A message from our former Executive Director*, Patsy Noble: As we navigate our 51st year in this unimaginable landscape, our innovative staff is hard at work developing creative ways to meet the challenges ahead. Adaptation, resilience and compassion have been our strengths and they continue to guide us in our planning. Community has always been at the heart of what we do, so we want to share the plans we have, to be as fully present as possible to the amazing youth that we work with and to our surrounding community, through the lens of safety and good health for all.
We are engaging youth in virtual work-shifts, including zoom chats twice weekly to stay connected with interns. Staff are also encouraging youth to be outdoors and experience the grounding and healing that nature can bring by exploring green-spaces in their neighborhood. Through a shared log, youth record and suggest locations to each other, creating a directory of green spaces to visit.
Market Garden Program: Education Manager Jaclyne Jandro & Program Manager Skyler Hawkins have developed prompts for a phenology journaling activity where youth choose a tree and observe it for fifteen minutes every day, tracking their observations around bud and leaf development, evidence of animals, weather conditions, and any other signs of spring. Lots of our orchard fruits at the farm will soon burst into bloom!
Cook Fresh Program: Program Manager Saba Andualem is instructing youth virtually to create meals for their families, based on traditional family recipes while utilizing what they find in their pantries. Interns prepare the meals, do a write up on the process, and record the recipe. Cook Fresh program is also partnering with East Side Table to provide live cooking demonstrations twice weekly. The thirty-minute cooking demos share recipes developed in collaboration with Local Crate and also share cooking tips that make cooking at home with pantry basics fun and easy! Check out our Facebook page for new videos!
Conservation Program: Program Director David Woods is encouraging interns to pick up garbage in their community or at a nearby park and to “adopt a drain” in their neighborhood and clean out debris from the storm drain. He’s also queued up online learning opportunities around financial literacy, investing, and mental health through Everfi. A few interns have taken advantage of webinars focused on pollinators and we are lining up more opportunities to engage in citizen science projects as spring unfolds.
Because many of our staff are designated essential workers in food production, agricultural tasks will be carried out with small crews observing social distancing and best sanitation practices.
*Our current Executive Director is Hayley Ball