Thanks Hyatt Regency Minneapolis!

Thanks again to the team from the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis for coming out and helping us whip our Lyndale Farms into shape this past week. We really appreciate your continued partnership and engagement in our work!

Spring Lyndale Class Session 2017

Thursday Lyndale cooking class started the spring session at one of our farms. Every Thursday youth are going to work outside at the farms getting them ready for Summer 2017. This week they started by picking trash and prepping the beds to seed or transplant soon. Also, they had so much fun playing running games and grilling hotdogs.

 

 

Grow your community with Youth Farm – Join us for a Hoophouse Party!

The South Minneapolis team at Youth Farm would love to see our community at a hoop house party this Sunday April 16th from 1-3 pm. Help us clean up the hoop house and garden, eat food provided by Youth Farm, and spend time in good company.

Where: Youth Farm’s Green Central Hoophouse at Green Central Park. 3416 4th Ave S Minneapolis

When: Sunday April 16th from 1-3 pm

Who: Powderhorn and Central neighborhood residents with the Youth Farm family of teens and staff

 

 

Place Matters – Learn about Youth Farm’s Neighborhood Based Programming & Our Goals of Impact

Place matters. By grounding our work in neighborhoods, young people, their families and neighbors feel greater ownership, accountability, and understanding of the powerful role youth play in a community. Strong intergenerational and intercultural relationships among youth, parents, business owners, churches, schools, community centers, and neighbors, connects youth and adults in each neighborhood, creating a long term foundation for social change.

Click image to enlarge map

Youth Farm’s current 5 neighborhoods (Lyndale & Powderhorn is South Minneapolis, Hawthorne in North Minneapolis, and Frogtown and West Side in St. Paul) all have great strengths and possibility, a multitude of community institutions and schools to partner with, and youth as a key asset, and varying levels of food insecurity in and around the neighborhoods. Within these neighborhoods, Youth Farm seeks to address and/or engage around 3 main areas:

  1. Youth as a community asset: For many in the Youth Development field, asset based youth programming is not a new concept. Youth Farm not only focuses on building positive development of skills and experience in programs, but also in the communities themselves. Youth Farm has over two decades of experience actively engaging youth in the neighborhood they live in to be true social change makers through the work they do around food. Youth Farm strikes a balance of engaging youth as real community contributors, while also focusing on childhood as a time for exploration, learning, and discovery.
  2. Access to quality youth programming: For many lower income families, finding quality youth programming that they can afford is a struggle. In an effort to be accessible to all youth, Youth Farm’s programs are free, eliminating one clear barrier. Cost is not the only factor that prevents youth from accessing programs. In an effort to proactively facilitate participation for all youth, our program staff work intentionally throughout the year to reach neighborhood families who have additional barriers that include: limited English language skills, transportation, and unstable home environments. We work to prioritize youth and families with the least access.
  3. Local food access for lower income residents: We continue to refine our model to provide more fresh, healthy food to lower income residents in a way that is sustainable and true to our youth development mission. We engage youth in effective local food distribution, by involving them not just in the growing and distributing of produce in unique ways such as family CSA’s, cooking classes and food shelves, but as community researchers and planners in their Action Research and neighborhood food distribution plans. By actively engaging youth and families that have the least access, we are more effective at having youth as true community change makers.

Where Youth Farm establishes programs is very intentional, as is who we work to engage and create access to our programs. While we have evolved and grown over the last 23 years, the importance of place and the role neighborhood based programming plays in our approach has remained solid. Strong connections and involvement in each of these 5 neighborhoods provides the foundation both for Youth Farm’s work and Youth Farmers success in becoming great leaders.

Lyndale/Whittier Thursday Meal Celebration

Last Thursday night we celebrated with the youth’s families and community partners the great success that the youth had in our Thursday cooking class. We ended our cooking winter session with lots of great food made from a family member, youth, and somali restaurant. We had lots of fun times cooking together and building relationships among ourselves. Lyndale and Whittier youth are growing more into our programs and we hope to see more youth get involved in our spring session. We had over 60 people eating great healthy meal last Thursday night. Thank you everyone for coming and supporting the youth in their great success here in Youth Farm.

 

What wind?

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!

 

South Minneapolis Manager Jesus and Hawthorne Organizer Marcus prepare to hoist hoop house plastic over the frame.
School Partnerships Coordinator Jordyn proves that Youth Farm is stronger than the wind as she holds the plastic down.
Jordyn, Jesus, and Farm Steward Zainab wiggle wire it secure!
Almost there!

 

Congratulations Jesus!

Youth Farm is excited to announce Jesus Perez as our new Manager of South Minneapolis Programs! Jesus has been involved in the Lyndale Youth Farm Program for over 10 years as a youth participant, Project LEAD staff, and South Minneapolis Farm Steward.  As part of the inaugural Farm Stewards Program in 2011, he helped to develop the program into what it is today, he worked with partners at Green Central and Lyndale School to build hoop houses and facilitate programming, organized in the Whittier Neighborhood, and hosted Lyndale’s popular Thursday cooking program while recruiting and developing relationships with youth.

Jesus is a compassionate and thoughtful youth worker. He brings creativity to the classes he facilitates, humor and mentorship to our staff team, and an eagerness to learn from the youth he serves and the community partners he works alongside.

Jesus will be the main contact for all Lyndale and Whittier programs and play a support role in Powderhorn and Central programs. We are honored that he chose to share his talents with Youth Farm and excited to see what he brings to the youth of South Minneapolis in his new role.  Congratulations Jesus!

A few snapshots of Jesus over the years!

Cooking in 2012
Farming in 2010
Building Hoop houses in 2016

In gratitude for our “beloved community”

“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday, Youth Farm was honored to have participated in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations at Powderhorn Park. Alongside members of our “beloved community”, PPNA, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, Mixed Blood TheaterVoice of Culture, and 800 community members we ate lunch together, witnessed drumming and theater performances, and closed the event with dancing! So grateful to share the day with our neighbors.

Zainab, Ellesha, and Fatumo prepare to serve lunch. Shout out to Zainab who organized our Project LEAD to make 12 gallons of soup for the event and ran the kitchen!
Jesus, Zainab, Kemi, and Ellesha prepare to serve lunch.

Fall program kicks off!

Last week we kicked off fall programming with cooking classes in both our Lyndale and Powderhorn neighborhoods.

Farm Stewards Zainab and Jesus and youth from Lyndale and Powderhorn prepared amazing first meals using produce from our gardens.  Egg plant parmesan started things off in Powderhorn for the Tuesday cooking class and zucchini chocolate cake with mocha frosting was on the menu in Lyndale’s Thursday class.

Know youth that live in the Powderhorn/Central or Lyndale neighborhoods that would like to participate in fall harvesting and cooking? Contact our Farm Stewards!

Powderhorn/Central All things food

Tuesdays through November

Powderhorn Park Building

Contact: Zainab Youngmark 612-401-8303 zainab@youthfarmmn.org

 

Lyndale All Things food

Thursdays through November

Zion Lutheran Church

contact: Jesus Perez 612-401-3412 Jesus@youthfarmmn.org

 

St. Paul is also kicking things off. Look for class info next week!