Full STE[+A]M Ahead Celebration Dinner Recap and New Public Art Concepts Unveiled

_MG_6614This summer’s Full STE[+a]M Ahead youth program drew to a close last week with a celebratory dinner. At the event, the #fullsteam15 Track 1 students presented their final projects to the hundreds of family members, friends and community members that came out to support these incredible students.

The five student groups worked for three weeks on projects that incorporated the lessons they learned throughout the program. Attendees were then able to vote on their favorite project, with the team that earned the most votes winning $100 Best Buy gift cards for each member. Here’s each project from the Full STE[+a]M teams.

Team 1: Composting

The Composting team’s project created a sustainable composting center that provides healthy soil for growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables. It is their overall mission to have community members take part in the running of the compost center by treating it similar to a recycling center. Their compostable materials could be converted into rich soil, enabling healthier growing in their home and community gardens.


Team 2: Water Conservation

The Water Conservation team created a project that could be very helpful to the community and city as a whole considering California’s current drought. They created plans for an aquaponics vertical garden waterfall, where they could keep fish for sale and consumption. Proceeds would help maintain the waterfall.


Team 3: Water Conservation 2

The second team to work on a water conservation project created a rooftop garden at a local school. With this project, they felt they could provide the school’s cafeteria with organic fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the grounds.

Team 4: Food Production

This team focused their project on creating a garden that grows organic food crops, which is much-needed in food swamps. Their garden would be located in the Diamond Neighborhoods and use no pesticides. The team designed their large community garden, incorporating trees and planting beds into their garden. With this garden, the team felt they could help the community and challenge obesity in America.


 Team 5: Permaculture

The team designed a backyard permaculture system that reintroduced healthy nutrients and ecological harmony into a localized area. They had various elements, including a tree guild with fig trees and rosemary shrubs, a portable chicken coop to distribute waste, graywater for which to recycle sink and bath tub water, and shaded benches containing a compost worm bin underneath.

IMG_5731Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 4.35.14 PMWhile all the teams did an amazing job on their project, the team that received the most votes was the Composting team that created a recycling center for compost soil. Their happiness and excitement was evident when their name was announced. We were very happy for all of the students and applaud their hard work.


As Track 1 presented their projects, Track 2 shared the work they did during their two-week program. As we mentioned in a previous post, Track 2 of Full STE[+a]M Ahead added the arts component to the curriculum. The AjA Project came in to teach students about storytelling through film and digital photography, creative placemaking, and ways they can help positively change their community through the power of the arts. Throughout this process, students used their images to create a dialogue around their community, past and present, and the role that creative placemaking plays. The process of using the visual arts and STEAM principles to research, document, and discuss creative place-making in a digital world made a lasting impact on the students, who learned to see their neighborhood in a whole new way.



Unknown-4Through these lessons, students created public art concepts that may replace the Community Faces murals located on the outside walls of Food 4 Less in Market Creek Plaza. The pieces they created are beautiful and would be seen by thousands for years to come.

IMG_5774We thank all the students who participated in this year’s Full STE[+a]M Ahead summer youth program. Not only did the number of participants double from last year, we are absolutely thrilled to report that the program had a 100% retention rate. Not a single student dropped out of the program. Some even walked an hour to make it to their classes. We are so very proud of their commitment to their education.

IMG_5742We also have a special thanks to the educational partners who created an enriching experiencing for the student: Elementary Institute of Science (EIS), Project New Village, the AJA Project, the San Diego Futures Foundation, Groundwork, and UC San Diego Extension. Next year, EIS will take over Full STE[+a]M Ahead and continue to have UC San Diego’s continued support in this fantastic program. We are confident that they will take Full STE[+a]M  to even greater heights.

Recap: Full STE[+a]M Ahead Week 2

Full Steam Ahead

The Full STE[+a]M Ahead students enjoyed another week of fun, interactive learning during Week 2 of the summer program.

The summer youth program is aimed at equipping high school students with the skills needed to compete in today’s in-demand career fields and develop them as community leaders. We partnered with the Elementary Institute of Science, Project New Village, the AJA Project, the San Diego Futures Foundation, Groundwork, and UC San Diego to develop a curriculum, provide resources and guide students in activities related to STEAM subjects that directly contribute to their surrounding community.



During Week 2, the students headed out to Wild Willows Farm, a six-acre farm and sustainable food project located along the Tijuana River. There they learned the difference between organic food and conventional food, meaning any food products they buy at restaurants, fast food places, grocery stores, or shops. By weighing out the pros and cons of both types of food they were able to understand how both types of food sources and products affect their health, the environment, and food systems as a whole.

The #FullSteam15 kids didn’t just talk about food at Wild Willows. They got their hands dirty by doing a bit of gardening as well! By planting fruits, herbs, and vegetables they got to learn first-hand how the food we eat daily comes to be. Students tasted the plants, fruits, and veggies as well to get familiar with their flavors and identify them. While most they enjoyed, it’s fair to say that they weren’t too fond of the fresh sour grapes they tried. Lots of puckered faces after sampling those! They also fed chickens and pulled tumbleweed for the goats that live on the farm.


Back at the Elementary Institute of Science, the students took the lessons they learned about planting and gardening at Wild Willows Farm and built their own raised bed for planting. They worked the soil and plated numerous fruits and vegetables in their very own garden, using recycled containers and other materials. We can’t wait to see all the tasty fresh food that blossoms from these gardens!


A big part of this Week 2 was planning for their final projects. At the end of the Full STE[+a]M Ahead summer youth program, students will present projects that they’ve bee working on throughout the entire program. The students got into teams and started designing their own sustainable gardens. Together they will plan a budget, research alternative energy sources, choose plant life, and build a garden, implementing all they have been learning into their gardens. Each team will be presenting their final project at the Full STE[+a]M Ahead Celebration Dinner happening on August 19 at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center.

MLK Day of Service with Project New Village


Project New Village invites you to join us in A Day of Service at Mt. Hope Community Garden in Southeastern San Diego where we are working with and in community to address food injustice by transforming vacant lots and backyards into vibrant food growing spaces.

Saturday January 24, 2015
10am – 1pm
4261 Market St., San Diego, CA 92102


Project New Village is teaching a course this fall titled “Redesigning Farming”

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 3.51.32 PMN. Diane Moss of Project New Village is teaching / facilitating a course at the ECC campus this fall titled “Redesigning Farming”. The course cost $80.00 and you must pre-register online @ www.sdce.edu. We have a limited number of scholarships available, if you are interested and need financial assistance contact Project New Village. This is an evening class, 4:00pm – 5:45pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, September 23rd – October 21st. See the course description below.

Redesigning Farming is an introductory course that will explore the idea of growing and distributing fresh food in urban communities. This course will examine the barriers between the agricultural past and urban present for people of color and will look at the contributions of resistance movements which have given rise to cooperative farming and unionized labor in marginalized populations. Additionally we will explore the role of technology in growing food safely in urban environments.  Ultimately this course will explore the need to re-brand farming / urban agriculture as a new opportunity to contribute to healthy living spaces in urban neighborhoods.

Project New Village
People’s Produce Urban Agriculture Initiative
619 262-2022      info@projectnewvillage.org

Supported by the Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation

Mount Hope Community Garden Revitalization

We will gather in Southeastern San Diego to help Project New Village finish building the Mount Hope Community Garden. We need volunteers to help dig trenches, erect a shade apparatus, lay out existing concrete fragments for a walkway, lay new concrete, erect a new fence, and pull weeds around the site. This volunteer opportunity will help foster individual and community wellness for the residents of Mount Hope.

Date / Time
05/11/2013, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

4261 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92102

Tristan Williamson at t.james.williamson@gmail.com

National Food Day Celebration in District 4

Diane Coombs of Project New Village hosted a National Food Day Celebration on Oct. 24 at the Mt. Hope Community Garden that was attended by Mayor Sanders, Council President Young and County Supervisor Ron Roberts. The event, co-hosted by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, included educational displays, farm animals, storytelling and recipe sharing as well as a Community Potluck featuring homemade foods.

Project New Village also coordinates the People’s Produce Farmers Market held on Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. at 4981 Market Street.

Project New Village hosts National Food Day Celebration

Project New Village is hosting a National Food Day Celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Mt. Hope Community Garden, 4261 Market Street. The event, being co-hosted by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, will include educational displays, farm animals, storytelling and recipe sharing as well as a Community Potluck featuring homemade foods. Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food.

For more information, please call Project New Village at: (619) 262-2022 or visit the website online at: projectnewvillage.org.

Fannie Lou Hamer Legacy Luncheon

Project New Village will host its 2nd Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Legacy Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 11:30 a.m. at the Bethel Baptist Church Campus, 1962 Euclid Ave.

Our guests will be treated to tasteful, healthy seasonal food; hear about the work of the People’s Produce Urban Agriculture Initiative and enjoy cultural expressions provided by local artists. Tickets are $35.00 per person $250.00 per table of eight. For more information about this annual celebration of the life, lessons and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, an uncompromising advocate for food and social justice, or to purchase tickets call (619) 262-2022, email us at info@projectnewvillage.org, or find us online at: www.projectnewvillage.org

Mt. Hope Community Garden In Danger: We need Your Voice!

As you may already know, the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), the agency with which Project New Village has a signed lease agreement to develop the Mt. Hope Community Garden no longer exists. It has been replaced by what is being called City of San Diego Redevelopment Successor Agency Oversight Board.

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, the Oversight Board will make a decision to approve an Enforceable Obligation Payment Schedule which includes the lease agreement we currently have with the old SEDC Redevelopment Agency, as well as other low to moderate income housing development projects and the Valencia Park Business Improvement District. In total, there are nine sites which are in jeopardy of being sold!   This would be a travesty of the highest order.

We need all “hands on deck” at the Wednesday afternoon meeting to voice our concerns: (1) the Oversight Board should vote to honor the already existing contracts, (2) enforceable agreements and the intent of the bond and grant funds – the provision of affordable housing (low to moderate income); economic development,and (3) the generation of property tax revenue and the removal of blight.

We want the Mt. Hope Community Garden to go forward!! As Mayor Sanders has stated, it was the work around the Mt. Hope Community Garden that jump started the Urban Agriculture Movement.

We are asking that those of you who can attend focus your comments on the following:

  • the economic benefits of residents growing,harvesting distributing and selling produce;
  • the health benefits of eating, and cooking fresh, locally grown produce;
  • the social cohesion develop when neighbors work and engage other neighbors as they change the physical and social environment; as well as the inter-generational exposure to cultural traditions and cultural exchange with one another

Some arguments that can also be made are the savings to the City because garden space is less costly than parkland area and composting, a key feature of urban agriculture,saves on land fill space.

The meeting will be held on:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
2:00 p.m.
202 C Street
Council Chambers, 12th Floor

For those who are able attend we will be meeting at our office at 1:00 pm on Wednesday to caravan to City Hall. For those persons who are unable to attend but would like your concerns heard please email your comments to ndm@projectnewvillage.org, by the end of the day on Tuesday. Please share with your students, family and other food justice advocates.

The Status and Struggle of Black Farmers

In Southeastern San Diego, a food desert, the People’s Produce Farmers Market will host an African American History Month event featuring displays and discussion on the Status and Struggle of the Black Farmer. Did you know?

  • In 1910, nearly one million Black farmers in the U.S. owned a total of 15 million acres; by 1969 they held only 6 million acres.
  • In 1920, Blacks owned 14% of the nation’s farms; today, there are only 18,000 black farmers, representing less than 1% of all farms.
  • In 2011, a federal judge ruled that tens of thousands of African American and Native American farmers who suffered racial discrimination by the U.S. Agriculture Department in the 1980s and ’90s could start getting compensation from a $1.25 billion settlement.

San Diego County is home to the largest number of small farms in the nation – 6687, yet only 27 of these farm operators are African American according to the 2007 Agriculture Census Report.

The current food system is failing African Americans as evidenced by the high rates of chronic disease/health disparities, the proliferation of food deserts and the growing impetus to develop urban agriculture in communities of color.

Since the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to today, African-Americans have fought to acquire and maintain land to produce food, and have encountered incredible obstacles along the way.

There is clearly a connection between food access, food production, health, and poverty, which needs to be examined as we engage in building a sustainable food system that is inclusive and responsive to the needs and strengths of all eaters.

Locally, People’s Produce Project is a pioneer in urban agriculture, with a farmers market, food preparation classes, community garden projects created and operated by residents, and involvement in the food justice movement and city-wide advocacy efforts to make San Diego more supportive of food sovereignty for all.

At the leadership of People’s Produce Project are African Americans who are committed to connecting Southeastern San Diego to the global food movement; while creating a community-based food system which builds on the assets and legacies of this geographical defined space.

Come to the People’s Produce Farmers Market, located at 4981 Market Street, on Friday, February 17, 2012 2p – 6p to learn and share more facts and figures on African Americans and Agriculture. The program will include speakers, cultural expressions, good food and more. There will be opportunities to get involved in this effort.

The People’s Produce Farmers Market is a part of Healthy Works, a county-wide initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the County of San Diego; and a part of the County’s “Live Well, San Diego! Building Better Health” initiative, a 10-year vision for healthy communities. Additionally the farmers market is supported by a grant from the Neighborhood Unity Foundation. For more information contact us at 619 262-2022 or info@projectnewvillage.org

“And we can help create a culture- imagine this – where out kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.” – Michelle Obama


Farmers market opening in southeastern San Diego

We’re really delighted to share that The People’s Produce Project is celebrating the grand opening of its farmers’ market in southeastern San Diego on Friday, December 3rd. You’ll find fresh produce, live music, crafts, prepared foods, and more at the market, located at 606 Euclid Avenue (Google Maps) just between Guymon and Market streets.

Be sure to also mark your calendars for the market’s Community Kick-Off Reception taking place the night before. The festivities will be held  in the Union Bank parking lot right next to Project New Village’s headquarters at 5106 Federal Boulevard (Google Maps).

Check out The People’s Produce Project on their website and Facebook page for more information about their work in the community and how you can get involved.

PNV Farmers Market 2010-12

Eating Well & Liking It!

This Friday, Project New Village is hosting the first of its monthly series of fundraisers and educational campaigns around food and healthy eating in our community.

For $7.00, you can get a “Southeastern San Diego Lunch” featuring homegrown fruit and vegetables, chicken, and more. Meals can be enjoyed at Project New Village’s offices or may be picked up to eat elsewhere.

The fundraiser takes place on Friday, August 27 from 11:30am – 2:30pm. Project New Village is located at 5106 Federal Boulevard, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92105. Click here for a map and directions.

The organization is also seeking backyard growers in or near southeastern San Diego. If you would like to contribute fruits and vegetables to the next monthly fundraiser, please call Diane Moss at 619-262-2022.

PNV Eating Well 2010-08-27

Project New Village’s Tribute to Cesar E. Chavez

Project New Village’s 10th Annual Community Tribute to Cesar Estrada Chavez

Join us as we highlight the legacy and lessons of the venerable labor leader and environmentalist Cesar E. Chavez!

Friday April 23 from 6:00 – 8:00pm
Dinner, displays, and a multicultural showcase at the Mountain View Community Center (641 South Boundary Street, San Diego).

For more information contact Miss Diane Moss at (619) 262-2022 or visit www.projectnewvillage.org.

A Celebration of Life!

Project New Village and the Community Coordinators of the Jacobs Center invite you to join us for a “Celebration of Life”.

Friday, February 26, 2010
5:00 – 7:00pm at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center Second Floor

We will be celebrating cancer survivors as well as bringing in health educators that will share resources with us.

We feel it is important to begin connecting and encouraging our neighbors in southeastern San Diego with information and conversation. Please join us!

  • Remarks from health experts
  • Remarks from survivors
  • Community resource tables
  • Food, fellowship, and festivities

For more info, contact Diane Moss at (619) 262-2022.