Written by Milena Castillo-Grynberg, Food Systems Educator

The Portola garden has been flourishing alongside student Food Explorers this month; At Portola’s monthly workday on November 18th, the Portola community came together under fall showers to diligently and cheerfully harvest nearly 300 lbs of large greens, which were driven directly to Samaritan House for donation. Through laughter and smiles, volunteers brought joy and warmth to what could’ve been just another cold, rainy day. 

Volunteers Harvesting Crops to Donate to Samaritan House, November 2023. (Photo taken by EGC Food Systems Educator, Milena)

In the classroom, students have been investigating the concept of Food Distribution, asking important questions about the environmental and social impacts of how our food travels. Some Food Explorers became Food Detectives for a day, as they scrutinized the mysterious little stickers on avocados, tomatoes, apples, and even dragon fruits to determine where in the world they had come from, literally! Other classes traveled back in time to learn about all the Food Explorers that came before them, sailing the vast oceans in search of new colors, flavors, and textures to bring back to the dining tables of their homelands. 

In the spirit of the season, students have been expressing tremendous gratitude for their outdoor learning space and all of the plant, insect, and animal friends living in it, as they begin to realize the unique and important role every living being plays in creating the different foods they love. Each week, classes visit the garden and marvel at the changes and small, beautiful details in the space!

Students Expressing their Gratitude for their Outdoor Learning Space and Crops they Harvested, November 2023. (Photo taken by EGC Food Systems Educator, Milena)


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