East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS) – Tuesday 1/8/13

The mission of Collective Roots is to promote food justice by engaging youth and communities in garden-based learning and nutrition education to positively impact health.

Garden Guidelines

Palo Alto. Thriving center of innovation and luxury. Just across the freeway lies East Palo Alto, a community deprived of access to fresh produce. Thankfully, an organization working at East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS) called Collective Roots is striving to address this issue. They work to increase the amount of fresh, healthy, and affordable food in the community. They run a farmer’s market to support both upcoming farmers as well as families who would like a more balanced diet.

During our trip to the EPACS, we experienced education through gardening. We started by reflecting and journaling about the acre of garden around us. This was an activity that many of the EPACS students engage in during their English classes. Afterwards, we made a salad out of fresh vegetables and bulgur, a type of grain. This activity educated us on healthy and delicious meals. When we were done with our lunch, we separated all of our trash into three bins. We then weighed the trash to find how much 17 people could produce in one day. Afterwards, we planted seeds that would be sold later to help keep Collective Roots thriving.

At EPACS, we learned that throughout a school year (8 months), approximately 2,000 pounds of trash is sent to the landfill for one meal in the Castilleja community. We also found through an apple cutting activity that a mere 3% of the Earth’s land is usable for living and planting. Click this link to see an animation illustrating this: http://www.farmland.org/Flash/appleEarth.html

Planting Seeds

Come volunteer at EPACS, from 9 to 12 AM, on the third Saturday of every month. The community comes together and helps improve the garden. There are trash scavenger hunts and other fun activities for the children, so all ages are welcome. Also, start buying your food fresh at the farmer’s market.

The Collective Roots Community Garden at EPACS tries to bring people together and make personal connections through the use of food. EPACS would like to make sure that East Palo Alto has access to healthy, affordable food. As a more long term goal they would like to establish a jobs program to grow local food, helping the community and the environment.

With garden, youth, and community-based education, this organization educates the community to lead a healthy lifestyle in which reduce, reuse, and renew are core elements of preserving the environment. They also encourage volunteer work through activities in their garden. If you have time on Saturdays, come to EPACS to help out with the garden!

Recent Posts
Showing 3 comments
  • kenzie

    i am so glad you had fun on this field trip!!

  • Maddie Macdonald

    I really enjoyed working in the garden here it was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back! The salad we made was amazing too! You can tell everyone really cares.

  • Nayanika

    Wow this was a great trip! I learned so much from this trip!!

Leave a Comment