Just released: Quarterly Report Spring 2014

Spring on the farm!

Click to download our latest Quarterly Report: QuarterlyReportSpring2014

Inside: a detailed look at our Leadership Program and the 40 youth currently working with us (a 30% increase from last year!), a debrief on this year’s 2nd annual Hootenanny, our take on “Kalegate”, and some exciting funding announcements. 

Spring Quarterly report

Food Writer Judy Walker checks up on Grow Dat

Food Writer Judy Walker of the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com checked up on our farm and Founder Johanna Gilligan last week and her great story is running online today.

Judy visited us four years ago when we first launched the project and were not even on our City Park site yet (remember our pilot year at the lovely Hollygrove Market and Farm?)— check out how we’ve grown since then!

Screenshot 2014-04-08 12.47.36

 

Announcing our Adult Farm Internship Program

 Sustainable Agriculture Adult Internship Program

An opportunity for adults interested in advancing their knowledge and skills in sustainable urban agriculture through hands-on experience, instruction and support from mentor farmers.

Who We Are: The Grow Dat Youth Farm’s mission is to nurture a diverse group of young leaders through the meaningful work of growing food.  Young people are hired to grow food for their community and participate in a 19-week leadership development program from January to June. By using organic growing methods, we grow vegetables, herbs, fruit and mushrooms from October to July and cover crop during the hottest months.

About the Internship:

Grow Dat is interested in hosting 4-6 interns per year. Applicants may choose either a 6-month internship period (January – June) or a 10-month internship period (September-June).

Work with our farm team on our beautiful 4-acre site in City Park to help reach our production goals. Over the course of the internship, interns will advance their knowledge and experience in:

  • Garden/Farm planning
  • Weed recognition and abatement
  • Soil building & mulching
  • Compost creation and maintenance
  • Cover crop selection, methods and rotation
  • Irrigation design and installation
  • Greenhouse & seedling propagation
  • Planting & transplanting
  • Succession planting
  • Harvest techniques, post harvest handling, marketing
  • Record keeping
  • Tool use and maintenance
  • Leading volunteer groups on farm tasks
  • Receiving regular constructive feedback from Farm Manager and Farm Assistant

Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 lbs.
  • Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions and perform a diversity of farm tasks
  • Must be able to accept constructive criticism
  • Must have positive attitude and be able to work as part of a team
  • Work hours: 12 hours per week, schedule flexible based on schedule

Compensation and Benefits:
The internship is un-paid but includes benefits of weekly donated farm produce, strong mentorship from the Farm Manager and Farm Assistant, and an opportunity to work with a diverse team of youth and adults committed to building more sustainable and food-secure New Orleans. School credit can also be coordinated.

* If interested in applying or have additional questions, please contact Farm Manager, Leo Gorman: leo@growdatyouthfarm.org, 504.616.1777

Calling all volunteers! Bi-weekly harvest on Tuesdays and Fridays

Youth Crew Members Storie and Cory harvest greens to be sold at Saturdays markets across New Orleans

Youth Crew Members Storie and Cory harvest greens to be sold at Saturday markets across New Orleans

Our Harvest Volunteer Days (for individuals) this spring/summer are:

  • Tuesdays (8am-11am)
  • Fridays (8am-11am)

Come help us harvest and prepare our produce for distribution. Volunteers will prep both our donated Shared Harvest and the crops youth Crew Members will sell at Saturday Farmer’s Markets around the city.

For Groups:
For group volunteers we suggest a $7 donation per Volunteer to cover supplies and staff time for the volunteer event. Please contact Jabari Brown to discuss bringing your group to Grow Dat.

We have various needs and opportunities for many other volunteer tasks – please email Jabari Brown, Volunteer Coordinator and Youth Education Specialist at  jabari1@growdatyouthfarm.org for more information.

Come work in our beautiful fields - we appreciate your support of our work to grow food for New Orleans!

Come work in our beautiful fields – we appreciate your support of our work to grow food for New Orleans!

Volunteer on the Farm this Spring

Our giant chalkboard announces the agricultural tasks on our plate. Photo by William Widmer

Our giant chalkboard announces the agricultural tasks on our plate. Photo by William Widmer

Our Harvest Volunteer Days (for individuals) this spring are:

  • Tuesdays (8am-11am)
  • Fridays (8am-11am)

February 5th through May 17th 2013.

Come help us harvest and prepare our produce for distribution. Volunteers will prep both our donated Shared Harvest and the crops youth Crew Members will sell at Saturday Farmer’s Markets around the city.

For Groups:
For group volunteers we suggest a $7 donation per Volunteer to cover supplies and staff time for the volunteer event. Please contact Jabari Brown to discuss bringing your group to Grow Dat.

We have various needs and opportunities for many other volunteer tasks – please email Jabari Brown, Volunteer Coordinator and Youth Education Specialist at  jabari1@growdatyouthfarm.org for more information.

Jabari Brown, Volunteer Coordiantor at Grow Dat.

Jabari Brown, Volunteer Coordinator at Grow Dat.

Join us for a group volunteer day on the bayou and in the fields.
Join us for a group volunteer day on the beautiful bayou and out in the fields.

Grow Dat Champions Needed!

Do you love Grow Dat? Are you able to motivate others to get excited about Grow Dat and our work? We need your help!

We are seeking ‘Fundraising Captains’ – folks who are pumped about the work we do and want to reach out to their own networks to do some enthusiastic grassroots fundraising on our behalf. Our goal is to raise a collective total of $10,000 by December 31st for our second annual ‘Growing the Green’ campaign. With a small group of committed Captains dedicated to our mission, this is totally possible.

We ask Captains to reach to their networks to give the gift of employment for a young person, or underwrite food donations to New Orleans’ needy. Each donor will receive a printable card recognizing their contribution that they can share with the person on whose behalf they have donated.

Each Captain will create an online fundraising page using a basic template and reach out to their friends, family and colleagues. Captains will set their own fundraising goal and compete against other Captains to see who can raise the most green for Grow Dat.

Sound appealing? If you’re ready to sign up or have questions, send an email to jeanne@growdatyouthfarm or give us a callat 913.515.6892. The campaign kicks off Thursday, Nov. 15 so sign up now!

Together, let’s unite to grow dat green!

Youth Speak! Melanie reports back from her summer at Farm & Wilderness camp in Vermont

Melanie Long (right) and campers with freshly-harvested potatoes

My name is Melanie Long, I’m currently a Fall Intern at Grow Dat, and this is what I did this summer:

It started out with a blind leap into a state I couldn’t even place my finger on a map…Vermont. Plymouth, Vermont to be exact. I was to attend a work based summer camp for six weeks called Tamarack Farm, part of the Farm and Wilderness Camps. Beforehand, I was told that I would not have access to my cell phone or any other form of electricity for that matter so there would be no way for me to know what Liam and Hope were up to on the Bold and the Beautiful, my favorite soap opera. Anyway, I decided to not have any expectations about the farm when I arrived. This was a great idea, as I soon found out, because there were many many many new things that I was able to experience.

Grow Dat is an urban produce farm set in the heart of the city set right next to an overpass, but it is scenic none the less. Coming from this type of farm, it was totally new to live on a farm with both animals and produce, nestled in a valley surrounded by big green hills and a beautiful lake. The first big adventure I remember was nothing other than milking a cow. I love milk and personally knowing the cows that the farm’s milk supply came from was pretty eye opening! There were also chickens, ducks, calves (which act like puppies), goats and a ginormous (I cannot find any other words to describe her) pig. The pig was a sweetheart.

Up close and personal with the lovely dairy cow

The work projects were a pillar for the farm’s motto: Work is Love Made Visible. One of the major work projects which required about 40 percent of the campers was Barns and Gardens in which campers tended the farm’s garden and did various animal related tasks. Already having 5 months of farm knowledge under my belt, gardening was nothing new, and neither were some of the plants. Now this is very interesting because farms in the deep south, like Grow Dat, cannot plant many varieties all year round. Grow Dat stops growing cool weather plants like lettuce, radishes, carrots, and kales at the first sign of warm weather. Then Grow Dat plants hot weather plants like tomatoes, peppers, squash and okra. In short, we plant what we can while we can. Vermont’s climate, on the other hand, allows for all of these things to be grown at the same time during the summer. It’s not hot enough to wilt the leafy greens, nor is it cool enough to stop production of hot pepper plants. It’s amazing! I was introduced to different produce varieties like blue potatoes (see photo above if you don’t believe it), and was able to see how other things I eat grow, like snap peas and asparagus. (Honestly I didn’t start eating most vegetables until I got to Vermont. The cooks incorporated a vegetable from the farm into every meal we ate, and I enjoyed every morsel!)

Tamarack Farm Lodge

During the summer I hiked on the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains, covering 26 miles in 4 days. I milked cows, cooked for about 90, used a composting toilet, went off a rope swing into the lake, picked blueberries, tried new foods, played ultimate frisbee, built a shower house, constructed a bed railing, made bridges and doors, screen printed shirts, and made a beach with the rest of the camp one bucket of sand at a time.

I did all of these things this summer and even more that I can’t fit into this blog post!

Melanie hikes 26 miles on the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains

Melanie Long graduated from Grow Dat’s core program in June 2012 and now works as an Intern on our farm. She is a Senior at De La Salle High School in New Orleans.

Youth summer employment opportunity on our farm – applications due this Thursday!

Attention Applicants:

Applications and a letter of recommendation are due this Thursday, May 10!

Want to join Grow Dat for our intensive 4-week summer program? Please put the finishing touches on your application, gather your letter of recommendation and submit both these documents to your school’s Grow Dat Liaison. (Not sure who your Liaison is? Contact jeanne@growdatyouthfarm.org)

Applicants will be notified Thursday night if they have been selected for an interview. Interviews will take place Friday, May 11.

Students are being recruited from our five 2012 PARTNER SCHOOLS:

  • New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School (SciHigh)
  • De La Salle High School
  • Warren Easton High School
  • The Net Charter School
  • Joseph Clark Charter High School

Want to apply but have more questions?
If you’re a young person in New Orleans who is interested in applying to join our 2012 Grow Dat Team, click here for detailed information on how to apply.

We look forward to reading all the applications and meeting our next crew of inspiring young leaders soon!

Image

Amber and Christian harvest from The Tee Field in City Park. Apply now to join our team for the summer!

 

Family Farm Day

Video

Between cooking demos, presentations by partner organizations and delicious BBQ, an impromptu second line with Young Souls Brass Band introduced the families of our youth Crew Members to our farm.

Families of youth employees toured the farm and learned more about our work in New Orleans. The Grow Dat Wellness Team prepared fabulous food (radish pesto from our greens and homemade ribs!), Capital One representatives shared information about free bank accounts, and The Tulane Community Health Center connected interested families with wrap-around health care services.

Note the freshly-planted satsuma groves around the fields from our Growing Opportunity event with the NCAA!

Grow Dat and the Agricultural Revolution: changing the tide of farming in the USA

Farming in the USA: Then (1930) and Now (2010)

Infographic designed by Allison Powell of the Tulane School of Architecture

At Grow Dat, we work to change the tide of industrial agriculture by promoting small-scale diversified farms, increasing access to food grown locally, and providing quality employment for young people in agriculture and food system work.