Images courtesy of Long Beach Creamery.
In the most delicious #givingtuesday partnership yet, local production farm Farm Lot 59 and everyone’s favorite local organic ice cream shop, Long Beach Creamery, are joining together to throw one heck of a fundraiser for the sake of teaching our youth all about growing (food, that is).
On Tuesday, December 1 from 4:00PM to 9:00PM at Long Beach Creamery, Farm Lot 59 will kick off their annual end-of-year fundraiser to raise $15,000 to build a Children’s Garden. 50 percent of every purchase from Long Beach Creamery will go toward the farm while attendees can also donate on-site. The event is the very beginning of the fundraising effort, which anyone can donate to online until December 31.
"I would never have known if Long Beach liked organic ice cream without Sasha from Farm Lot 59 sharing her farm as the place to launch tastings,” said Long Beach Creamery Owner and Founder Dina Amadril. “Farm Lot 59 is a magical place in the middle of the city where you can connect with your food. The Children’s Garden will add to the magic - and continue the farm adventures that Sasha has started for kids.”
Alongside hosting the event at her shop, Amadril says she made a special ice cream in celebration of the kick off, using ingredients from, of course, Farm Lot 59. It’s fittingly called #farmlotkids, a to-die-for flavor that uses the farm’s honey in the ice cream base and features a thick fudge swirl spiced with chai and herbs, also from the lot. Edible flowers and microgreens from the farm will be used as toppings. Chef Art from Panxa Cocina in Belmont Heights, who purchases produce weekly from the farm, will also be joining the fundraising event to provide delicious pastries.
“For the foodie it’s going to be epic,” said Amadril.
Farmlot 59 Founder Sasha Kanno, who has been doing volunteer agriculture in town for nearly a decade, explained to the Post that the nonprofit is a production farm, meaning they sell their produce to local restaurants to support themselves. And now that the production portion of the farm has been established (it’s been a five-year project since the farm was started in 2010) they can focus on ramping up their education programs, especially for the young, hands-on learners.
“They really need their own space where they can go and explore and pull all the carrots out and it doesn’t [interrupt] our production,” said Kanno. “If they have a special little area where it doesn’t matter that they plant 50,000 onion seeds in one [session], then, go for it, kid. That's where [the idea] came from.”
The $15,000 Farmlot 59 seeks will be used to build four raised beds, a fence, an irrigation system and to purchase tools, microscopes and anything catered to the “small, little learner,” says Kanno. One especially innovative feature she thought of to add are plexi sides to the beds “so you can actually see inside the foil and see the microbial activity and see the worms from the side.” Think ant farm, but more complex.
“And we pay people to do stuff,” she said. “So the $15,000 will go to materials, build, installation. I love my volunteers but in the end I like to pay people. People need jobs.”
Kanno says that she’s more than excited to start the process of funding and building the Children’s Garden, that she hopes to host more field trips and learning experiences that are safe for the kids, especially with Andy on their team, a Berkeley-graduate and garden educator who joined the team this past summer.
“And that’s really the big thing is that they can come now, but instead of saying, ‘Don’t touch anything!’ we can say, “Here, go in here and explore, get your hands dirty and really use it as your outdoor learning lab.’”
“Like starting an ice cream shop, it is an ambitious project that needs community support,” said Amadril. “I'm glad to get a chance to return the favor and kick off the fundraising campaign for Farm Lot 59 Children’s Garden. Come eat some ice cream and support #farmlotkids!"
Long Beach Creamery is located at 4141 Long Beach Boulevard.