Help Paint the Lyndale School Mural this Saturday 11am-1pm

Join us this Saturday, May 21st, as we paint the new mural at Lyndale Elementary designed by Greta Alquist and Lyndale students. There will be free food and music, fun activities, and garden planting. The event is 11am to 1pm at Lyndale School, 312 W 34th St. See you there!Community Paint Parties Lyndale flyer Final Flat_ (1)

Support Our Summer Lunch Campaign at 8 restaurants throughout May

growingcommunityThis summer, over 250 Youth Farmers will work together to prepare over 7,500 healthy meals for their peers, their family members, and their community. While much of this food is grown on site, there are still considerable needs.

In 2016, we ask you to join us in supporting Youth Farm’s summer program during the month of May to collectively raise $15,000 to cover the costs for youth employment, facilities rental, bulk produce, and staffing necessary to continue to develop the next generation of farmers, healthy eaters, and engaged young leaders!

During May, the following restaurants will be participating and providing easy ways for customers to support this program: Restaurant Alma, Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl, Gigi’s, Pat’s Tap, Red Stag Supperclub, The Third Bird, Bread and Pickle, and Tiny Diner. At Restaurant Alma, your support is part of any tasting menu, and at all the other restaurants, look for the donation/tip line at the bottom of your bill, and add a small (or large) donation to support this important work.

A huge thanks to Youth Farm board member Alex Roberts and Ash Reynolds at Restaurant Alma as well as Kim Bartmann and Anne Saxton from all the other restaurants for their continued support of our work at Youth Farm.

Youth Farm Spring Life

Here are some fun photos from just one week in spring!

Powderhorn Project LEAD Liv with her best Earth Mother impression as she spread cover crop at the newly plowed Baha'i site
Powderhorn Project LEAD Liv with her best Earth Mother impression as she spread cover crop at the newly plowed Baha’i site
New Farm Steward Demetrius practiced bed prepping, seeding, and trellissing snap peas in Lyndale
New Farm Steward Demetrius practiced bed prepping, seeding, and trellissing snap peas in Lyndale
Conservation Corps and Green Central families helped us spread out woodchips
Conservation Corps and Green Central families helped us spread out woodchips
Long time Youth Farmer Javed is excited to have a garden just a block from his home
Long time Youth Farmer Javed is excited to have a garden just a block from his home
Green Central students dancing bare foot in the hot steaming compost
Green Central students dancing bare foot in the hot steaming compost
Beautiful Rosie Bok Choi in the Lyndale School Hoop House.  Not pictured: stir-fry with kohlrabi greens, green onions, and green garlic!
Beautiful Rosie Bok Choi in the Lyndale School Hoop House.
Not pictured: stir-fry with bok choi, kohlrabi greens, green onions, and green garlic!

Green Central Hoop House is Underway

The long awaited Hoop House at Green Central Elementary and Park is finally underway! We’ve installed our ground stakes and put up the hoops. A group of 5th graders helped out during recess to pound in some stakes, and our staff came together to get those hoops up. Next week we’re excited to host our partners from the Conservation Corps to get more done. Next steps include spreading a layer of cardboard and wood chips, installing baseboards, putting in bottom rails, and getting the ends up.

Anyone is welcome to lend us a hand while we’re out there working. We’ll be on site Thursday April 21st 4-7pm, Thursday May 5th 4-7pm, and Thursday May 19th 5-7pm.

A huge shout out to Hashep Seka for all her work making this project possible. Thank you also to the Minneapolis Parks and Rec Board and to Green Central Elementary for their support.

Check out these pictures of the first days:

Jesus and Zainab celebrate getting all the hoops up and secured!
Jesus and Zainab celebrate getting all the hoops up and secured!

IMG_0718

Green Central students helped put in our first stakes
Green Central students helped put in our first stakes

Youth Farm is hiring in Hawthorne in North Minneapolis

Ms. Bev & VaronPassionate about youth development? Have experience community organizing? Know the north side of Minneapolis? Bring those talents and interests together at Youth Farm. Youth Farm is currently hiring a Community Organizer position in North Minneapolis’ Hawthorne neighborhood to engage youth, community partners and families in youth leadership, food access, and community change. Learn more about the position and how to apply HERE

Snow Day

IMG_0278

Like everyone else we spent a good chunk of the morning shovelling ourselves and our gardens’ sidewalks out. Thankfully, some very kind neighbors with snow blowers made it significantly easier at our Portland and Whittier sites. Thank you so much neighbors! We love our community!

Youth Farm is hiring

Passionate about youth development? Come join our team! Hiring now for West Side Program Manager. Job description and application information can be found here.

MLK Celebration Coming Up at Powderhorn Park

Come join us at Powderhorn Park’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration next Monday the 18th. The event will include performances by neighborhood artists, youth activities, and a lunch including hearty Youth Farm soups made by our Project LEAD. The party is from 11am-2pm at the Powderhorn Park Recreation Center, 3500 15th Ave S. The event is co-hosted with PPNA and the MPRB and more information is available here.

Gardens are Community Spaces

Photo Courtesy of InquilinXs UnidXs por Justicia
Photo Courtesy of InquilinXs UnidXs por Justicia

Our gardens are right in the middle of the neighborhoods and communities where our young people live. Their work in the gardens create community meeting spaces that are used by outside of our Youth Farm programs. This week our Lyndale Project LEAD got to meet with a community group of neighbors that use our Pillsbury Garden for meeting space and for family events. InquilinXs UnidXs por Justicia is a new organization born out of renters organizing in Lyndale for tenants rights. Their mission is to bring groups of tenants in Minneapolis’ worst housing together in order to analyze problems occurring in their living situations, and then strategize and organize around those problems to create affordable, dignified living spaces in Minneapolis.

Members of the group brought up safety concerns with the garden space, including its lack of nighttime lighting and overgrown bushes. Our Project LEAD were both excited to hear about how families use our garden space and concerned by the safety issues. The conversation created a greater context for Youth Farm’s work in the gardens during the summer and school year. We now have a partnership with two of the group members to help us maintain the space to make it more welcoming, safer, and better for food production. Mario (also a Youth Farm parent!) and Carlos have teamed up to help us improve the space already.

Thank you so much Mario, Carlos, and InquilinXs UnidXs por Justicia! Like them on Facebook too!

Hot, Worth It, and Fun

Alexis first heard about Youth Farm from his neighbors Anahi and Josefa. He had just moved in next door to a Youth Farm site, and the two sisters shared with him their experience in Youth Farm. Soon after, he went down the street to visit his cousins and saw a Youth Farm site right across the street from them too. His cousins were some of the first Youth Farmers who build the Whittier farm site, and their mother sometimes came in as a guest chef to our summer program. After seeing Youth Farm everywhere and thinking that he didn’t have anything else to do anyway, Alexis signed up for his first summer. He remembers the first weeks as being hot, but worth it and fun.

Now Alexis just finished his third summer at Youth Farm, and his first as a Project LEAD staff. He was worried about how his family would be able to take care of his younger brother, Alan, age 7, while Alexis was at Youth Farm, so they decided to see if Alan could come with. Well, Alan became one of our hardest working Youth Farmers and never failed to have a smile on his face. Alan’s favorite moment of his first summer was getting to spray paint a T-shirt and eat ice cream for his first Fun Friday.

Shanna, Katya, Gabby, and Alan
Shanna, Katya, Vanessa, and Alan

Last Saturday I gave a presentation to the Lyndale Neighborhood Association’s Women’s Leadership Program. Another of Alexis and Alan’s aunts is a member of the cohort, and she shared the story of their involvement. Alan had been brought there by his aunt, and he was able to share Youth Farm produce with the women and other children. All the ninos filled up bags of crisp apples grown right across the street from Alan’s home.

Thank you Alexis and Alan for all you’ve done to contribute to the Lyndale neighborhood. I know we’ve seen some hot summer days, but you both make it worthwhile and fun!