Tag Archives: beets

Deck the Halls with Wreaths

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Over the weekend neighbors and friends gathered together for the 14th annual wreath and card making event at the Hayes Valley South Community Room. Beautiful wreaths were created by all, with ribbon, trinkets, glitter, and bells adorning each and every one!

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Joining the festivities were the BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens), a program designed to teach students ages 15-19 about environmental issues and help them to develop job skills.

While many will hang their wreaths on doors and walls this holiday season, some creative thinkers are now wearing holly-themed necklaces. Either way, the wreaths look great!

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A special thanks to the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association for donating to make this event a success. It was a lovely afternoon with the wreaths, cards, cider, and good company. Thank you for all who attended and happy holidays!

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See more photos from the event here!

Pumpkin Carving in Buchanan Mall

On Friday, October 20, 2017, youth and adults from nearby housing complexes came out to enjoy the fall weather and carve pumpkins to decorate Buchanan Mall.10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2202Citizen Film planned the event and built a scarecrow and laid straw bales. 10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2168With the help of CommunityGrows staff, Melissa Tang (Director of Programs) and Osceola Ward (BEETS Program Manager)…10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2132…and BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) Michele and Elius…10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_214310.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_215610.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2172…youth chose their pumpkins, drew faces and commenced cleaning out the seeds and carving. 10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2160Lots of slimy work…10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2178…but the results paid off!10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2174Pumpkin pie was another highlight.10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2139Everyone got to take their creations home to remember a great afternoon celebrating the fall season! 10.20.17-Pumpkins-at-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_2161For more photos, check out our Flickr Photostream here.

Now hiring for 2017-18 BEETS program!

BEETS Recruitment Flyer 2017

Attention BEETS applicants: we’ve extended our deadline!

BEETS will gain skills around landscape design, outreach and communication, and project management. This year we are working with partners to create garden spaces along the Buchanan Mall!

The application deadline is rolling! Apply TODAY!

Download the application below or email Osceola@CommunityGrows.org for more information.

 

Download BEETS Application

 

BEETS Graduate!

IMG_0239Thursday, May 4, 2017 the Fall-Spring BEETS Cohort graduated. The CommunityGrows staff celebrated the past eight months of their accomplishments with a slide show and BBQ in Koshland Garden. IMG_0229The BEETS program is a stipended, hands-on, outdoor learning experience that provides roughly 20 youth each year with life skills and job-readiness training. The program aims to help youth live healthier lives and build skills for successful futures, with the goals that youth will: learn to make positive choices in their lives, in their community, and for their environment; acquire job skills to prepare for the workforce and futures; and develop supportive relationships with adults and peers.IMG_0242The new model we launched for this cohort in October 2016 lengthened the BEETS program over the academic year and focused on a project learning component. It was a year of growth and adventure for these eight young adults. During the fall, the BEETS completed workshops and trainings on garden maintenance, soil knowledge, planting methods and water conservation. They also completed a ropes course together, bonding and practicing trust and teamwork. They also learned more about food access and justice-particularly the importance of communities having access to fresh, affordable and nutritious food.IMG_0261IMG_0249IMG_0250The learning component scheduled for this cohort allowed the BEETS to work with residents at Plaza East, a subsidized housing community in the Western Addition, to create patio gardens and garden care guides. This project was also an opportunity to explore incorporating a revenue generating component into the program. They learned how to build container gardens from a horticulturalist and entrepreneur who owns her own landscaping company in San Francisco.
IMG_0256IMG_0252There have been positive results in changing up the BEETS Program with an extended period. The BEETS have been able to expand and deepen their learning about gardening, the environment and nutrition; their relationships with each other and staff have grown stronger; and they have expressed appreciation for the increased earning power and financial literacy. With consistent earnings they have been able to create and follow personal budgets which they check throughout the year. IMG_0254IMG_0259The project-based learning component has expanded their job skills, improving their resume and their real-world work experience, and given them a sense of ownership and pride within the community. We also anticipate that the longer time will strengthened their resume and make them more competitive in the workforce post-program. Base on a mid-point survey, 100% of our current cohort thinks they are learning valuable life skills through the program and 100% of participants apply what they learn through the program outside of the program at least once a week. “This session is better [than the shorter session] because I’m closer to the BEETS and this time I was able to achieve my goals because we had more time to work on them,” Barry, a second year BEET said.IMG_0244Cultural relevancy is vital to the work we do. Indeed it is the only way to support low-income and youth of color in San Francisco who are continually displaced from their homes and neighborhoods. For many of the youth we serve, the “environment” is distant, distinct from their everyday lives and concerns. We work to help youth feel safe and welcome outdoors by co-creating and maintaining green spaces in their neighborhoods and connecting them to other youth who look like them and also care about the environment. Our goal is for the teens to connect physically with the outdoors as they learn how they can combat environmental and food injustices which disproportionately impact their bodies and communities.IMG_0268 Thank you also to Jaromy Siemers and Liz Holm from our Advisory Board for joining us in celebrating the BEETS!

BEETS build gardens at Plaza East

IMG_20170415_131716138_HDROur Fall-Spring cohort of BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated & Employable Teens) embarked on a special project to improve the backyards of seniors living in Plaza East Apartments. They spent months preparing for the project by learning how to consult with residents, design container gardens and create a garden care guide based on what they learned.IMG_20170124_165808783 IMG_20170413_164113608IMG_0991The garden guide highlighted the importance of growing organic, having healthy soil, weeding, mulching, watering and pruning. It also had advice on pest management. IMG_20170412_103400823IMG_20170502_162944037IMG_20170422_120004692_TOPWith a lot of sweat and love, the BEETS transformed overgrown gardens into spaces with endless possibilities. They also worked with the resident to design and build a container garden for their new space. IMG_20170422_122341724_HDRAll three residents received a maintained yard, new container garden, a garden tool kit and a garden care guide.IMG_20170502_170353610_HDR One resident said, “I can actually see myself out here in the yard.”IMG_20170415_133553962 We hope our three seniors can spend more time outside in their yards to practice their gardening skills, exercise, get some fresh air and to simply smell the roses.Attach0 (1)

BEETS Rough it in the Presidio

IMG_1732On March 25 and 26, 2017 the BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) went off camping in the Presidio. After setting up the campsite and Tents, they enjoyed lunch and had a team building activity.IMG_1735In the afternoon they walked down to the Presidio Nursery for a tour and planting activities. IMG_1739IMG_1219One of the highlights was discovering a banana slug! IMG_1232They also had a “hug a tree” activity.IMG_1235In the evening after dinner they made a campfire and told scary stories and played games, followed by a trip to the National Cemetery and back to make Smores.
In the morning after taking down tents and making breakfast they had a check out circle with CAP (Camping at the Presidio) staff and did more team building exercises, similiar to this video about Alaskan baseball.
A great time was had by all!IMG_1745

Mind, Body and Soul Community Pop Up – Ella Hill Hutch with the BEETS

2.25.17-EHH-Mind-Body-Soul-Day-BEETS_2F29BACD-7BB7-434D-8FED-7B232AF6498COn February 25, 2017 from 11-4 PM the BEETS held court at the Mind, Body and Soul Community Pop Up at Ella Hill Hutch in the Western Addition. The Pop Up utilized a focus on wellness to provide health services that are affordable, accessible, and consistent in the Western Addition. BEETS Michelle. Eluis and Fawaaz prepared a table with healing spices and vegetables, including mustards, kale, collards and chard for people to sample and take home. 2.25.17-EHH-Mind-Body-Soul-Day-BEETS_67997395-2512-41C1-9ED7-C6781621877DThey talked about holistic medicines that come from the healing benefit of spices such as black peppercorn, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cloves and cardamon.2.25.17-EHH-Mind-Body-Soul-Day-BEETS_EF956EBA-72D6-4C6B-9D3D-AACB10BE1CDF

Crystal Leon, Community Grows Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Instructor, prepared: Kerala Vegetable Stew for all to sample. Please enjoy!
Kersa Stew
Here is the recipe:

Kerala Vegetable Stew
Ingredients:

1 medium sized yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 inch ginger, minced

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (1/2 teaspoon ground)

1 stick of cinnamon

4-5 cloves (or half teaspoon ground)

2-3 pods of cardamom (or half teaspoon ground)

¼ teaspoon of whole cumin seeds

½ teaspoon of yellow curry powder
5 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped

1 bunch of collards (2 cups, chopped)

1 cup of shelled peas (fresh or frozen)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 cups water

15oz can of thick coconut milk

1 teaspoon of salt

 

Directions:

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan.
  2. Add onions, ginger, cinnamon & crushed spices. Suté onions till translucent.
  3. Add chopped potatoes and carrots. Mix with onions and spices. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in chopped collards, cook an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add 3 cups water.
  6. Stir in peas.
  7. Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low to medium heat till the potatoes are cooked (check and stir, about 5 minutes).
  8. Add coconut milk. Mix very well and gently heat through for a minute or two. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

*Optional: Serve over steamed brown rice.

Your recipe today, spotlights healing herbs & spices!
*From the Seed to Mouth Cooking Class*
A program of CommunityGrows

BEETS join LEJ at Candlestick

2.4.17-BEETS-LEJ_IMG_2597On Saturday February 4, 2017 the BEETS visited Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ). LEJ promotes ecological health, environmental stewardship, and community development in Southeast San Francisco by creating urban greening, eco-literacy, community stewardship and workforce development opportunities that directly engage and support local residents in securing a healthier future. Their site is located at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area in Bayview Hunter’s Point in San Francisco. 2.4.17-BEETS-LEJ_IMG_2650The BEETS and LEJ teens worked together in the Native Plant Nursery sharing their experience with growing vegetables and natives. 2.4.17-BEETS-LEJ_IMG_2602After clearing out some beds, The BEETS talked about vegetables and how to plant them with the seasons.They worked with the LEJ teens to planted peas, cabbage, collard greens and lettuce.
2.4.17-BEETS-LEJ_IMG_20170204_124904400_HDRIt was great to have everyones energy to clean up the nursery and help wash pots and equipment. 2.4.17-BEETS-LEJ_IMG_2634The LEJ teen gave us a tour of the nursery and advised us on what plants might be good for our container gardens at Plaza East housing development. We ended the day with a yummy BBQ hosted by LEJ. 2.4.17-BEETS-LEJ_IMG_2654Barry Tan, a BEET supplied the photos for this blog. Thank you LEJ and everyone for a great day!

BEETS Cookin’ at AT&T Garden

1.17.17-BEETS-Giants-Cooking_IMG_20170117_164252277_HDROn Tuesday, January 17, 2017 the BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) enjoyed a cooking day at AT&T Park. The park, home to the San Francisco Giants also hosts a beautiful garden. It is a 4,320-square-foot patch, located just under the scoreboard behind the centerfield wall. 1.17.17-BEETS-Giants-Cooking_IMG_20170117_160549585Beyond providing a one-of-a-kind food experience within AT&T Park, the Garden serves as a living, learning classroom that encourages children to live healthier, more active lives. Through hands-on activities, children learn about the importance of healthy eating, see first-hand where food comes from and how it grows, and roll up their sleeves for a cooking class alongside Bay Area chefs. 1.17.17-BEETS-Giants-Cooking_IMG_1132The BEETS enjoyed harvesting the huge stems of kale, chard and broccoli to make pizzas in the kitchen. 1.17.17-BEETS-Giants-Cooking_IMG_20170117_1733021021.17.17-BEETS-Giants-Cooking_IMG_1128They also got to make fruit kabobs which were really delicious!1.17.17-BEETS-Giants-Cooking_IMG_20170117_171613285

BEETS Work at Alemany Farm

1.21.17-MT_AlemanyFarm_IMG_2441On Saturday January 21, 2017 The BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) spent the day at Alemany Farm in San Francisco helping out with their workday. 1.21.17-MT_AlemanyFarm_IMG_2468They were able with CommunityGrows staff Melissa Tang and Jay Jordan, as well as other volunteers, to plant cabbage and collard greens, flip compost, wood chip muddy areas and harvested some winter veggies. 1.21.17-MT_AlemanyFarm_IMG_24811.21.17-MT_AlemanyFarm_IMG_2485Best of all everyone was done before it started raining! This day was a great way to celebrate our commitment to food justice–helping to increase access to healthy foods in our poorer neighborhoods.