Introducing our 2014 Interns (Part 3)

Reblogged from Growing Food and Sustainability

 

Ranondo ranondo

Hi I’m Ranondo. I want everyone who reads this to know my mom is a single parent who has been taking care of me my whole life and she’s the person who’s been there through good and bad times. She been right by my side through everything. I want my mother to be proud not that she already isn’t proud of me working and having my own job but I appreciate her doing everything she could do for me. She’s the only one who’s been providing for me for the longest and I wanted this internship so I can return the favor. Something I want you guys to know about me I work hard I work for what I’m getting paid for. This job is something I would do next year as well because I like this job and the people here are pretty nice I also wanted a job so I can meet new people. Back then I wasn’t the best kid on earth but I’m trying to turn my life around and do something positive.

I like to spend time with friends and family when I do have free time but I like spending time with my mom too and if my grandma still were living she would be so proud too. At my last job I just stop going and now I know hanging out with your friends all the time isn’t worth it sometimes. I like going out to eat, to the movies, laser tagging, the mall, go carting, and paint balling. I like everything that comes to mind. I hope everything goes as planed: get paid and buy stuff for the house and stuff for my mom. People have been telling me lately get a job for myself but really it’s for my mom and my mother always gives me anything I need so when I do get paid most of it is going to my mom. She comes first before anything.

I really like this job a lot. I like growing and weeding stuff and I’m learning new things. Back then I couldn’t grow a tree that was already grown. If I get a long term job farming and growing I would work there most definitely.

Lisa

lisaLisa was born in Columbia, Missouri and moved to Connecticut before finally moving to Madison, WI. She recently graduated from Middleton High School and will be attending UW-Madison this fall. Although she is undecided about her major, she is considering pharmacy school.

In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, taking afternoon naps, buying too many clothes, and spending time with friends and family, especially her dog. In this internship, she hopes to learn more about gardening and to educate children about growing food and various aspects of our ecosystem.

Anna

Hello! My name is Anna and I’m heading Annainto my senior year at Middleton High School. For the past semester, I went to an environmental semester school called Conserve School in northern Wisconsin. There, I met tons of amazing people and learned so much that I can’t wait to share about social and environmental issues and how to make a difference. I also recently returned from a month-long program called Conservation Corps Minnesota, where we traveled around the state of Minnesota doing natural resource work like pulling invasive species and doing trail work. Both of these experiences were amazing, but it’s good to finally be home. I can’t wait to get started learning about sustainable agriculture and get involved in the local community.

Exhibit In a Day: 3 Ways to Grow Food in A Window

Reblogged from Summer of Solutions Hartford

I’m on the team working at the Burns Latino Studies Academy and the Connecticut Trash Museum. Recently, we planned to build an indoor garden exhibit at the museum using recycled materials.

This is the wall where we installed the exhibit. It has three big windows. Step 1: Remove the window blinds
This is the wall where we installed the exhibit. It has three big windows. Step 1: Remove the window blinds

The exhibit is an inside garden used as an example of things you can create in your own garden, house, or apartment. The purpose of the exhibit is to show that you don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food and it can be as simple as hanging curtains on a window. We installed the garden in one big workday on June 27th as to interrupt the museum visitors as little as possible. We planted a variety of things that need just the right amount of space to grow in a box, gutter, or plastic bottle. We planted swiss chard, lettuce, parsley, rosemary, mint, strawberries, and succulents, cilantro, basil, and a few flowers.

This is Tenaya painting the gutter garden. The gutters were recycled from a construction project. We cut  them to 4 feet, drilled drainage holes and wire holes in the bottom, and cemented gutter caps to the edges.
This is Tenaya painting the gutter garden. The gutters were recycled from a construction project. We cut them to 4 feet, drilled drainage holes and wire holes in the bottom, and cemented gutter caps to the edges.
Step 3: We filled each gutter with soil and transplanted our seedlings. Next, we installed hooks over the window frame and hung the gutters. At home, you can just hang them, but because the museum has thousands of children visit each year, we also drilled the gutters into the window frame on each side, so they couldn't be tipped over.
We filled each gutter with soil and transplanted our seedlings. Next, we installed hooks over the window frame and hung the gutters. At home, you can just hang them, but because the museum has thousands of children visit each year, we also drilled the gutters into the window frame on each side, so they couldn’t be tipped over.
This is Brendan and Tenaya mixing compost and manure to make a soil mix for the gutters.
This is Brendan and Tenaya mixing compost and manure to make a soil mix for the gutters.

The first window holds a gutter garden. We built this by taking used gutters and drilling holes at the bottom. Next we strung the gutters with wire that was strong enough to hang from a window and hold the gutters once they were filled with plants and soil. After threading the wire through the gutter, we looped it at the top so the garden would have something to hang from. After assembling the garden we filled it with a mixture of manure and soil (you can use whatever you find suitable for what you want to grow) then transplanted all of our seedlings. With the help of all of our team members and volunteers we hung the gutter garden on fish hooks that we screwed to the top of the window.

Last year, Mike Roach carved a sign for the Zion Street Garden, renaming it in honor of our neighbor, Wesley Colbert. We built this box out of the scrap wood he used to practice the carving.

Last year, Mike Roach carved a sign for the Zion Street Garden, renaming it in honor of our neighbor, Wesley Colbert. We built this box out of the scrap wood he used to practice the carving.

In our second window we made a window box using recycled wood that we painted and lined with landscape fabric and plastic bags. This window will act as our activity station for children visiting the museum. Here we’ll teach them how to make recycled origami planters and more about what they can do to create a garden at home. We’ve also installed a shelf on the window to display samples and visitor creations.

First, Becky and Brendan cut holes in the bottoms and sides of recycled bottles.
First, Becky and Brendan cut holes in the bottoms and sides of recycled bottles.
Next, we wove each bottle through recycled twine to make sure they were evenly suspended.
Next, we wove each bottle through recycled twine to make sure they were evenly suspended.
We installed a hook in the window frame for each column of bottles.
We installed a hook in the window frame for each column of bottles.

The last window in the exhibit holds our bottle garden. We used recycled beverage bottles and removed the label, giving the roots of the plants an opportunity to show. We removed the top off the bottle, giving ourselves enough room to insert soil and plant inside of the bottles. Next, we poked holes onto the side of the bottom so we could have a way to hang our bottles in the window. We then threaded string vertically through the holes we poked each bottle so they’d hang about 4 inches away from each other, allowing what we planted to have room to grow. We filled the bottles with soil, transplanted our seedlings, and then hung each set of bottles on a fish hook from our window. Once the bottles were hung it created a beautiful stained glass effect that can be a great accent in any apartment or garden.

Here is our exhibit at the end of the day!

Here is our exhibit at the end of the day!

We are so grateful to our extra volunteers who came out to help us pull it off in one day! Thanks Brendan, Diane, and Joey! We are so grateful to our extra volunteers who came out to help us pull it off in one day! Thanks Brendan, Diane, and Joey

The First 3 Weeks of our CSA…including recipes!

Reblogged from Growing Food and Sustainability

We just finished week 3 of our very first CSA (Community Support Agriculture) program ever!  Take a look at what our 11 CSA members have enjoyed so far this summer, plus recipe ideas for you to try at home!

1

Week 1: green onions, a garlic scape, red russian kale, chives, red onions, and salad mix (lettuce and pea shoots)

Recipes:

 

2

Week 2: kale, purslane, garlic scapes, salad mix (lettuce, beet greens, and baby swiss chard), and cilantro.  Cilantro was generously donated by our friends at FH King Students for Sustainable Agriculture, the UW student farm that our program director, Natalie, also works for!

Recipes:

3Week 3: kale, garlic scapes, lettuce mix, Swiss chard, chives, snap peas, broccoli greens, and mint

Recipes:

  • One of our CSA members recommended this Garlic Scape Carbonara recipe.
  • Never eaten broccoli greens before?  Cook them like you would collards or try-out this recipe for Sauteed Broccoli Greens.  Let us know what you think!

Enjoy your eating :)

The Youth Farm Team

 

Introducing Our 2014 Interns (Part 2)

Reblogged from Growing Food and Sustainability

PeterPeter

Peter is from Rockford, Illinois. He is a recent graduate of Edgewood College with a Biology degree with an environmental studies minor. When not at the GFS youth farm he is most likely cooking at New Orleans Take Out on Monroe street. In his free time he enjoys biking, cooking, and growing food.  He hopes to learn new sustainable farming skills and how to better inspire kids about farming.

 

 

FrankFrank

Hello everyone, my name is Frank Hessel and I am a youth farm intern this summer and a student at Middleton High School.  In my free time, I like to play golf, run, and spend time with family. My goals for the summer are to better understand how plants grow and how to harvest plants properly.

 

 

 

Nathalie

I was born in Patchogue Long Island New York and I
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grew-up in Southwest Florida. I am in the process of completing my masters degree in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. I will receive school credit toward the degree from this Youth Farm Internship. My ultimate goal is to one day work for a city planning commission and incorporate urban farming and support locally grown food into my policy making and project planning. In my free time I love to go out dancing with my friends whenever I get the chance. I LOVE to dance. I also figure skate. I also love hiking, bonfires and BBQs. I love to do pretty much anything you can do outside. My favorite place to visit is anywhere I’ve never been, but my favorite place I’ve ever visited is definitely Curitiba Brazil. Its this sustainable city in Brazil that inspired my career choice. My goal for this summer is to learn as much as I can about how a garden project like Growing Food and Sustainability works under the law, in hopes of applying what I learn to my professional work later.

CT March Against Monsanto

Reblogged from Summer of Solutions Hartford

 

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Last week we participated in the March Against Monsanto put on by Activate CT! March Against Monsanto is a world-wide day of action against the biotech company Monsanto. They were the makers of Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, and rBGH, and now they are the leading producer of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The safety of GMOs is still up in the air, with Monsanto and the FDA saying they are safe, but independent scientists and concerned activists don’t think their studies have been through enough. When the history of Monsanto is taken into consideration, it makes sense that people would be worried about the safety of their products. For more information, check out the pamphlet below. We were in Hartford near the Old State House on May 23 handing out these pamphlets to people on the street and holding signs about Monsanto and GMOs to raise awareness. We handed out 300 pamphlets to people on the street and had some great conversations. We also included information about all the farmers’ markets and community gardens in Hartford to help residents find access to fresh, local, GMO-free produce.

Introducing our 2014 Interns! (Part 1)

We just wrapped-up the second week of our internship program, and we have a great team in the making! 9 wonderful interns will be working with Growing Food and Sustainability this summer. Meet 3 of our new interns below!

Sara

Sara
(Youth Farm Intern)

Hey I’m Sara and I was born and raised in the Cross Plains/Middleton area. I currently attend UW La Crosse and will be starting my senior year this fall. I’m majoring in community health with a minor in nutrition. In my free time I enjoy hiking, biking or swimming. I also love concerts, especially outdoor ones in the summer. My favorite place to visit in the summer is Minocqua, WI with family and relatives. I love my two dogs and when I’m not out doing activities I love napping :) My goal for this summer is to have a better understanding of sustainable agriculture, mainly focusing on learning how to manage and run a vegetable/fruit garden that includes CSA boxes. I’m also interested in composting and keeping food local.

 

Sam

Sam
(Education Intern)

Sam is from Annandale, MN and she is about to start her senior year at UW-Madison studying zoology. In her free time she loves to read, hang out with friends, travel, and be outside. Her goals for this summer are to learn more about sustainable farming and to hopefully to get kids as excited about the environment as she is!

Michelle

Michelle
(Education Intern)

Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Michelle is now a third year student at UW-Madison. There, she explored a variety of her interests, including geology, astronomy, and religious studies, but ultimately, she pursued a more focused passion for environmental sciences. Michelle spends her free time walking down the lakeshore path, eating Babcock chocolate peanut butter ice cream on the Terrace, and playing with puppies. This summer, she hopes to learn how to grow a sustainable garden of her own while cultivating excitement within the community to work toward a healthier future.

Summer Draws Near

Cross-posted from Growing Food and Sustainability

Our latest bout of rainy weather here in Wisconsin hasn’t kept us from moving steadily toward the sunny days of summer!

The greenhouse is brimming with seedlings. Our babies our growing up and in two weeks they will be ready for you to take home and plant in your own garden! Don’t forget to join us for our annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, May 17th from 9am-noon and Sunday, May 18th from 1-4pm (while supplies last!) This is an important fundraiser for us and a way to help you start your own vegetable garden!

DSCF1644This year we’re offering 4-pack variety packs of tomatoes, in addition to eggplant, broccoli, basil, peppers, and more!

We are still enrolling campers for our 3rd summer of Garden Camps! It’s not too late to sign-up to join us in the garden this summer. We’re in the process of adding a new outdoor kitchen and project area at the Youth Farm which promises to make this summer better than ever! Registration information can be found here.

Our summer intern team is taking shape! We are in the midst of our final round of intern interviews. Five amazing new interns are already signed-on to work with us this summer. We’re so excited to welcome them to our team and to involve them in a transformative summer full of farming, education, and community building!