From the Farmer – Week of August 8th, 2016
It is incredible to me how fast August arrives on the farm. Our routine of weed, water, harvest, repeat has propelled us through July and into August. For our Summer Youth Tillers, they have reached the jam-packed middle of their program that is characterized by the assemblage of their final projects! They have been hard at work researching their topics, reaching out to mentors, creating quick-fix but delicious and fun recipes for market, learning about the complexities of access to clean, nutritious food and clean water nationally and internationally, shadowing our adult learners in farm management and irrigation rotations, and gaining culinary skills and comprehensive nutritional information about many of our crops as well as the field of nutrition in general. It has been such a joy to see them utilize their skills in projects outside of the farm (2 of our Tillers are building their own raised bed at their home) and brainstorm indoor projects for when school resumes (they are so pumped up about aquaponics after visiting Oko Farms!), truly taking to heart our theme of ‘Self-Determination!’
We would love for you to meet us on the farm on Wednesdays for market (2:30pm-6:30pm) to chat with the youth about their experiences, challenge them as customers to inform you on our produce, the farm, and their cooking demo! The Tillers only have 3 more Wednesdays left to greet you at the market. We begin our cooking demos at 2:30pm with tasting happening around 3pm and another tasting around 4pm. If you stay for 1 whole demo (the junior chefs will explain the ingredients, the process, where you can find them, the flavor, and answer questions as best as they can!) you’ll receive 1 HealthBuck (worth $2) that can be used at Farmer’s Markets throughout NYC! We’ve also decided to liven up the market with a little music! Feel free to rock out with us while shopping or volunteering on the farm. In addition to the greatness of supporting our local food system and getting to know your producers, we can build community with one another by dialoguing about farms, food, etc. and celebrating in an environment made festive by our presence and a great soundtrack!
Speaking of festivities, please mark your calendars for two not-to-miss events! On Wednesday, August 24, from 2:30pm-4:30pm, our Tillers will engage in a Chop’t style cook-off with one mystery ingredient! You’re invited to sample their creations and vote for your favorite one. If you’ve been attending market, then you’re aware of how delicious the demos have been and a recipe is always a take home gift. At our competition we’ll have a take home book of the recipes the Tillers created.
Our Summer Youth Program’s final day is Friday, August 26. We invite you to learn from our Tillers about the work they’ve done for 7 weeks and what they chose to specialize in. From ‘The Journey of Crops,’ to ‘Nutrition & Meal Planning’ the presentations will be engaging and so amazing to learn from teens through their lens. Presentations will most likely be from 10am-12pm but stay tuned for more details. We hope to see you at one or both of these occasions to meet our youngest producers on the farm and build with them!
While the youth and I hosted our last volunteer day for the Summer Youth Program on August 6 there’sstill time for you to join our other farmers and get a little dirty! Our next volunteer day is Saturday, August 20 where you too can get into a yoga-like flow of stretch, weed, and breathe. As always, your presence is encouraged and appreciated; these are the days where you can learn about the farm intimately as well as have your own personal experience reconnecting with a little ecosystem.
The Tillers and I look forward to knowing more of you in the final weeks of our program!
Yours in Community,
Farmer Sawdayah & the Summer Youth Tillers