Urban Growers Collective Youth Corps engages and employs over 200 youth annually across our seven urban farms. Our farms serve as a safe spaces for teens to explore their interests, work collectively, share their talents, learn from one another, and develop skills that they can apply to school, work, and life. During their time spent on the farms, youth expand their understanding of many aspects of urban farming and community food system development.
Through hands-on instruction, teens learn the technical skills essential for urban farming:
- Growing organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers by participating in all stages of production, from seeding to harvesting.
- Composting and prepping growing beds.
- Identifying, planting, harvesting, and marketing the crops grown at the farm.
- Assisting with general farm tasks, including pest management, site beautification, and infrastructure development.
At our Roosevelt Square location, youth also manage an on site farm stand, increasing access to fresh, healthy, affordable produce for their community and providing a window into the economic and entrepreneurial opportunities that exist within food system development.
To compliment the hands-on instruction at the farm, youth explore the science behind farming through several inquiry-based experiments and take part in nutrition, hunger, cooking, art, food justice, and food politics activities. This program aims to serve as both a job training experience and to encourage leadership development. It’s our goal that teens graduate with a comprehensive understanding of sustainable food system development and the ability to connect and communicate how the skills they’ve gained at the farm translate to any career path they may follow.