Check out this interesting article published in The NYTimes Magazine last week.
"As a culture, we’ve become upset by the tobacco companies advertising to children, but we sit idly by while the food companies do the very same thing. And we could make a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco."
-Kelly Brownell, Yale University
After weeks and weeks of hard work and deliberation the official Huerta del Valle logo has made its arrival! Creating a logo has been an important task that all of us at HdV have taken seriously over the last couple months and insisted on getting each other’s input numerous times in order to get it “juuuuuuust right” J. When we started the process of creating a logo we all agreed that our logo would be much more than just a cute picture added to our banners, letterhead, business cards, etc… we wanted to create an image that represented who we are, what we stand for, and ultimately what we aim to accomplish. The end result has left all of with that warm fuzzy feeling in our hearts letting us know we succeeded! Fairly simple, yet powerful in meaning the image features two large mountains with a city line silhouette at the foothills (checkout the special guest appearance of the Sunkist water tower!) that represent the Inland Empire- more specifically the Ontario area. In between the mountains is a large beet- symbolic of the garden and look closely and you will see that the beet is literally “rooted” in the community as its roots are in the shape of human images that not only extend out to support the project but ultimately give it life and strength.
Once our logo was complete we figured, what better way to celebrate than to go make t-shirts?!?! (Ok, our first thought was to go out and get the logo tattooed on all of our arms- but after a group discussion we figured t-shirts would be less painfulJ) Thanks to the MUCH appreciated help from Eddie in media services the HdV team was able to get together last week and create our very own amazing (and quite stylish) t-shirts! Now while we work for our cause- we can look great in the process J
A HUGE thanks to Eddie, Media Services, and all Pitzer student volunteers that helped us with our logo and t-shirt process!
On Saturday, Feb. 9th the whole HdV crew spent the day at De Anza Park in Ontario participating in the Kaiser-Permanente HEAL Zone festival. The “Healthy Eating Active Living” festival was a way to kick off the $1 million dollar healthy living grant that Kaiser-Permanente has awarded the city as well as to inform the Ontario community of existing and upcoming programs/ services that are or will soon be available in the area (Like an awesome community garden!!)
Kaiser has stated that the HEAL Zone program will focus on three specific goals over the next three years:
-Decrease calorie consumption- especially sugar sweetened beverages
-Increase consumption of healthy foods and beverages- such as fresh fruits and vegetables
-Increase physical activity
While at the event HdV members got a chance to talk to community members about the garden and present our mini-model as a visual of what can be accomplished through community cooperation. More importantly though, HdV members had ample time to LISTEN to community members/ residents to hear about what their visions for the city were and how we could help aid in making those visions into reality. All HdV members were ecstatic about the overwhelming interest from the residents in our community garden project as well as their desires to have fresh produce available in the area. Hearing it from the community members themselves has definitely motivated us to keep working hard in getting the garden up and running!
In addition to building relationships with Ontario residents HdV members also had a chance to talk to different community organizations and gain more insight as to how we can improve our own program to better benefit the Ontario residents. A fan favorite and definitely an ally to HdV throughout our developing process was Bing from the Heritage Farmer’s Market. His positive attitude and endless smile greeted each resident as he handed out hundreds of free items of fresh produce. Hopefully at the next HEAL Zone event HdV will be able to do the same J AndBing’s efforts don’t just end at lettuce heads and celery sticks- check out the amazing work Heritage Education Group provides in educational services, public health services, and art programs at their website, http://www.heritageeducationgroup.org/ and their blog http://heritagefarmersmarket.blogspot.com/p/markets.html
All members of the HdV family would greatly like to express their thanks and gratitude to The City of Ontario, Jerry Blum, Karen Thompson, Rudy Zeledon, and the entire City of Ontario Planning Dept, Kaiser- Permanente, De Anza Park, Bing and Heritage Education Group, Residents of the Ontario area, Pitzer College, Pitzer Media Studies, Pitzer student volunteers, HdV community volunteers, and anybody else who may have helped make the HEAL Zone festival a successful and rewarding experience for all of us. THANK YOU!
Recently Huerta del Valley received a wonderful surprise! A new truck!! But this isn’t your “normal” kind of truck. Chet Corcos, a student from Harvey Mudd College was the engineering genius that transformed the truck’s engine. The eco-friendly design of batteries and electric charging allows the truck to run up to 30 miles on a full charge at speeds of about 45mph. In order to get a full charge all we have to do is plug the truck into the wall for a few hours. Better yet- the simple maintenance of 20 lead acid batteries only requires us to add water to the batteries in order to keep them working! It will cost the garden virtually nothing to have a useful vehicle on site. Every single member of the Huerta del Valley family would like to express their sincerest thanks and gratitude to Chet and Leon Corcos, Harvey Mudd College, and all others who made this donation possible.
On Sunday, Feb 3rd instead of watching the Super Bowl like most of America was doing, a group of Huerta del Valley members spent the day at Eastside café and scored some major touchdowns for our own team! As self described on their website site, Eastside café is “an autonomous space founded by El Sereno residents for the purpose of creating and transforming self-reliance by using the arts, education, cultural awareness, and health” – many of the same principles we hope to implement at HdV. While there the HdV group participated in a group discussion about community run spaces and the best ways to do good work for our communities- given all of the different challenges each community has to face. The group also got to meet many great community organizations (that are completely run by community members) and are funded by only donations from their neighbors. We hope to use all this newfound knowledge to make Huerta del Valle so much more than just a community garden in our area.
Check out more of Eastside Café’s awesomeness at: 5469 N. Huntington Drive, El Sereno, CA 90032 or www.eastsidecafe.org