Spring Is Here And CG Is Rolling Out!

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=FPeAvYrfKkUIMG_20160406_113009319 IMG_20160411_100831475 IMG_20160411_100854177 IMG_20160412_165653023 IMG_20160413_164644331 IMG_20160404_135008350 IMG_20160406_103902146

Happy Earth Month,

Justin

One week left!

IMG_20151118_125226611 IMG_20151201_082150372 IMG_20151113_130925229 IMG_20151117_170722535_HDRIt 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!

 

Tour Interrupted

It was a fine morning. I was in light traffic on the Richmond bridge, heading to Santa Rosa Jr College for a gig, when my heat gauge hit the red…

The story gets exciting, then sad, then tedious, then exciting, then even more sad, with the final result of 2 weeks of work, thousands of dollars in repairs needed, and my Fall Tour, interrupted.

We have postponed all schools until November, and are busily fundraising to repair the truck. Please send us your good juju (or money!) and wishes that Angie is up and educating again soon!

radiator 1 radiator 2

 

 

A Day with Compass Green: Intern’s Perspective

Caroline 1

The Schedule for a day’s work as Compass Green’s Intern:

6:00 – Wake up

6:30 – Leave the House

Pull up directions, Pick out music

Roll out, and Rock out

Navigate and DJ to the school we are visiting that day

Teach hundreds of kids

It is a rigorous and deeply rewarding schedule. One thing it never is, is dull.

Traveling to a different school in a different community each time we teach is perfect for someone like me who is always looking for new experiences. Each teaching experience has been as individual as the students I have taught.

I think that partially comes from varying philosophies of each school, and the importance teachers place on our visit, but for the most part it comes from the kids. They are the reason I am thoroughly stoked to wake up at 6 am.

I get so excited to hear how they will respond to the sustainability basic we teach them. We have heard some truly amazing responses ranging in tone from downright brilliant to very, very silly.

Just today, I had kids explain to me the fine points of how a hydrogen fueled car runs, and the history of global warming trends. They are in elementary school yet have an amazing grasp on the ecological issues facing today’s world.

On the silly end of the spectrum, here are a few of my favorite kid’s quotes from this tour:

1st grader, “Is there a dead zone in there?” (Pointing to green house)

2nd grader, “Is that nature inside?!”(Also pointing to truck)

Me, “What’s your favorite vegetable?”

Kindergartener, “We have the same one! It’s Poptarts!

1st grader #1, “At home, we have a garden on our deck.”

1st grader #2, “What?! I also have a deck!”

We might not have a lot time with each class but we do have time to have fun and plant the seeds of impact at the same time.

At the end of the day I am worn out and, somehow completely reenergized to show up fully for the kids Compass Green reaches.

‘til next time,

A very tired, very happy

Caroline