Local food justice leaders attend Boston Food Project's winter institute
by Jess Oppenheimer
Leaders from YO!
Youth Organics in
They learned the secrets of the Food Project’s successful academic year-round programs, which engage urban and suburban youth, ages 14 up through their 20s, in agriculture, urban gardening, hunger and homelessness issues, and offers internships in culinary arts, diversity and farmer’s markets. Youth learn public speaking and leadership skills and lead large groups of adult volunteers.
The Food Project is a model for area youth agriculture programs. Sixty young people attend their summer program. Participants and staff grow food on 33 acres and in city gardens. They have a huge Community Supported Agriculture program, a farmer’s market and a catering business.
attendees also came from East
NY Farms in
Leaders learned the best way to organize “real work” for youth, such as building raised beds, working in a catering kitchen or at the regional food bank warehouse. We built 30 raised bed frames in one day. The raised beds went to people, mostly Latin American immigrants, who were already growing food, but in lead-contaminated soil. Discussed were ideas such as placing youth who work fast in leadership roles, being clear about what “hard work” is, and pacing work with fun. Youth from the Food Project say that they keep coming back because the project “allows you to change” and that young people are taken seriously.
Support Local Youth Farm and Garden Projects
a garden project in
Thank you to Honest
Weight shoppers who
contributed to our fall drive at the registers. These funds went
hiring a youth outreach worker, Lindsey Rogowski. Lindsey attends the
We will be working in two or three urban gardens and two sties outside the city. Thirty percent of the food grown will be donated to food pantries. The rest will be used in cooking and food preservation classes, and for young people to take home. Some of the food may be sold at a farmer’s market. If you are looking for fun volunteer opportunities, give us a call. We’re also looking for compost, tool and plant donations, especially herbs for our herb garden, and vegetable seedlings. Please contact Jess Nitya at 463-2222, or email@example.com.
Roots and Wisdom is
a youth agriculture and community service program in