In the last week I’ve taught nearly 2,000 students. In Lennox, LA, San Juan Capistrano, and San Diego County, Compass Green taught Middle and High School students about important global sustainability issues, and explained what a huge difference an individual can make in their own life and their world environment by growing their own food sustainably. It was an inspiring, exhausting, and totally rewarding week.
One great highlight was giving a presentation to an assembly of 800 at St. Margarets Episcopal School on Earth Day. It is a larger group than I have ever spoken to before, and the silence that surrounded some of the more important points of soil loss and how to create soil sustainability was profound indeed. It was broken only by that Elton John song about making a stand “in an auditorium” playing in the back of my mind.
The extreme differences in socioeconomic statuses and backgrounds in the different regions we taught in really brought home that food is one of the few material commonalities that bind us all, and that the knowledge of how to create a food system that will reverse the great damage that industrial agriculture is causing to the planet is something that is relevant and exciting to all students with ears to listen and hearts that care (and stomachs that rumble!)
We really appreciate all the thoughtful questions we received, and all the work that the teachers of those schools did for our visit, and the work they do every day of the year, despite budget cuts and the terrible (although kindly named) No Child Left Behind Act.
After 11 days of nonstop action, I now have 5 days off until our workshop on sustainable gardening at UCLA on Saturday the 4th. Hurray for activity one believes in combined with well earned rest!