Thank You Phil Rooney!

IMG_8005For the past 10 years, yes 10 years, Phil Rooney has been an indispensable part of the Youth Farm community. This past Friday marked Phil’s last day at Youth Farm and we wanted to take a moment to reflect on his journey and impact, as well as to say Thank You for all he has done for the youth in our neighborhoods and for our organization over the last decade.

Phil started his time at Youth Farm as an AmeriCorps member on the West Side of St. Paul, doing double duty between Youth Farm and the Jane Addams School. As his AmeriCorps time came to a close, Phil found ways to stay involved and engaged in Youth Farm, working for 4 years as a summer staff person on the West Side neighborhood program. During that time, Phil brought his skills in planning and youth work to both manage the Robert Street Farm, but also engage our Youth Farmers and leaders to have true ownership over their work and impact.

In 2009, when our Lyndale neighborhood program had an opening, we naturally encouraged Phil to apply. During the interview process, Phil stood out because of his ability to understand and engage around higher level youth development concepts and effectively incorporate them into lesson plans and his 1 on 1 and small group interactions with Youth Farmers. This is something we see very rarely, and something that Phil brought to Youth Farm every day for the next 7 years. From 2009 – 2015, Phil grew and developed the Lyndale Youth Farm, helped launch our Farm Stewards program, mentoring other young adult leaders to be great youth workers, and forged a multitude of important partnerships with neighborhood schools, businesses, and non-profit partners. In 2015, Phil transitioned to a new leadership role, becoming our first South Minneapolis Director of Programs. Over the last year, he has help build a new leadership structure that focuses on our Farm Stewards in program leadership roles in Lyndale and Powderhorn, and heightens our school year engagement.

For any of you that were there this past Wednesday at the Lyndale Neighborhood Harvest Festival and were able to hear many of the long time Youth Farmers, Project LEAD, and even former staff who came back just for the celebratory goodbye, you heard the impact Phil had on them. Almost everyone of the youth leaders that talked spoke to how Phil continued to push them to be even better leaders and youth workers, and how he never let them off easy. They all spoke to how much he cared for them and what an important role he played in their development as leaders with their peers and with their community. Simply put, many of them would not be in the position they are in today without Phil Rooney. That is a great legacy to leave and to be proud of!

How do you properly thank someone who has given so much to hundreds if not thousands of youth leaders in our community, built up partnerships and worked alongside so many young people to grow tens of thousands of pounds of produce to create access to healthy food for so many? We are not sure if there is a way that honors all of this, but we know Youth Farm and so many great young leaders are better off because of Phil Rooney and his time at Youth Farm.

From all of us at Youth Farm – THANK YOU Phil!

Lyndale Cooking Up for Harvest Fest Tonight!

IMG_0414

We’re cooking up in the Zion Kitchen for Lyndale’s Harvest Fest TONIGHT! These guys are pulling apart roast chicken to go in enchiladas. Our kitchen assistant Jesse has been using his home recipe to make up a green sauce with Youth Farm grown green tomatoes and tomatillos. See you at the corner of 33rd St and Pillsbury Ave tonight at 5:30!

Harvest Festival special – Get 35% discount on Taste of the Farm tickets through Saturday!

tof logo 1We hope to see many of you at one of our 4 Harvest Festivals either today, Thursday, or Friday. Whether you are able to join us in person or not, Here is a great chance to save on Taste of the Farm tickets.
Between now and Saturday August 13, you can purchase Taste of the Farm Tickets for only $75 (over 35% off)! You can purchase online or if you are attending our Harvest Festivals, our staff will be happy to assist you purchasing on site. 
Taste of the Farm will feature pre dinner drinks from local breweries and distilleries alongside tours of a number of farmsites, a Family style meal by the amazing chefs at Brasa, wonderful raffle prizes, and the always fun Live Auction benefiting our Youth Farm programs. Stay tuned throughout the coming weeks and months as we highlight aspects of the food, auction and fun that will be had at this unique event. Taste of the Farm is a wonderful way to see and experience first hand what the impact of Youth Farm is, all in a relaxed and fun environment.
Purchase your tickets now on our Eventbrite ticket site: https://tasteofthefarm2016.eventbrite.com

Harvest Fest sneak peek

image1
Chef Emily stands amid piles of produce and groceries in preparation to cook up the Lyndale Harvest Fest Feast!
IMG_3653
The farms are nearly weed free all set for farm tours!
IMG_3573
A sneak peek from summer lunch of some of the Youth Farm favorite dishes that our chefs and youth are cooking up: greek salad and hummus on the menu on the West Side

How much food does it take to feed 800 Youth Farmers and community members?

So far 3 carloads and we are only just beginning! Harvest Fest Season is here! The menus are set, the farms are getting their finally weeding, and Lyndale Chef Emily is already cooking with the mountain of produce and food that was delivered to all 4 kitchens this morning.  See you there.

Lyndale Harvest Festival – August 10th 5:30-7:30 pm – Zion Lutheran Church – 128 W. 33rd St., Minneapolis 55408

Powderhorn Harvest Festival – August 11th 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Powderhorn Park – 3400 15th Ave. S. Minneapolis 55408

Frogtown Harvest Festival – August 12th 4:00 – 6:30 pm – 739 Lafond Ave. St. Paul 55104

West Side Harvest Festival – August 12th 4:00 – 6:00 pm – La Puerta Abierta – 690 Livingston Ave. S., St. Paul 55107

We hope to see you at these events. Questions about Minneapolis Harvest Festivals, call 612.990.9261 and questions about St. Paul Harvest Festivals, call 651.325.7453

Harvest Festival Season at Youth Farm – Join Us

IMG_0116It seems crazy, but our summer here at Youth Farm is quickly coming to an end. As sad we are that our summer program only has a few days left, we are excited to celebrate all the great accomplishments of our amazing Youth Farmers. Please join us this week for any of our 4 neighborhood Harvest Festivals and help recognize the wonderful work these hundreds of Youth Farmers do as community leaders.

Lyndale Harvest Festival – August 10th 5:30-7:30 pm – Zion Lutheran Church – 128 W. 33rd St., Minneapolis 55408

Powderhorn Harvest Festival – August 11th 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Powderhorn Park – 3400 15th Ave. S. Minneapolis 55408

Frogtown Harvest Festival – August 12th 4:00 – 6:30 pm – 739 Lafond Ave. St. Paul 55104

West Side Harvest Festival – August 12th 4:00 – 6:00 pm – La Puerta Abierta – 690 Livingston Ave. S., St. Paul 55107

As the reigning championship neighborhood, come to the West Side Harvest Festival to learn who is the winner of this years Compost Cup, the award given to the neighborhood with the Hottest Compost!

We hope to see you at these events. Questions about Minneapolis Harvest Festivals, call 612.990.9261 and questions about St. Paul Harvest Festivals, call 651.325.7453

City Chickens

Youth Farmer Ally loves bringing her chickens to visit Youth Farm. Her chickens are a great source of eggs all year round. For some of our Youth Farmers, its the first time they’ve met a full grown chicken.

IMG_1426

Ally and her chicken can do amazing pet tricks!
Ally and her chicken can do amazing pet tricks!

 

Oh you know, just a chicken.
Oh you know, just a chicken.

Through the Eyes of Project LEAD

Lyndale LEAD have been snapping up photos left and right this summer. Here is a selection of some of their favorite shots.

IMG_1222 IMG_1259

Arts Group shares evidence of a fun painting project as Nate hams it up
Arts Group shares evidence of a fun painting project as Nate hams it up

 

Unicorns!
Unicorns!

 

IMG_1266

"Friends who LEAD together stay together"
“Friends who LEAD together stay together”

 

IMG_1224

Biking Group went on a trip to the Peace Garden at Lake Harriet
Biking Group went on a trip to the Peace Garden at Lake Harriet

Meet the South Minneapolis Farm Stewards!

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!

 

New Farm Steward Demetrius practiced bed prepping, seeding, and trellissing snap peas in Lyndale
 Demetrius practiced bed prepping, seeding, and trellissing snap peas in Lyndale and pauses to take a moment to admire his progress. 
Jesus and Zainab celebrate getting all the hoops up and secured!
Jesus and Zainab celebrate getting all the hoops up and secured in Youth Farm’s new hoop house at Green Central.