Today was the last day of the Gasoline Alley summer youth program at Green Street Gardens. I was sad to see the young men go but their departure came at a pretty good time. The last couple weeks have been productive at Green Street (as you can see in the videos below) but everyone in the youth program has been preparing themselves for the program to end. Just like the last week before summer vacation in grade school always seemed tedious, the last week at Green Street has felt a little anxious. Vacation couldn’t come soon enough for the kids and me. Teaching 6 disinterested youth how to transplant seedlings, create potting soil, water plants, design and build billboards, build planter boxes, weed, seed, harvest, mulch, fertilize, chop trees, and about a dozen other deeds is not easy for students who have never done the stuff and managers like me that have never managed! Considering the circumstances, however, we got a lot done this last week.
A lot of food has been getting harvested and cooked.
So was the youth program a success? Absolutely. Some learned more than others but everyone came away with a rudimentary knowledge of organic gardening and an improved understanding of workplace ethics and standards. But it’s time for me to take a break from youth education and begin working on new projects like writing grants, building brick ovens, creating aquaponic systems, researching urban sustainability, constructing hoop houses and most importantly, establishing the strategic direction of New Growth.
As I continue to experiment with business models around urban sustainability and food system reform, I’m gonna need a lot of help! Please get in touch if you’re interested in anything around entrepreneurship/food systems/urban sustainability.