During my silent 10-day Vipassina mediation last October, I had a vision to work with kids in underprivileged neighborhoods teaching them how to garden, grow food, and make healthy food. These neighborhoods lack fresh produce or healthy food options. The only way to save lives is to teach kids about food, real food. Growing our food builds confidence and self reliance. It’s important for kids to understand where their food comes from.
Neelam Sharma is the Executive Director of Community Services Unlimited, Inc. and is largely responsible for the development of CSU’s food justice and youth training programs. She helped create The Healthy School Food Coalition, The LA Food Justice Network, and the California Food Justice Coalition. An inspirational lady…passionate, intelligent, and beautiful.
Neelam and I met at the Expo Center garden, where I first met Dana Clay, the Urban Farm Assistant responsible for this beautiful garden. I found a curry tree for the first time, and the leaves tasted pungent, like curry.
They even had a cherimoya tree! Yum. The last time I saw a cherimoya tree was in Baja. I love cherimoya, and just picked up 3 at the local farmer’s market. Visit CSU’s weekly Farm Stand in front of the Expo Center on Menlo just north of MLK on Thursdays from 3-6pm.
Find more about Community Services Unlimited events, and how you can volunteer on their website. A special thanks to my good friend Bryant Terry for introducing me to Neelam and CSU, inc.
Mom Tri, owner of the resort, totally gets it. His spa uses edible coconut oil, he has an organic farm in Chang Mai with a cooking school, and looks super fit and healthy.
This is one of 3 pools at Mom Tri’s, and salt water too.
Each morning I’d find a newly bloomed lotus flower. They’re beautiful!
This is just one of several decks overlooking the ocean for dining and drinking. What a view!
This is the beach at Mom Tri’s….turquoise water and white sands. I did get a minor jelly fish sting. I was with a doctor, luckily, who kept me calm, and though it left welts on my arm, it was really not a big deal. I tried to swim a mile a day in the ocean. It was bath water warm and such a treat.
I love how the Balinese reuse litter glass bottles to hold petrol. At first I wondered if this could be dangerous. What if someone drank a bottle by accident? I guess that’s why they display the bottles on a special stand along with a funnel (you can see it in the photo on the bottom shelf).
Growing up in a Korean home in New York, I was taught to use less and to reuse things whenever possible. Like using prepared food containers, instead of buying bright plastic Tupperware, to store our left overs. Korean moms are notorious for saving plastic bags, and reusing them until they fall apart. I think this comes from the fact that Korea wasn’t always a 1st world country, and when my folks were growing up, resources and even food were scarce. So, it was important to make the best use of everything available, and never to waste.