Before our Leadership crew arrived at work on Sunday, we were forewarned about a gaping hole on the farm. While initially confusing, this meant that the land was beginning to be prepared for our new greenhouse! The project will take some time to complete, but will eventually have in ground beds that LEAF can use to continue to grow produce into the fall, and start growing earlier in the spring. This new addition will help LEAF youth busy with meaningful work during some colder months!
While work was being done on that site, the rest of the crew divided into teams to accomplish a variety of different work tasks. This is normally how a work session operates at LEAF - a list of tasks is presented to the crew, and then youth interns make up smaller teams to complete those tasks. With nine youth in the program this spring, all folks will have opportunities to work with different teams, utilizing their diverse strengths to get the job done in the best way possible.
So far, LEAF youth have been helping prepare beds and planting a lot of greens. In the photo above, our ventures crew is planting onions. The strings are attached to stakes at either end of the bed, measured out precisely to create the rows that will guide the planting. The skills needed to complete this task are shared by all the youth interns we work with. They are able to be involved in each step of the process, and are often given the responsibility to plant a bed, start to finish. Trusting their capacity, it is a powerful experience to watch a crew master these challenging tasks during their first summer with LEAF, and then to watch them build on those skills during the fall and spring internships. Core to LEAF is believing in the ability of young people to do amazing things.
Our crew this spring has had a big help in getting our beds ready, thanks to this new piece of equipment! The BCS, a two-wheel walk-behind tractor, can till, mow, and form beds, thanks to the different attachments it has. LEAF purchased this fantastic piece of technology this spring thanks to the G.B. Stuart foundation, and it has been incredibly useful. Our farm doesn't require many motors or fancy tools, but this one is a perfect fit for our scale and crew size!
Working with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school is our Ventures Crew. All of these folks worked with us this past summer, and through the fall as well. Over the next few weeks, the blog will share a little bit more about them and what they've been doing with LEAF!