Impact!

Jordan showing off our first harvest of grape tomatoes

Jordan showing off our first harvest of grape tomatoes

This summer Lyndale’s primary method of food distribution has been a family shares program. All summer youth and parents have been telling us how they’ve used the produce. We’ve heard about kids making and eating pesto, kale chips, and lots of green salads all with our produce. Yesterday our Project LEAD called families to hear feedback on how the shares program has been benefitting their family. Parents told our Project LEAD their families are eating more greens and veggies, more interested in fresh produce, trying new veggies, saving money, and have replaced going to the farmers market with eating the family share. This week I had the chance to talk to a couple All Stars about changing our distribution system from a neighborhood CSA to a direct family share. Symbri said, “It makes sense. We grow eat, we should eat it.” Jessica bragged, “I made kale chips with my mom! And we used Youth Farm kale. It was soo good.”

Jessica and Symbri take a moment in the shade

Jessica and Symbri take a moment in the shade

A huge part of our success with family shares this summer is highlighting our veggies in different parts of our program. We have a weekly “Cash Crop” where we celebrate a vegetable of the week. Project LEAD perform “Rotten Idea Theatre” skits demonstrating  the Cash Crop’s health benefits. We are also using our food in lunch every day, cooking it in our activity groups, and sending home recipes that Project LEAD chose.

Nazeem and a crew grilling chicken marinated by a Youth Farm mom

Nazeem and a crew grilling chicken marinated by a Youth Farm mom

All of this wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t growing a TON of food. This year we’ve already harvested over 450 lbs of produce, easily twice as much as last year. Farm Stewards led the way this spring in improving our growing practices. We re-built our Lyndale School Farm, built a hoop house, and have incorporated best practices like companion planting into our farm plans.

Pillsbury Farm's cucumbers have been mulched and are getting trellised

Pillsbury Farm’s cucumbers have been mulched and are getting trellised. In the background you can also see our radishes that we’re letting flower so we can seed save!

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