Growing Food and Sustainability has now reached it’s halfway point this summer, and I could not be prouder. The interns have grown closer and found work rhythms together, the kids are already giddy about coming back for the next session of garden camp (and as are we to receive them), and we are beginning to plan our upcoming community events including a benefit dinner and harvest festival. There have been major construction team accomplishments, and the garden is looking beautiful. While it seems strange to see the chard get harvested and watch the radish bed lay dormant, it is after all the middle of July. It seems about time for these things to happen, and we can simply look on our accomplishments, savoring our hard work and our harvest.
Tis’ the season, the growing season that is! It has finally arrived after a long hard winter and for gardeners the growing season beats Christmas by a land-slide. This is Morgan here and I have been part of the Growing Food and Sustainability team since the beginning in 2012. I’ve spent my time this past year volunteering with the Hinahara sisters and working with children at the youth garden. Even though my time spent will be limited this summer with GFS I am continuing to take part in gardening with local community members and will be a face around the town.
I’ve got to say that it has been a splendid summer thus far with plenty of rain and sunshine and I hope we are as lucky in the following months to produce a bountiful crop yield. This past week I have picked more strawberries than I could have ever imagined. Being a new gardener as I have been this past year, I have had an eye opener with how much food one can grow within the own boundaries of their yard. I’m telling you, if anyone would wants to cut down on their grocery bill, all they have to do is plant a small garden in their backyard. Continue reading →
For Growing Food and Sustainability (GFS), our training week signified the end of a successful journey through our first year or so, and the fresh start of a second year. Unlike the first training week though, this one witnessed the continuation and growth of existing programs and the beginning of even more! Likewise, this training week had more participants attending, and caused the same amount of (if not more) giddy excitement and inspiration that last year’s did.
One of the most exciting areas of growth for me to witness was that of our farmers market stand. Last year we had a booth at the farmers market with ample kids activities – we reached many new families with them, but did not sell any produce. This year during training week there was time for our team to plan out what we wanted the market stand to look like, with focuses on selling produce and increasing attendance at the market. I found it especially exciting that we focused on this in our training week, as it is a way to get participants involved directly with the revenue generation aspect of our program and a way to ensure a successful farmers market stand. In our discussion we built on the rough plans to have an event promoting the market. We decided to have a Summer Season Farmers Market Kickoff which happened yesterday, Tuesday 6/18.
Hello, and happy summer! What a perfect combination of sunshine and rain we’ve been having; all the better to gear Growing Food and Sustainability and all of our summer campers to get into the garden this season! I’m Sara, a participant with GFS and a summer intern for our youth garden programs. This summer will mark my first with GFS, as well as my first working with younger kids, as most of the work I’ve done so far has been with the high schoolers at Clark Street Community School. I must say, I can’t wait to meet all the new campers; being a part of this program is as important and educational for me as I hope it will be for all of the gardeners-to-be. I am even more excited because our Growing Food and Sustainability family just keeps growing!
Last week, our new summer interns and volunteers, along with our program leaders, participated in a training week to gear us up for the summer garden camps we will lead together. Instead of doing push ups and garden obstacle courses, we focused on reflective activities as well as team/community building activities and brainstorms–though we did fit a bit of running around and laughing our heads off into a session or two. Continue reading →
Kids in the Garden: We just wrapped-up our first after school program! We had a wonderful five weeks learning about the greenhouse and seed starting, planning dream gardens, preparing the garden for planting, and cooking!
Showing off their dream gardens
We made many tasty seasonal dishes with the kids including carrot muffins, apple crisp, spinach frittata, and oven fries. Our snack for the last day of the program was 5 weeks in the making: we planted greens in the greenhouse back in April and they were finally big enough to harvest for a tasty salad. We made a home made balsamic vinaigrette dressing and enjoyed the fruits of our labors 🙂 Continue reading →
One of Growing Food and Sustainability’s core goals is to train and inspire a new generation of youth leaders to create their own solutions to the world’s challenges. Our Indiegogo campaign is focused on raising money for stipends so that we can train youth through our summer internship program. Last summer, two local college students participated in our internship. This summer, we plan to select five interns to participate in this leadership development experience. Interns learn through peer-lead trainings as well as by taking an active, hands-on role in our organization. They learn how to plan curriculum for the summer garden camp, serve as camp counselors, workshop leaders, and meeting facilitators, coordinate community workdays, harvest days, the weekly compost pick-up, and the weekly produce delivery, and will learn green entrepreneurship skills by helping to run our farmers’ market stand. Our goal is to make sure that every graduate of our internship program leaves with the skills and knowledge to start an initiative of their own.
Though our experience has proven that young people of all ages do care about current social and environmental issues, we realize that summer jobs must often take precedence over unpaid programs. By providing stipends to interns, we will make sure that these opportunities for enrichment and growth are available to all. Through our model of peer-to-peer training and collaboration, we believe that summer interns will develop leadership and organizational skills that will prepare them for the future as much or more as any summer job. Continue reading →