Our First Delivery to Mandela Foods Cooperative!

_DSC0213

Picture 1 of 5

Photos Courtesy of Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project | All Right Reserved

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Our After-School Program (ASP) made their first store delivery to Mandela Foods Cooperative Grocery Store, last week! Youth members participating in ASP pick fresh pineapple-guavas from our WOW Farm site. We walked them across the street and down the road from the farm, to our neighbors at Mandela Foods. There, we were warmly greeted by the coop workers’ and customers. What a great way to kick off this partnership!

Stop by Mandela Foods (1430 7th St, Oakland, CA 94607), get you some hand-picked pineapple guavas, and support your local coop today! 😎💚🍈👩🏾‍🌾👨🏾‍🌾

Camp ANV: Summer 2018 Recap!

Take a look at what we were up to this summer and why Camp ANV is the BEST place to BE!

Photos by Pete Rosos, Planet Bee Foundation and Camp ANV Staff | All Rights Reserved

One of the best parts of Camp ANV is all of the things we learn about and on our farms! This summer we worked at ANV’s Tassafaronga Farm and A’s Farm. Mr. Aaron and Mr. Peter taught us all about the importance of growing our own food and how to do it! Not only did we learn how to plan, plant and harvest food, we also learned how to dry and dehydrate herbs, pickle veggies and other ways to transform fruits and vegetables in our farming & cooking classes. We were also visited by the Planet Bee Foundation for a lesson on bees and Mr. Josh who taught us how to survey insects on the farm!

Photos by Pete Rosos, Planet Bee Foundation and Camp ANV Staff | All Rights Reserved

Every day at Camp ANV, we make our own lunches and snacks during our cooking classes! This summer, Ms. Aya, our Farm-to-Table Chef/Cooking Instructor not only taught us basic cooking skills, but we learned what “farm-to-table” really means! We harvested ingredients off of our farm, learned about how culture and heritage plays a role in our diet, and discovered some new summer camp favorites like banana lumpia, veggie samosas and dumplings!

Photos by Pete Rosos, Planet Bee Foundation and Camp ANV Staff | All Rights Reserved

The Little Seeds and Sprouts spent the summer learning the history and fundamentals of Capoeira with Professor Malandro (Filhos de Bimba – Califonia Bay Area School of Capoeira), Ms. Menina and Mr. Django. We learned how to move our bodies and sing our hearts out in ways passed down from our ancestors. 

Photos by Pete Rosos, Planet Bee Foundation and Camp ANV Staff | All Rights Reserved

Our Seeds and Sprouts were lucky enough to work with 106 KMEL’s very own GBiz! As our Digital Storytelling instructor GBiz taught us elements of photography, videogaphy, DJing, and storytelling through podcasts. Listen to what our campers were creating this summer during their DJ lessons in Digital Storytelling…

Photos by Pete Rosos, Planet Bee Foundation and Camp ANV Staff | All Rights Reserved

This summer we piloted our Leaders in Training (LIT) Program for middle school aged youth! Remaining a huge part of Camp ANV’s family, the LITs branched off this summer to explore new avenues of urban farming, food justice, self-care and wellness, restorative justice and overall community leadership. At the A’s Farm, we were introduced to the term food justice and the many intersections of the present-day food system that effects our daily lives, and how our ancestors once lived symbiotically with the environment and resources that we need to survive. We also learned how to grow and sell our produce. Ms. BE gave us weekly lessons on self-care, what it means, why it is important for EVERYONE, and ways we can practice self-care and wellness outside of camp.  Our LITs gained experience and knowledge in ALL of these categories and are well on their way to be Junior Counselors!

Listen to what our Leaders in Training learned about during Week One!

In addition to all of our classes, we got to go swimming at Cull Canyon and attend a field trip every week. Every third weekend of each session, we get to go camping! This summer we camped at Garin Regional Park and Tilden Regional Park! 

Photos by Pete Rosos, Planet Bee Foundation and Camp ANV Staff | All Rights Reserved

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Peter Varas; Food Justice Educator/Camp Counselor

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Peter Varas; Food Justice Educator/ Camp Counselor

Camp ANV’s #UnStungHeroes celebrates our camp staff and campers who have stood out this summer!

Camp ANV: What is your name?

Peter Varas

Camp ANV: How many years have you worked at Camp ANV?

Peter Varas: This is my first year at camp ANV and I wish I had been here sooner!

Camp ANV: What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Peter: I’ve been skateboarding for 10 years and continue to do it because it keeps me outside and active while also learning new tricks.

I love to farm and recently graduated from UC Davis with my degree in Sustainable Horticulture & Food Systems. I manage an urban farm in Berkeley. When I’m not farming, I’m traveling, reading or watching the Celtics.

Camp ANV: What is your favorite age group to work with?

Peter: They are all fun, but I enjoy working with the LIT’s because some of them are going to high school and are starting to think about what they want to do and I want them to be excited about food justice and farming!

Camp: What does Camp ANV mean to you?

Peter: Camp ANV means that youth can have a safe, fun, experiential learning space that empowers them to grow their own food. They learn about native plants, explore the greater bay area all while connecting with other kids from East Oakland. I really wish I had this when I was growing up. 

Camp: Can you name four interesting things about yourself?

Peter: I’ve been to and skated in 49 states! I’m just missing Alaska. I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I’m first generation born in Lawrence, Massachusetts and was raised between there and Nashua, New Hampshire. I worked at a butterfly farm in Encinitas for 3 years!

Camp ANV: Thanks so much for becoming a part of the ANV Family Peter! You’re doing AMAZING things!

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: José Antonio Nuño; Camp Counselor

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: José Antonio Nuño; Camp Counselor

Camp ANV’s #UnStungHeroes celebrates our camp staff and campers who have stood out this summer!

Camp ANV: What is your name?

José Antonio Nuño

Camp ANV: How many years have you worked at Camp ANV?

José Antonio Nuño: I have worked for camp ANV since the summer of 2017. This is my second summer working with Acta Non Verba.

 
Camp ANV: What are some of your hobbies or interests?

José: I have a variety of hobbies and interested that occupy my time both on and off work. I love to dance, thinking critically and engaging with performance, listening to music to improve my expansive playlist, living an active lifestyle, but my biggest interest is continuing my education and preparing for a career in education that emphasizes performance and technology as viable forms of communicating issues, potential realities and hypothesizing solutions.

Camp: What is your favorite age group to work with?

José: It’s hard for me to choose a specific age group as being my favorite group to work with mostly because the type of attention, or lessons, each group appears to need vary. The Little Seeds are amazing because they are the easiest friends to make, as long as you let them become friends with you. Same with the Sprouts yet they are more prone to being interested in their imagination or what their friends are doing. The L.I.T.s are older and usually at an age where I’m sure all adults sound like the parents from the Charlie Brown franchise. That said, when vital conversations take place (be it about food or reformative justice, oppression and intersectionality, individual determination for success, and even how to be a role model for the younger kids) you can begin to see rough exteriors fade away. The L.I.T.s, in my opinion, want to be respected and treated as adults, at least on an intellectual level if nothing else, and they become enveloped into critical conversations that at best only rarely occur in public schools. All in all, each group teaches me everyday to be patient, think before speaking, and hot to stay swift on my toes when tough questions arise.

Camp: What does Camp ANV mean to you?

José: When I first started Camp ANV a year ago, I felt that being on the team meant much of what I detailed in my application: “words only go so far, actions get you to the next destination.” Now, the meaning of camp still has the same basic formula, but anyone who works at Camp ANV grows just as much as the campers. Where else will you find over 50 beautifully individual children – each with unique personalities, dreams, experiences, and struggles – and be in a position to guide them in a more positive light everyday? You would like to think it’d be in public school, but part of the reason all of us here working at ANV continue to show up for these kids everyday is because we know it isn’t the case. The meaning of ANV, at least for me, has developed into a living self-justifiable tool of survival youth in our communities desperately need to compete with more privileged communities affluent with resources and opportunities. To me, Camp ANV is nothing but love that doesn’t quit.

Camp: Can you name four interesting things about yourself?

José: Four interesting things about me: 1) I speak three languages and encourage everyone to learn how to communicate in different ways; 2) I’m a creative and political personality, and this aspect of my character drives me to show others the power of their bodies, voices, movement and performance; 3) I can probably beat at least 50% of people older than me at a contest to identify oldie songs and artists; 4) I’m a first generation college student with 9 other siblings, and the first in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree – soon to be the first to receive a master’s degree.

Camp: Wowzers, Jose!! Thank you so much for working with us! Your passion shines through every day!

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Aya Jeffers-Fabro; Camp Administrator

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Aya Jeffers Fabro; Camp Administrator

Camp ANV’s #UnStungHeroes celebrates our camp staff and campers who have stood out this summer!

Camp ANV: What is your name?
Aya

Camp ANV: How many years have you worked at Camp ANV?

Aya: Three years total! I started off as a intern for my Food Systems minor at UC Berkeley, that same summer, I came on as a camp counselor and have worked my way up to be ANV’s Office Manager and Camp Administrator! I love it! I get to see the kids every day in our After School Program and during our Camps! Working at ANV has taught me so many new things about youth development, community empowerment and so much more!

Camp ANV: What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Aya: Cooking, for SURE! I love gardening and having my hands in the dirt. I love the ocean, so sitting on the beach and being out in nature!

Camp: What is your favorite age group to work with?

Aya: I LOVE the little seeds! They are like little sponges that absorb info! But this year the older group… the LIT’s (Leaders In Training) have grown on me! It’s nice to see the ones that have grown up with me in this community! It’s really inspiring to see!

Camp: What does Camp ANV mean to you?

Aya: ANV has given me a sense of place here n Oakland which is not my native city. ANV has helped me make rural/ urban connections to my passion which is environmental education. It give me an opportunity to be a kid and to play and have fun as well as remember why our work is so important. Because the next generation really is our future. 

Camp: Can you name four interesting things about yourself?

Aya: Four… Things… 1) I was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu in Hawai’i. 2) I’ve never been on a surfboard or danced hula in my life. 3) I will eat almost anything from the ocean. 4) …and I’ve been growing my hair our since the 8th grade! BONUS!! I used to play rugby in college!!

Camp: Thanks Aya!! You’re Amazing!!

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Monika Malone; Camp Counselor

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Monika Malone; Camp Counselor

Camp ANV’s #UnStungHeroes celebrates our camp staff and campers who have stood out this summer!

The SECOND of the UnStung is: Monika Malone -Camp ANV Camp Counselor!

Camp ANV: How many years have you worked at Camp ANV?

Monika: This is my first season with Camp ANV! I LOVE IT!

Camp ANV: What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Monika: I like comedy and and action movies! I LOVED “The Incredibles 2”!

I also love spending time with my family doing anything! We talk, eat and like to watch Master Chef! Both of my sons are into Basketball and are great players! We love watching the Golden State Warriors games together!

Camp ANV: What is your favorite age group to work with?

Monika: I think the older group of the kids… The LIT’s (Leaders In Training) because they are more independent and I work at a high school, so I’m used to them! Plus, my sons are teenagers and I feel like I can relate to them more. Teens have a log going on in their lives and are easier to have a conversation with.

Camp: Big question — What does Camp ANV mean to you?

Monika: Camp ANV is a place where I feel like a part of a caring community. at Camp, I can work with kids in a fun environment while teaching them and also learning from them and the other staff.

Camp: Can you name four interesting things about yourself?

Monika: Let’s see… I am in school to become an Ethnic Studies Professor, I love birds and currently have two parakeets, I like to watch reality TV and I work on cars! Also… I am proud to say that I was born and raised in Oakland and I am raising my family here as well!

Camp: Thanks so much for your time Monika! We are so lucky to have you on our team!

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Kahlil Johnson; Camp Director

Camp ANV #UnStungHero: Kahlil Johnson; Camp Director

Camp ANV’s #UnStungHeroes celebrates our camp staff and campers who have stood out this summer!

To kick it off, here is the FIRST of the UnStung: Kahlil Johnson -Camp ANV Camp Director!

Camp ANV: How many years have you worked at Camp ANV?

Kahlil Johnson: Three Years! My first two years were as a camp counselor and this is my first year as Camp Director.

Camp ANV: What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Kahlil Johnson: I love playing and watching basketball, reading books and I LOVE traveling all over the country and the world!

Camp ANV: What is your favorite place to travel?

Kahlil Johnson: My favorite place to travel to is Jamaica. My family is from Jamaica and it was really cool to visit! I got to see where my family’s culture comes from.

Camp ANV: What is your favorite age group to work with?

Kahlil Johnson: All of them! …but if I HAD to choose I would pick the younger campers. It’s just REALLY easy to make them happy! LOL! But the older ones sometimes have better conversation!

Camp: Big question — What does Camp ANV mean to you?

Kahlil: To me, it is a place for kids to come and feel safe with people they can rely on. Working with youth is self-rewarding. It’s not really like work.

Camp: Last question — How tall ARE you?! Lol!

Kahlil: Lol! I get that question ALL of the TIME! I am 6’7″.

Camp: Can you name four interesting things about yourself?

Kahlil: Ummm… my fingers are double jointed and can bend all types of weird ways. I’m the only one in my family not born in Jamaica. I played on the Cal Basketball team. I’m left handed.

Camp: Thanks so much for your time and for your care of our young ones Kahlil!

Kahlil: You’re welcome! It is my pleasure!

Spring Break Mini-Camp 2018 RECAP

Spring Break Mini-Camp 2018

What a jam packed week we had for Spring Break camp this year! Thanks to the hard work of Camp Director, Kahlil Johnson and Team ANV, Spring 2018 was our largest spring break camp to date –  with more campers came more excitement, more learning, and more adventure!

Our farm is at the heart of our program and this spring break was no exception. Our youth learned about vermiculture from our Farm Manager, Aaron De La Cerda, where worms can be beneficial to farms and what conditions are needed for the worms to eat and multiply. Planet Bee came through to do a Hive Dive at our farm to discuss the endangerment of the honeybee, don some bee suits and take an inside look at the lives of worker bees. To top it all off, our campers learned an urban farming technique, vertical hydroponic gardening, and how it increases food security and access in our own homes.

Our campers know that growing healthy food is just the first step in living a more healthy lifestyle, you have to cook it and eat it too! Our Farm-To-Table Educator led campers through a number of recipes that included ingredients from our very own farm, including bean and cheese burritos, mac n’ cheese with broccoli, mango berry swirl smoothies, and even rice cake pizzas, which everyone agreed tastes better than it sounds. The dish that stole the show for a third year in a row, though, was zucchini bread and remains a Camp ANV favorite!

Gary Bizer, aka G-Biz on 106KMEL, also came through to get our campers behind and in front of the camera for some photography basics that made for both silly and serious moments of bonding with each other. Now Camp ANV has a mini-cohort of actors and cinematographers that are looking forward to a more in-depth visual arts workshop this summer that will allow our campers to tell their own life story through the camera lens.

There was no pool trip this session , but that didn’t stop our Camp ANV staff from ensuring our campers could have fun in the sun with water activities we all grew up with. We had everything from water balloon fights and toss competition to playing “Fill The Bucket”, but the highlight was Farm Manager Aaron making a homemade slip’n’slide with a large tarp, water, and biodegradable dish soap that definitely created beautiful memories for all our campers.

Our field trip for Spring Break this year was to the Sunol AgPark, where our own Program Coordinator, Ayano Jeffers-Fabro, gave a tour and led activities with the campers. Two guest architects from UC Davis led a watershed workshop that taught our campers about where our water comes from,  the importance of keeping it clean, and its relationship to the farm. We also continued our pollinator theme by talking about hedgerows, bats, birds, and insects. We capped off the day by giving back to the farm and clearing rocks for the next beds to be dug.

We always like to include culture from the diaspora in our programming, and this Spring Break included learning and training in the fundamentals of the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira. The class was taught by the renowned Mestra Suelly of United Capoeira Association with the assistance of Anesti ‘Gênio’ Vega of Capoeira Volta ao Mundo, one of our very own ANV Executive Board members. Campers learned about the African and Indigenous roots of Capoeira as it formed in Brazil, a few of the most popular and traditional songs, and learned how to play the integral instruments like the berimbau, atabaque, pandeiro and reco reco. After learning a few fundamental movements like the ginga, au, and cocorinha, along with a few basic kicks, the campers were ready to put it all together at the end of the week and formed a roda to show off their singing, playing and fancy moves!

All of our campers had a blast learning about healthy living, culture and leadership through this fast-paced Spring Break and we’re all looking forward to what our Summer Camp brings!

Check out what kept our campers smiling throughout spring break camp!

Thank you to our superstar partners and sponsors: