Big Muddy Urban Farm and Gifford Park Youth Garden Program

Project Overview

YENC16-101
Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2016: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/15/2018
Grant Recipient: Big Muddy Urban Farm
Region: North Central
State: Nebraska
Project Manager:
Brent Lubbert
Big Muddy Urban Farm

Information Products

Commodities

  • Vegetables: beans, beets, carrots, cucurbits, greens (lettuces), peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), tomatoes
  • Animals: bees, goats, poultry
  • Animal Products: eggs

Practices

  • Education and Training: mentoring, youth education
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, local and regional food systems, partnerships, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration

    Abstract:

    Project Abstract

    This grant helped fund residents of Big Muddy Urban Farm’s (BMUF) Aspiring Farmer Residency with facilitating programming of the Gifford Park Youth Garden Program (GPYGP). This promoted sustainable agriculture education in two forms. First, each BMUF resident learned to develop and teach a Youth Garden lesson. Second, approximately 30 youth gardeners applied these lessons to their own 2’ x 2’ plot. This helps BMUF residents build on the work of past residencies and continue to develop quality programming and field trips for the GPYGP and other farm, garden, and educational organizations.

    Detailed Project Plan and Timeline

    Big Muddy Urban Farm teaches sustainable agriculture practices in our Aspiring Farmer Residency. Residents learn the ropes of farming via our CSA and collaboratively managing our urban farm which operates by organic standards. From this small scale, guided operation, they develop a more realistic understanding of what production-scale farming involves and what they would like moving forward. We teach sustainability by actually doing it – managing soils, analyzing a budget, having conversations about the food system, marketing produce, self-reflecting, cooking community meals with our produce, and following weather patterns.

    The interaction between BMUF and the 30 Gifford Park Youth Gardeners is an integral part of both organizations.

    For the last 4 years BMUF has been voluntarily managing a large part of the Youth Garden programming and infrastructure. The Youth Gardeners learn about sustainable agriculture by participating in a free summer garden program focused on developing practical gardening, culinary, and creative skills. The 30 youth are provided with their own 2×2 raised garden plot to grow on and a group session each week focusing on different topics including but not limited to, seed germination, composting and soil nutrition, raising chickens, fruit and vegetable preservation, seed saving and the life cycles of nature.

    Resources Used

    Organizations partnering with Youth Garden Programming: Cooking Matters, WeCompost, Therman Statum Art Studio, Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Truck Farm Omaha.

    Organizations partnering with BMUF: Gifford Park Neighborhood Association, Creighton University, Yates Community Center, The Community Bicycle Project, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, Omaha Home for Boys.

    TBD Curricula: Established “plant your plot” lesson plans, volunteers and parents.

    Website development: Little Guy Designs

    Outreach

    BMUF residents designed an activity for the youth garden program. In so doing, at least one of the activities they design will be formatted and published. The completed content is available free to the public on our website.

    We have included in this proposal funding to improve our website so that we can make these lesson plans easy to find and navigate as well as other resources we will be able to offer.

     

    Project objectives:

    • 3 BMUF residents will develop and teach 2 of the 15 Youth Garden program days. BMUF residents will build on the work of past residencies and continue to develop quality programming and field trips for the Gifford Park Youth Garden Program (GPYGP) and other farm, garden, and educational organizations.
    • At least one of the activities BMUF residents design will be formatted and published. The completed content will be available free to the public on our website bigmuddyurbanfarm.com and we will include it in The Yearbook, our seasons-end book.
    • 30 GPYGP youth are provided with sustainable agriculture programming in a group session each week focusing on different topics including but not limited to, seed germination, composting and soil nutrition, raising chickens, fruit and vegetable preservation, seed saving and the life cycles of nature.
    • Youth gardeners take away what is being taught and are able to apply it to their own 2’ x 2’ raised garden plot.
    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.