Today marks the last day of our 4 week Summer Leadership Institute for our Youth Farmers (ages 9-11). So much great work has happened over the last 4 weeks – growing food, creating friendships, cooking amazing summer lunches using vegetables from our farms, and all the leadership and mentorship that goes along with making 5 neighborhoods run smoothly. One of the exciting things about our new Summer Leadership Institute is that even though our structured 4 week programming is finished for Youth Farmers, we still have lots on our plate for August. Our Farm Stewards (19-24 year olds) and Project LEAD (14-18 year olds) will be continuing their work through the end of August harvesting and distributing produce to Youth Farmers and their families, offering additional programming for All Stars (ages 12-13) on a neighborhood basis focused of farming, cooking and/or other interests of the All Star participants throughout the summer, and providing opportunities to celebrate the neighborhood level leadership our Youth Farm participants take at neighborhood harvest celebrations.
We would love families and community partners to join with us in breaking bread together at these gatherings. The dates are as follows:
Frogtown – Saturday Aug 5th, 11am-1pm – St. Stephanus Church
Powderhorn – Thursday Aug 10th, 5:30 – 7:30 – Powderhorn Park Garden 34 1/2 St. and 11th Ave S
West Side – Friday Aug 11th, 5:30 – 7:30 – La Puerta Abierta Church
Lyndale – Wednesday Aug 16th, 5:30 – 7:30 – Zion Lutheran Church
Furthermore, Northside/Hawthorne will be hosting/collaborating on a series of “BIG Dinner Party” events throughout the remainder if the summer and into the fall that you will hear more about soon.
Thanks to all the hard work and support of our Youth Farmers and we look forward to continuing to use food as a catalyst for social change through the work we do.
Youth Farm’s Greenhouse is starting to get green (and red and yellow thanks to the Rainbow Chard)! We have nearly 4,000 seedlings growing right now and we’re not even halfway done for the spring. Stay tuned for more pictures of the cutest plant babies you’ve ever seen!
The wind was no match for Youth Farm this week as our Minneapolis Team put the plastic on our hoop house at Green Central. We are excited to kick off the growing season early thanks to our partnership with Minneapolis Parks and Recreation and Green Central School. Special shout out to South Minneapolis Manager Jesus Perez and Hawthorne Organizer Marcus Kar who came in as our “closers” to put the final touches on the hoop house!
West Side Youth Farm has had a fantastic summer so far and as Youth Farm continues into week seven there is new leadership budding. This year, the West Side program has experienced the change that comes as our program grows and our leaders move into other opportunities. We all felt this bitter-sweetness together when we said goodbye to long time program participant and Farm Steward Alice Martin this summer. Alice started in the program as a Youth Farmer and has helped the organization develop the Farm Stewards model. She has been an inspiring contributor to the program and is well loved by our community partners on the West Side where she could be found in cooking classes and helping run our greenhouse. Staff and youth alike will miss Alice’s adaptable nature and her ability to connect with youth when they are struggling. We will miss her greatly but we are excited to wish her well as she moves to Hawaii to study and surely do great things. Thanks for all you have done Alice!
Summer is underway at Youth Farm led by our incredible team of Farm Stewards. Meet your South Minneapolis Farm Stewards Zainab Youngmark, Jesus Perez, and Demetrius Hro-Gant!
Zainab joined the Youth Farm team in the Powderhorn neighborhood when she was young. Throughout the years, she served as a Project LEAD staff and also helped to develop Powderhorn’s after school cooking classes. Zainab is the Summer Program Manager for the Powderhorn neighborhood and is the on-site contact for youth and families in that program. Learn more about Zainab here.
Jesus has been involved in the Lyndale Youth Farm Program for over 10 years. As part of the inaugural Farm Stewards Program in 2011, he helped to develop the program into what it is today: an opportunity for program graduates to have increased leadership roles and serve as mentors to younger youth participants. Jesus is the Summer Program Manager for the Lyndale neighborhood and is the on-site contact for youth and families in that program. Learn more about Jesus here.
Demetrius joined the Youth Farm team last summer as a summer staff. Prior to joining Youth Farm, Demetrius gained valuable experience in youth work and food justice through his roles at Beacons, the Cultural Wellness Center, and HOPE Community. In his role as Farm Steward, Demetrius manages the farms in the Lyndale and Powderhorn neighborhoods and is a summer staff in the Powderhorn neighborhood.
Look for the South Minneapolis Farm Stewards through the Lyndale and Powderhorn neighborhoods this summer!
Meet your Hawthorne Farm Stewards: Sergio and Divine!
Sergio has been a part of Youth Farm since our first year in the Hawthorne Neighborhood in 2011 and is one of the youth founders of our Hawthorne Program. As a middle school student at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, Sergio built the school garden, organized with other students the school’s composting program, and helped Youth Farm grow its program on the Northside. He returns this year as a Farm Steward and Co-Manager of Youth Farm’s Nellie Stone Johnson Farm. Learn more about Sergio and how to contact him here.
Divine joined the Hawthorne Youth Farm team 3 years ago and brought with her passion and experience in gardening in her community. Prior to her time at Youth Farm, she worked with Project Sweetie Pie. Divine’s passion for gardening is contagious and extends to the youth she serves in our program. Divine returns this year as a Farm Steward and Co-Manager of Youth Farm’s Nellie Stone Johnson Farm. Learn more about Divine and how to contact her here.
We are excited to have Sergio and Divine team up to grow food on the Northside and engage youth at Nellie Stone Johnson.
Youth Farm and Nellie Stone Johnson 5th Graders from room 127 wrapped up a great school year garden season Tuesday with a garden party! Throughout the school year 5th graders learned seeding and transplanting skills in order to teach the H-5 through 4th graders these skills. As a school, over 250 students planted 30 greenhouse trays in April and the entire school farm in May. Needless to say, the 5th graders had a lot to celebrate. As part of our garden party, Youth Farm was presented with a Garden Book made by the 5th Graders of room 127 and we snacked on rhubarb jam, salad with greens and radishes, and cheddar chive biscuits all made with produce from the farm.
Thanks Nellie Stone for a great school year farm season. At Youth Farm, we are looking forward to summer school and the fall harvest.
We are now accepting applications to join our team as a part-time Farm Steward in south Minneapolis! If you’ve got farm skills and the youth or organizing experience to go with it, come join our team! Check out more information and learn about how to apply here on our website. Applications will be accepted through February 26th.