Written by Green Pioneers Student Interns and Apprentices

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thank you University of Phoenix volunteers!

On October 21, 2011 over 15 volunteers from University of Phoenix came to volunteer with Green Pioneers for a community workday. We didn't think we would be able to complete everything we needed to get done: planting winter crops in 2 beds, weeding in and outside of all 30 beds, raking & composting fall leaves, cleaning the chicken coop & putting down new bedding and turning all 3 compost bins (it's a lot harder than you think!) but with all those dedicated helping hands it was easy completed in 3 hours. We really enjoyed getting to know everyone we worked with and hope to see the volunteers again soon!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reflections on the First Farmer's Market

My name is Melinda Monterroso and I am a 12th grader at Leadership Public School. I have worked at the Castlemont Community Garden and with Green Pioneers since I was in the 10th grade.

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, I was a part of the first Farmer's Market on the Castlemont Campus. I am amazed by how far our garden has come. The garden started lifeless and the Green Pioneers revived it in only two years. 

We also have a cooking club part of Green Pioneers that teaches youth how to cook and eat healthy with the vegetables, fruit, and herbs we grow.

The Farmer's Market is a great event because it gives youth working experience and it gets healthy affordable food to the community that is surrounded by junk food on every corner. It was fun for me because we had friends and music to keep us working. 

The first Farmer's Market was very successful because a lot of the community showed up to buy our fresh produce. I helped by measuring  and calculating the prices of the produce on a scale using pounds. We all worked together, so it made the stressful parts easier and fun. We also went around the campus to sell more produce to teachers and students before we called it a day. I am surprised and pleased by our success with our first Farmers Market and I am looking forward to continuing with many more. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Green Pioneers Farmer's Market!

Students from Green Pioneers hosted the first Castlemont Community of Small Schools and Leadership Public School Farmer's Market last Wednesday. The market will take place every Wednesday from now on from 1-4pm! Stay tuned for more photos and updates!

Check us out and buy fresh, healthy, affordable food!
We are located at the front gates of Castlemont High School at 86th and MacArthur Blvd.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Learning From Our Mistakes!


Dealing with someone that doesn't want to cooperate and being in a hard and stressful situation is tough. Especially when they're screaming and being disrespectful towards you. 
The way you're really supposed to deal with it is going head first, meaning that you don't scream, you be respectful and try to work with the person as much as you can. 
I am Joanna Syx and I am a student assistant to Grace Proctor. Yes, I was in this situation at one point and I didn't handle it as I was suppose to but those difficult situations make us stronger.
 Sometimes its stressful but if we have it in us we can work with anyone. In Green Pioneers, we try our hardest to work together like a family and make sure situations like this don't happen again. I for one will say I did slip up and respond bad but then again I am only human. I learn and will be the best leader I can be.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A New School Year Starts For Green Pioneers!

My names is Joanna Styx and I am the student assistant to our new Program Coordinator, Grace Proctor.  I help lead the meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It's a new experience for me because I was once a intern and being an intern doesn't have as much responsibility! During this past week we have had a lot of new interns come and join! Its great meeting new people and seeing how everyone works together! The garden is slowly growing and becoming better and better as the time passes! Being a student assistant consists of a lot of responsibilities and a lot of patience.

I am Isabel Gonzalez, my experience with being a Green Pioneers intern is pretty nice since I got a heap of new experience like how to make seedling starters and how to take care of chickens! This year my project is taking care of the plants on the perimeter of the garden. For example I get to train the crawling plants to crawl up our fences. I'm doing this since we don't want the fence to look lonely, so the more lively and the more it is filled with flowers, the nicer it would look! The garden helps me build my courage since honestly, I'm way too shy. So, not only is the garden a good thing for the community but it will also help me improve myself. Last year the garden wasn't so lively as it is today and that makes me happy knowing all our hard work is getting noticed and is encouraging more of my peers to help out.

This year our goals are: to work more, improve the garden, grow more plants and have more productive workers around. The more work we do, the more it'll be noticed and we'll feel more appreciated. When the garden is improved it'll look so beautiful and when we come it'll become an even better comfort zone for everyone. To accomplish all of this we do need more hard workers like the ones we have today! Our garden is very green, when you walk in you see so many plants! We have corn, nopales, strawberries, basil, lemon verbena, pumpkins, corn, squash, watermelons, lavender, peppermint, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, sunflowers, apple trees, peach trees, plum trees and lemon trees! Now isn't that a lot? Because I think it is AND we're planning on adding more!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Update

Working as Summer Green Pioneer Interns
by Isabel and Maria Gonzalez

“I’m proud. Our hard work is paying off”-Maria Gonzalez

“I have been setting up the irrigation system. This is better than a normal summer job because I can do whatever I want when I am done with working on my particular job—like start another project, like working on our ecosystem pond or weeding around the plants. Working outside is better than staying inside. There is fresh air and this place feels like home—I’m used to this place.”
–Alexis Valladares 

What have we been doing?
Watering plants, feeding chickens, pruning, weeding and making sure our garden stays in good shape since it represents us. We always make sure someone comes at least once a day to do the main duties.

Who has been doing it?
The summer job Interns are the ones that are working right now which include Maria Gonzalez, Alexis Valladares, Joanna Syx, Omar Mateo, Jasmin Carrillo, Cesilia Juarez and Manuel Perez. We also have volunteers that show up every now and then.

Why are we here?
It’s fun being in the outdoors and being active. “It’s good for the community and environment,” is what Alexis said. “PEACEFUL and shady and breezy,” is what Grace stated and its true if I say so myself.

How does it make you feel?
“Makes me feel happy and great. Like I’m actually doing something to help the environment and community instead of being out in the streets.  I get to interact with other people I normally wouldn’t talk to.” – Maria Gonzalez & Alexis Valladares

Future Plans?
Well to start, we’re planning on beautifying the garden more so we can attract more butterflies, bees, and more living organisms. We might tear down the fence, get rid of the cement with possibly a jackhammer, and expand the garden with more beds or more flowers. We may possibly make a waterslide to attract more people too! 

We will accomplish these goals!
Isabel and Maria weeding in a Castlemont Community Garden Bed.