewell to the BEET Rangers! It was bittersweet, of course. We will miss them, but we are so proud to see them complete this program and move on to new and exciting paths in their lives!

Modern Tea hosted us for a celebration dessert buffet, with cakes, cookies, sparkling apple cider and local lemonade. Everyone received a diploma and made a speech, and were sent home with beautiful BEET Ranger photo books that Executive Director Barbara Wenger had put together of the amazing photographs she has taken of the BEET Rangers through the program!

We hope to have a few of the BEET Rangers come back and teach with us for the next round of the program, starting in March. There is definitely interest from some of them, and their expertise, great advice, and valuable teaching skills would make the program much stronger next year. In my opinion, youth-led programming is the key to success, and I am looking forward to working with the graduates as co-teachers and co-facilitators. In the meantime, I will miss them as we take a break until next year. They bring so much inspiration and necessary challenge to my life, to keep me an active and critical thinker.

Thank you BEETS!

BEET Rangers Job Search

Today with the BEET Rangers we made a trip to Safe Haven, a community space in the Hayes Valley South residence. Safe Haven is an after-school drop in spot for youth in the neighborhood to come do homework, hang out, be with friends. They let us use their computers to work on resumes and job applications for the BEET Rangers to explore other employment opportunities for when they graduate the BEET Ranger program.

Here are a couple of resources for youth looking for jobs:

SF Youthline
Run by and for youth, 12noon-10pm every day

SF Kids


Juma Ventures

SF Youthworks


Literacy for Environmental Justice

BEET Rangers at Academy of Sciences!

Today the BEET Rangers got a special treat, as our near-end-of-program celebration! They have been working so hard, and today was a day to celebrate and enjoy at the new Academy of Sciences!

The new building is pretty amazing. It was super crowded, but we were able to weave our way through to enjoy the incredible aquarium, complete with sea dragons, an albino alligator, an anaconda, and some really neat turtles. We also checked out the indoor rainforest, which kinda blew our minds. There were lots of amazing frogs, chameleons, and geckos. Snakes that looked like sticks with really long noses, and butterflies everywhere. One of them almost landed on Naz’s head!

The penguins were as entertaining as ever, and the living roof is spectacular. Jeffrey wrote down the names of a lot of the plants for his garden at Gateway High School. We will help him get some of those native plants come spring, when the garden has more space to plant them. There was some lovely yarrow growing up there, definitely a beautiful sight covering a really big roof in the middle of San Francisco! There is so much space to grow on, everywhere, if we use a little imagination. Rooftop gardens could be happening all over this city!

We had a great time looking around, and learned a lot. It is always uncomfortable to see animals in cages- we talked about that quite a bit. We agreed it was challenging to enjoy some aspects of visiting the Academy of Sciences, but overall, we could see how hopefully it was bringing people closer to nature, and to caring about the environment and their impact on the world. Maybe one day we won’t have to see animals from really far away up close in order to feel our connection to them, and we won’t make choices to use resources that result in rainforest destruction, or the destruction of any environment, for that matter.

Growing and eating local, with organic systems that encourage lots of animal habitat and native plants ecosystems are so essential to fighting habitat destruction caused by corporate agribusiness. Every little patch counts, from the living roof at the Academy of Sciences, to our garden at Koshland with our Monarch butterfly visitors. It all makes a difference, and we can keep growing more and more… let’s do it! Overgrow!

Permaculture in the Garden

This week in the garden, Katie taught a lesson on Permaculture. Katie had just completed an Urban Permaculture course, where she got to learn a lot of amazing things about design and modeling agriculture systems to be most efficient and supporting of their environment. Today Katie shared with a us a lesson on Patterns in Nature. The idea is to look at nature and replicate its patterns, because those patterns hold the key for ways to design our garden to be strong and efficient. Some of those patterns include spiral patterns (like a snail shell), branching patterns (like lightening), flow patterns (like a stream). After the lesson, we went into the garden and drew different patterns that we could find in plants or different areas of the garden, and talked about why we thought they might have formed that way.

BEET Rangers at Breaking Ground Conference!

The BEET Rangers were honored to be invited to participate in the Green Jobs Now national day of action at the Breaking Ground Conference for youth
hosted by San Francisco Parks Trust. We were invited to participate in two different workshops: a Green Jobs panel, and a workshop on container gardening. Two of the BEET
Rangers, Jessica Farkas and Tanea Lunsford, stepped up to fill both of these roles. In the morning, they held a workshop on container gardening, talking about why it is important to grow your own food. They explained all the elements necessary to have a healthy container garden, then helped people set up and plant their own container gardens to take hope.

In the afternoon, Jessica and Tanea talked on a panel of youth about Green Jobs and why they are important. All of the participants on the panel shared really important views on how Green Jobs improve their communities, help them feel self-sufficient and productive, and provide a way for them to connect to their environment and green space
in the city. We are proud to be part of the Green Job movement, connecting youth with opportunities to match environmental stewardship with economic justice. And I was so proud to hear what Jessica and Tanea had to say! They spoke up, and added a lot of enthusiasm and expertise to the discussion.

Naz got to learn about natural building, and made a brick out of cob material. She also visited the bees and worked in the garden at Potrero del Sol, across the street from where the conference was held.

Dyhemia, Candy, and Rashida learned about propagating plants from cuttings, and prepared some geraniums to take home. Sebron and Tanea went for a bike ride to different gardens all around the Mission, visiting green spaces in a green way!

Learn more about Green Jobs Now: http://greenjobsnow.com/

Helping in the Neighborhood

Today we focused our activities on participating in community events in the Western Addition. Summer is a great time of year for getting together with neighbors, the sunny days and local events bring everyone out to enjoy the parks and community centers.

In the morning we went to Patricia’s Green to help out at their volunteer day. We got busy with a whole lot of weeding, and planted some beautiful trailing bushes to brighten up one of the long raised beds along Octavia Street. This was our second time visiting the Green, it was nice to see the changes since we last came to help.

After lunch, we made our way to a DCYF Summer of Unity Event at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center. There we got a tour from local community activist and Hayes Valley Neighborhood Parks Group board member, Jerry, who showed us some of the famous local African Americans featured on the center’s historical mural..

After all the events, we returned to Koshland Garden for some garden maintenance and to give it a little love. We did the usual watering, compost turning and weeding, and Cameron helped reorganize our nrew tool shed, helping put up more hooks to keep the tools a bit more manageable!

Meet the BEET Ranger Youth Educators!

Meet the wonderful BEET Ranger Youth Educators! Below we have Arif Husain and Katherine Walsh. To the side, hiding behind BEET Ranger Calvin Yu, we have Ami Puri, helping to create a bean trellis out of woodscraps and wire. This team has been essential to making the BEET Ranger experience fun, educational, and engaging. They are each creative and experienced individuals in the world of plants and gardening, and we value their work deeply! 

Thank you wonderful educators!