It’s been a busy week on the farm. We have been hard at work picking rocks, weeding, trellising tomatoes, mowing pathways, transplanting fall crops, harvesting and putting plastic on our newest hoop house. On Tuesday we were joined by the GIAC Skate Campers who worked hard in the fields with us for the morning and then helped our wonderful guests, Damon and Jackie, from Fruits and Roots Juice. Together we juiced kale, cucumbers, carrots, beets, apples and a touch of ginger to make a delicious drink to nourish ourselves for the afternoon. In addition to lots of work on our farm, we also spent time on two other farms this week. On Monday we visited Kestrel Perch and gleaned gooseberries. On Thursday we spent the day at Rocky Acres Farm, where our farmer friend Rafael Aponte is raising goats and chickens.
What stands out most to me about this week was our development session on
Wednesday. I began the morning a bit early, and spent time harvesting chanterelles in the forest
with Dan and Amelia, before heading to LACS. As we hunted and harvested we talked about the
excitement and satisfaction of foraging for food and being able to have an image of exactly
where your food came from. Our development session was focused on learning about many of
the health issues related to the way most Americans eat. This is my third summer working at the
farm, and each year we have discussed these issues, mostly focusing on Obesity and Type II
Diabetes. Even though the information was not new to me, it still shocked me to learn how many
people are, or will be suffering from these problems. It angers me to understand the injustice in
these numbers, and the way that socio-economic status plays a role in determining who is likely
to experience these health problems. To balance out our discussion we shifted the conversation
towards a brainstorm of ways that we, at the Youth Farm Project, can do to combat this
inequality, and positively change the opportunities and health of those in our community. We
hope to expand our work in the coming years, in order to educate more people (especially young
people) about these issues, and reach out to folks who may not have access to local, healthy
produce. Among many ideas, we discussed the possibility of becoming part of or starting more
farmers markets in areas of town that have less access to supermarkets and farmers markets, as
well as donating more of our produce to food pantries in the area, especially in Danby, where our
closest neighbors reside.
As part of the session we were asked to think about a meal that left us feeling completely
satisfied. Each person wrote a brief summary of what they ate, who they ate with, where they ate
and how they felt afterwards. Several of us shared with the group. Each person who shared
talked about the process of preparing the meal with friends and/or family and then eating with
those same people. So often in our culture it seems that we forget the importance of creating and
sharing food with a community, and the meaning this holds for all of us. The meal that we
prepared on Wednesday couldn’t have better embodied this idea of delicious food and
community. Our guest chef Rachel Ostlund helped us prepare Fritattas with swiss chard, onions,
garlic and chanterelles, Kale and Toasted Bread Salad, Beet and Bean Salad, Zuchini Muffins
with Lemon Glaze and our very own “YFP Soda” with cucumbers, mint and lemon basil! Before
we ate our meal we folded fancy paper towel napkins, set a long table and sat down together. I
felt appreciative as I ate the meal, enjoying the beautiful fact that as a community we had grown,
prepared and eaten this food together.
After reading this I hope you will take the time to prepare and share a meal with some of
the wonderful humans in your life!
Written by Rayna, 2nd year crew leader
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