Summer Farm Camp in Monterey County

This summer, Project HOPE Art’s Melissa Schilling will lead two weeks of day camp at Monkeyflower Ranch home of Garden Variety Cheese Dairy. Children ages 8+ are welcome to sign up for a fantastical adventure featuring a bevy of activities related to food, nature, farming and art.

Art Farm Camp

Cost is $265
(Two Scholarships per week are available – More info below)

All children should arrive promptly at 11am with comfortable shoes, clothes that can get messy and a sack lunch.
Snacks and Drinks will be provided by the farm during camp hours. 

Sample Schedule:
11am-11:30am: Scientific Sketch Journal Warm-Up (Put on your Scientist Hat and learn to sketch nature like a real Scientist)
11:30-12pm: Nature Hike to observe farm animals and the garden
12-12:30 Lunch on the Farm Patio with homemade lemonade
12:30-1:30 Papier Mache Sheep Sculptures
1:30-2 Free Play
2-3pm: Bread Baking in the Pizza Oven

Summer Camp Flyer

Interested in securing a spot for your child?
Wonderful! Mosey on over to Garden Variety Cheese for more information about the $150 non-refundable deposit and have any additional questions you may have answered!

Scholarships! Scholarships! Scholarships!
Two spots are reserved for low-income campers per session. Low-Income spots cost just $50 for Art & Farm Camp. Simply write a short essay explaining why you would like to attend Art & Farm Camp. Bonus Points if you can amaze us with fun facts about sheep and lambs. Extra Special Bonus Points if you include an illustration of a sheep or a lamb.
Mail your essay to (deadline June 15th):
Miss Mimi
Art & Farm Camp
1480 San Miguel Road
Watsonville, CA 95076

Rooz Cafe presents . . . The Industry Collaborative Show!

Join us for a Happy Hour Reception at Rooz Cafe.
1918 Park Blvd, Oakland CA 94606
Thursday, June 12th 6-10pm

Mimosas, Beer and Espresso await you along with the sounds of Brass Tax dj’s Ernie Trevino, Alex Mace and maybe a sneak attack by Denim Ding Dong (DDD)aaaand an ambient musical performance by local, Oakland duo Charlemagne Charmaine and William Korte.
(Catharsis for Cathedral, Brasil, Drifting House)

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Featuring POP-UP PONCHOS by SuperSugarRayRay
and a pop-up jewelry show by Tidalware Jewelry (Sharla Pidd).

6-7:30 Charlemagne Charmaine and William Korte
7:30-10 Brass Tax

…About the Art Show…
Industry: an activity or domain in which a great deal of time or effort is expended a group show examining hard work in specific artistic genres and spheres of life

Martin Goicoechea: Women
Exploring the female form through a variety of mixed media methods including: acrylics, transfers, watercolor, ink, wood block and charcoal.

Melissa Schilling: Automobile Photography
The automotive industry in the United States began in the 1890s and, as a result of the size of the domestic market and the use of mass-production, rapidly evolved into the largest in the world. These photographs represent frozen in time moments in Havana, Cuba where many cars from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s permeate the roadways and garages.
It was such a thrill (on blueberry hill) to experience car travel the way my grandparents experienced it.

Nick Huckleberry: Recycled Creations
Its overwhelming what is thrown out these days. A large busy metal shop may throw out bunches of pieces as general waste to them but gold to the artist. I have salvaged most of my materials, always trying to bring nature to the pieces by incorporating organic shapes. Bringing new life to old waste is a way of using energies of the old and introducing them to the new, creating a balanced harmony.

Project HOPE Art: Cyanotype
Art in Haiti usually requires less materials and more creativity. For this project we needed only the sun, vegetables from our garden and a few chemicals.
Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The process uses two chemicals: ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide.

Students in a Gardening Class in Port au Prince, Haiti created these cyanotype prints in February 2014. This was their very first time mixing chemicals and using their “design” eye to arrange kitchen utensils, fruits and vegetables on textured watercolor paper for 10 minutes under the brilliant Caribbean sun.

Sarah Miller: Textile Photography
Laundry and People on the streets of Calcutta.

gardening program and the art + botany lab


The 2014 Project HOPE Art Gardening Class will take place each Saturday at the Project HOPE Art Center at Haiti Communitere from 8am-11am.
The goal of the class is to teach fundamentals of gardening to 12 students and one class Supervisor so they may return to their neighborhoods and spread knowledge about urban agronomy. We want to prepare each student to grow their own food at home.

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For our first foray, we’ve rounded up 12 students from a variety of neighborhoods, backgrounds, education levels and ages to come together and learn a skill that will help them feed their families and communities.

Class Instructor: TBD/Daniel Tillias
Class Supervisor: Luc Winter


Week 1-4: Basics of Gardening and Mapping Out Your Garden; Basic Husbandry (Rabbit Keeping)
Week 5-9: Soil Health: Composting and Vermicomposting; Moringa Trees and Soil Erosion
Week 10-14: Urban Gardening: Growing Vegetables in Containers
Week 15-19: Harvesting and Seed Saving
Week 20-24: Cooking with Moringa, Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs
Week 25-29: Aquaponics: Using Tilapia Fish
Week 30-32: MultiCropping and MonoCropping


Measuring Success: Each student in the class will keep a journal. In it they will be asked to write down notes, ideas, recipes and activities. We will invite local artists to attend the class and help the students learn botanical drawing. The students will take a field trip to the the Jaden Tap Tap Garden in Cite Soleil to see a working garden. At the end of the class, each student will be given seeds and asked to start their own mini-garden at home.


Student journal entries will be combined to create a gardening handbook.

Download our 2012 Gardening HandBook, There Grows The Neighborhood here.


Class Supervisor Luc Winter will use his knowledge from the class to start his own community garden at his school in Bwa Nef in Cite Soleil.

Our gardening class will run from March, 2014 – November 2014 on Saturdays at the Project HOPE Art Center. For the finale of the class, each student will be given seeds and a class generated gardening handbook to create their own mini container garden at home.

The young students in the class range across five neighborhoods and span educational, income and resource levels. They are 12 to 16 years old. All incredibly motivated to learn Urban Agronomy.

Meet our Students (coming soon!)

short story: oranges and granola

Oranges and Granola

The tall catholic church stood gleaming against the grime of the street.
Women crouched on their heels hawking fruit across from the church. The most beautiful fruit. More beautiful than could be found inside the adjacent supermarket. More beautiful fruit than in any supermarket in all of Haiti.

produce sales

The only good thing about the supermarkets with the wilting produce was the air conditioning. It was almost worth it to purchase a single soft apple or brown tinged banana just to cool your forehead against the glass of the soda case. Relax from the heat for a few seconds.

Trying to negotiate fruit for Haitian Gourds, stuttering creole numbers around the air in front of your face, was like trying to roller skate with three wheels on a gravel street. Awkward. Difficult. And you only hurt yourself in the end.

kenep fruit

The fruit women needed the extra 50 cents more than I could ever imagine needing it. They wore monochromatic pencil skirts and bright colored tops. Some with bras. Some without. Some nursing babies. Some bent over with age, missing teeth.

Garlic and Herbs

Leaning over the fruit hawkers you could glimpse into their world, briefly. Babies crying. Smoke from open fires cooking rice, wafting past you on a journey to the heavens. Someone bathing upright in a tiny bucket glimpsing their underwear through old fashioned soap suds. Plastic bags on the ground amidst the broken concrete rubble of the public street. Odd triangles of light shafting through bright red Digicel umbrellas.

Arcing your body from an acute angle backwards to an obtuse angle reverted you back into the vision of the church and the supermarket. Back to air conditioning and everything you ever knew as a human being in the first world.

Eventually a bag of oranges found its way into my hand. Trudging back to Hotel Doux se Jours, back to the patio upstairs, back to the rainbow mural that was unfolding onto waxed, blank canvas amongst a group of American artists.

garlic cilantro

I was alone.
Walking down the street, away from the hotel.

I encountered the same two boys I had seen throughout the week. Without the gift of language, I beckoned them into the hotel with me. They followed at a safe distance, unsure.
The hotel was more of a tree house than a formal building. Following a narrow path and climbing up a ladder, landed you on the outdoor patio adjacent to my tiny room that I shared with two other artists. The boys followed me up the ladder, closer now. They stopped at the edge of the walkway, which more closely resembled a gang plank on a ship.

green door window

I never felt more like a stalker molester in my life.
Again, I beckoned them closer.
No language to be exchanged. Nothing I could say to ease the discomfort in the air.

The boys hesitated. Then followed me. Once inside the dark room with the evening sun setting behind us, I motioned for them to sit on the bed. I began rummaging around suitcases. My hands surfaced with hand sanitizer jugs, a bulk bag of granola and the bag of oranges I had purchased several days before, from the fruit ladies. I handed the loot over to the boys.

“Mesi madame. Mesi anpil, anpil.”

They hot footed out of the room, across the gang plank, down the ladder and back onto the street.

A day or two later, though in Haiti it felt like weeks later. A women, I never seen her before, overtook me on the street. Her hair was wrapped in a scarf and her dress was shapeless, non-descript. Hard living was etched on her face as if you were viewing a human through a lace veil. When she took my hands in her hands, I could feel the soft person she was underneath her hard living skin.

She began to thank me profusely with many Creole words I just didn’t understand. Words marching around. Her eyes searched mine. More words. The meaning wasn’t lost, I understood. She was the mother of the two boys I had given fruit, granola and hand sanitizer to a few days before.


Can you imagine being that grateful for so little?
That moment put my entire life into perspective. And continues to shape the person I would like to become.

Magic Moringa Tree

We are always open to exploring sustainable, gardening, food production-centric art projects. It was with excitement that we stumbled onto the Moringa Tree upon a recommendation from a former Peace Corps volunteer who had worked with the tree in Africa. Also commonly known as “the horseradish tree,” the leaves from this plant have:

7 times the vitamin C in oranges
4 times the calcium and 2 times the protein in milk
4 times the vitamin A in carrots
3 times the potassium in bananas

About the Moringa:
Moringa oleifera is known as a miracle tree by international aid groups across the world. The tree suprisingly has more beneficial uses to humans than any other plant species. Moringa is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Moringaceae. The name is derived from the Tamil word murunggai (முருங்கை) or the Malayalam word muringa, both of which refer to M. Oleifera. It contains 13 species from tropical and subtropical climates that range in size from tiny herbs to massive trees. The most widely cultivated species is Moringa Oleifera, a multipurpose tree native to the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and cultivated throughout the tropics.

Moringa Oleifera is known as the drum stick tree in India and is used all across Asia and Africa. It is considered a miracle tree because of its high nutrient value; it has more vitamins than spinach, cabbage, or any other leafy vegetable. It is highly valuable because every part of the plant has a function, including the use of the flowers for medicinal tea and the use of the peapods as food.

Significance for Haiti:
Haiti ranks highest for malnutrition in the western Hemisphere, and over half the population lives below the minimum level of dietary energy consumption. Moringa will help provide lactating mothers and infants get the nutrition they need in early development, when it is the most vital. The leaves of the Magic Moringa contain all essential amino acids and are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and minerals. Feeding the high protein leaves to cattle has been shown to increase weight gain by up to 32% and milk production by 43 to 65%.

More importantly, the dried seeds can purify unsafe water. By leaving the dried seeds in a bottle of unclean water overnight, between 90-95% of the bacteria can be purified.

The HOPE Art project will be focused on teaching the children to grow their own Moringa trees from cuttings and developing an artful cookbook focused on incorporating Moringa Leaf Powder into standard Creole cooking. We will also be working on creating planters from reclaimed buckets, barrels and coffee or banana bags with chicken wire.

To grow from a cutting:
After the trees have stopped producing fruits each year, branches need to be cut off so that fresh growth may take place. These branches are excellent for growing new trees.

Make a cutting at least 1″ (2.5cm) in diameter and at least six feet (1.8m) long.
Dig a hole 3 ft. (1m) x 3 ft. (1m) and 3 ft. (1m) deep.
Place cutting in this hole and fill with a mixture of soil, sand and composted manure. Pack firmly around base of the cutting. Form a slight dome or cone shape, sloping down away from the cutting. It is desirable that water not touch the stem of the new tree.
Water generously, but do not drown the cutting in water.
In India, the custom is to put some cow dung on top of the open end of the cutting. This is an excellent way to protect the cutting from pests.