New Road Dog: Emily June!

Emily June here, a new member on the Compass Green spring tour. The scoop on me is, I love food and I love people and I love this gorgeous, planet! Most of all I love feeling good and eating a nutritious meal has much to do with that, so you can imagine, this spring tour with CG is giving me a lot to chew on as we cruise in and out of towns to teach at schools down here in Southern California. I traveled from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to jump into the spring CG action.

CG is ending our second week of touring in Southern California. We have already taught at elementary, middle, high schools and one community colleges along our way from Los Altos, to Paso Robles, Santa Maria and Santa Monica, Ventura and now Los Angeles.  I feel much like an alien surfing through the infamous traffic of LA. At times in the midst of the sea of fast driving (and very slow driving) cars I feel as heavy as Angie, our mobile greenhouse and classroom filled with soil and plants that takes us from school to school.

I spent summer last on a farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, called Farmwise, working with youth in the garden and I do believe that there is nothing more fun than getting into the soil and exploring all the magical things that happen there with a posy of kids, young and old by your side.

When Justin and I roll up to a school surrounded by concrete and asphalt and invite students out from their classrooms and into the truck to see a scrumptious little pad of earth, a home to plenty plants, on wheels! – faces light up. We talk about ground, earth, soil – compost. We talk about water, rain and catching it. We talk about sun. We talk about how we can give back to the soil so that it can give back to us all. We talk about poisons that are sprayed on plants – yuck! We talk about relationships. Getting to know your farmers and the relationships plants have with each other and the tinsy-tinsy organisms in the soil.

Then, we show off our veggie oil pump and filter system and talk about recycling used materials. We talk about getting around on veggie oil that comes from the good ol’ kitchen. We talk about pollution that comes out of exhaust pipes and how getting fueled on veggie oil waste creates a lot less of that stuff we don’t like. We talk about asthma and illness. We talk about strong bones and calcium rich broccoli leaves. We talk about a lot of real stuff.

And this is the kind of stuff that makes all those miles worth the trip.

March 7th, at Unplug LA in Santa Monica, we rolled up seed bombs with the kids before the doors opened and invited them to find empty spaces in their neighborhoods to plant them. It was fun. They were stoked! We were stoked! And pretty soon those seeds in little, clay, ball chambers will be stoked when they find some ground and water! After that we created nick-names for ourselves and joined the Unplug LA group, packed away our cell phones and computers and learned how to play again without the digital leash that has come to make itself so unavoidable in our lives. We did arts and crafts with total strangers, became friends, sang songs, got barefooted, danced and not once did anyone there step away to check there text messages, voicemails or emails. The mission of the night was to unplug so that we all could just be, and just be we did.Emily June Resize

SoCal Spring Tour Begins!

Anybody wondering what we have been up to in these months of radio dark? Exactly what you want us to be doing: we have been planning a powerful 2015, with tours through southern California in the spring, and northern California in the fall! In the summer we’ll be doing events in San Diego, Denver, and San Francisco.

In California, spring is already here, which means that we are on tour again! Yep, it is crazy, but while my home state of Iowa is getting 8 inches in a blizzard,  I am planting stevia, spinach, and tomatoes in CA, and watching as ornamental pear trees explode in their stinky blossoms.

Yesterday, we started the tour with a stop at Foothills College, in Los Altos, and today we are teaching at in Paso Robles.

Our tour will take us through Ventura, LA, and San Diego, and we will be especially focusing on connecting schools with ongoing sustainability programs, and working with them to create learning gardens for their students.

Stay up to date with us through our Facebook and Instagram accounts! In the meantime, I will try to get better at blogging.




Look Ma, we’re famous!

Compass Green is now on the Disney Channel! At the end of the Spring Tour, I spent several days being filmed for Disney’s series Pass The Plate. On Monday, when we were teaching in eastern OR, I was curious why all these students kept coming up and asking for my autograph. Now I know why, the Disney spot has gone to air! Check it out:

Although it just went live, lots of family and friends have been congratulating me on it, to which I am very grateful, and feel immeasurably stoked! It’s worth mentioning, that this is super exciting not because more strangers are recognizing my face, but because kids who are in front of their television all over the country are getting shown an image of the adventures that can be had out in the sunshine, working with edible plants.

I am so excited that so many people will be learning about sustainability, and I will continue my project so that more people can learn the skills and reasons for growing a greater percentage of their diet, no matter what their living situation is, even if it’s just a hammock in the back of a big truck. IMG_20140531_175941926 (640x360) IMG_20140530_100219554 (360x640) IMG_20140530_100227399 (640x360)

Halfway in, 3,000 reached!

We are halfway through the Fall Tour and we have taught over 3,000 students. It has been busy, tiring, but so very rewarding. We’ve taught mostly elementary schools, but have also taught at middle schools (my old one in fact) and a Seattle high school.

The old spirit of adventure has lead us to make numerous new friends here, sleep on boats, hike mountains and be even more committed to help this green state get greener.

It’s tricky sometimes to get on here and upload our thoughts, but it’s easier to do so on our Facebook page, which we recommend you check out.

Onward and upward, and I sure hope you voted!

New TA, New Tour!

Matty B here! I’m a new team member of Compass Green and will be filling y’all in on the latest and greatest of the Pacific Northwest Tour.  Before we delve into the meat of the post I should remember my manners and introduce myself. I grew up in the suburbs of LA&SF and had a mother with a passion for travel; hence, this Compass Green tour was a perfect fit for my newfound passion for sustainable agriculture and seeing the world. Justin and I found each other near the tail end of my GROW BIOINTENSIVE internship with John Jeavons. Previously I was a senior at University of the Pacific majoring in Environmental Science fell for food after a California Flora class and laboring through rewarding garden research. Through connections within the department and “gifter” of the collegiate garden, Walter Robb, I encountered an opportunity to become immersed in agri-culture of Northern California on the beautiful Ridgewood Ranch (home of Seabiscuit). There is the skinny on me and now time to get to the first days of CG’s Pacific NW Tour.

Thursday October 9th we hit the road out of Sacramento heading up to Talent, Oregon. Getting fueled up with waste veggie oil in Sactown was nothing short of full overall-ed grease-monkey madness. A few ruined articles of clothing and several cubies later, we topped off the tanks and hit I-5. After a couple hours of road dog talk our rumbling tummies landed us at an Olive Pit stop to sample Sacramento’s best, I recommend the stuffed Red African peppers. Dusk was in the air as we trucked on to Ashland. It’s worth mentioning the Black Sheep British Pub with the most amazing made-to-order scones with clotted-cream n’ raspberry that we winded down at after bombing up from Sacramento. We finally arrived at our first crash pad, a redone garage into a fab single with some friendly neighbor ducks.

Friday morning we stopped at Oregon’s Right 2 Know campaign headquarters to pick up some lit to help Oregonians make an educated decision in November, we were back on the highway and setting sights for our first workshop as part of The Good Life sustainability conference on the Linfield College campus in McMinnville, OR. We arrived at the tail-end of the first conference day and caught the eye of a few stragglers who expressed interest in the glowing mobile greenhouse. One frustrating, and almost alienating, fountain encounter later (some stories from the road stay on the road…) we arrived the next morning to the classroom to present on the state of our current food system and biointensive principles. An engaged crowd, flurry of great questions, and inspiring facts later, the first Pacific Northwest tour hit it off!1924979_777679362291950_7302297054095530172_n 1964908_777679628958590_8329407640831896659_n 1901262_777679495625270_1535263421045310256_n IMG_20141012_110139777