This summer, we had the pleasure of hosting seven aspiring farmers for our 6-week Young Grow Getters program!
Our young cohort started each day with a healthy breakfast and a moment of wellness, including breathing exercises and a group check-in. Next, the group was off to the garden. They helped our farm manager with weeding and harvesting and everything in between. The Young Grow Getters learned how to prep and seed, weed and maintain, and harvest healthy veggies.
In addition to daily farmwork at our location, the Young Grow Getters were all over Indianapolis learning about various urban agriculture practices and healthy eating habits from our local farmers, educators, and chefs!
Butler CUE Farm
Our first trip was to Butler University’s CUE Farm, where Farmer Tim explained different aspects of urban farming and how to incorporate a permaculture approach. CUE farm uses a permaculture-inspired approach to their garden, and the students were able to draw connections to our own farming practices.
Flanner House Farm
Next, our cohort stopped by Flanner House Farm to see a different approach to urban agriculture. Here, our group learned about soil contamination in urban areas and some of the effects of climate change. Additionally, we stopped by Cleo’s Bodega to see the farm’s produce being sold right next door to the garden. The Young Grow Getters were able to learn more about food deserts in Indianapolis and the efforts Flanner House Farm takes to reduce them.
Tyner Pond Farm
Finally, we made the hike to Greenfield to visit Tyner Pond Farms. Vastly different to produce farming, our group got a glimpse of what animal farming looks like in Indianapolis. The Young Grow Getters came face-to-face with turkeys, chickens, pigs, and cows. Although animal farming is somewhat different from vegetable farming, the group noticed similarities in the importance of plant polycultures and soil health. We concluded our tour with lunch at The Mug, with the “freshest, best-tasting, farm-to-curb ‘slow food’” where the meats are sourced directly from Tyner Pond Farm.
Purdue Extension History of Agriculture & Building Local Food Systems Workshop
Our young farmers also had the opportunity to hear from the team at Purdue Extension discuss the history of agriculture and what food systems look like in Indianapolis. The students were able to connect the lecture concepts with aspects of our own farm and what they had seen at community farms. They walked away with a substantive understanding of the local, Indianapolis food system.
Hydration Salad Cooking Demonstration
Finally, with all of their gardening knowledge in the back of their minds, the Young Grow Getters learned how to transform their produce into a healthy meal with the help of Chef Twinkle. Along with learning how to grow your own food, we felt that it was important to teach our students how to turn that produce into a meal you want to eat.
Thank you to all of our apprentices this summer for being engaged and excited to learn! We are excited to expand and continue this program next summer with a new group of passionate, young gardeners. Learn more about our Young Grow Getters program here.