Volunteer Spotlight

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Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight

Hidden Harvest is so very fortunate to have the world's best volunteers and our chief volunteer and volunteer coordinator is Carl Nelson who has been heart and hands on at HH for about 8 years.  He not only shows up for packing at the warehouse, 12 Senior Markets every month and the pop up Healthy Fairs, he also coordinates all of these activities so that there is an appropriate size crew of ready and able volunteers at every single event we do. 

Carl brings his Peace Corps advocacy for the most vulnerable with him to his work at Hidden Harvest, as well as the deep compassion of his calling as a Presbyterian pastor, and linear thinking and leadership from his real estate background.  He is generous beyond measure.  Plus, he makes a mean molasses cookie!
We cannot thank Carl enough for ALL that he does for HH.

 

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LA Times series - Product of Mexico

 

A Times reporter and photographer find that thousands of laborers at Mexico's mega-farms endure harsh conditions and exploitation while supplying produce for American consumers.

Please click on title to see the entire series.  Important news for all of us who eat...

 

http://graphics.latimes.com/product-of-mexico-camps/

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Come Celebrate with us!

December 2, 2014
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Hidden Harvest Open House

85711 Peter Rabbit Lane, Coachella  92236

(click on address for link to Google maps)
 

We are celebrating 14 years of service to Coachella Valley


Come visit the Hidden Harvest facility!
Casual dress and comfortable shoes are the rule of the day.

We'll have light refreshments and samples of seasonal, local produce.

There will be maps for self-guided farm tours for those intrepid explorers who would like to see a bit of Coachella Valley's agricultural riches.

Bring a friend!

NOTE to GPS mappers - The Hidden Harvest address does not come up on all GPS maps due to some re-mapping done by the City of Coachella.  It does, however show up correctly on Google maps.

 

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What's Cropping Up - Late Summer 2014

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What's Cropping Up - Late Summer 2014

There are still a few things "croppin' up" in the desert, even though we've had temperatures near to 120 degrees at times this summer!  Thompson seedless and Red Flame grapes are turning to juicy and pungent raisins.  That's them drying on tarps in the sun in Thermal (never a more aptly named place).

Palmeros (the folks that babysit date palms all year, slowly luring the fruit to turn to caramelized gold) have wrapped September's date harvest in mesh and brown bags to protect the fruit from birds, bugs and any adventurous rats. We will have different varieties for you to taste at our Hidden Harvest Open House on December 2.

Also cropping up, everyone's favorite okra (not really everyone's favorite!) and Turkish eggplant -- both crave high heat and love the monsoonal humidity we've been having.

August is the beginning of the fall planting season, so farmers are right now preparing their fields to plant lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and all the other beautiful vegetables we expect to find in our grocery stores year round.  Harvest time for these crops will begin in late November.
 

Little known fact:

Agriculture crops are a 600 million dollar industry annually in Coachella Valley.

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It's pouring carrots!

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It's pouring carrots!

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Philanthropy magazine 2014

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Philanthropy magazine 2014

The Spring 2014 issue of Philanthropy magazine, a publication of the Philanthropy Roundtable, is a story about the partnership with Berger Foundation and CBS2 where local charities are not only awarded a $25,000 grant from Berger, they also receive prime time coverage on TV about their charitable works. HH was a recipient of this grant in Jan. 2013.

Learn More >

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7,000 Pounds of Carrots Donated!

A HUGE thank you to Bolthouse Farms and Peter Rabbit Farms for 7,000 pounds of carrots donated - directly from their harvester in the field to Hidden Harvest's truck.

And Thank You to our now soggy volunteers who came to wash THOUSANDS of carrots. You guys are the best!

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Mydesert.com article release about Hidden Harvest

Despite December freeze, pilot farm at Coachella Valley High ready for harvest

December 24th, 2013 | by Brett Kelman

The inaugural crop of a small farm at Coachella Valley High School, planted in part by students, has narrowly survived the December cold.

This farm is pilot project, the result of a partnership between the high school and Hidden Harvest, a Coachella Valley charity that gleans unwanted produce from fields for use by food banks. The farm is Hidden Harvest’s first foray into growing its own food.

Crops at the pilot farm wait for harvest, still very much alive despite cold nights.

The charity planted its first crops — cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower — in October. Students from the high school’s agriculture program helped plant the crops, literally getting their hands dirty at a real farm.

But a few chilly nights months could have brought disaster to the pilot project.

A head of cabbage from the pilot farm, nearly ready to be picked. (Photos provided by Gideon Cohn, Hidden Harvest.)

Coachella Valley temperatures dipping uncommonly low during the first half of December. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures near the high school dipped into the 20s, reaching falling to 21 degrees on Dec. 10.

Gideon Cohn, who runs the pilot farm for Hidden Harvest, said last weekend he was worried that the chilly temperatures may  have damaged the crops.

It turns out they are fine. A harvest is planned in January.

“… We had several nights of freeze here and many crops were suffering, but these crops (brassicas) are quite tolerant and there was no damage to the crop,” Cohn wrote in a Monday e-mail.

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Happy Holidays to all our Friends and Supporters!

In our latest creative solution to supplement our gleaning efforts to bring more fresh produce to those that need it, HH has revitalized the historic Coachella Valley High School Farm.  With the help of student farmers-in-the-making, HH will harvest thousands of pounds of produce from our Fall and Spring crops.

Hidden Harvest will continue with our usual activities - we've just added farming to our repertoire.

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Thank you Bank of America!

Many thanks to Bank of America for financial support through their critical needs grant program. These funds help HH in our mission to bring healthy fruits and vegetables to low income seniors through out Coachella Valley.

Visit Bank of America on Facebook!

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CV High School Farm Progress Report

DEC. 4: 

CV High School Farm project -
We are close to harvest time!

Cooler weather is finally here and fall harvests of deeply hued lettuces, holiday colored bell peppers of gold and red, and crunchy green beans are underway.  Prickly but delicious artichokes are just days away from harvest too.

But there is something extra that is generating excitement for us and that is HH's new relationship with Coachella Valley High School - or more specifically, Coachella Valley High School's small farm.

CVHS is the oldest high school in the valley, founded in February, 1901!!  This school has had an agricultural focus since its inception, but sadly the school's two acre farm had given way to weeds and gophers for the better part of the last three decades.  Not a pretty nor inspiring site for farmers-in-the-making.

So, inspiration gave way to perspiration, and with seed funding (pun intended) from the Palm Springs Mayor's grant and others, Hidden Harvest rolled up its sleeves.  We hired a farming consultant to get us started, called on the expertise of CVHS alumnus like Adrian Zendejas of Ocean Mist Farms and after a hot summer of hard labor by Francisco Linares, HH's main man and his many helpers, the old farm was new again.  New irrigation, new valves, new topsoil and that historic ground was ready to do what it was meant to do - grow healthy food for local people.

With the help of the agriculture students at CVHS we have planted broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and carrots.  Generous donations of carrot seeds and carrot expertise from Grimmway Farms along with donated broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plant starts from Headstart Nursery have turned this dream into a real farm.

While students will be involved throughout, HH crews will do the majority of the harvesting.  100% of the produce grown will be added to our coolers - keeping company with gleaned produce and packing house donations - to feed the hungry in our community.

Hidden Harvest will continue our usual activities - we've just added farming to our repertoire.  It is very rewarding to think that we are part of "growing" new farmers for the Coachella Valley's future.

Stay tuned for more updates...

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Planting day at Hidden Harvest / CV High School farm!!

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage. Carrots will be planted in the next week....and then we cover the baby plants with row cover to protect them from the voracious bagrada bugs and for weed control. ...and then we cover the baby plants with row cover to protect them from the voracious bagrada bugs and for weed control.

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Thank you Grimmway Farms!

April 2. A rare and wonderful thing - gleaning 2,000 pounds of organic carrots today! Carrots are like gold to us. There is virtually no waste in the carrot growing business, so carrot donations are particularly welcome. 

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Bill Clinton at Hidden Harvest!

Yes, that is former President Bill Clinton standing in our Hidden Harvest warehouse!

Watch the NBC Nightly News on Wed., Jan 16 to see the segment filmed here last week while we were out picking lettuce and today with President Clinton and our fabulous volunteers.

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