Rolling in the Dirt

It was wet today! Lyndale ran program despite having to be inside for at least 2 extra hours today, hiding out while a wicked storm passed outside. There’s nothing like being cooped up for a couple hours to get those creative juices moving! Our CHT Farm spent their hour together coming up with some very special songs. Inspired by LEAD staff Niani and Nazeem’s deep song list, the CHT’ers performed their new single “Rolling in the Dirt” for a rapt audience right before lunch.
Rolling in the Dirt
From the right: Grace, Jakayla, Kabao, Lillian, Gina, Miski, Maddie, Ahmed, Sherhan, Mohmed, Ella, Niani, Ahmed, Nazeem, Elerson
Theres a garden
Not on the West Side
Its not Powderhorn
We got Lyndale Pride
Finally we weeded all the beds
Now we can seed the plants that we have left
We’re gonna teach you everything that we do
Turning the compost
Seed and we weed too
Rolling in the Dirt
Mulching all the beds
We had the weeds inside of our hands
And we threw them
And we threw them in the compost
We won last year
We got the most awards
When we win again I hope they’re not poor sports
Lyndale makes sure our compost is warm
Hopefully soon we will go to Philly Farm
Steppin in the gardens
Plants are the largest
Every week badge test
Wednesday’s Harvest
Rolling in the Dirt
Mulching all the beds
We had the weeds inside of our hands
And we threw them
We threw them in the compost
And if that wasn’t enough Nazeem hit everyone up with a solo rhyme:
I woke up slow hours before noon
Thinking that I had to be at Youth Farm soon
I had to get pumped before the day begins
It won’t be hard because I’ll see my friends
Chillin in the garden with my hoe
Raking the weeds pullin them slow.
Sad you missed the show? Mark your calendar down for Lyndale’s Harvest Fest on August 10th. Our Farms and Activity Groups will be sharing their work this summer and celebrating their accomplishments, all over a delicious Youth Farm meal. Maybe we’ll even get CHT and Naz to do a repeat performance!

A Day in the Life

This week one of Lyndale’s LEAD staff brought her camera along with her. This gallery captures some of the highlights of a day at Youth Farm, including harvesting for Buying Club, turning compost, and body painting in Adventure Club.


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.

Pillsbury Farm Still Rockin After All These Years

Youth Farm and Market Project’s first farm is still rocking fresh produce and hot fun even after 16 summers. Here are a couple photos from the start of our second week.

Yesterday the Pillsbury Farmers were painting signs to post around their space. August, Ulysses, and Ruby are here showing off their compost sign. This year’s crop from just that one farm includes basil, potatoes, zucchini, beets, carrots, raspberries, spinach, lettuce, onions, green beans, and spinach. Thats a lot of food!

Lead Staff Rahma is showing Yasmin and Amina how to wash carrots after harvesting. Don’t be alarmed, no carrots were harmed in taking this photos! Carrots were safety placed into Lyndale’s Buying Club Shares and have been distributed out to our neighbors doors.

What did you have for lunch today?

Cous cous, chick pea and sweet potato stew, fresh strawberries, salad from our farms, and home made bread, that’s what we had at YFMP today. Actually, these are the kind of lunches we eat 3 days a week during our summer program. That’s over 5,000 healthy lunches a summer, and all of it is prepared by a team of Youth Farmers, Project LEAD staff and a summer chef. One of the things we have noticed over the last 10 years at YFMP since we started cooking our own lunches, is that given the opportunity to eat healthy and try new foods, youth will, and most of the time they really like it.

If you want to eat like a king or queen sometime this summer, make some time and come and join us at YFMP any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday through the first week of August. If you are more the scheduling type and would like to set up a time to come and eat with us, maybe even get a tour of our farms, contact YFMP Executive Director, Gunnar Liden or even more informally, the Powderhorn YFMP has a standing Community Focused Lunch every Friday at noon right outside the Powderhorn Park building.

Welcome our new Frogtown Program Director Beth Ringer

Beth RingerWe are excited to announce Beth Ringer as our first Frogtown Program Director. Beth began working with YFMP in 2010 by doing a year of service through the St. Joseph’s Worker Program. She is a skilled Youth Worker (as the youth in Lyndale and Powderhorn will attest to) with a passion for community centered youth work. Prior to her work at YFMP, Beth worked in a variety of Youth Programs, as well as the “Campus Kitchens Project” at Augsburg College. Originally from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, she is a honors graduate of Augsburg College with a Bachelors’ Degree in Music. YFMP is lucky to have Beth on board leading the charge in one of our two new neighborhood programs. She officially starts on July 1st, and will be spending this summer organizing the beginning efforts in Frogtown, apprenticing/training in our current neighborhoods, and building strong connections with youth, families, and community partners in Frogtown. Beth can be reached via email at or 651.325.7453, as she is excited to start to connect with Frogtown neighbors.

Community Shares MN Summer Summit


YFMP Executive Director Gunnar Liden and Associate Director Amanda Stoelb presented tonight at the Community Shares of MN Summer Summit, facilitating a group of brave volunteers in a 4 minute Iron Chef style salsa competition. The salsa ended up great, and we were excited to share our work with such an engaged crowd.

YFMP is a proud member of Community Shares MN, whose mission is to Create a fair, just and equitable Minnesota. To learn more, check out Community Shares MN Web Site

Lyndale Dry Run

Its Kick Off Week for 2011 Summer Program! We are super hyped to be getting out into the farms with our youth and having some summer fun.

The weather has been a bit of a damper to the week. All neighborhoods called in a rain day for the First Day of Summer. It was a sound decision with a tornado passing through the metro. Today Lyndale hid inside due to lack of rain shelter for the first week of program, but West Side and Powderhorn had amazing first days.

Of course, just because we cancel program doesn’t mean youth aren’t excited to be at Youth Farm! We had a handful of amazing youth come out and help out staff to harvest and distribute the Lyndale Buying Club. We delivered 25 shares of delicious produce out to our neighbors. Each bag came with a healthy amount of lettuce, spinach, chard, and kale. There was even a little bonus of radishes and green onions. All told we harvested over 70 pounds of produce… thats a lot of greens!

Big heads up to Deja, Lillian, Erik, Sage, Chris, Jasmine and our staff for coming out on a damp day. See you Friday with lots of sunshine!

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,

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