Growing Places Indy "Grow Getters" Program

Progress report for YENC21-157

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2021: $4,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2023
Grant Recipient: Growing Places Indy
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Manager:
Victoria Beaty
Growing Places Indy
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Project Information

Summary:

For the last ten years, Growing Places Indy (GPI) has run a summer urban farming apprenticeship for individuals 18 years and older. The proposed program, “Grow Getters,” is modeled off the success of past programs, but is designed specifically as a six-week supervised agricultural program for high school students. Selected students will be involved in all aspects of the organization including farm planning, planting, financial, maintenance, harvest, and distribution. They will also work on other urban farms, meet local leaders in the food and farming community, and have the opportunity to fully engage in the Indianapolis food system.

Project Objectives:

The program idea was developed by understanding effective programs for accomplishing our mission and collecting feedback from past participants and key partners. This program objectives include:

  • Break the poverty cycle of young people and expose them to new career opportunities within agriculture through hands-on learning from experienced farmers, chefs, and industry professionals. 
  • Build long-term economic self-reliance and food security among participants and their communities by increasing high school students' farming skills and job readiness skills.
  • Develop a pipeline of trained farmers by training high school students through hands-on experience and in-class curriculum taught by skilled farmers.  

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Christine Kelley (Educator)
  • David Geers (Educator)
  • Jackie Le (Educator)

Educational & Outreach Activities

5 Consultations
4 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
5 On-farm demonstrations
5 Published press articles, newsletters
4 Tours
4 Webinars / talks / presentations
4 Workshop field days
2 Other educational activities: other activities required were in classroom readings. Each student was provided two books focused on food justice and urban agriculture.

Participation Summary:

3 Farmers/ranchers
10 Youth
1 Parents
2 Educators
3 Other adults
Education/outreach description:

The program was designed to teach students vital aspects of urban agriculture through a robust and engaging curriculum. Students also took field trips and worked directly with farmers to gain hands-on experience and better understand the local food system and career opportunities. The students worked on the farm daily and then were assigned readings throughout the program that they had to complete and talk through with our program managers and farm team.

The weekly workshops demonstrations included: 

  • Farming 101 
  • Harvesting 
  • Pest control 
  • Hydroponics
  • Food Safety 
  • Food Justice 
  • Benefits of farmers market
  • Financial management 
  • Nutrition 

Students went on weekly field trips and talked with experienced farmers to learn more about the business of farming. The field trips included: 

  • Indy Urban Acres
  • Patachou Farms and then lunch at their cafe
  • Tyner Pond Farms 
  • H0lloway Flower Farms
  • Full Hand Farm 
  • South Circle City Farm 
  • Butler University Farm 

Lastly, the students worked on the farm and were able to take home produce for their families. We also taught them how to cook the produce and store the produce they harvested. 

We also received media placements helping to promote and raise awareness for our program. 

Inside Indiana Business "Growing Places Launches New Youth Jobs Program" Online Article 3-19-2021 https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/43525443/growing-places-launches-new-youth-jobs-program
WTHR "Growing Places Indy is relaunching its summer youth program" Video, Online Article 3-27-2021 https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/growing-places-indy-is-relaunching-its-summer-youth-program/531-7266fc7d-b4cf-4831-a4f4-08f0c499b228
Indianapolis Recorder "Apprenticeship aims to create more urban farmers" Online Article 4-1-2021 https://indianapolisrecorder.com/apprenticeships-aim-to-create-more-urban-farmers/
WRTV Young Grow Getters program aims to build a pipeline of urban farmers TV, Online 8-13-2021 https://www.wrtv.com/lifestyle/community/young-grow-getters-program-aims-to-build-a-pipeline-of-urban-farmers
Opera News Young Grow Getters program aims to build a pipeline of urban farmers Online Article   https://www.dailyadvent.com/news/1ebf9918d4b8659e6df7bf0fa08a5049-Young-Grow-Getters-program-aims-to-build-a-pipeline-of-urban-farmers

 

Learning Outcomes

5 Youth reporting change in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness
Key changes:
  • Nutrition

  • Environmental

  • urban agricultural

Results and discussion:

The program was designed to teach students vital aspects of urban agriculture through a robust and engaging curriculum. Students worked 15 hours/week for six weeks helping with management at one of our 4 urban farm locations. Students helped with Grow Indy's CSA program and on-farm stand.  Students also took field trips and worked directly with farmers to gain hands-on experience, build culinary arts skills, and better understand the local food system and career opportunities. The students worked on the farm daily and then were assigned readings throughout the program that they had to complete and talk through with our program managers and farm team.

The weekly workshops demonstrations included: 

  • Farming 101 
  • Harvesting 
  • Pest control 
  • Hydroponics
  • Food Safety 
  • Food Justice 
  • Benefits of farmers market
  • Financial management 
  • Nutrition 
Some of the lessons we learned is that we will not have lunch and learns. Students enjoyed engaging with each other and asked for the lessons to be separate from their lunch time. They also asked to work on the farm more often, so we are increasing our program by two days for the next cohort of students.
 
Next season we will focus on Farming While Black and Cultivating Food Justice, Race, Class, and Sustainability. The following lessons they learned this year were the following:
  • History of Agriculture by Purdue Extension
  • Importance of Building Local Food Systems by Purdue Extension

  • Health and Nutrition

Lessons they learned from our partners at the Chase Legacy Center 
  • Career Readiness
  • Budgeting, Credit cards, and Banking
  • Job Skills and Time Management
  • Resume Building and Networking
 

 

Project Outcomes

2 Number of youth considering a career in sustainable agriculture
2 Grants received that built upon this project
1 New working collaboration
Increased organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:
Yes
Explanation for change in organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:

As a result of this grant, we were able to integrate students into our other program areas, pay students for their work, connect them to local farms and adult apprenticeship programs, who in turn helped with skills development. In general students gained a broader perspective in terms of farming as a business and how to grow their own food.

Parents adopting sustainable agriculture practices:
3
Sustainable Agriculture practices parents adopted:

Two of the parents built raised beds and grew tomatoes in their own backyards.

One the parents started a garden at their daycare.

 

Success stories:

One of the best successes is all of our students developed a bond with each other and continued their friendship beyond the program. They've planned events and meet-ups to stay connected when the program ended.

Two students from Franklin Central High School have started a garden club based on their program's experience. They said they wanted to teach other students what they learned in the program. We are working with the two students to ensure their garden club thrives.

Also, one of the students stated that since the program, they ate more veggies and inspired their families to eat healthier.

Recommendations:

Increasing the budget for educating programs would help support bringing in more support to impact more students. 

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.