Serving up healthy produce with Jack Johnson

(Editor’s note: This report comes from our favorite carrot, Amelia Swinton, who along with the smiling pea, Meredith Wilson, represented Solid Ground’s Lettuce Link and Apple Corps programs at a very special event. Their report can also be found on the Lettuce Link. blog.)

Meredith and Amelia wearing pea and carrot costumes!

(L to r): Meredith Wilson and Amelia Swinton spread the word about healthy produce in Jack Johnson's Village Green during his concert at The Gorge

Last weekend was a mobile one, with Lettuce Link posters, Marra Farm produce, and even a few staffers packed into a Prius and shipped eastwards. The occasion for this expedition down I-90? Jack Johnson, acoustic guitar and philanthropic superstar, was playing a show at the Gorge Amphitheater. And though his To The Sea tour has crisscrossed the nation’s biggest venues, Jack has consistently prioritized sustainability, locally sourced materials, and connecting his fans to nonprofits in their communities.

Through the fiery determination of Solid Ground staff, Lettuce Link and Apple Corps (an AmeriCorps team focused on educating kids about healthy lifestyles) were chosen to table on Jack’s “Village Green.” In addition, the programs received $2,500 in match funding from Johnson and his foundation!

Sandwiched between a surfing/beach cleaning organization and a kids+arts+nature group, Meredith and I engaged with hordes of JJ fans about food: its justice, affordability, cultivation, nutrition and education. We spoke with people about our work in schools, community gardens, urban farms, food banks, and private backyards, and discussed the connections between these programs and domestic food policy. We connected teachers with composting resources, greeting-card-writers to lovely Marra Farm harvest cards, and eaters to new vegetables (bok choi! paddy pan squash!).

We also urged people to take personal actions: donate to Lettuce Link (: , support farmers markets, and educate themselves on the Farm Bill so that they can speak out for fairer ag policy.

What’s more: 100% of the  profits from Johnson’s tour go back into his foundation, to continue supporting nonprofit work. I’m sounding like a total Jack Johnson speaker box here, but frankly, I wasn’t expecting to be so darn impressed.

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