Saturday, March 29, 2008

The making of a Schoolyard Orchard

What does it take to transform a schoolyard? This video created by tour veteran Annapurna takes us on the journey of planting an urban orchard at Jonas Salk Tech High from the perspective of the Fruit Tree Tour behind the scenes team--from the soil donation yard to planting site. Common Vision had the honor to work with a dynamic urban agriculture educational project, Soil Born Farms, on this planting. Catch a glimpse of how Common Vision joins forces with local organizations to meaningfully connect with students, schools, and communities.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Expression Session Video Part 1: Regroovables

When Fruit Tree Tour comes to a school, tree planting is only part of the picture. There are three workshops that make up the day of tree planting and community building, aiming to give students a whole new set of experiences about their environment, and their place in it. This movie is part 1 of a close look into Eco- Beats, a self expression workshop that teaches kids, they can use creativity to express themselves, clean up their neighborhood, and have impact on the greater environment. Thank you Fruit Tree Tour veteran and bus driver, Doug Fuller for sharing the vision of Regrooveables and to returning crew member Anna Purna, tree-planter, eco hip hopper, artist, and photographer for editing this great video piece.

Check out another video about Regroovables.

Compton Planting Celebration Video

Compton Unified School District brought Fruit Tree Tour to 4 schools in Compton this year to work with 1850 students and plant 75 trees. In this video made by return crew member and MC, Jah Sun Williams, school board member Marjorie Shipp explains why the program is important to her and to the City of Compton. George Washington Carver Elementary Principal Dr Jacqueline Sanderlin shares how Common Vision has inspired a whole new direction the landscape and integrated learning of the school. The video highlights the one of the most celebratory after-school drumming-dancing-tree planting school-yard transformations in tour history! Special Thanks to UrbanFarming.Org for sponsoring scholarships for Compton area schools for the second year in a row.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Sweetest Oasis

We’ve always seen the Sugar Shack as a miracle oasis in the heart of the asphalt desert of Los Angeles, and this year their status as urban miracle makers grew even more. This intentional community of artists opened an invitation to share their home with the entire crew of 27 during a full week of tree planting events in the city. Imagine 27 people getting their morning cup of coffee in your kitchen! Then, after graciously hosting the tour for a week, they didn’t flinch at our phone call that we needed an emergency landing site after a series of small scale catastrophes at our next campsite. Our heroes hosted the caravan for two more days making it possible to fulfill another two planting events. Fruit Tree Tour in Los Angeles would not be possible without the Sugar Shack. Thank you for being the sweetest oasis. We love you Sugar!!

The Best Day Ever

It is so important to remember at every tree planting on tour, what a special and unique experience that tree is for each child. If we ever forget for a moment the kind of impact a day of Fruit Tree Tour has for its participants, we are quickly reminded by the heartwarming letters and pictures we receive from the students themselves! 4th grader Robert lets us know, he is proud to tell his mom, dad and 20 month baby brother, “I know how to plant a tree”.

Santa Cruz Celebration Event

This Thursday, March 20, Common Vision is excited to celebrate in Santa Cruz with a Fruit Tree tour benefit that is going to rock!
at the Vets Hall- 846 front street, Santa Cruz, CA
Doors open at 7:30
Music starts at 8:00
$15 donation at the door
Join us for music with Youssoupha Sidibe and members of Sila and the AfroFunk Experience, and Love Eternal. Story telling with ChoQosh Auh-Ho-Oh, and a special theatre production and slideshow with Common Vision.

20 out of 20 common vision crew members could be found dancing to music by Kora virtuouso Youssoupha Sidibe at Common Vision’s benefit in San Francisco, last fall. After that most amazing event, Common Vision asked Youssou to bring the band and his unique musical style
and help us lift our spirits and our feet to benefit Fruit Tree Tour 2008!

Directions to M.A. Center

Going east on 580 take Grove Way/Crow Canyon Road exit. Make left at end of ramp (at traffic light). Continue straight (under 580) - Grove Way turns into Crow Canyon Road. Go 5 miles and turn left into our driveway and follow posted signs from there.


Take I-80 west to 680 south. Take Crow Canyon Rd. exit in San Ramon and go right on Crow Canyon Rd. for 3 miles. Turn right onto the asphalt road.

Go north on 680 to Crow Canyon Rd. exit in San Ramon. Go left on Crow Canyon Rd. for 3 miles. Turn right onto the asphalt road and follow our posted signs from there.

The MA Center provides a 9am shuttle from the Castro Valley BART station.
You must reserve a spot. Call Thomas in advance: 510.326.5757

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Performance Tune-Up

At each school program the 27 Fruit Tree Tour educators put on a 35-minute theater performance that includes colorful puppets, drumming, dancing, earth-conscious hip-hop, and a message about community, earth stewardship, and positivity. In this video, veteran tree planter Brian Flynn shows a behind the scenes look at the crew in performance practice. Special thanks to Blair Phillips for developing the storyline, to Xylem Larla Dey for pulling together and directing the script, and to George Martinet our costume designer and on-tour director.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A New Fruit Corridor in LA

Last Week, Fruit Tree Tour joined forces with the Green Ambassadors, a group comprised of 60 Los Angeles high school students dedicated to environmental leadership, to plant 70 fruit trees in a school and neighborhood in Lawndale (in LA). On Monday the Green Ambassadors learned how to plant fruit trees by planting over 30 banana, fig, peach, nectarine, apple, citrus, guava, and avocado trees on the new Environmental Charter High School campus. Over the course of the week, the ambassadors canvassed their new neighborhood to find ways to expand the shade, fruit, and oxygen of their new orchard into the surrounding residents’ lives. On Saturday, to the beat of the drums, the students and the Common Vision tree planters saw another 40 trees into the ground.