My name is Serena Mendola I am 17 years old and this is my 3rd year with the Youth Farm Project. I joined the Youth Farm Project because I feel immense pride in healthy relationships and healthy food.
In our third development session of the summer program we discussed the concept of food Justice. As a group we explored the different degrees of food insecurity. We determined that food justice is not only when everyone has enough to eat. But that food justice is when everyone has access to vitamins and minerals found in wholesome good food and is not just meeting their calorie needs by eating Twinkies. On this same development session day we had Jhakeem, a member of the Ithaca community, come in and speak to us about his philosophy that led him to create Ithaca's Congo Square market. Congo Square Market is from 4pm-8pm and features a lot of great vendors! Check out the website @ http://www.congosquareithaca.com. I think it is fair to say that Jhakeem was able to spark one of the most interesting and inclusive discussions we've had. He shared with us his belief that everyone is forcefully pressured to be self enslaved primarily as a result of the systems we abide to. He introduced us to his strong belief that we as an international community will not be free until we have the freedom to witness the outcome of our seemingly innocent actions. For example, actually seeing the negative effects we have on far away places may enable us to make the decision to fight for change. After our discussion with Jhakeem we cooked a nice lunch using kale and garlic from our very own farm! In addition to lunch we had a blind taste test of local and organic cucumbers vs. conventional cucumbers. Most of us were able to notice the distinct difference between the two cucumbers. Not surprisingly we concluded the local organic one was super crunchy, more colorful and more tasteful then the conventional cucumber.