To further explore the question “Where does our food come from?,” we discussed the role farmworkers play in our food system. We read the book Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez and watched a video about Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport, which is about 65 miles from our school. Swanton Berry is known not only for its delicious, organic strawberries, but also for its union labor. We learned that 52% of the cost of Swanton berries goes to paying workers a living wage and providing them with benefits.
In the kitchen, the students got to work prepping the strawberries, a few bananas, and pitting dates. In the blender, we added leafy greens, chia seeds, yogurt, soy milk, and apple mint (an herb that has a lovely fragrance of apple or pineapple). Each chef got a chance to push the blender button and watch the machines turn all the ingredients into a beautiful pink smoothie. Before we enjoyed the smoothie, we raised a glass to the legacy of Cesar Chavez and to all the people whose labor allows us to put healthy, sustainable food on the table.