La Jolla Girl Scouts visit Julian farm to see food ‘footprints’

The 14-year-old Girl Scouts who make up La Jolla-based Troop 3095 recently spent a weekend in Julian getting a hands-on lesson on the importance of food, as part of their “Leadership Journey.” For the Journey, Scouts embark on a curriculum-based exploration into an environmental issue. Choosing the food-based “Sow What” as their theme, La Jolla Scouts were tasked with (according to press materials) learning about food, “How and where it’s grown, processed, distributed, and consumed — and why it matters.”

To carry this out, the Scouts thus far have made the same meal twice, one using organic ingredients and the other inorganic ingredients; interviewed farmers at the La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market; took a cooking class; learned how to read labels; studied vegan and gluten-free diets; and more.

Most recently, they visited Girard Gourmet owner Francois Goedhuys’ farm in Julian to learn about farm-to-table cuisine and using locally sourced ingredients. Co-Scout leader Jackie Newman, who used to work for Girard Gourmet, helped organize the trip, April 13-15.

“There is something about getting out into nature, and some of the girls don’t get that as much,” Newman said. “They learned about the footprint of food, where it starts and where it ends, and got a good exposure to farming.” The Scouts learned alternative ways to collect water, how to compost and how to cook using only local, seasonal ingredients.

Co-Scout leader Tara Nitahara said the Scouts made a meal using only ingredients harvested at the farm. “These girls can cook!” she said. “They are taking ownership of what they eat and deciding what goes into their bodies. They are reading labels and questioning ingredients they can’t pronounce. It’s a fascinating time to talk about food, and it such an important time in their lives for them to learn about food.”

Of the field trip, Newman added: “They came back happy. We leaders weren’t too strict, but we encouraged them to be off their electronic devices. They spent time walking, being outside and stargazing at night.”

The trip doubled as an activity toward earning a locavore badge, which is about eating locally grown seasonal foods that leads to healthful eating, helping the environment and supporting local farmers. To finish the Journey, the Scouts will complete a “Take Action” project to benefit the community as related to the theme.

In other Girl Scout news:

In April, La Jolla resident Laura Shawver, Ph.D. was honored as one of Girl Scouts San Diego’s Cool Women of 2018. According to press material, the former Girl Scout is president/CEO/director of Synthorx, Inc.

“After surviving ovarian cancer,” it notes, “Shawver founded of The Clearity Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides access to molecular profiling for ovarian cancer patients to improve their treatment options. She is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research, serving on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Stand Up to Cancer.”

During the Cool Women recognition, 30 Emerging Leader Girl Scouts, including La Jolla High junior Kayla Nitahara, got some one-on-one mentoring to learn about careers, education pathways and overcoming challenges.