Week 5 in Frogtown was filled with sweet moments. After learning about compost we had our annual “compost eating” competition between Youth Farmers and staff. We ate watermelon and learned about backyard chickens with a Youth Farm parent. Then we ended our week caring for abandoned kitties that got left at one of our farms. We can’t wait to see what the final week of program brings our way.
One of the most consistent, hardworking, and fun to work with groups that we see at Youth Farm is the Conservation Corps’ after-school program, Youth Outdoors or Y-O. In their own words, Y-O “connects urban teens to the natural environment through hands-on conservation and neighborhood beautification projects. It empowers young people to become active, engaged citizens and leaders.” In my own words “They Rock”.
Their years of spring and fall work groups have helped us increase our growing capacity and help keep our gardens looking neat and tidy. At the end of each fall and spring session each “crew” also decide on a community project. We have been lucky to have been chosen twice and have been treated with a snazzy compost bin and also 2 custom painted rain barrels to water the gardens. We really like that one is painted like a hamburger.
Thanks again Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors, we look forward to continue to work with you!
Today marks the end of the 7th week of our 8-week summer program and it feels as if we just started. We have nearly checked off all the boxes on our list of what makes a Youth Farm Summer ; veggies harvested, new friends made, compost cake eaten, skills learned, talents shared, skinned knees from game time, and of course lunch, skillfully prepared and served with care. We will be working hard over the coming week as we prepare for our Harvest Festival – Please join us as we celebrate.
To celebrate our final greenhouse class of the fall the Youth Farmers decided we should have a party. With music, decorations, dancing, courtyard soccer, gummy worms, and guests, we celebrated the past seasons accomplishments. This fall there was a lot of be proud of. Led by Farm Steward Teng Lee, the greenhouse after-school group successfully harvested, saved lettuce, radish, basil, and bean seeds, started head lettuce (that we’ll eat in January), became worm wranglers (vermicomposters), turned the compost, and put the Cherokee School garden to rest for the year. The previous week we made the trek across the Smith avenue bridge to a small park, climb atop the Huge chair and made observations about the Mississippi below. All in all a lot of fun.
The Hawthorne Youth Farmers have some HOT compost, 150 degrees to be exact. They are the 2013 Compost Cup winners and are bringing the Cup to North Minneapolis!
Do you want to see young people get excited about Compost? Well, if your answer was yes, then Youth Farm has you covered. Tonight at the Powderhorn Neighborhood Harvest Festival, the annual Compost Cup winner will be announced. Since 2004, The Compost Cup has been awarded to the Youth Farm neighborhood program with the hottest compost and is a much coveted prize for Youth Farmers. They take their soil seriously!
Last year, the Powderhorn Youth Farmers won the Compost Cup with a compost temperature of 140 degrees, can they retain their title? Come join us between 5-8 pm at the Powderhorn Park Building for great food, great community, and The Compost Cup announcement.
Over numerous summers I’ve asked countless youth farmers “Why do you like coming to Youth Farm?” and nearly every single time the first thing they say is “Because it’s fun”. I like to think of YF as way more than just a bunch of fun in the sun, it’s youth leadership, it’s neighborhood connectedness, it’s being proud of where you’re from, it’s personal development, it’s a safe place, it’s trying new foods, and it is exceptionally fun.
Last week, Youth Farmers in the Frogtown Main Garden worked on making the ultimate compost bin. They worked hand in hand with me in designing a compost bin that is sure to help us win this years compost cup. The compost bin will feature a walking platform for optimal turning capabilities, a built in thermometer for frequent temperature tests and a window which will allow the Youth Farmers to observe the compost at all of its layers of decomposition.
Written by Tyler Ryan
Our Whittier School youth faced down the salad challenge! After many initial protests of how gross and nasty salad is, we challenged the youth to make a salad they would enjoy. We chopped up tons of veggies and learned how to make different salad dressings. Salads ranged from two leafs of spinach with raspberries to fully loaded plates with everything our youth could get. We were all happy to eat some fresh, healthy food!