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.
Project objectives from proposal:
- 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.