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Sunday, June 8, 2014


Amidst festival regalia, Garden Raised bounty (GRUB) held it’s annual “Grubuation” honoring students for their social, scholarly and agricultural accomplishments. The class, a diverse collection of students representing various high schools in Thurston County told their stories under a white tent decorated with multi-colored batik flags.

They used a variety of mediums to express their gratitude, pride and even love for the program, their teachers, the GRUB staff, community mentors and their fellow students. One young woman rapped her appreciation, while another, an alumni, spoke her poem slam style. They sang, showed a slide show of the year’s events and put on delectable spread for all the guests.

GRUB is a garden-based non-profit that fosters several programs related to growing healthy food. Their Cultivating Youth Employment Program employs 15-20 low-income and/or at-risk youth for two months each summer on GRUB’s  1.75 acre urban farm on Olympia’s Westside. GRUB staff trains the students in gardening, cooking, health and nutrition, communications, leadership skills and teamwork. Some of the students continue through the school year further developing these skills and focusing on longer term academic and employment goals. Though group dynamics they learn to form tight bonds with each other and the staff.

The Kitchen Garden Project (KGP) was started in 1993 by Rich Doss and merged with GRUB IN 2001. KGP focuses on improving quality of life and nutrition for low-income families and seniors by helping them build raised-bed gardens at their homes. Recent years have seen the need rise and the waiting list build.

GRUB is very tightly connected to the food/education movement that is becoming ever more pervasive in all areas of the country. GRUB’S annual report states that Students from GRUB participated, last year in the “annual Rooted in Community (RIC) Youth Leadership Summit in South Central LA. RIC is a national grassroots network that empowers young people to lead their communities towards food justice through urban and rural agriculture, community gardening, food security, and related environmental justice work. “  The student’s from GRUB were acknowledged as key contributors and student leaders.

You can read more about their programs and their successes on their website:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Radish Season!

Piles and piles of radishes stack the stands at the Olympia Farmer's Market. I sketched these, organic Easter egg radishes, at the Calliope Farms stand. The proprietor, Jacob Wilson, told me about his farm near Evergreen where he and Megan Marina tend "about six acres of cultivated ground, pasture, greenhouses, orchard and nettle patch."  Check them out to add a little colorful spice to your palate. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Santa Monica in May

It was an confluence of events. Our son, Connor was turning 30. Jing Jing, our oldest son Jeremy's girlfriend who designs furniture was opening a show at a new gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Lianna, who lives in Brooklyn, NY wanted a break after a long winter. So we all decided to pack our bags and snatch up some California sunshine.

Because I was traveling with people who don't sketch I had to grab moments here and there to sneak in a sketch. So I decide to focus on doing a few 1-5 minute sketches. I got the main lines down then added color later.

These next sketches took a bit longer. 

This one was done on the walkway next to the beach. It doesn't do justice to the crowd that was gathered to watch the 1st Anniversary of Slack Line Park, a sectioned off area of Santa Monica beach where one can jump on a flat, bouncy tightrope about the width of a seat belt. It was fun to watch. I include a very short video below. 

Finally, on our last day, when kids were busy or gone we rode bikes down the path next to the beach and I sad in the sand and sketched Hotel Casa del Mar. It was designed by Charles F Plummer in the Italian Renaissance style and opened in 1926. During the second world war it became a hotel and recreation center for military, then it was headquarters for Synanon, a drug and alcohol rehab organization. In 1997 Shutters on the Beach,it's modern upscale neighbor purchased and remodeled it. Its now on the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately I didn't take the time to saunter through the lobby. Maybe next time.