Visit to organic farm serves up life lessons for UC students
Coming from all corners of California, UC Global Food Initiative student fellows gathered for a springtime field trip in the Central Valley to learn about organic farming and get their hands dirty.
After eating a fresh-from-the-farm lunch and touring the scenic 350-acre Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley, northwest of Sacramento, the 19 fellows pitched in, clearing weeds and spreading dark brown, aromatic compost on two rows of pomegranate and quince trees.
The far-flung fellows are working on projects that range from ambitious water conservation efforts to reducing food waste. The field trip was a chance to share those projects with one another while learning about the complexities of running a farm and growing food.
That kind of basic food literacy is something that should be more widely disseminated, fellows said.
“Food affects everyone. It should be part of mainstream education,” said UCLA undergraduate student Savannah Gardner, a fellow working on a food recovery project that teams with Food Forward to glean produce from farmers markets for students. “GFI has made me hyperaware of where my food comes from and what I eat.”
“It’s nice to come out here and see face to face how a farm works,” said UC Davis undergraduate student Jay Gelvezon, a fellow with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources who is supporting the division’s outreach efforts through media relations.