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Carmel Magazine Digital Edition SU16

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Today, more than 5,000 students—children and adults—come to MEarth to partake in the program's four signature programs: FoodConnect demonstrates how to grow, reap and prepare healthy, sustainable foods; NatureConnect introduces students to the native plant gardens and their diverse ecosys- tems; ClassRoomConnect allows teachers to integrate their curricula with the outdoor atmosphere and unique MEarth facilities and CommunityConnect gives adults the opportuni- ty to volunteer and participate in a myriad of workshops and events. Restaurateurs Walter and Sylvia Georis have been involved with MEarth for 15 years. "When our kids were at River School, we ran a food education program there, and as our kids changed schools we moved to Carmel Middle and MEarth," Walter Georis says. "David Baron, our executive chef at Casanova, loves to teach kids about eating healthy food and how to fix it and how important it is to source our food from sources that handle it respectfully. He's young and cool and enter taining and the kids adore him." The Georis' utilize produce grown at MEarth at all their restaurants, Casanova, The Cork- screw Cafe and La Bicyclette. "MEarth and David have a dovetail in philoso- phy," Georis says. "We've given them a list of what we can use and highlight in our restaurants." "Our staff and kids love working with profes- sional chefs and vice-versa," says Roos. "It's a chef 's dream to step outside the kitchen, pick produce and step right back in and cook with it. Doesn't get any fresher than that." Word about MEarth has gotten out to the educational community. "We're already on the map in terms of a model for environmental education," Roos says. "We host literally hundreds of school adminis- trators statewide who take our ideas to train their faculties. We welcome that, and tell them 'take any ideas you want.' We come from a cel- ebratory and positive place. We want everyone to know that these alternatives can be joyful and are interested in crafting a more sustain- able world." And Roos sees firsthand that what she and her staff are doing is making a difference. "I know it's working when I get a call from a parent, ask- ing why their kids won't let them use plastic bags anymore," she laughs. The man with the original vision approves as well."Now, the vision of MEarth has morphed, but in a very positive way that reflects the staff and the community," says Craig Hohenberger. "I am very proud of MEarth and the direction it is moving in." For more information about MEarth, please visit 234 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 6 Top: At MEarth, the focus is on youth. "Right from the start, kids were involved," Tanja Roos says. More than 5,000 people come here annually. Bottom: Property Manager Cassie Chapple with restaurateur and MEarth supporter Walter Georis. S U S TA I N A B L E L I F E Photo: Tonja Roos

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