GreatNonProfits 2009 Green Choice Winner!

GreatNonProfits 2009 Green Choice Winner!
Green Choice Winner 2009

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BEET Ranger Graduation!

Today we said farewell to the BEET Rangers! It was bittersweet, of course. We will miss them, but we are so proud to see them complete this program and move on to new and exciting paths in their lives!

Modern Tea hosted us for a celebration dessert buffet, with cakes, cookies, sparkling apple cider and local lemonade. Everyone received a diploma and made a speech, and were sent home with beautiful BEET Ranger photo books that Executive Director Barbara Wenger had put together of the amazing photographs she has taken of the BEET Rangers through the program!

We hope to have a few of the BEET Rangers come back and teach with us for the next round of the program, starting in March. There is definitely interest from some of them, and their expertise, great advice, and valuable teaching skills would make the program much stronger next year. In my opinion, youth-led programming is the key to success, and I am looking forward to working with the graduates as co-teachers and co-facilitators. In the meantime, I will miss them as we take a break until next year. They bring so much inspiration and necessary challenge to my life, to keep me an active and critical thinker.

Thank you BEETS!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Harvest Festival!

Harvest Festival this year was a great success, all planned and run by the BEET Rangers! In the morning, the BEET Rangers helped move mulch and compost, take out and harvest winter squash, and prepped beds to plant carrot and radishes for the fall. We harvested some cute little winter squashies to decorate for halloween!

We spread a lot of the compost into our perennial beds and fed our trees their fall compost, giving them deep fertilizing as we move into the new season. A few of the BEET Rangers also painted signs to leave a lasting impression on the garden, making it more beautiful for future groups who come to enjoy the garden.

After our hard work, we went down to Hayes Valley Playground to celebrate with the rest of the neighborhood. The BEET Rangers ran a table about our organization, and helped people plant peas to take home in pots they could decorate themselves. Other BEET Rangers, especially Krystal, Karen, and Jessica, did face painting on lots of little kids. There was a delicious barbeque, and lots of bikes to ride around, including bikes that were welded together so you could ride side by side! It was a great time, and a sweet last event to celebrate with the community and our soon to graduate BEET Rangers

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BEET Rangers Job Search

Today with the BEET Rangers we made a trip to Safe Haven, a community space in the Hayes Valley South residence. Safe Haven is an after-school drop in spot for youth in the neighborhood to come do homework, hang out, be with friends. They let us use their computers to work on resumes and job applications for the BEET Rangers to explore other employment opportunities for when they graduate the BEET Ranger program.

Here are a couple of resources for youth looking for jobs:

SF Youthline
Run by and for youth, 12noon-10pm every day

SF Kids


Juma Ventures

SF Youthworks


Literacy for Environmental Justice

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BEET Rangers at Academy of Sciences!

Today the BEET Rangers got a special treat, as our near-end-of-program celebration! They have been working so hard, and today was a day to celebrate and enjoy at the new Academy of Sciences!

The new building is pretty amazing. It was super crowded, but we were able to weave our way through to enjoy the incredible aquarium, complete with sea dragons, an albino alligator, an anaconda, and some really neat turtles. We also checked out the indoor rainforest, which kinda blew our minds. There were lots of amazing frogs, chameleons, and geckos. Snakes that looked like sticks with really long noses, and butterflies everywhere. One of them almost landed on Naz's head!

The penguins were as entertaining as ever, and the living roof is spectacular. Jeffrey wrote down the names of a lot of the plants for his garden at Gateway High School. We will help him get some of those native plants come spring, when the garden has more space to plant them. There was some lovely yarrow growing up there, definitely a beautiful sight covering a really big roof in the middle of San Francisco! There is so much space to grow on, everywhere, if we use a little imagination. Rooftop gardens could be happening all over this city!

We had a great time looking around, and learned a lot. It is always uncomfortable to see animals in cages- we talked about that quite a bit. We agreed it was challenging to enjoy some aspects of visiting the Academy of Sciences, but overall, we could see how hopefully it was bringing people closer to nature, and to caring about the environment and their impact on the world. Maybe one day we won't have to see animals from really far away up close in order to feel our connection to them, and we won't make choices to use resources that result in rainforest destruction, or the destruction of any environment, for that matter.

Growing and eating local, with organic systems that encourage lots of animal habitat and native plants ecosystems are so essential to fighting habitat destruction caused by corporate agribusiness. Every little patch counts, from the living roof at the Academy of Sciences, to our garden at Koshland with our Monarch butterfly visitors. It all makes a difference, and we can keep growing more and more... let's do it! Overgrow!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Permaculture in the Garden

This week in the garden, Katie taught a lesson on Permaculture. Katie had just completed an Urban Permaculture course, where she got to learn a lot of amazing things about design and modeling agriculture systems to be most efficient and supporting of their environment. Today Katie shared with a us a lesson on Patterns in Nature. The idea is to look at nature and replicate its patterns, because those patterns hold the key for ways to design our garden to be strong and efficient. Some of those patterns include spiral patterns (like a snail shell), branching patterns (like lightening), flow patterns (like a stream). After the lesson, we went into the garden and drew different patterns that we could find in plants or different areas of the garden, and talked about why we thought they might have formed that way.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


October 2008 Newsletter Content:

1. Koshland Plans and Planting
2. BEET Rangers and Green Jobs Now!
3. Harvest Festival Celebration!
4. Zuchinni Bread Recipe



Fall is approaching, and although the days are warm, the nights are
getting longer and cooler. The BEET Rangers have helped us prepare our
beds and plant out a lot new fall crop that love this time of year:
kale, broccoli, chard, lettuce, cabbage and collard greens. The
lettuce is already getting pretty big, and we will soon be using it
for salads with our upcoming cooking class in collaboration with
Modern Tea and the Western Addition Beacon.

John Muir Elementary students are learning about seed cycles, and began their classes for the semester by harvesting carrots from this
summer's crop- this week they are planting carrots which they will harvest when classes end in December, giving them the opportunity to
observe the entire cycle of the plants life. Red tail hawks have beenvisiting us again! The students were able to see them up close as they perched on the trees above us. We feel so lucky to have these special visitors!

Upcoming plans and changes in the garden will be constructing
terracing of the John Muir Elementary School beds on the North slope
of the garden. The terracing will make gardening easier and more
accessible for the students, and will help retain the water run-off
that occurs in the winter months. We are looking forward to the

To get more info on the garden, contact Community Garden Coordinator:

Nora Brereton (415) 424-5770,


The BEET Rangers participated in the Green Jobs Now national day of action. We attended the fabulous Breaking Ground Conference for youth hosted by San Francisco Parks Trust on September 27th. Two of the BEET Rangers, Jessica Farkas and Tanea Lunsford, talked on a panel of youth about Green Jobs and why they are important. All of the participants on the panel shared really important views on how Green Jobs improve their communities, help them feel self-sufficient and productive, and provide a way for them to connect to their environment and green space in the city. We are proud to be part of the Green Job movement, connecting youth with opportunities to match environmental stewardship with economic justice.

Learn more about Green Jobs Now:

For more info, contact BEET Ranger Program Coordinator:

Elokin (415) 958-6937

11am-1pm Workday, 1pm-4pm Party
Location: 11am-1pm Koshland Park at the corner of Page and Buchanan
Location: 1pm-4pm Hayes Valley Playground at the corner of Buchanan and Hayes

On Saturday, October 18th, we will be celebrating our Harvest Festival
with the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association and the HV Playground
Fall Fest! It will be a big party for all of us.

From 10am-1pm, we will be working in Koshland Garden. The BEET Rangers
will be planning and leading all the activities in the garden, based
on their gained knowledge of gardening, and their observations on what
work the garden needs at this point in time. Guaranteed it will be a
fun day! We will provide tools, gloves, and snacks. Come out for your
last opportunity to work with this current group of BEET Rangers
before they graduate!

From 1pm-4pm, we will move the party down to Hayes Valley Playground
to have a food, entertainment, and celebration with the whole
community. There will be activities run by the BEET Ranger for all the
family to enjoy! Come on out and celebrate the graduation of the BEET
Rangers, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood, Fall and Harvest time, and the
Hayes Valley Playground with us!


We are thrilled to be working with Modern Tea and the Western Addition
Beacon to host another cooking class for John Muir Elementary School
youth this fall. We began classes on Monday, October 5th, by
harvesting beans at the Victory Garden in front of City Hall. We
admired the kale planted by the BEET Rangers earlier in July, and the
students got very excited about all the different colors of beans
inside the various stages of the painted lady runner beans. Definitely
a great start to a great program!

Here is a fun fall recipe, to use all those zuchinnis that are
flooding the farmers markets this time of year.

Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground clove
2 eggs or equivalent
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 tsp. vanilla

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
*Combine flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium sized bowl
and mix well
*In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with sugar until combined.
Batter will be thick and a little lumpy.
*Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a
toothpick comes out clean.

* From Seed to Mouth Cooking Class, Summer 2008