Hello! Welcome to the official blog for Oakland International High School's Community Garden and Wellness Program! My name is Liza Jade Richheimer. I am one of the founding teachers at OIHS. This year thanks to a generous family foundation, I am lucky enough to be the coordinator of the Community Garden and Wellness Program.
My goals for the program are: to build and grow on-site gardens with students through science classes and after-school programs, to run after-school bike club twice a week, to teach a cooking class and a winter yoga class, to support Oakland Unified School District's mission of improving their cafeteria food, and to create a culture of environmental stewardship at our school.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Building garden beds and pea trellises

Last Wednesday
we had about 16 students help to build a new garden bed and some trellises for our peas.
Everyone wanted to get a chance to use the hand saw and the power drill. By the end the cuts were pretty straight!
Here Fatima is measuring out a cut.

The pea trellises came out beautifully, thanks to Tomi Kobara, a neighbor of the school and a landscape architect who donated some of her time to help out!

Here Sosina and Tati are setting the middle support board for the garden bed.
By the end of the day, all the boys had left and seven dedicated young woman stayed to finish the garden bed and clean up. They were proud of their work and excited to build the next one! We had some debate about where it should go, we need more sunny spots was the end conclusion. We hope to plant into this garden bed by the middle of January.

Friday, December 9, 2011

This week at OIHS

This week, we cooked collards following the directions of Alicia, one of our new 9th graders from Guatemala. We cooked them with onions and tomatoes and they were delicious! I was so impressed with the knowledge and confidence our students took on the kitchen this week. We served the collards for lunch to our school community.
Also this week I started teaching yoga class! I've had 8-10 students in each class and we're having a great time!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cooking and Gardening

The following photos are from two days of harvesting and cooking with a few small groups of students. We harvested mustard greens, kale, bok choy, collards, lettuce and cilantro. We then served the food to all 300 students at lunch. We made a salad with butter lettuce, a cilantro spread on crackers and cooked greens with lemon and garlic. We got great feedback from many students who tried our tasty fresh offerings. The chef students were amazing, focused, hard working, with very positive attitudes. They also worked really well together. I can't wait to do more cooking with them. I'm working on getting a cooking cart so we can have a little more space and more kids can be involved. This week we will cook greens following a recipe from one of the students who loves cooked greens and wants to try cooking them her way!

Biking to San Francisco

During Thanksgiving break we took BART over to San Francisco and rode along the Embarcadero to Crissy Fields. The photo on the left is taken in downtown SF, right outside BART.

These photos are taken right above Fort Mason, we had a perfect clear windless day. Special thanks to Courtney and Grey for riding with us!