This past week Planting Justice team members Maya, Wiley, and Tylen all went to Rooted in Community's Northern California Youth Day at Pie Ranch in Pescadero. And we didn't travel alone, no, we brought the Planting Justice bus full of our friends and partners from the East Bay. We caravaned in the Justice bus all the way down to Pescadero with crew from City Slicker Farms, Ecology Center, Pesticide Action Network and Project EAT!

Youth Day is a day where youth food justice leaders from all over the bay area get together and share youth led workshops, ice-breaker games and farm fresh food. Youth Day started at Food What?! a youth empowerment program in Santa Cruz which hosted the event from 2007-2013. The first few Youth Days were organized by Planting Justice educator Maya and Food What!? founder Doron Comerchero. The event has since bloomed into one which features ceremony, youth performance, and much more. Youth Day 2014 was no exception to the great youth power that has made the event so special. 

Here from Tylen Lee about his time at Youth Day 2014:

The experience I had at youth day was I had a lot of fun. I got to meet and hang out with a lot of people. I was able to see a lot of the corporations that support the youth that want to make the world a better place. The youth that were at Pie Ranch were really nice and very helpful. Pie Ranch was having a camp program going on so we had people that were taking part in the camp helping out and also coordinating the event. The youth that was at the camp were very helpful when it came to seeing the animals and giving a tour of Pie Ranch. There was a tour given of the ranch, I got to see pigs, chickens, chicks, cows, and goats. The baby cow was nice so you were able to pet it and the goats. I was able to harvest chicken eggs, interesting fact chickens lay eggs every 23 hours. The ranch is 14-acres inside that 14-acres i saw squash, strawberries, peas, pumpkin, baby trees, grassland, tractors, and other fruits, veggies, and big farm tools. I liked my day that day i wish we can do it again soon.

At youth day, Tylen and Maya offered the Planting Justice classic 'Vitamin Water' workshop in which we discussed various reasons people boycott coke and provided youth with an opportunity to learn how to make their very own vitamin water. Planting Justice also brought a special salad to share at the potluck with ingredients from three of our gardens: cabbage from McClymonds, flowers from Keller Plaza, and carrots from San Quentin vegetable garden.
While we had a great time out in Pescadero last week, we did come back to the office to find some disheartening news, the City Slicker West Oakland garden on 34th had been vandalized. Community members rallied to support reconstruction of the garden and we want to extend our warm wishes and productive, protective energy to our City Slicker Farms family. We at Planting Justice plant gardens to resist corporate and capitalist food systems which destroy our health and planet. We envision a time where people band together to stand up to these corporations and unjust systems. We envision a time where the community garden is respected as sacred space for growing our food, our medicine.

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