- Author: Pamela S Kan-Rice
UC Cooperative Extension advisor who promotes school gardens, urban agriculture to retire after 35-year career
A stroll through a leafy, green garden can give one temporary relief from life's harshness. During her career, Rachel Surls has used gardens to cultivate healthier communities, whether they are growing nutritious food or providing science lessons for students.
Over the past 35 years, Surls, University of California Cooperative Extension sustainable food systems advisor in Los Angeles County, has witnessed many changes – such as promoting public events on Instagram rather than typing and...
- Author: Mike Hsu
UC SAREP's Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems grant helps support Second Chance garden
Fifteen-year-old Xavier knows the anger within him will never leave. “I can't ever get rid of it,” he said.
“I've always wanted to just fight for no reason; I just had an anger issue, losing my temper quick with people,” added Xavier, a ninth-grader in San Diego County. “I have high expectations of myself.”
Xavier is working to keep his emotions under control, and he has found a sense of calm through his volunteer work. He was an intern – and then a peer supervisor – in the youth-run garden of/h2>
- Author: Mike Hsu
A volunteer recovering from a drug addiction gives time regularly to help stay sober. An older person uses outdoor spaces to stay active, physically and socially, despite mobility issues. And a mother of four strives to teach her children what carrots look like before they become capsules in plastic bags.
While these San Bernardino County residents enjoy their hours within their community garden, the lessons and inspiration they derive travel much farther – forming the branches and roots of a stronger, healthier community.
Hence the name of this unique place in...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
When local promotoras - volunteer health workers - team with CalFresh Healthy Living, UC Cooperative Extension educators, magic happens in school gardens. Trained by Ceres Partnership for Healthy Families in Stanislaus County, promotoras encourage children to eat well by growing their own produce in school gardens.
In 2018, twenty promotoras were trained to implement the Powerful People curriculum designed to engage community leaders. This is a partnership with Cultiva La Salud and Ceres Partnership for Healthy Families with funding support from Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. After the training, the promotoras worked with Ceres Unified School District to create school gardens...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
UC Cooperative Extension advisor Rose Hayden-Smith has taught schoolchildren at 4-H summer camps about food, inspired Master Gardener volunteers to plant school gardens, led the UC Cooperative Extension office in Ventura County as its first female director, and encouraged fellow University of California scientists to collaborate more on sustainable food systems research as a statewide leader. In recent years, the historian wrote a book about Victory Gardens, created the UC Food Observer, and became a leader in using social media to expand the university's public...