July 2014, Somerville, MA
Somerville based, Taza Chocolate, has a tour donation program that aims to give back to the communities that they are part of — from our local community of Somerville, MA, to the global community to which we all belong.
For every ticket sold for our public tours of the Taza Chocolate Factory, we donate $1 of the $5 ticket price to a non-profit organization. Each quarter, we choose a different organization, in recognition of the myriad of different charitable initiatives that need support, both close to home, and across the planet. We’re thrilled that our donation recipient for the third quarter of 2014 (July to September) is theMOVE, an organization that shares our passion for connecting people with the sources of their food.
About Taza Chocolate:
“We make stone ground, organic chocolate. Cacao is so complex in flavor that we want to let it speak loud and proud. That is why we do less to bring you more. We stone grind organic cacao beans into perfectly unrefined, minimally processed chocolate with bold flavor and texture, unlike anything you have ever tasted.
Taza founder Alex Whitmore took his first bite of stone ground chocolate while traveling in Oaxaca, Mexico. He was so inspired by the rustic intensity that he decided to create a chocolate factory back home in Somerville, MA. Alex apprenticed under a molinero in Oaxaca to learn how to hand-carve granite mill stones to make a new kind of American chocolate that is simply crafted, but seriously good.”
Learn more about Taza Factory Tours here. Book your tour and help theMOVE earned much need funds to continue our work.
See more here.
Boston Public School/USDA Farm to School funding with sponsorship from Boston Organics allowed an entire 6th grade class from a Dorchester based, Lilla G. Fredrick Middle School (101 students), and 31 students from a Roxbury based, Dearborn Middle School to have 1.5 hours of dedicated, in-class activity on food science, health, and food justice in addition to our one-day, signature farm volunteer work days led by theMOVE, and our community volunteers. 17 urban educators also participated in the the program over a 5 week period at two local farms.
(L-R) 1. Lilla G. Fredrick Pilot Middle School, 6th grade English Language Learners photographed after a farm volunteer work day at Blue Heron Organic Farm at Lincoln, MA. 2. Dearborn Middle School, 6th graders photographed after farm volunteer work day at Wright Locke Farm in Winchester, MA. 3. Kim Szeto, Boston Public School Farm to School Coordinator alongside Principal, James Brewer and Mathematics teacher, Calotta Mason prior one of the four Lilla G. Fredrick for farm volunteer workdays. 4. theMOVE’s Executive Director, Tamika R. Francis hands over organic fruit snacks from Boston Organics to Tommy Simmons, and student of Lilla G. Fredrick Middle School.
Visit www.summersol.org for tickets and more details.
We are excited to welcome Jasmine Laietmark, former volunteer, turned Farm Volunteer Logistics Lead to theMOVE’s team.
Since being transplanted from the midwest in 1998, Jasmine discovered she is in love with every neighborhood of Boston, each for a different reason. Her favorite spot is her shared garden in the Oak Square neighborhood of Brighton. Jasmine is a proud alumna of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, with bachelors degrees in Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) and Art History. Her creative collaborations led to work for justice at a number of organizations, including Bikes Not Bombs, Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), and the Boston Cyclists Union: directing events, leading grassroots fundraising, and managing communications. Jasmine is currently living the day-job dream as one of three staff at the Cambridge Historical Society, thriving in an environment overflowing with century-old postcards and glass plate negatives of half-built bridges over the Charles River, while working with theMOVE on a part time basis.
Join theMOVE on one of our Farm Volunteer Work Days or Farm Volunteer Week-end Experience in Spring, Summer & Fall 2014. Some 2014 dates and farms are listed here, and details will be posted soon. Join our list to learn more, or check back later.
If you are an urban educator, or youth worker in Metro-Boston, e-mail us at connect [at] farmvolunteer.org, to learn about farm volunteer work days for your youth.
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As we commence this second month, and lunar New Year, belated wishes for a productive year filled with life’s bounty, and useful lessons.
I start this welcome note with a public thank you to Dave, for his vision and leadership to connect urban communities to the power of food through theMOVE. Since accepting this role, I have been diligently preparing by talking with, and learning from theMOVE’s partners and friends.
Also, I will openly share that success can only be attained by leaning on the powerful work of the past, the collective experiences & support of each of you, and a close relationship with the people we serve. As I pen this note and assess the work ahead, I am met with enthusiasm and prudence. I feel assured by the messages and offers of support received, coupled with my training and connection to farm, food and community.
As we kick start 2014, it is important that we share some of our plans for this year, since we may look a little bit different from we previously did. We have decided as theMOVE grows, to take an introspective review of our work, impact, and relevance so we may make strategic next steps to further our mission.
We will spend some more time on organizational development, but do not worry, our farm volunteer trips are already being planned; our aim is to take another 500 urban youth & dwellers out on farm experiences in 2014. This is a smaller number than last year, but a very necessary step back in order to deepen our work. Here are some of our plans:
- We will spend some time formalizing our organization’s systems, strengthening partnerships, and closely reviewing our impact. Despite this, we will remain committed to grassroots, continues our mission of connecting diverse urban dwellers to fresh food, and sustains the labor and land that sustain us.
- In the next few weeks, we will move into a collaborative work space with 3 other superb organizations who work on food, sustainable farming and social justice (stay tuned for more on that).
- Our Steward Circle remains active with fund-raising through Put a Kid on the Bus, in order to cover the cost of our youth programs. We welcome your contributions via Rally.org. To our Steward Circle and those who have contributed, thank you.
- theMOVE recently welcomed a new board of directors; an extraordinary group with multifaceted experiences and perspectives. Also, our core group of volunteers who serve as trip- co leaders and event committee members remain committed to our mission and supporting us this year.
Again, thank you and see you soon, ideally at one of our farm volunteer workdays, or other community engagement events.
Tamika R. Francis, Executive Director