Urban Tilth

Urban Tilth cultivates agriculture in west Contra Costa County to help our community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. We work with schools, community-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals to develop the capacity to produce 5% of our own food supply. We believe that environmental restoration is inextricably connected to economic and social restoration.
Jul 17, 2013

Welcome 5th Annual Summer Apprentice Program

Making Pedal Powered Smoothies ALL fruit smoothies
Making Pedal Powered Smoothies ALL fruit smoothies

After another phenomenal school year of the Richmond High Urban Ag Institute comes to an end we say goodbye to our 6th group of amazing students who spent 10 months together learning, cooking and growing together. Over 5000lbs of fresh organic produce, hundreds of plant starts and thousands of seeds were grown and collected and distributed to Richmond families by the class of 2013!

This class also created the 1st ever student grown and run salad bar as a creative protest to the lack of healthy food offered in the cafeteria. They SOLD OUT all of the salad greens they grew and ALL of the fresh garden grown lemonade to over 100 students debunking the idea that youth will not eat healthy food. Not only did they line up to eat it, they also PAID for it and urged the garden club to do it again. We look forward to a time when growing salad greens and other ingredients for the school supported and student run salad bar is an accepted and supported institution at Richmond High!

Until then we thank the trailblazers of 2013!

We also vow to continue moving towards this dream until it is a reality.

Summer Begins!

Welcome to the 5th Annual Summer Apprentice Program!

Monday, July 15, 2013 was the 1st day of this year's Summer Apprentice Program! 

At 9:00am the cohort of 2013 gathered for the first time at the Richmond Civic Center for Orientation. Meeting each other, making animal sounds, doing icebreakers finding out which crew of 8 youth they will spend the summer with. Over the course of the next 6 weeks, the lives of these new 40 youth will be changed. They will dive deep together, learning about the natural world, about the care needed to grow things, anything, not just food, well.

We look forward to taking you on this journey with us! 

Please stay tuned for weekly updates from this summer program.

GROW YOUR OWN!

RHS Class of 2013
RHS Class of 2013
Enjoying the HARVEST!
Enjoying the HARVEST!
Student Run Salad Bar
Student Run Salad Bar
Posing by the 1st Cherries on our Cherry Tree
Posing by the 1st Cherries on our Cherry Tree
Summer Apprentice Program 2013 begins!
Summer Apprentice Program 2013 begins!

Links:

Jan 3, 2013

Winter 2012: We Can't Wait for Healthy Food!

From Seed to Service: Urban Ag students grow their own salad bar!

After Months of careful planning, planting, and organizing, the Richmond High Urban Agriculture Class/Club manifested its' first ever lunch time salad bar and lemonade stand. Working together with Richmond High Vice Principle Kibby Kleiman and the Richmond High Cafeteria, our food safe salad bar distributed salad bowls and lemonade to over 80 students and faculty during their Wednesday lunch period. All of the lettuce and lemons used at the stand were grown by the Urban Agriculture Class, at the garden located on campus at Richmond High School! Additionally the students made all of the salad dressings from scratch during class, just before lunch began. Dressings included a non-fat Ranch Dressing made from Greek yogurt, balsamic vinaigrette, and a honey mustard sauce made from organic mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Chalk one up for the power of youth organizing! Stay tuned for more events like this, and remember to GROW YOUR OWN!   

 

Other Accomplishments this Winter:

  • Welcoming the 1st Fruit in the Richmond Edible Forest: This winter we also saw the 1st fruit in the Richmond Edible Forest, a 40,000 square foot Edible Forest Garden design and planted by Richmond youth participants in the Urban Agriculture Institute. We also brought our chickens out to the Greenway Gardens and the Richmond High gardens so youth in our programs and in our neighborhoods could reconnect with the animals we depend on. We know it is essential that all people know where our food comes from.
  • Creating Our Own Change: "Cooking is a Revolutionary Act" Aprons: Because we know that people need social support to change habits the Urban Agriculture Institute also continued to spread the word about the importance of healthy eating by designing and creating our first series of "Cooking is a Revolutionary Act" Aprons which the team showcased at this year's San Francisco Greenfest! 
  • We are looking forward to a fabulous, funky fresh 2013! As we move through the winter the Urban Ag Institute is making plans to plant salad green gardens across Richmond and host harvest your lunch garden salad bars on weekdays to give students and adult office workers an alternative to fast food lunch. 
  • Martin Luther King National Day of Service 2013: The Urban Ag Institute has been working for 3 months now preparing for our largest volunteer event of the year, Martin Luther King National Day of Service on the Richmond Greenway. This year we are expecting over 500 volunteers who will help us build our market stand, plant our spring gardens and native and pollinator beds, 80 more trees in the Edible Forest, rebuild the CURME Medicinal Garden, build new or repair old garden beds, make sign and community mural art and beautification projects. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, lend us a hand and change your life - its our 6th year and every time we do this it is a deeply moving experience for everyone who comes out. MAKE IT A DAY ON! Gonna be a day not to be missed ♥ (For more information click on the MLK Day Richmond link below)

Thank you all for your continued support of this project. Together we are changing the food system in Richmond!

GROW YOUR OWN!

Links:

Nov 14, 2012

Fall 2012: Diving Deep into Nutrition

Bike Powered All Fruit Smoothies
Bike Powered All Fruit Smoothies

This Fall 2012 we came back to Richmond High with renewed enthusiasm from the Summer Apprentice Program 2012. Where 12 students turned Summer Apprentices who incidentally were mostly girls, designed and built a full size chicken coop with extremely limited experience building. Very Inspiring!

As the cold begins to creep in we welcomed 33 new students into the Urban Agriculture and American Food Systems class. The new students are a new breed. Referred by their friends from last year's class these students are hard workers, enthusiastic about learning and growing their own food. As the year moves into full swing we would love to share a number of developments and accomplishments:

  • We are excited to have the opportunity to add a NEW class to the Urban Agriculture Institute! This class is a parenting class for the very young mom's and soon to be mom's in the alternative high school program that is located just across the driveway from the garden.
  • This year we are focusing more on nutrition education. Students are completing complex and introspective health and nutrition related research projects including keeping a daily food journal, research on the health affects of sugar sweetened beverages and diet related diseases, how fats, proteins and carbohydrates function in the body and learning more about the importance of micro-nutrients.
  • The fall is also the time that we lay the foundation of by teaching beginning Botany including native and edible plant identification.
  • As are produce and now nursery markets continue to thrive students and staff will be exploring other entrepreneurial ventures that can help support this program. Stay tuned for more offering such as our "Cooking is a Revolutionary Act" apron, Urban Teas, locally grown herbal teas, jams and more. And produced by the students, staff and apprentices of Urban Tilth and the Urban Agriculture Institute so that we can continue to grow our own. 
Working our nursery
Working our nursery
WOW! Now that
WOW! Now that's cauliflower
Seeding the next crop
Seeding the next crop
Chilly weeding and harvesting :)
Chilly weeding and harvesting :)
Cooking is a Revolutionary Act!
Cooking is a Revolutionary Act!

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