We accomplished so much together as a community. I want to give a special acknowledgement to our outstanding leadership team who worked so hard to help make it all happen, Dora Bromme, Anthony Garza, Irene Van Riper, Kim Koller, Simone Albuqueque and Ryan Ableson. Together with the vibrant PICA residential community, here are some of the wonderful things we accomplished this year.
PICA participated in the Earth Summit and provided the opportunity for the larger campus community to propagate culinary herbs. Mint, lemon balm and oregano were taken home in recycled containers to window sills and back steps across Santa Cruz. In April, we hosted a group of alternative medical students at the PICA garden and taught them the wonders of preparing a garden bed, how to build a hot steamy compost pile and how to use plants to support health and wellbeing. PICA helped facilitate three Student Garden Market Carts every quarter with the direction and support of our CUIP Intern. We partnered with the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and participated in the Fair Trade Market Place. In the spring, CAN brought up a group of youth leaders from Central America. There was a wonderful exchange that happened as the youth leaders taught us traditional tamale making and then learned about making compost at PICA. We also a participated in Practical Activism Conference, the Sustainability Fair, the Winter Sustainability Retreat, the Day by the Bay Alumni Event, the Strengthening the Roots Conference, the Strawberry and Justice Festival and the end of the year Sustainability Celebration as well many other collaborative events.
PICA also hosted regular workdays every Saturday and we all got to feast together on the amazing organic lunches provided. The residents at PICA also shared in community meals together three nights a week. The Thursday PICA Seminar Class (ENVS 91F/191F) was full to the brim as students from beyond PICA came to learn about our gardens and get their hands in the dirt. The Tuesday PICA Community Seminar course ran each quarter and PICA residents were able to implement the projects they wanted to see happen in their community. These projects included creating a new native plants bed in the A-quad of the Village and putting on a recycled papermaking workshop.
PICA offered three free workshops on sustainable living skills each quarter. These fabulous workshops included Fermentation, Vegan Dessert Making, Fruit Tree Pruning, Permaculture Design and more! In all, it was a remarkable year and I am grateful to all of the students who made it possible with their dedication, passion and inspiration. I am wishing you all a wonderful summer.
Mira Michelle is the wonderful and talented PICA Residential Coordinator. She joined the PICA staff this year and has been working closely with the leadership team to plan sustainability events, foster cross campus collaborations, and support community.