Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Odwalla via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Odwalla.
One of the things that I love most about living in California is that, no matter where you look, there is some sort of urban garden popping up on every corner. Some of these are intended, while others are just part of the landscape. Families may have one or more avocado, orange, tangerine, lemon, lime and grapefruit trees, in addition to rosemary shrubbery lining the yard and mint growing wild if it is not contained. When I lived in various states along the East coast, I never noticed this immediate access to food–so close that you could theoretically reach out the window to grab it. Since my initial arrival to Southern California, I have become even more in tune with the fact that many do not have the same access to these types of fresh ingredients in their back yards or grocery stores. I heard the term “food justice” bouncing around, along with “urban farming” and “urban agriculture”. I realized hunger and availability of healthy food options is lacking in certain part of the United States, in addition to the fact that all of this begins with trees and their importance to the natural cycle of creation, sustainability, fertile soil and so many other things. When Odwalla announced their Plant a Tree program, it was the perfect time to join in and explain their goals.
Hopefully, you noticed the digital tree above. It’s a little scraggly guy, but he’s representative of the orange trees that are all over California. He’s a pillar of the type of backyard garden Amir and I would love to have at our respective homes one day–bursting with fruit, full of life. He’s also a shining reminder that simple foods from the Earth are just as delicious as an ornate meal, and they are easy for almost anyone to access. I’ll be honest…I have taken an orange or lemon off a neighbor’s overflowing tree. They shared with kindness and love, and it was a gracious and community-oriented gesture to share excess with someone else. That desire to share food with any and everyone is indicative of our culture’s love for “breaking bread” with others. It all began with a tree. In the last couple of years, I have volunteered with the Social Justice Learning Institute’s 100 Seeds of Change effort to build 100 gardens in Inglewood, CA and also foster healthy and active living through cooking and planting. I enjoy documenting those monthly events through a separate blog, so attendees can have access to new recipes and techniques. For me, that is my way of breaking bread with members of the community.
Odwalla is partnering with The Nature Conservancy’s All Hands on Earth initiative to plant up to 100,000 trees across America! If you go to the Odwalla Plant a Tree page, you can make a digital tree of your own. Each tree completed by you will result in a $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy on behalf of Odwalla. The best part is that the tree will be planted in your name, so somewhere across this country, there will be a tree dedicated to your donation. On top of that, there is the chance to win the grand prize–a $10,000 gift card and a year’s worth of Odwalla drinks and bars. You probably have your own way of planting seeds of change within your community, whether it be in real life or online. Keep up with the good work! Seeds blossom and eventually lead to full improvements.
Here is a quick word from Odwalla with more details about the project:
Between March 20, 2013 and May 31, 2013, Odwalla will contribute $1 for each tree you create to The Nature Conservancy for the planting of trees– no less than $75,000 and up to $100,000. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the land and waters on which all life depends. More information about the Conservancy is available by mail at 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203, by phone at (800) 628-6860 or at www.nature.org.
Other recipes you may enjoy...
Guess What’s Coming to Dinner
Bertolli Shows Us Los Angeles’ Italian Flair
Joy the Baker’s Virtual Picnic
Extravaganza for the Senses 2011
Hands On Cooking With Dole Foods