Progress report for YENC22-175
Through the use of a real working immigrant urban farm with native seed crops provided by the Akron Zoo, primarily managed and operated by Bhutanese and Congolese farmers, the immigrant youth will be educated through hands-on experience and adaptation of farm to school curriculum. Career practices will include the implementation of a farmers market, catered picnics/culinary arts and CSA. The main goal is to ensure that agricultural heritage with inherent sustainable practices from local immigrants (85% have agricultural backgrounds) are preserved and enhanced through the upcoming generations. Also, adaptation of native crops will also be integral to the program.
- Enhance sustainable farming heritage skills of immigrant middle-high schoolers through work sessions with farmers via Akron Zoo farm demonstration plots.
- Introduce immigrant youth to ag career through Public Schools’ Career Academy via meetings with immigrant farmers, chefs, grocers.
- Provide students with background on sustainable agriculture practices via IATP’s Farm2School Youth Leadership curriculum and Growing Minds’ resources. Students will research/lead sessions on adapting native seed from their respective home country’s climate and other factors to Northeast Ohio.
- Give youth direct marketing experience via farmers market/catered picnics for public at Zoo.
- Share project results through forum and social media.
Educational & Outreach Activities
To date, our farm and yard corps program have been featured in various media. We have shared outreach through press release, social media and through our website.
Article and interview highlighting farm heritage, partnership with Akron Zoo, and challenges such as zoning that farmers have had to face in Akron:
Our farm to school program partnered with Akron Schools and features garden skills, nature games and crafts, and helping with the farmers market. Shanti Farms Website: https://www.shantifarmshoh.com
We also have the youth cater picnics –called “A Golden Time Picnic”– for the public who experience the immigrants’ cuisine with locally grown ingredients. The youth cook and prepare the food, serve it, and then our Hot Pepperz and Black Beanz teens perform. We also hold periodic farmers’ markets run by immigrant youth.
Outdoor maintenance and farming skills including mowing, tilling, soil enrichment, fencing, crop plating, crop harvesting , irrigation.
Awareness in accountability and dependability to show up for job and complete job requirements and perform high quality of duty.
Creating signage and pricing and packaging for food sold at farmers market.
Preparing local organic food dishes including African mandazi sweet bread and momos to sell at local farmers markets.
We were able to hold several Ward meetings explaining our projecdt with the Akron Zoo. Many residents stepped upo to assist and participate in the project.
A youth participant was able to use his baking skills to use ingredients grown in the garden and sell his baked goods (all sold out continuously) at our partner organization that ran the local farmers market.
Introduce tutoring of math and language arts for students with ag-related themes and also injecdt ESL training for the immigrant farmers participating who are a captive audience and are relaxed enough to participate.