Welcome Back Americorps

We are happy to announce that five out of our six 2012-2013 Americorps members have stayed on for another year. Education Coordinators Nina Vuoso and Keri Waller are still running two school gardens at McKinley and Aptitud Elementary schools, as well as helping out on the farm crew when time allows. Our Farm Crew Dave Chang, Colleen Hotchkiss and Mika Shibuya are going strong in their second year as the key leaders of daily farm operations. They are responsible for crop planning, harvest and distribution of produce, greenhouse management, irrigation, daily volunteer management and all the finer details of how our farm operates.

Former Farm Crew member Diego Ortiz has recently departed for a year-long trip across South America, beginning in Costa Rica and ending in Brazil for the World Cup. Good luck Diego, and we can't wait to hear all of your great stories!  


Last but not least, new to our team is Community Outreach Coordinator Lydia Martinez. Lydia's organizes a team of volunteers and interns to get the word out about Veggielution, helps to coordinate our Cooking Matters classes, and helps out on the farm crew. Born in Sinaloa Mexico, Lydia grew up in the Central Valley and remembers going with her father to irrigate fields and complete other farmwork at his various jobs.

Lydia holds a degree in Expressive Arts Therapy and has extensive experience teaching art and gardening classes. Most recently she worked at Schmahl Science managing their community garden at Kelly Park here in San Jose. She hopes to use her experience to engage the Chicano/Native immigrant community of San Jose so that they too may be able to participate in local sustainable agriculture. You'll see Lydia in the Farm Stand on Saturdays acting as our Farm Host, so make sure to stop by and introduce yourself!