Introducing the NFI Fort Totten youth crew!

July 17, 2010

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News

These days, NFI’s farm at Fort Totten is being tended by teenagers. Teenagers planting watermelons, beans, squash, peppers and carrots, eating kohlrabi and zucchini, digging out out over 35 wheelbarrows full of weeds. They’re sweating their way through their 14th and 15th summers, and slowly, it’s becoming their farm, too.


And they’re learning: Much like the team at Lederer Youth Garden, the Green Summer youth crew at Fort Totten is learning about urban farming, environmental science, cooking, health and nutrition, and marketing. We’ve had visits from Ellen Kittridge, a nutritionist, Sharon Gruber from Bread for the City, and Christopher Washington from Engaged Community Offshoots.

Here are some of their impressions:

Malcolm: My first week was good. I learned alot about planting and harvesting and I made new friends. I also developed job skills that will last a lifetime.

Maya: My first couple of weeks have been pretty good. The heat was a little overwhelming, but you learn to get over it. Yesterday was fun. I went to the market and had some really good food. Next week I think is going to be really fun because we get to take care of the plants we planted today.

Keshawn: Well, my first week of working with the Green Team was fun and interesting. First off, it was fun because I learned some new things. I pulled weeds, I met new people, and I made new friends.

Eric: So far this summer, we have weeded, composted, turned over soil, planted and harvested. I now know what different plants look like while they’re still growing. What I want to do this summer is plant some more and harvest some of the plants we already planted.

Destiny: So far, what I’ve been doing is not so fun, but it’s a good experience for me. I don’t mind working sometimes, it’s just that if it weren’t so hot, I’d probably be sounding a little more optimistic. So far, I’ve been looking forward to my help in the garden paying off and watching the fruits and vegetables grow.

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