Educating Youth in Sustainable Farming and Value Added Production.

Final report for YENC20-150

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2020: $3,981.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2022
Grant Recipient: New City Neighbors
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Manager:
Lance Kraai
New City Neighbors
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Project Information


This project will introduce urban youth from elementary through high school to sustainable farming and value added production. Fourteen high school youth will participate in hands-on curriculum and field trips around sustainable organic farming and value added production. They will also gain experience by being employed on our three-acre CSA vegetable urban farm, and at our outdoor cafe that produces farm-to-table pizzas, soups, salads and baked goods. These trained high school youth will then develop and implement an introduction-to-gardening-and-cooking club for twelve elementary and ten middle school youth.

Project Objectives:
  1. Introduce youth to sustainable organic vegetable growing through a hands-on curriculum.
  2. Introduce youth to value-added production through a farm-to-table curriculum that will teach wood-fired pizza making, soup production and food preserving.
  3. Provide seasonal employment for urban youth in sustainable agriculture and value added production. 
  4. Introduce elementary and middle school youth to gardening and cooking through a club led by their high school peers.
  5. Train high school students in how to teach gardening and cooking to younger youth.
  6. Expose youth of color to adult people of color who own sustainable farms or farm-to-table establishments.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Crystal Tunstall (Educator)

Educational & Outreach Activities

8 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
8 Online trainings
1 Tours
10 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary:

30 Farmers/ranchers
45 Youth
6 Parents
6 Educators
180 Other adults
Education/outreach description:

In the summer of 2020 we created an online virtual garden club directed to elementary and middle school youth. Online content is located on our website at 35 Youth were supplied with take home garden kits so they had the needed materials to participate at home. We also went on 2 field trips with 10 high school youth and recorded the field trip. High school youth worked with interns to develop two short videos for other youth to watch at home highlighting things we learned on the trip.

In the Spring of 2021 we also developed a green house garden club for families. Individual families signed up for an individual time slot to allow for social distancing. Families worked with our Farm-to-Table Educator in our greenhouse. See

We presented lessons learned from our virtual garden club at the virtual Michigan Good Food Summit in two separate presentations on November 9 and 10. See GFS Presentation

In addition, in 2020 and in 2021 we presented our organization to 6 different classes at Grand Valley State University. In partnership with GVSU and Crystal Tunstall students of these classes developed additional online gardening curriculum for our organization. These students also came for a farm tour in October 2020. See

Learning Outcomes

45 Youth reporting change in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness

Project Outcomes

1 Grant received that built upon this project
5 New working collaborations
Increased organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:
Explanation for change in organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:

This project helped us to develop more farming and food production content for our youth by working with Crystal Tunstall of GVSU.

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.