Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | May 3rd, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
La Tourangelle

Participating School:
Woodland High School

Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Christine Polycarpe, La Tourangelle Foundation
Nathan Leathers, Yolo Farm to Fork

Heather Lyon, West Sacramento Urban Farm Program Coordinator, Center for Land-Based Learning
Alex Lintner, GrizzlyCorps Fellow, Center for Land-Based Learning
Miles DaPrato, Environmental Steward, University of California Davis Arboretum and Public Garden
Carol Maxwell, Restoration Ecologist, GEI Consultants
Gina Radieve, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Water Resources

Accomplishments: 119 shrubs and grasses along with tubex, bamboo stakes, and mulch!

Summary of the Day:
There’s no better way to end a SLEWS season than with some phenomenal productivity! Woodland High School students had their second and final field day at La Tourangelle completing 4 sections of hedgerows, planting 119 grasses and shrubs.

Re-introducing students to plants along the hedgerow we utilized our sense of touch and smell to identify plant cuttings within paper bags. Tasked with finding their assigned plant along the hedgerow students honed in on their identification skills. Following this activity students created plant ID cards using a variety of resources. Creating their own identification card for the plant of their choice they were able to share with others what they believed was crucial to know about a specific plant.

To round out the final day we concluded with a closing circle that gave students a chance to say one word that resembled their experience with the program. With words such as “inspiring,” “educational,” and “fun,” I left the field day appreciative of the community everyone was able to build.

We would like to thank all of our partners for their amazing work to support this project. Thanks to La Tourangelle for letting us work on their amazing property and the Yolo Resource Conservation District staff for allocating time to teaching students proper planting techniques and providing the materials necessary to complete the project. Finally thanks to Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation for providing the funding to make this site possible through the Yolo Creek Community Partnership.

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All in for Earth Day

Location of Field Day:
Stockton, CA

Field Day Host/Partners:
Little Manila Rising (LMR)– Brianna Garcia, Biannette Perez, Koji Lewis, Irene Calimlim and the Urban Forestry Cohort
Ag Innovations – Lupe Garcia and Juliana Birkhoff
PUENTES Urban Forestry Initiative 

Urban Forestry and Community Outreach

Our FARMS students weren’t the only ones to show up and turn up for our 4/22 Earth Day field day! South Stockton let their voices be heard through LMR’s and PUENTES’ community Earth Day event centered around urban forestry and healthy living. 

Our students arrived at Van Buskirk Park ready for some tree planting–BUT FIRST! A stop on the playground because we all know how important it is for each of us to take a little time to play.

So after some swinging, chasing, sliding, and breakfasting, students happily joined Little Manila Rising’s Urban Forestry Cohort and the eager group of Earth-loving community members who had gathered on the sunny Friday morning. After urban forestry experts and trainees provided us with a tree planting demonstration–educating us about the urban heat island effect, impacts of planting trees on biodiversity and climate change, and benefits of planting native trees–, students and community members set off to plant Valley Oaks, Buckeyes, and Redbuds throughout the park. 

After two hours of planting and a break for lunch, students took some time to explore the rest of the event. Local organizations like Kommunity Hub, Healing PUSO (Pilipinx Uplifting Self & Others), Ag Innovations, and a free Covid testing and vaccination tent had set up to share their efforts with the community.

Next we connected (or rather re-connected) with Ag Innovations directly. Let’s back up here: students have actually been working with Ag Innovations for the last several weeks in an effort to contribute to a community outreach effort on the proposed Delta Conveyance Project. Ag Innovations, a nonprofit that convenes dynamic collaborations that create agricultural and environmental opportunities for diverse communities, was hired by the Department of Water Resources to help raise awareness around the ways in which the proposed water supply project may impact Delta communities–and that communities have a right to voice their opinions about it. Several weeks before our field day, CLBL staff and LHA students Zoomed with Ag Innovations to learn all about the project and why the community outreach piece is so key (especially since the proposal is not included on the upcoming ballot!). From there, we left it up to students to decide how exactly they wanted to reach out to community members. Their answer? Hosting a community presentation and discussion about the project; during the first week of May, our FARMS students will host school staff, admin and families to spread the word. In an effort to prepare, we spent a chunk our field day afternoon with Ag Innovations’ Lupe Garcia. She sat down with our students to answer any final questions they had about the project, help them prep outreach materials for the meeting, and lead them through a native seed packing activity. Students plan to distribute these native seed packets that include key information on the Delta Conveyance Project to community members over the next few weeks.

In the final hour of the day, students chose between two different reflection activities:

  1. Half of our students participated in LMR’s Photovoice Project: provided with cameras, students took pictures of and recorded audio on points of pride as well as things they would like to see changed within their community. LMR collects the photos/recordings on an interactive map open to the public that the nonprofit also uses to advocate directly to legislatures on changes community members would like to see. 
  2. As this was our second to last field day of the year, the other half of our students spent some time reflecting on the FARMS program: sharing the high points of the year, the ways in which the program impacted them, and their advice for future FARMS students.

Alongside our celebration of Kai’s birthday, we circled up to reflect on our day. Students’ highlights included the hard work of tree planting, learning from urban forestry trainees, simply soaking in the sun, and reflecting on their own visions for their community through the Photovoice Project. Until our next field day!

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Nutrien AG Solutions

FARMS Leadership & Advanced: Kern County: April 27th, 2022

Location: Bakersfield, CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Dominic Antongiovanni – Branch Manager
Meagan Dewar- Crop Consultant

Summary of the Day:

April 27th 2022 Kern Farms Program visited Nutrien Ag Solutions in Bakersfield CA. Students from McFarland High School, West High School and Ridgeview Highschool and Bakersfield Christian Highschool came together to take a tour of their day-to-day operation. 

We started off going to their research farm and having breakfast with everyone. We then started with introductions and got to know about the Nutrien team and what we were going to be learning throughout the day.

We started off being introduced to Dillon he manages the Drone portion of the company. These drones are high tech as you can get! They can see more than the human eye! They can detect disease before the tree or plant shows symptoms. It will let know where and what tree needs to be fertilized. The drone also scans a whole orchard going back and forth down the rows and takes individual pictures of each tree. Everyone was loving this and had so many questions about the drone.

We then went on to how fertilizer is administered to the almond trees. We first went over the varieties of almond trees they have at the research farm which were Monterey and Nonpareil. All of the produce at the research farm were for conventional use. We then got to see how they pump the fertilizer into the underground pipes that then flow along through the drip tape and go down the rows of trees. You can see the darker substance through the clear tube going down towards the tree. They do one row at a time so they can make sure the fertilizer is being distributed correctly and make sure it’s all running smoothly.

We then moved on to see the bell peppers on the research farm to see the different varieties of bell peppers. They have red impact, Magellan and Super Beitar peppers. At the research farm they have different types of fertilizer trials going on so they can see what works best and helps grow the peppers to their full potential. They have different rows with certain fertilizers and varieties so they can test out some new options. When they do this, they are looking for certain disease that may occur so they can help try prevent them from occurring. 

The seniors then went off with Dominic to the head office and talked more on summer internships and job shadows and such. While we were there, we got to see the big containers which hold all the different types of fertilizers. We then saw the big mixer where they mxi the ingredients needed for certain fertilizers. 

It was an amazing day with Nutrien Agriculture Solutions and we learned so much and got to learn all about what they do and got information of future job opportunities for the students.

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