This innovative program provides life skills, employment opportunities, and personal growth experiences for at-risk youth. We make a real difference in the lives of teens who are economically disadvantaged, empowering them to assume leadership roles in their communities around the issues of food access, food security, and community self-sufficiency. Personal growth and development becomes the catalyst for greater community involvement.
Student leaders engage in hands-on lessons focusing on organic gardening, basic soil science, backyard composting, ecology and horticulture, while increasing key leadership skills. Each participant learns measurable business skills such as adding value to a product, supply and demand, and advertising strategies. They become “experts” in aeroponic growing, the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil. The students increase their entrepreneurial skills as they develop business and marketing plans to grow and sell vegetables to local businesses and farmers markets.
Youth apprenticeship participants will contribute to local food security by growing food for the emergency food system, and help to distribute the food at local food pantries. They come to understand issues literally form the ground up and become advocates and teachers to others who wish to start gardens and become involved with community self-sufficiency.
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