Blue Sky Center’s AmeriCorps VISTA staff members developed and distributed a community food action survey to vet the top project opportunities determined by the Task Force.
By drawing from their own assets and infrastructure, and utilizing $30K in funding from the Santa Barbara Foundation, Blue Sky Center invested in outfitting Cuyama Kitchen, a mobile commercial catering trailer that serves as a space for youth and community members to experiment with entrepreneurial food ventures and a pathway for nutrition and culinary arts education.
Blue Sky Center’s Cuyama Kitchen ran a series of culinary workshops to engage community members around a common table. These opportunities included a sourdough bread baking workshop for Cuyama Valley women, an intergenerational cactus planting workshop, a grilled cactus community dinner, and an heirloom corn storytelling workshop.
A Rental Agreement was developed so that the Cuyama Kitchen could become an earned revenue stream for Blue Sky Center. The Cuyama Kitchen – and its inventory of catering supplies – can be rented for an affordable rate, complementing Explore Cuyama, Blue Sky Center’s hospitality venture.
- “Ultimately, the Cuyama Kitchen built the foundation for incubating food entrepreneurial ventures and cottage industries that create both educational and economic opportunities at Blue Sky Center.”
- “The Cuyama Kitchen was the catalyst in connecting producers to buyers and processors to distributors through community investment, network capacity building, and Cuyama Valley product branding and distribution.”
- “Helped Blue Sky Center address its aim to build a more resilient foundation for a thriving rural economy that can contribute to a diverse regional foodshed”