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 Community 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 access to food, 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.
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 households. Access to healthy food is important to growth and development in early childhood.
The Clean Greens Youth program is a hands on education program where youth ages 5-21 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 members has memberships in the local African American churches, and they have volunteered and supported the Clean Greens Farm since 2007.
Program Overview of Our Youth Farm
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, 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, 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. Work plan will include going to the farm for hands-on farm training, attending workshops with our community partners, and supporting the market stands.
Clean Greens program invites 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.
Activities we 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
Program activities include
Most physical activities for Clean Greens youth are outside and hands-on in farming, which include planting, transplanting, weeding, and harvesting crops at the Duvall Farm.
Youth also take field trips to Farm's in Seattle, being trained by the Black Farmers. 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.
Rainbow Youth Farm
In 2022 Clean Greens was able to create the Rainbow Youth Farm with our participants thanks to Parks & Recreations. Parks and Recreation’s allowed us to grow space in their garden behind the Rainier Beach Community Center. Our Participants learned how to grow and take care of their own growing space with the help of our Farmer. The youth planted, grew, harvested, the produce and was able to take it home to their families and eat them. The families shared recipes of the meals they cooked with.
This was effective in training our youth on healthy living and eating, teaching them the value of farming, knowing how to raise their food, also learning the importance of eating organic vs junk food. The youth are trained to appreciate vegetables and they participate in growing vegetables and bringing them to the tables of their communities.