Cultivating Tomorrow's Stewards in Appalachia: Summer Sprouts Sustainable Agriculture Camp

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2024: $4,988.00
Projected End Date: 02/15/2026
Grant Recipient: Community Food Initiatives
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Manager:
Molly Gassaway
Community Food Initiatives


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

Summer Sprouts garden summer camp
will engage 20 rising second and third graders in 5 days of
hands-on activities focused on the science of sustainable
agriculture, growing and eating healthy food, and the importance
of farms to our local community and economy. Sessions will rotate
between two school garden sites and culminate with a field trip
to the student farm at Ohio University. A series of local
agricultural professionals will share their work and lead an
activity. Farmer-led lessons will be supported by youth Garden
Education Mentors (GEMs), ages 10-18, who will help run camp
activities for their younger peers.

Project objectives from proposal:

  • 20 participating campers and 6 youth Garden Education Mentors
    (GEMs) improve knowledge of biology, agriculture, and ecology
    concepts related to local crops as a result of hands-on
    gardening projects led by local farmers.

  • Youth understand a variety of sustainable agriculture careers
    available locally by learning from farmers working in diverse
    contexts including the farmers market, CSAs, OEFFA, Ohio
    University, and community-based organizations.

  • Curriculum developed for summer camp that is farmer-led and
    youth informed. Outcomes and learnings from this pilot are
    shared by staff and youth at the 2024 School Gardens of Ohio
    and Rural Action Green Teachers Conferences.

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.