Youth Program

The mission goal is to help decrease disparities in our community's overall health, food education, and food access by giving more opportunities to food availability and to educate more on agricultural and earth sustainability concepts, advocating for food justice and healthy living for our youth, low-income and senior residents.

We aim to fight historical health issues in the African American communities such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure by providing affordable, pesticide free vegetables and distributing to the African American, low-income, BIPOC communities. We also deliver organic vegetables to our most vulnerable residents and families.

The Clean Greens program goal is to increase existing farm programs such as the Consumer Supported Agriculture, CSA and the Farm volunteer program, develop more networking opportunities such as the Clean Greens Living Radio Show and youth workshop training opportunities with agencies such as Black Farmers Coalition and Community Alliance for Global Justice, CAGj and expand our youth program to include all youth who want to participate and learn farming.

Hands on education

People of color are mostly impacted by hunger, poor food access, or diet related illnesses; Clean Greens Youth reflect the BIPOC community, and they are trained on food systems, marketing technique geared to influence youth and diets that impact our neighborhood, such as fast foods that target our youth. 

 

The Clean Greens Youth program is a hands on education program where youth ages 4-21 learn the value of healthy living and on earth sustainability concepts. They learn to plant seeds in starter containers and care for seeds in the greenhouse. They transplant starters from the greenhouses into the ground, they learn to weed and care for crops and ultimately harvest their own vegetables. 

 

They learn about food economies and personal finance. Students are able to earn required Community Service Learning credits for high school graduation and they have acquired training for agricultural careers. 

 

BDDTF goal was to empower the community, uplifting it through economics and healthy living. Our board member has memberships in the local African American churches, and they have volunteered and supported the Clean Greens Farm since 2007.

1. Provide an overview of your 2022 Summer Program.

How do you plan to implement it?

 

The Summer youth program is earth sustainability and farm training. Youth learn to plant and transplant seeds and starter plants into the ground. They learn to weed and harvest crops. Composting and recycling guidelines are taught.  Included in the training are social and food justice workshops, leadership training, and healthy living and eating  guidelines. Youth play games that are designed for social interaction and leadership skills. 

 

Youth will plant starter seeds into containers at the Meet and Greet held in March 2022, the Clean Greens farmers are  available for instructing and overseeing their progress. Schedules, work plans, parental releases for the programs' video productions will be available for the parent's signatures. Workplan will include going to the farm several times for hands-on farm training, attending workshops with our community partners, and supporting the market stands.

 

Clean Greens program will make announcements for enrollment in the youth farm program to schools, community organizations, community churches, on social media networks, and will invite everyone to the youths' Meet and Greet for enrollment. The program director, assistant director, and a youth program coordinator will be available with the farmers, and other community professionals to implement the Clean Greens Youth program.

2. Discuss in detail the activities you’ll provide to strengthen social connections.

The Meet and Greet is the first social gathering with the participants, parents, program administrators, farmers, and other community leaders that will have an active part in the youth program.

Parents will be available to ask questions, interact with program staff, view the work plan, and be available to sign all parental requirements. Parents are compelled to engage and work with the youth program because they see the community, farmers, and professionals together teaching their children earth sustainability concepts. Leadership training includes video production and speaking techniques where youth are trained to train their peers on farming and harvesting. These videos are uploaded onto FaceBook, Instagram, and other social media outlets, which builds leadership, self-esteem, and knowledge. Because of the activities and the leadership training, the youth program enrollment has doubled in the two years of existence.

In previous years this event was broadcast live on Facebook and Rainier Avenue Radio. The youth coordinators conduct leadership games, conduct speaking assignments, and role-play for video productions. Youth participants evaluate each other's box gardens and projects. At the end of the harvest, the youth will have a project such as a dish, or vegetables for display at the Harvest Dinner

3. What physical activities will your program include?

Most physical activities for Clean Greens youth are outside and are hands-on activities in farming, which include planting, transplanting, weeding, and harvesting crops at the Duvall Farm.

Youth also take field trips to the Yes Farm in Seattle, being trained by the Black Farmers Coalition. If weather permits, the youth will walk to the Yes Farm on Yesler Ave from the Clean Greens market stand on 21st & Yesler. Scheduled workshops are conducted indoors, afterwards, activities will include leadership games or vegetable games, such as "Guest the Vegetable." At the end of the youth activities, participants will help the program by loading CSA bags or helping with market needs.

There is no distinction between the ages groups of the youth activities. However, the older participants are encouraged to support younger participants with their projects such as their personal home gardens, instructing also on planting or harvesting.

4. What outdoor activities will your program include?

The outdoor activities are at the farm, they are on their hands and knees working on the outdoor grounds. The youth are planting starter plants, by digging holes with their fingers, and placing the plants inside the holes, they also have to be aware of the distances between the plants. The rows of the crops are approximately 3/4 a football field, the youth will plant an entire row of organic vegetables. During a trip to the farm, approximately 3 rows of vegetables will be planted, weeded, or harvested by youth participants. The youth are up and down, continuously while farming, harvesting, and weeding. They also help with washing vegetables and loading the CSA bags for pick up while at the market stands.

When youth are at the market, they are usually outside conducting games that will increase leadership skills.

The Clean Greens youth participants range from 5 years to 18 years of age. This is effective because our priority population will learn at a young age the advantages of healthy eating. Clean Greens understands that people who are food insecure are more likely to be obese or suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease which are prevalent in the Black American household. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, food insecurity in the Black community increased an estimated 24 percent and Black children are more likely to live in a food insecure household. Access to healthy food is important to growth and development in early childhood.

This is effective in training our youth on healthy living and eating, teaching them the value of farming, knowing how to raise your food, also they learn what is organic or junk food, why it's important to eat healthy.  The youth are trained to appreciate vegetables and they like and understand the fact that they participated in growing the vegetables and bringing them to the tables of the communities.

The program is responsive to the needs of the priority youth population because there is a need to educate our African American, low-income youth on earth sustainability and economic empowerment. The youth are empowered when they are taught to farm and harvest food.