First week of programming in Hawthorne Neighborhood off to a great start

Youth Farm All Stars in Hawthorne Neighborhood, kicked off fall after school programming for Youth Farm this last Tuesday afternoon.  The All Stars prepared a meal, consisting of veggie pesto penne pasta, salad using all Youth Farm grown veggies, and baked apple crisp.

Youth also began brainstorming ways to get more involved in their community. This fall, Hawthorne All Stars will be touring various urban farms in Minneapolis, helping prepare community meals, constructing a compost bin for a nearby community garden, and helping plan for next year’s growing season. Check back for updates from Hawthorne as we continue to grow this new program!

Two Hawthorne All Stars pose, taking a moment from cleaning currant cherry tomatoes for the meal's salad.


Out of the classroom and into the Farms

Last week four Youth Farm neighborhoods hosted over 90 first-year Macalester students for “Into the Streets,” a day of community service for new students. It was the most volunteers to ever descend on Youth Farm in one day! Across our Minneapolis and St. Paul farm sites students were building farms, harvest produce, and putting beds to rest for the winter. Our sincerest gratitude to Macalester College’s Civic Engagement Center for organizing the event and being great supporters of YFMP. Below are a few photos of a group farming in Hawthorne.

Welcome our new Hawthorne Program Director JP Mason

We are excited to announce JP Mason as our first Hawthorne Neighborhood Program Director. JP is beginning his official work with YFMP after serving as an AmeriCorps Vista at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School (NSJ) where he initiated an expansive farm collaboration between YFMP, Beacons Minneapolis and NSJ.

Prior to his work at YFMP, JP served as an AmeriCorps member at NSJ for 2 years, where he developed a student-led, school-wide recycling and composting program, coordinated the planting of 38 trees and shrubs with the Minnesota Tree Trust, and facilitated the planting of 3 native prairie gardens with Metro Blooms. Before working in North Minneapolis, he was involved in a variety of social justice/leadership activities and spent time working in the Dominican Republic tutoring youth. Outside of YFMP, JP is an artisan bread baker and avid cook. Originally from North Carolina, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech University with both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Sociology.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the farm that JP and students at Nellie Stone Johnson School have built on the North Side, you should find a reason to, it is impressive. JP is excited to continue is collaborative relationship with NSJ and other partners in Hawthorne that he has built over the last two years, especially the youth and their families. JP can be reached at or 612.222.5280.

Quick peak at YFMP’s new Farmsite in Hawthorne, N. Mpls at Nellie Stone Johnson

Here is a short video of a quite moment in N. Minneapolis at the new farmsite in Hawthorne at Nellie Stone Johnson school. 3 months in and it’s looking pretty nice. Stay tuned over the next few months as we work to get things up to speed. A big thanks to all the youth that have been the pioneers for this farm over the last few months and continuing on through the summer, as well as our key partners Beacons Minneapolis and Nellie Stone Johnson school.

Cultivating New Ground, Deepening Our Roots – Youth Farm and Market Project Announces Expansion Plans in two Twin Cities Neighborhoods

We have some exciting news to share! With 16 years of experience as our foundation, Youth Farm and Market Project (YFMP) has spent the last two years documenting, naming, and connecting the most successful and effective elements of our work to outcome based research.  We are now poised for the next stage of impact, serving additional neighborhoods and extending our programming to build leadership in a next generation of food advocates.

We are thrilled to announce expansion to two neighborhoods:  Hawthorne in North Minneapolis and Frogtown in St. Paul. The expansion is possible with funding from the St. Paul Foundation, the General Mills Foundation, SUPERVALU Foundation, along with several other grant awards, and with support from neighborhood partners including Beacons Minneapolis in the Hawthorne area and Frogtown Gardens located in the Frogtown area.

Expansion work began this spring in the Hawthorne Neighborhood and will begin in the Frogtown Neighborhood this summer.  The outcomes of this expansion will include:

  • 300 additional youth each year will be engaged in summer and after school programs in these two neighborhoods by 2014, including all aspects of the YFMP program model (Youth Farmers, All Stars, and Project LEAD) for youth ages 9-18.
  • Employment for 20 additional Project LEAD staff (ages 14-18) as well as expanding YFMP’s work to YFMP graduates ages 19-24 as Farm Specialists, a role that will allow for an increased focus on employment, leadership, and micro-enterprise from within these urban communities.
  • Produce grown in these 2 neighborhoods through YFMP programming will reach at least 100 residents in each neighborhood.  All farming, harvesting, and distribution efforts will be guided by youth-led action research around food needs in each community.

Enrollment for youth that live in these neighborhoods has begun in Hawthorne and will begin in Frogtown by July 1 of this summer. If you live in one of these neighborhoods and want to learn more about participating or volunteering, please visit the YFMP website, or contact YFMP Associate Director, Amanda Stoelb at To learn more about supporting YFMP’s expansion efforts, contact Executive Director, Gunnar Liden,