Youth Farm at Chipotle Cultivate Festival

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By Shanna Woods

Over the weekend the Farm Stewards Asiya, Alice, Jordan, and Shanna led a information and activity table for Youth Farm at Loring Park. We made salsa for taste testing to allow attendees to experience the program from the youth and communities across five neighborhoods of sustainable, natural, youth led food creation and awesome taste. At least a hundred people was drawn in by colors of the beautiful salsa and just said wow! They “adored” it has one person summarized.

Alice lead the charge of making salsa from about 2-6:30pm and people were lining up and telling friends about the great, youth grown salsa! We also wanted to people to walk away knowing the benefit of eating vegetables especially locally and sustainably grown. We had a fun and eager family lead a Rotten idea skit about the benefits of tomatoes. They were enthusiastic and funny while they used the Youth Farm veggies props and silly scripts. On lookers cheered “eat a tomato!” to teach the characters how to solve their misfortune of bad skin and colds. Actors and audience through the Youth Farm way learned why tomatoes are important and impact our health.

Compost and recycling was highlighted at the festival as the process is a natural way to boost soil and support plants into growing amazingly and recycling is an environment friendly practice that aids the planet in staying clean and harvest less resources. With youth that visited our tent, we did the youth farm compost relay race. They first harnessed info they already knew about food and reducing waste and a fun tutorial on what compost is. From there, they where given cards and three buckets label trash, compost, and recyclables. They raced to place their cards in the appropriate bucket. The winners had fun and noted they learned a lot. Winners got to either judge or participate in the salsa making contests!

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The salsa making contest allowed contestants the experience of making their own food instead of seeking processed nourishment. They were given healthy, naturally, community grown food and a YF has a guideline but encouraged to have fun, make mistake, and problem solve as our intentional youth model does with our youth. Cumin, jalapeños , onions, and tomatoes was a few items offered to the creative chiefs. The cooks ranging from adults to little ones before beginning got our youth farm styled knife safety training and was given five minutes to make magic! People loved it and winners got a shirt!

The varies activities really introduced people to great work we do. People admiring the sign with out doing an activity came over to see what was going on. They enjoyed what we do and felt it was very important to give youth to access healthy food, wholesome programming , and space for them to make choices and grow. It was a big success.

Thanks Chipotle for making it happen!

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