Nearly 100 students from across the county traveled to the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden Friday to learn about the social benefits and epicurean delights of fresh, organic and locally grown food.

And, of course, to enjoy a delicious strawberry smoothie.

The Strawberry Blast, organized by "Food What?," part of the nonprofit Life Lab Science Program aimed at youth, and the Santa Cruz City Schools Wellness Committee, allowed the students to harvest their own berries, make smoothies and learn about the process that brings food from farm to table.

"It was a big pep rally to talk with youth and have their voices be heard about food -- what they like and what they want to see in their schools," said Doron Comerchero, director of Food What? "If you looked at the smiles on their faces, that's sort of the proof that this is good food. It doesn't have to be packed with sugar."

Aside from treats, the kids had a chance to make tarts, compete in a potato sack health obstacle course, answer Fast Food Jeopardy questions and learn how to read the nutrition labels found on packaging at the store.