It’s that time of year again – the first Friday in November, November 3rd, is Powderhorn Empty Bowls! Come together with your friends and neighbors for a community meal of bread and soup to help raise money to impact food access in our neighborhood. Pick out a handmade bowl for your meal, enjoy visiting with your neighbors, and when you leave, take your bowl home with you–now empty–as a reminder that you’ve done something good to help your neighbors.
Powderhorn is an amazing neighborhood and community, and this event signifies so much of what is good in Powderhorn. Started in 2007 by 5 neighbors, this event raises thousands of dollars, engages thousands of engaged supporters, and provides food access for so many. Beyond being a recipient of some of the funding in the past, Youth Farm is proud to work with PEB. They support so many organizations a groups doing amazing work – take 60 minutes out of your Friday, bring your co-workers or family, get a beautiful bowl, eat some good food, and be a part of this great work. More info can be found at: https://powderhornemptybowls.org/
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. 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
“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 Theater, Voice 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.
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!
Maimouna, “Theo is always patient with everyone. He’s respectful, genuine, and very appreciative. He’s just a super laid back guy and there is never an issue with him.”
Amm-Ra, “Theo always has a positive attitude even in stressful situations.”
Ellesha, “He treats everyone equally no matter who they are. Also, he is good at riddles.”
Raquel, “I would say he’s a very genuine and caring guy that is always chill but never too cool to do goofy things and make connections with anyone.”
Phil, “When he gets excited about something his whole face and eyes light up and he gets a little flush. It is so fun to see and I know he is going to grab hold of his passions and carry them forward.”
Liv, “He’s very kind and protective of the people he cares about.”
Harrison, “He’s like the big brother of Youth Farm.”
Zo, “I appreciate how he’s always been able to connect to kids and he always can calm people down and doesn’t have to say something for you to know you’re important.”
*This post is part of a series of posts recognizing Youth Farm’s graduating seniors. It was written by Powderhorn staff*
It 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