Tag Archives: ecofarm conference

Produce for the people at Berkeley Bowl

Nick Christopher
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Nick Christopher moved out West in the early 90s, drawn to the punk-rock scene here he toured with a band and hung out with Green Day.

These days Christopher spends more time thinking about perfect produce than the perfect tune, as an organic produce buyer for Berkeley Bowl. He started at the Bowl as a dishwasher, and quickly worked his way through various departments, including the deli and bulk section, before rising to supervisor status.

Owner Glenn Yasuda personally trained Christopher in the fine art of selecting fruits and vegetables. The Bowl has a reputation for its large and extensive produce selection, including exotic finds like durian, carambola (star fruit) and horned melon. … Continue reading »

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Joy Moore: Community food reformer

Joy Moore teaches elementary school kids about nutrition, as featured in Lunch Love Community./Photo: Sophie Constantinou
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Retired City of Berkeley health outreach worker Joy Moore, 59, is anything but retired.

A long-time local food activist, Moore has played a key role in community efforts to reform school lunch in the Berkeley Unified School District, co-founded Farm Fresh Choice, which brings quality, affordable produce to people of lesser means, and was a member of the Berkeley Food Policy Council, a coalition of community and city groups founded in 1999 to increase community food access and improve health for all the city’s residents.

One of the council’s projects: Farm Fresh Choice, which provides local, sustainable fruits and vegetables to residents in West and South Berkeley neighborhoods who may have economic, transportation, or cultural obstacles that prevent them from, say, shopping at Berkeley Bowl or frequenting the regular Berkeley Farmers’ Markets. The Ecology Center serves as fiscal sponsor for both farmers’ market options.

Nowadays, Moore can be found tending the school garden, talking up healthy eating, and serving fruit smoothies and sauteed greens at the other high school in town Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech), designed for students who struggle to succeed at Berkeley High. She also runs an after-school cooking program at the school her grandson attends, Claremont Middle School in Oakland. … Continue reading »

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Garden teacher Kim Allen offers youth space to grow

Kim Allen at the Bancroft Community Garden/Photo: Sarah Henry
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For four years Kim Allen has served as garden program manager for Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), which provides a minimum-wage, internship program for socio-economically challenged adolescents ages 14 to 18. Some come to the garden through word-of-mouth from family or friends, others as part of mandated community service.

During the school year Allen’s youth garden crew, typically a group of six to eight, work and learn alongside her in two community garden plots in West Berkeley. There’s the half-acre Bancroft Community Garden, which the BYA shares with two dozen community gardeners on Bancroft Way, and the smaller Community Orchard garden on land the nonprofit owns on Bonar Street. The fruit tree garden includes many heirloom varieties, donated by Trees of Antiquity – among them citrus, apples, and pluots. The Bancroft Garden boasts typical farmers’ market fare.

In the summer, BYA offers an eight-week program for a dozen youth, who put in about 20 hours a week. The organization runs a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) during peak harvest season. It sells flowers and whatever is in abundance in the garden to Bill Briscoe, who owns The Bread Workshop. Briscoe puts surplus fava beans, sunchokes, garlic, and other vegetables to good use in his in-house soups. BYA youth harvest about two to four boxes of produce a week for The Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice program, which serves low-income residents. Every other week the garden provides perishables for a local food bank pick-up point. … Continue reading »

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