Come visit us at the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend, at the San Mateo Events Center! We’ll be teaching about our edible ecosystem, and giving greenhouse tours, plus it is a really cool all around event!
This spring, we are very happy to welcome Luiz Silveira to the teaching team. Luiz wanted to say hello himself. See below…
Hi! My name is Luiz, I’m a Brazilian business student living in Oakland. Although environmental matters and social justice were subjects I was always interested in, back in my country these are tough subjects to find through organized communities, and information is usually unavailable. On the other hand, living in California helped me meet so many people and innovative projects that totally shifted my negative mindset to a more hopeful attitude by the amount of effort I’ve seen here for a sustainable future.
On this search, I ended up meeting Angie, Justin’s awesome truck, and reached him to learn more about his project. Fortunately, I was chosen to assist with Compass Green and it’s been great to absorb so much knowledge on sustainability and farming techniques, specifically the Bio-intensive method. Growing up in Brazil, I remember how certain teachers impacted me on my views about the environment we live in; and being able to help students through the project’s alternative approach on farming education is a very gratifying experience!
but we’re not rolling far… For the first time since we started in Brooklyn 5 years ago, Compass Green is doing a hometown tour! Over the last 5 years we’ve been all over the country, nominally calling Iowa home, but now we are officially establishing our home base in Oakland California, and to fix our roots here properly (you know I love the garden metaphors) this spring we are going to be teaching in Oakland schools, working with the City of Oakland, and connecting with other like-minded local folks in order to reach those who are not like-minded at all.
Wonder what we’ve planted? Well we’re planting similar to what we had on that first tour on the east coast, a healthy bunch of brassicas and salad greens, lots of diverse basil varieties, hot peppers, and instead of amaranth for our compost crop, we’re growing south eastern Iowa’s very own Chief Appanoose heirloom popcorn, so that we don’t completely forget where we come from.
If you haven’t yet planted, it’s not (completely) too late! Get those greens in the ground, and if you haven’t tried it before, Biointensive farming will increase your yields sustainably! Check out this informative (polite term) YouTube series to learn how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPeAvYrfKkU
Happy Earth Month,
Hey, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the web address of the clip the Disney Channel did about us. They moved it awhile back, so I thought I’d just post the new address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZieKlWjtQ
It has been an amazingly rewarding tour through the San Francisco Bay Area this fall. So far we’ve reached approximately 4,000 students, met with Master Gardeners, school garden coordinators, and parent volunteers.
We have felt very fortunate to share our love of food and the planet with so many young people, and as always we learn quite a bit, even though we are supposed to be the teachers. We learn things like the fact that whales can have a gestation period up to 18 months, or that the Garden Huckleberries that I have growing in my truck are also known as sun berries and were developed by the horticulturist Luther Burbank, in Santa Rosa, and that there is a similar plant commonly eaten in southern Mexico.
I met people from the towns that have completely run out of water, and met farmers who are utilizing water-efficient techniques that improve the soil and increase production. We had engine breakdowns, DIY moments, and experienced the kindness of strangers. As always, it has been quite a ride.
Here’s to one more week of teaching in 2015!