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
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.
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