Santa Cruz County Food Forum

The full pdf can be found here


Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA 9AM to 5:30 PM

Table of Contents

All Proposed Sessions…………………………………………………………………………………………………..2 Connecting CSA Farmers with Eaters……………………………………………………………………………..3 Whole Grains………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5 Social Justice ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6 Eat Local …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 Getting healthy food to low-income people………………………………………………………………………9 Gleaning ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 Permanent open market space for the county…………………………………………………………………….9 Urban Gardening ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11 Lunchtime meeting ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13 Local Food Policy Council………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13 Teach the Children: Life Labs & Field Trips…………………………………………………………………..15 Public Education and Food Systems……………………………………………………………………………… 18 Making the movements regarding food systems more democratic and inclusive – that is increasing minority representation. ………………………………………………………………………………. 18 Linking Aspiring Farmers with Land to Farm ………………………………………………………………… 19 Farmer/Distribution Coop/Economic Options for Small Business ……………………………………… 19 Practicable Food Policy Ideas for Santa Cruz County……………………………………………………….21

All Proposed Sessions

  • Closing the Ed. Loop: Linking Elementary, Secondary and College on Food Systems Issues, Tim Galarneau
  • Connecting CSA Farmers w/ Eaters, Bruce Manildi
  • Ban Genetically Modified Foods in Santa Cruz County, Emily Maloney
  • Sustainable Ag & Agroecology Education; Curriculum & Teaching, Learning, DamianParr
  • Farmworker Rights, Social Justice, Dan
  • Farmer Distribution Coop – Economic Options for Small Business, Laura Tanaka
  • Practicable Food Policy Ideas for Santa Cruz County, Jered Lawson
  • Awareness that most Food Coloring is a Byproduct of the Petroleum Industry
  • Creating a Food System Graphic, Beehive Collective, Marc
  • Urban Gardening: Beautify Vacant Land, Lawns-to-food, Food for Shelters, EducationalOutreach, Greg Kindig
  • Educate People About the Value of Eating Foods Grown Locally, Caroline
  • Public Education on Local, National and International Connections in Food Systems,Allan Lonnberg
  • Democratizing Sustainable Ag – Capacity Building, Navina
  • Bringing in Excluding Communities: Why is the Sustainable Ag Movement so White?
  • South County/Latino Community Involvement in Food Policy Discussions,
  • The Role of Social Justice in the Sustainable Ag Movement: Labor Rights, Struggles,Consumption, Economic Access, Language Access, Outreach in Low-Income

    Communities/People of Color

  • Whole Grain Gap: Local Milling and Baking, Monica


  • Discussing Public Infrastructure for Permanent Open Markets, Don Burgett
  • Food Access and Nutrition for Low Income Area Residents with Win/Win for Local Ag,Encouraging Institutional Buying, Lee Mercer
  • Gleaning Program, Janet Bryer
  • Linking Aspiring Farmers with Land to Farm, Reggie Knox
  • Hunger: Coalition Building, Distribution of Weath/Food – Healthy Fresh Foods
  • Food Policy Council Formation, Laura Tanaka
  • Profit vs. Health Motivations Behind Dietary Guidelines
  • One Listing (Mailer and E-mail)/Outreach/Website/Collaboration for Food RelatedEvents and Actions
  • Informal Q&A About Taco Bell Boycott and How to Get Involved Locally, JesseConnecting CSA Farmers with Eaters

    Convener: Bruce Manildi
    Participants: Tracy D., Kathryn Spencer, Heather Ricks, Serena Coltrane-Briscoe, Roger Sideman, Jan Perez, Dawn Coppin, Lea Houlette
    Notetaker: Serena

    Background: Bruce is a local farmer in Soquel, growing tree fruits and the best value garcinia cambogia. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Homeless Garden Project. Bruce is in charge of Homeless Garden Project’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), with an 80 share goal. Homeless Garden Project partners with the Laughing Onion Farm (located in Hollister) – this works well because Homeless Garden grows cool weather crops while Maria Ines (of Laughing Onion) grows warm weather crops. A CSA is a program in which community members purchase a share from a local farm, and receive a box of produce each week throughout the season. It’s like a magazine subscription. Homeless Garden has a 22 week season. They generally have 12-15 items each week. There are many CSAs around, and lots of food is being grown. The challenge is getting it to the consumers. One issue is that people need to learn what to do with the food.


  1. Why do only wealthy, white people buy shares in CSAs? How do we overcome cultural issues? Food stamps or EBT needs to be looked into so that low income people can have access to CSAs. Would this work, given the pay ahead issue? Could a certain percentage of the shares be set aside for purchase by week or month, which might work better with food stamps? Lee Mercer or Penny Leff might have information on this.
  2. Choice and Frequency: People often want different things from CSAs. They might only like certain foods, not know what to do with the sometimes odd things they get, might want the box this week, but not next week, etc. Some farms might be strict about people being consistent and insist that they get their box every week, or find someone else to get it if they can’t. Some farms fear that they might lose business if they were strict. If people can’t afford the whole year, some CSAs have an option to purchase monthly. If people can’t eat all the food, maybe there could be an option for every other week subscriptions. Recipes would help people know what to do with their produce. If this is a challenge for some farms, other farms, like Mariquita, might be willing to share or provide CSA consumers of other farms with their website, which has lots of recipe ideas. In Oakland, Farm Fresh Choice is a program like a CSA where people make a commitment to spend a


certain amount each week, but they get to choose what they want. Other ideas include:

have a trade box, have options, include recipes, storage tips, and product info.

  1. Many people don’t know about CSAs – education is needed.
  2. Some research shows that a CSA shares costs what you what might pay during the weekif you purchased from the grocery stores. It could even be cheaper.
  3. One issue Maria Ines, from Laughing Onion Farm, has is that she needs to make enoughmoney for her family and is monolingual.
  4. Promotion: there is a small farmers’ market at MLK school in Salinas, and Serenamentioned that she was hoping the farmer might use that opportunity to promote the CSA and use it as a drop off spot for people in that neighborhood, and who go to that school. Bruce mentioned that farmers’ markets and CSAs don’t go well together because people like to go to all the different stands and pick out their produce. Perhaps, then, it’s more of a farm stand idea, with one farm selling produce at a school or other location, and promoting their CSA. They could sell small quantities to customers and also allow their CSA customers to come pick up their boxes or select items to put in their own box. Schools would be a good promotional venue for CSAs to teachers and parents, as it is a captive audience. It also ties into the Farm-to-School programs that are going on at a lot of schools, which teach kids about food, farming, and nutrition.
  5. Education is important – local eating cures allergies, it is healthy and good for you, what’s available, it’s cost effective, and brings money into the local economy.
  6. People who get CSAs tend to be people who already eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and are into trying new items and varieties. Jan’s research shows that 70% of people in the study ate more fruits and vegetables as CSA consumers – this could lead to a study with doctors to promote CSAs as a means to healthy diet change. Work with Doctors to support CSAs for good health!
  7. How do newsletters work? Who is responsible for writing them, how do they go out? In some cases, volunteers help with them, or hired CSA coordinators, or the farmer. They might be electronic or in the box.
  8. Mandate that local institutions buy locally.

Next Steps:

  1. Publicity – newspaper insert (in city papers, university or college papers, other local papers), PSA on radio or Hog Call on KPIG, Community Bulletin Boards, E-mail, Green Resource pages in local papers.
  2. Let’s get an action group to put these together –,,,,
  3. Tracy will write a paper on the talk and present it to her class which will spread the word about CSAs.


Whole Grains

Convener: Monica
Participants: Bruce Manildi, Caroline Manildi, Bruce Oneto, Dave Shaw, Ed, Carolyn, Monica Notetaker: Fabiana


Interest in whole grain group. Since 1980 there has been research done on how to make whole grains appealing with an emphasis on bread. How do we relocalize grains?





  • How do we re- localizegrains?
  • Are therehalogens in


  • Does whiteflour have more or less gluten.
  • What is the importance ofgrains being local?
  • Can one survive fromthe income of growing grains?
  • Does the buyer talk tothe consumer?
  • What help doyou need as


  • What do you need withadvertising?
  • Is this the right climate to grow wheat?
  • Cost of transpiration also more money for the farmer, and very little middlemen.
  • Prejudice of wheat being grown on a plain.
  • Small farmers cannot sell their wheat to a larger mill.
  • The cost of preserving from when it comes from far away.
  • The money per acre and what are the economics. Is it worthwhile doing?
  • Get consumer and seller to know this is viable.
  • Who is local?
  • Flour is best kept refrigerated orelse the vitamins


  • New Leaf is apart of corporations, so we need to talk to their buyers.
  • Bleaching diminishes thenutrients with a combination with starches.
  • Stronger dough is from kept wheat.
  • There is a consumer desire for waxed produce.
  • Wheat is a great rotation crop. It is difficult to obtain a subsidy.
  • Label locally grown organic produced grain for advertising.
  • Create a database for locally grown food.
  • Get people educated on the issue.
  • Localize whole grain milling. Have this money stay within the local economy.
  • Use grain as an alternative crop.
  • Whole grains need to be organic, and can be produced in an area like this.
  • Small farmers take their grain to the bakers.
  • Create a niche market for grain teaching people what is right to put in your body.
  • Being proactive and not worry about sales.
  • A group of farmers should get together and provide things that they couldn’t provide for themselves.


  • Subsidies for process of encouraging co-ops to buy equipment to produce products.
  • Get to the general public and educate them.
  • Sell flour to bakers, and create co-ops on a neighborhood basis.

Social Justice

Participants: Jesse Woltjer, Dan Huber, Charles Allen, Kathryn Spencer, Dan Huber, Zev Bodek, Jennifer Merriman, Paul Franklin, Christine Briddle, Dawn Coppin.
Notetaker: Fabiana

Background: Combination of suggested groups on social justice





  • Where is the link to farmworker rights and food policy?
  • Where are the farm workerstoday?
  • How do wemake a connection between people who grow food and the consumer?
  • Access to food?
  • How do we organize ourminds?
  • What otherareas important to explore?
  • Farm workers are a hugeissue, what do we want to bring to the larger group?
  • Profess to be progressivebut can’t speak the same language as farm workers.
  • Need to have more diverse involvement.
  • Can get in web ofconnections.
  • How do we include foodprocessors.
  • Davenportconcerns with quality of food.
  • Tomatoes and Taco Bell.
  • Baseline survival, food is not included in that for farm workers.
  • Davenport, farmer workers get USDA organic food.
  • Access to nutrition, farm workers don’t have access or money.
  • Every session here is interconnected. Some feel very connected.
  • Second harvest is a connection to farm workers. The food comes from out of state and out of country.
  • Connections take dedicated activism and time.
  • Awareness of other groups.
  • On a farm the farm owner would designate allotment of land to diversify.
  • Doctor from Salud Para la Gente involved in food forum.
  • Work with community to do things for them.
  • Take a big effort to publicize we need bridge people.
  • A follow up food forum with inclusively, more farm workers, there are issues of representation.


  • Finding way around foodsystem is


  • No interactionbetween “Anglo” and “Latino”

• ALBA in Salinas, Salud para La Genete, Homeless Garden Project, Bread and Fish, CAFF, CCOF, Rural Development, Commercio Justo, CAN

  • Having this meeting is a luxury for others there is not time availability. 1) motivation (not to assuage our guilt) to create another food forum 2) we are here to help ourselves to help others.
  • Brainstorm a list of organizations for how to get people involved.
  • Bilingual tutoring.
  • Connecting groups, plan actions but what happens after that.
  • Redefining quality of life, create a co-op for profit sharing.
  • Teach kids and promote organic.
  • Try to facilitate connections with farmers and farm workers.
  • Bring representatives from the communities we are talking about.
  • Get local unions involved to get discussions more diverse.
  • Separate labor issues with food policy issues.
  • Need to see who farm workers are.
  • Include food processors. Talk about this a job with dignity.


Eat Local

Convener: Caroline M.
Participants: Greg M., Dave S., Bruce O., Emily M., Lisa B., Arty, Janet, Ken D., Caroline M. Notetaker: Ian M.

Background: Education, Local economy, nutrition, economy, environment, fresh, book Healing Foods, combining east & west diets, health in the past





  • How can we educate thegeneral public, kids re: eat local?
  • How can we have a successfulcampaign against GMOs?
  • Why?
  • Health Care, thefocus of
  • Ignorance
  • Personal nature of food
  • Cost of prevention vs. cost of treating symptoms
  • Understanding “you are what you eat”
  • Entrenched habits
  • Media
  • Understanding self-interest
  • GMOs – Nolabeling requirements for GMOs
  • Top-down mandates w/opublic


  • Voting process notworking on a large

    scale (beyond SC)

  • Pharmaceuticalrights
  • Should food orcrops be banned?
  • Industry influenceon government
  • 2 + generations eating processed food
  • Better for you
  • Nutritionprograms
  • “fat” country
  • County ban orregulation of

    GMO growing

  • No GMOs in EU
  • EU grassrootsresistance
  • Rice industry allowed toapprove foods
  • Cal GE Free
  • Insurers won’tinsure GMO growers
  • Forums
  • Publicity (media)
  • Involvement withNGOs
  • Individual-leveloutreach
  • School gardens
  • Parental awareness
  • Recipies w/CSAs
  • PSAs re: diet,exercise
  • Exhibits/activities atcounty fairs
  • Public input (re: regulation)
  • State laws
  • County, local laws
  • Research
  • Use liability (see insurers above) to our advantage
  • Incorporation w/ eat local issue
  • Prenatal education
  • Diversity of groups
  • Tobacco EducationalCoalition as a model for educating the public
  • PSAs
  • Ballot initiatives


  • Industry suppression ofresearch, testing
  • Industryintimidation (of


  • Effects of GMOson pregnancy
  • Lack ofknowledge
  • Media: focus oneconomics, world hunger, not on personal health
  • Native plants disappearing
  • Patents
  • NGO action to use land grantuniversities to our


  • Food council
  • School activities
  • Bring lecturers
  • Sponsor foodworkshops
  • Kid-oriented marketing of non- GMO products
  • Plug into NGOs
  • Seek out/createmedia
  • Write an article

Getting healthy food to low-income people


Permanent open market space for the county

Participants: Not collected Notetaker: Ian M.


  • Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Food to schools
  • Creating infrastructure for local ag
  • Institutional buying
  • Obstacles to gleaning movement
  • Interest, yet nothing established
  • Lots of waste on farms (sometimes 1/3 of crop)
  • Gateway Plaza: could be open market
  • Farmers market: limited
  • Is there interest?
  • Public control of such space spares affordable retail space






  • How can we help local farms while also getting healthy food to low income people?
  • Can we establish a widespreadgleaning program
  • Would permanentlocal market space(s) be helpful for local food economy?
  • Nutrition, eating
  • Low wages
  • Seasonalunemployment
  • Getting schoolboards to sign on
  • Food processing element
  • Lack of union labor
  • Food stamps (for CSAs)
  • Retail outlets for the poor
  • Infrastructure, inaccessibilityfor low-income


  • Schools havingpoor quality food
  • Farmers may not like it (gleaning)
  • Liability (gleaning)
  • Equipment, transportation
  • Incompetence, lack of training (gleaning)
  • Will to confront county?
  • Time
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Finding willing workers(gleaning)
  • Unequal labordistribution
  • Political barriers
  • Food bank donation sources: 20% federal, 20% donations, 20% retail salvage, 20% donated retail, 20% community
  • School district feeds morepeople than any other entity in pajaro valley
  • Undocumented workers kids can get foodstamps
  • Farm reps supervisegleaning (at Gray Bear)
  • Oregon food bank organizes some gleaning
  • Lots of unused processingbuildings in

    South SF

  • Ferry Plazamodel for permanent market (alternative to walmart type development)
  • Institutional buying (jails, schools)
  • Buying from regional farms as public works program
  • Re-appropriation of funds
  • Voucher system
  • PTA meetings
  • Meet w/ schoolofficials
  • Counter existingpower structure
  • Disclaimers/waivers(gleaning)
  • County-run program (gleaning)
  • School field trips
  • Extra work forfarmworkers
  • Gleaning CSA
  • Include as part of farm plan
  • Info distribution via non-profits
  • Get-kids-off-the- street type programs (gleaning)
  • Barter program/backyard gleaning
  • Community plots/orchards
  • Gleaning-farming connections
  • Glean-your-own: backyards
  • P.M. spares: redevel sites line schools (?)


  • Absentee ownership offarms
  • Locations forpermanent market?
  • Coop format w/ efficient staffing
  • Fish (local): big opportunity
  • Ground floor of city parking garages
  • Permanent market:renovation project
  • Jobs: more people canafford food

Urban Gardening

Convener: Greg Kindig, 429-5557,
Participants: Serena Coltrane-Briscoe – 429-5620, Ginger Ogilvie – 457-2993, Drake Ogilvie Howard
Notetaker: Serena

Background: One of our inspirations is the book “Seed Folks” in which each vignette describes a fictional person’s individual experience with a blighted, empty, urban lot as it gradually turns into a guerilla, urban, community garden. “Seed Folks” paints a picture of a web of social relationships formed, and a community built, as people connect around growing their own food and flowers. Other efforts, such as “Lawns to Food” and various guerrilla/urban/community garden groups, also serve as inspiration to educate and build community, while beautifying and generating food from the urban landscape.

Resources/Models: Seed Folks, Lawns to Food,, The Fifth Sacred Thing, American Community Gardening Association, Operation Green Thumb


  • Convert blight to horticulture and food
  • Connect people to where their food comes from
  • Educational outreach for food policy issues
  • Food for shelters and food banks
  • Community gardens
  • Lawns to food
  • Social connectionsNotes:
  • More space needed for community gardens
  • Identify spaces for community gardens, or already existing gardens – Ginger will call Parksand Rec about this.
  • Re-instituting the idea of “Victory Gardens”
  • Food growing for food security, taking back control of the food system, supplying food foroneself and family
  • Plant vertically along the fence at Mission and Van Ness lot with sunflowers and beans – this could be a form of outreach and getting more involvement.


  • Plant up and down Soquel Dr. for color
  • By starting this process, people will become interested, curious, and want to get involved – aform of community building.
  • Lots of gardens have been started along un-used railways. Might be able to tie into Rails-to-Trails. Should contact People Power to see where they are in their process.
  • Form a non-profit to be able to accept donations or work under an umbrella non-profit
  • Form BUG (Bureau of Urban Gardening) for an appearance of legitimacy and to givestructure to the project.
  • Contact people who have previously expressed interest in this sort of thing and get theminvolved.
  • Find space on the Westside for another community gardenAction Items for BUG: Identify Parcels:
  • Vacant land
  • Public land
  • Lawns – residential
  • Rights of way (Union Pacific) Identify Needs
  • Community gardens
  • Food outlets (shelters, food banks)
  • Blighted areas (U.P., Soquel Dr., vacant lots) Identify Resources
  • Seeds
  • Tools
  • Compost
  • Volunteers
    Investigate non-profit formation or umbrella organizations Identify pertinent existing efforts
    Identify stakeholders
  • City Parks and Rec
  • County Parks and Rec
  • Residents Education and Outreach Food BarterSummary/Next Steps:
    1. Check with Rails to Trails about collaborating along the railway
    2. Check with Union Pacific (or the county if and when they purchase the right of way)about access to the rail right-of-way
    3. Ginger will contact city parks and rec about existing community gardens and Greg,Serena, and Ginger will look for potential new Westside sites
    4. Greg will contact Mission Street Pumpkin Patch, and Greg, Serena, and Ginger willhopefully plant sunflowers, beans, and winter squash along their fence.


Lunchtime meeting

Participants (mainly CSSC and students): Fabiana Ochoa, Roxanne Stohmeier, Lesley Wilcox Chirstine Casillas, Maren Poitras, Navina, Damian Parr, Debbie Maguillansky, Lea Houlette, Marcus Gabriel, Tim Galarneau, Nick Babin, Erica Wintrode, Joe Coberly

Notetaker: Dave Shaw 454-0343 Local Food Policy Council

Convener: Laura Tanaka,, cell 254-5067
Notetaker: Tim G.
Participants: Jered L., Don B., Dave S., Nick B., Fred K., Ed L., Emily M., Bart E., Allen L., Bruce M., Bruce O., Caroline M., Leah H., Thomas M., Deborah W., Sue N., Anastasia T., & Angela F.

Background: Last summer the Food Policy Council Working Group for Santa Cruz arose in conjunction with the Go For Health Collaborative that is currently addressing the obesity and nutrition crisis that is affecting our county and the nation. The FPC Working Group emerged with the realization that we would need to pulll in sustainable agriculture, anti-hunger, and public health (among others) to address larger food system concepts. We began meeting in August, and have met the third Thursday of each month up till this point. The Food Forum arose out of these meetings and some attendees began meeting regularly to plan this event on top of our monthly meeting. The Working Group reviewed the history of other Food Policy Councils and have been exploring what a council would look like in Santa Cruz.

Summary: There was agreement that there is enough energy to form a working group body and the participants called to form the Santa Cruz County Food Policy Working Group and will explore at the next meeting how to move forward with this body.
(review “Options” section for other discussed outcomes).





  • How does a small groupbecome fairly representative of Santa Cruz County?
  • What would this structure look like, based onpast models?
  • How do we keep the community empowered and have a legitimate FPC for Policy change?
  • Sometimes Food Policy is difficult to engage the public in
  • The word FPC may be topolitical,

• FPCs are happening all

around the country—in cities, regions, and states. (12 regional FPCs are already evolving in CA.

• Fresh produce goes to waste. We need appropriate distribution to alternative channels of consumption to address this.


  • How can we engage foodeducation from youth and upwards?
  • Why are we, as the public notgood enough to

    create policy?

  • How can weengage the community in buying local?
  • Where is the formation of this group currently at? When will it happen?
  • Should issue based sub-committees be involved in the formation of a FPC group? What would this look like?
  • How can we broaden thisgroup?
  • We have littlemoney/funds and we could be going against big business and larger food system players
  • How can we distribute and get our food out to groups/people that could use it.
  • Gleaning: can we get it out in anappropriate time?
  • We need to address socialjustice, labor, and issues of privilege (very important), as well as see the connection between economics and social justice.
  • We need to get more “buy-in”before represent the county on Food Policy
  • Lots of non- profits areworking on food issues in Santa Cruz County (i.e. school food policy, nutrition, hunger, and sustainable agriculture).
  • There are policy restraints,Second Harvest Food Bank is allowed to
  • Donate to non- profits but notto public institutions (present barrier)
  • FPC should be about informing our community about our food
  • FPC is a great public body toenhance and network existing projects in the county & bring diverse communities into food system issues
  • Community Alliance forFamily Farmers (CAFF) is currently developing fact sheets about our food system.
  • We need to get the city of Santa Cruz to purchase refrigerated vehicles to assist with fresh produce delivery of our emergency food supply. (Nat’l issue)
  • We should establish specific working committees that feed into the FPC which work on different food policy and system issues.
  • Have to find a midpoint between complete grassroots and an official appointed body
  • A local, organic menu needs to be created for businesses and institutions.
  • Identify as communities affected by policy (issues must be prioritized by commonality).
  • Develop short, clear mission statement and name (i.e. Santa Cruz Community Food Coalition/Council).
  • Great chance to serve as a valuable public model for other areas.
  • Get a seat on the Public Health Dept.
  • Begin budgeting and fundraising.


  • Laura is currently hiredpart-time towork on Food Policy issues for CAFF
  • There already is a communitylist-serve for the Community Food Security Coalition.
  • Next Thursday is a meeting atthe Grange to talk about GE issues 7-9pm, 1900 7th Avenue Ken D. 239- 8894
  • Some issues were talkingabout are covered in the Public Health Dept.
  • Actual FPC work itself can be run out of a non- profit, but we could get legitimacy by the SC Board of Supervisors, and ask for their endorsement.
  • Improve outreach for this group into the CMMU.
  • Develop plan to address what we need to do to become a FPC group for Santa Cruz
  • Everyone is invited to the next FPC meeting at Live Earth Farms on (TBA)
  • Have session/forum attendees make a call to action and move to be the SC FPC Working Group
  • Taco Bell protest on 3/11 from 3:30-on. Meet at Mission for Farmworker Solidarity
  • Have FPC work on action items from the Food Forum.

Teach the Children: Life Labs & Field Trips

Convener: B, Lissah
Notetaker: Tim G.
Participants: .Shannon C. (has children in Life Lab programs), Reggie K. (CA Farm Link, Life Lab Program at UCSC, among other activities), Ollie P. (Bi-lingual teacher at Rad Cliff Elementary), Julie B. (UCSC), Pel B. (UCSC), Dan C. (UCSC), Katie D. (“Field to Market to You”-New Leaf sponsored Life Lab program), Jean F. (Food Column in the Parajo Paper), Katie M. (UCSC Graduate).


It has been found that children learn easier with hands-on programs that are good forms of modeling/imprinting by design. Currently the Life Lab programs are in danger of dissipating. We need to reclaim appropriate funding.



It was agreed that B. Lissah will be the contact person for moving projects and ideas forward with the life lab group that attended today’s Food Forum.
-Jean F. will write a column in the Parajo Valley newspaper to raise the issue about school gardens and send out a call for support and interest (B. Lissah’s will be the contact)

-Reggie Knox went pollinating this group’s ideas to other sessions and conveners to build a network.
-Olli will follow-up on establishing a garden at Rad Cliff Elementary School.
-There are internship opportunities for the “Field to Market to You” garden program that is sponsored by New Leaf.





  • Important to keep funding forelementary school

    life labs

  • How do we keepthis early modeling/ imprint life lab design?
  • How does this tie into the “NoChild Left Behind


  • How can weintegrate social justice into Life Lab issues w/ elementary youth?
  • How can we integrate theNorth and South

    County Schools?

  • How can we getfairly paid garden


  • How do we assistwith continuity of

    existing gardens?

  • How do we getschool administrators to commit to the gardens/life labs?
  • With kids curriculum there may not be enough time to utilize the life lab.
  • Long-term teachers aren’tassigned to the


  • Its hard tomaintain the gardens (i.e. weeding and other needed maintenance).
  • What happens to the food once it gets to the children?
  • Teachers need training
  • Budget cuts are the reason why money is not available from schools.
  • Lack of school funding forexisting gardens.
  • There are approximately 15- 20 public elementary schools in Santa Cruz County with life Labs or school gardens.
  • “Field to Market” program is working on labor/labor rights issues.
  • Paid garden position canenhance the life lab (vs. a parent volunteer).
  • Live Oaks School District hasthree elementary school gardens. Community members assist with the weeding.
  • There is a model learning garden at UCSC’s Life Lab the staff from the garden are sent out to schools in SantaCruz.). The origin is teaching science through the garden.
  • We need to create programs that let kids know what is happening to their parents in the fields and how they can make healthy food.
  • Ask Home Depot for donationmaterials for your school garden (also San Lorenzo).
  • Master Gardeners has a $5,000funding pool for school gardens (ask Reggie K.).
  • Coordinate school trips with parents to nearest farms for a tour. (parents show insurance, kids sign a waiver). A “School Pool” can be created (ride share network for events).
  • We could focus on gettingfarms/gardens in the school (less travel, risk, liability).


  • Lack of school transport forfield trips (parents have to car pool kids)
  • Four teachers had to cancelgarden trips because a lack of parents to drive.
  • School garden coordinators“drop off”
  • What are thecosts of the life lab? (it varies on volunteers, building materials, continuity expenses, etc…)
  • Big Salinas Valley project- using the gardens to teach English
  • Use life lab to teach multi- disciplinarylearning (using

    ecology as a base).

  • After schoolculinary clubs may be a source of support
  • Jean F. has a culinary library of over 11,000 cookbooks that are available to anyone that can use them as a resource.
  • G.D. Ranch offers local farm field trips (also E.B. Farm and Live Earth).
  • Utilize the “Master Gardners” program through UCSC extension.
  • Link up with the Slow FoodsMovement of Santa


  • The local collegecommunity is a great resource (i.e. grant writing, building, networks, etc…)
  • Food Policy Working Group can serve as a resource.
  • Ollie can be a bi- lingual resource.
  • On going parent training for school gardens to build continuity.
  • Jean can put a call out to her Parajo newspaper column (she will print the convener’s contact info).
  • Have kids do homework-“go home and grow a tomato.”
  • Grant writing, find funding potentials. Could even use corporations like Dole & Driscoll for sponsorship.
  • Rethink the school calendar (longer hours, shift style of school day).
  • Study successful initiatives(Branciforte—De. La Guera have USDA funding).
  • Contact CAFF and the Go For Health collaborative for “nutrition network” grant info.
  • Contact Alice Waters foundation for support.


Public Education and Food Systems


Allen L. (Anthropology Department, Cabrillo College) Mark (BeeHive Collective Design Director)
Notetaker: Roxanne


To explore what is being done locally and globally to educate the Public about Food Systems…..What can be done?

Inquiries and Challenges:

  • How do we engage learning into schools and into the community?
  • How do we make our messages more visible / compete with large food systemscorporations?
  • A lot of information is unknown to the public, how do we get it out there?
  • Vending machines in schools, food served in schools.
  • University students have access to information, but what about the public? People whoare set in their lifestyles may not be exposed to this information… do we provide

    access beyond the university?

  • Influence of media has a great effect on people’s awareness and habits as a consumer.
  • people have little time.
  • What is the effect of budget cuts on school food systems?
  • people do buy the food that is cheapest, organic food id too expensive for many families.
  • The aim is to begin working with people with diverse beliefs and lifestyles.
  • Big food systems corporations have a lot of power, influence the public….how do we getaround the propaganda?
  • It will be a necessary challenge to bring university faculty, students, teachers,corporations, farmers, stores, consumers and politicians together to create solutions.

    Making the movements regarding food systems more democratic and inclusive – that is increasing minority representation.


    Teresa, Ildi and Navina
    Notetaker: Roxanne
    -Environmental movement lacks representation of minorities.
    -Access is available mainly to wealthier communities.
    -Involvement and outreach is limited to particular communities / areas.


Linking Aspiring Farmers with Land to Farm

Convener: Reggie Knox
Participants: Dawn C., Julie S., Monica S., Cindy Scott
Reggie – California Farmlink linking retiring farmers with beginning farmers. Also help people start up farms, long-term leases, land tenure.
Dawn – Homeless Garden Project, looking for possible new permanent site. Also land opportunities for HGP graduates.
Monica – Interested in growing good organic wheat locally. Has leased land in Yolo County. Wants to encourage farmers to grow wheat. “The Whole Grain Connection”.
Julie – Aspiring local farmer, UCSC and High Ground Organics
Cindy- Family owns one acre in Corralitos, thinking about land access

Summary/next steps: Option on land: gives time to gather financial resources. Open Space Alliances can own land: Land Trust organizations. Ag and Env easements protect land in perpetuity and reduce price of land. Interested farmers should apply to FarmLink to be in database. FarmLink website , has weblink to national organization of farmlink type organizations. SAGE Sustainable Ag. Education developing urban edge Ag Park in South San Jose, “Coyote Valley”. FarmLink’s IDA, Individual Development Account

Farmer/Distribution Coop/Economic Options for Small Business

Convener: Laura Tanaka,, cell 254-5067
Participants: Yelena, Karie, Juliebeth I., Dawn C., Nick, Pel B., Dan C.C., Gary Harrold, Liv Notetaker: Laura Tanaka

Background: CAFF working to facilitate a farmer distribution group. CAN coffee fair trade coop. University and restaurants wanting more coordinated effort. Info is needed on best model for coops – why work/why not? We want to create economic options for local food producers -> food security.

Summary/next steps:

  • Create and enhance distribution networks b/w local farmers, businesses, and institutions (anyone that serves food).
  • CAFF, Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign, will gather info on farmers’ needs and bring together the community on this soon.
  • “The People”- a community interest group, locally organizing for the people’s voice outside the UCSC student government – will promote the idea of the buyers coop, try to develop a campaign, try to work with BFBL
  • Ask for a vote on a local policy recommendation at a county level.
  • Create a working group to promote this conversation exploring the options page.
  • Perhaps contract directly with growers, start from the demand-side.






  • What does it entail
  • How can wesustain it
  • How to get farmersinterested
  • Why not here
  • How do we maintain the direct marketing benefit for farmers (not creating another middleperson)
  • What would it do? What is needed?
  • What about a processing facility as well
  • Market research -> what would it take? What is needed?
  • Where is policy on this
  • How to deal with profit needs
  • Farmer participation islacking
  • Time involved inrunning a


  • Nonprofits arenot well equipped to be business minded but are well equipped research, community facilitation, grants
  • UCSC claims local – but notactually doing it


  • 1st step: is schooldistrict level the appropriate model? Explore this -> cafeteria capacity
  • CAFF
  • CAN
  • Kresge Coop(perhaps community organizing to support local coops, 501(c)(3) info for a coop)
  • Coop America
  • National Association ofCoops and

    Student Coops

  • Market research
  • Jim Cochrane
  • SBA
  • Farm to School Forum (CAFF) this spring
  • Kresge student farmers coopstarting (meets at Kresge), The People
  • CASCC is talking about amobile produce truck
  • A Buyer’s coop, creating the demand
  • Non profit grant funded farmers’ coop
  • Create a business focused on local farmers and local businesses
  • Collaborators: CASCC, UCSC, SCCCU, SBA, CAFF, CAN, 2nd Harvest Food Bank, SOS
  • If we create the infrastructure at the same time as developing a policy that puts a preference on local, then the market and structure will coincide
  • Ask for a vote on a local food policy recommendation at he county level
  • Perhaps start at the school district level as a pilot, then go larger
  • Pressure UCSC to follow through on their local/organic commitment, need another wave of a campaign, food service working group at UCSC


Practicable Food Policy Ideas for Santa Cruz County

Convener: Jered Lawson
Participants: Kari Bernardi, Kerry Brown, Lee Mercer, Don Burgett, Greg Kindig, Ginger O., Nancy V., Monica S., Dristina Perry, Erica, Roger, Josh, Reggie K., Lisa
Notetaker: Louise H.

Background: Other areas have developed with specific policies that could serve as examples or ideas for this county. The question then becomes: How can we incorporate these working examples into functioning policies within our own county?


  • Food should be isolated as basic human right!
  • There needs to be a written policy (next level of structure) into the food decision process
  • Some more in-depth research is needed in order to fill in unknown details about examplesand answer some of the questions that were raised





  • What existing food policy ideas would work locally and in our area?
  • What policies are already in useother places the we can then morph for our own use and benefit?
  • What are existing/defectiv e policies that we could change that then would work?
  • Who are the key players andstakeholders that are needed to be involved? How do we get them on board?
  • We need to learn more, get some food policy experts, and understand how things function
  • What are other options besides bank loans that provide funding for farmers?
  • A local informationresource like a publication is needed
  • A lot of school boards are hung up on red tape things
  • How do communitymembers know how to tack into various funding options?
  • Ex: In Sonoma County, there is a sales tax where something like a quarter cent of each dollar is taken. Private landowners are involved, and there are chances for tax breaks and easements. What basically happens is that farm owners basically agree to tax themselves in order to keep their farms and protect themselves from development
  • Ex: There was a cotton farmer who couldn’t get a bank loan
  • Ex: Mendocino County Banned G.M.O.’s
  • Make a publication
  • Make this a groupto apply pressure, or just be a working group
  • Go to directly to school boards,and/or city county officials, and/or letter 2 school districts to strengthen school garden and nutrition education policies
  • Have a County Food Council-work with local growers to make local infrastructure
  • When new stores open, the county would require that the store carry a certain percent of local produce


  • Would it be possible to banG.M.O.’s here (like was done in Mendocino County)?
  • How can we make policies to formulate infrastructure for local agriculture and other things?
  • What can be done to helpfarmers get their food out on the market and give locals access?
  • Do we need to come up with a pre-made plan to introduce to the school board?
  • How many of thesegovernment supported programs are out there, and going on, that are being used instead of other options?
  • What will take us to the next level of crackin’?
  • How do you tack into federalfunding?
  • What existing policies areeffecting our food system now?
  • Government food programsgoing on (most schools just buy from big government supported companies, that get incentives, because the schools know it is accepted, easy, and they already know that buying from these people will work)
  • If government supportedprograms get incentives for supplying food, why can’t we give incentives to people here who are already buying into local food (like New Leaf?)
  • Schools do get federalreimbursement for food programs, they’re just choosing to buy crappy food
  • Ex: F.E. Crops Need to satisfy certain criteria in order to be grown and sold
  • Alice Waters could be a key person that would be worthwhile to connect with. She had involvement with the Berkeley School Plan (Gets school to buy local?)
  • Federal reimbursements are there to pay for school food and meal plans. The monetary amount allotted is based on the number of meal plans provided for those children in need due to their family’s low income situation.
  • Some schools have autonomous food service directors
  • The school board is ultimately the entity that would have to adopt any new change or requirement of a school and their food services
  • Ex: Recent Newspaper article just came out highlighting the chef at the Dominican hospital who is growing and serving organic food to the hospital
  • A local policy requiring a partial percent of a dollar amount is given/put back into the community
  • Make public institutions (ex: schools, hospitals) have to buy local food
  • Buying into Fresh to Local plan could be included as part of a county mandate
  • Purchasing assistance program
  • Conduct a food policy assessment
  • Make school provisions toincorporate local

    food in:

  • -school breakfasts -summer lunches – food stamps in farmers market -child and adult care feeding programs
  • Groups of farmers could utilizeabandoned local infrastructure (from mentioned example of Pajaro Valley’s infrastructure loss)
  • Permanent Farmer’s Market place


  • How did the relationshipsbetween store owners who carry local produce and those farmers get established?
  • (Thinking about big stores like Wal-Mart andother economic developments…) Can we work on those that are new incoming economic development entities and influence these new stores by requiring them to do things like use certain building materials, or influence what they sell? Can we make requirements where stores that want to build have to compromise and fulfill these requirements in exchange for their right/ability to build? Is a partnership like this possible?
  • Who is reporting our group’ssummary to the main group after this meeting is over?
  • Export/Import of local foodvs. outside- sourced food; why do we grow some of the things we need in this actual area…yet in our grocery stores we can only buy these same things imported?
  • Retail more difficult
  • Find out more about Ventura(In regards to inquiry: What existing policies are effecting our food system now?)
  • We need to expand thesepolicies outside schools to any county program and ensure that these things can be used into the future
  • Ex: The school in Berkley has been able to arrange own requirements in buying food for their school
  • There is a “Right to Farm” Ordinance (basically means people who are buying, or moving into a house next to a farm, sign a sheet that says that they realize if there is noise or whatever from things like tractors, that this can not be considered a reportable nuisance because they understand that they are choosing to move in and live next to a farm). The ordinance, then, helps to inform as well as ease some relationship tensions between neighbors.
  • Ex: Marin County Food Policy- says any public county event that is to occur, where food is involved, has to ensure that some percent has been bought locally
  • H.E.L.P. and N.R.C.C.C. –these groups have a cd with policy templates for educational systems/ institutions; they are from Monterey and wish to link with Santa Cruz in their
  • Make county office of economicdevelopment to deal with development issues
  • Make available incentives for those people (example: New Leaf) who are already buying into local food



  • Where stores sell local food-a relationship between the store’s owner and that farmer had to come first, and trust had to be built before that store’s owner could approach the larger chain of command and ask if it was okay to sell that farmer’s produce
  • A store’s discretionarypercent for purchasing is usually small and owners of such centralized stores usually have little power in influence
  • Most stores have regionalbuyers
  • Howwidespread is the awareness of the concept/ program of buy fresh/ buy local?


  • Initiative Group (stillworking on name) is meeting @ 1900 17th Ave. at 7pm. (day?) They are working to present a year 2006 initiative dealing with education and awareness
  • In Berkley, because there were lessmandates involved, this made it easier for them to get their plan passed (where local tax money would go to local food)
  • www.farmtoschool.or g (has collection of school food policies that could serve as case study examples)
  • One place had a School Nutrition Advisory Council, which was a separate entity, and it came up with the wants/policy for the school’s food plan and they were the ones who presented the food plan desires/policies to the school board
  • Paul Franklin (who was present at this food forum) is on a school board, maybe would be worthwhile to engage him in this discussion


  • Flowers (not just food)should be part of this [in general, the complete spectra of available locally produced products should be considered]
  • Farmer’s markets needstamp machines in order to process food stamps
  • Infrastructure for access tomarginalized


  • Food should beisolated as basic human right
    The mindset of scarcity is a blockage/ problem
  • In stores like Safeway, there is a discretionary percent for purchasing given out in which a store owner might be able to make a decision about purchasing from someone or somewhere (like local farmer?)
  • Ex: In Brazil- (example of federal law) where when schools buy food from farms, they are required to buy from farms below a certain size (in other words, small farms )
  • Pajaro Valley Futures Project’s Economic Study
  • Ex: Structures (for example, Sunmaid) and their development of their products where they are involved in every step and follow their products all the way from production to the market
  • Policy: percent of total market required in open space
  • Our farmer’s market refused to take food stamps
  • Humboldt County: Prosperity Program
  • Intervale (Ex: in Vermont)


  • Schumacher’s Society- have legal documents that could be of help
  • Greg Kindig volunteered to coordinate andschedule lectures and presenters/presentatio ns and if anyone is interested in this, they should feel free to contact him about doing so
  • Ex: Pajaro Valley has lost local info where large farming, etc. groups have moved out of the picture



Author: bryan nettles