Category Archives: Urban Agriculture Program

Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program Earns International Award!

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We’re pleased to announce Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program earned third place in the teaching youth category for the 2015 INUAg Innovators in Urban Agriculture Prize! This award recognizes schools or youth focused programs working with children and teens to teach them urban farming.

To learn more about this international honor and view other recipients working to improve urban agriculture across the globe, click here.

Crop City 2015 – Final Recap!

071515_Crop City-3Time flies when you are having fun (and gardening and cooking delicious fresh food!). It’s been a great summer of learning, gardening, and eating at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. For six weeks, our 2015 Urban Agriculture Teaching lead their peers through a hands-on curriculum that aimed to positively impact knowledge and behavior around eating. They did a wonderful job!

Here’s a few numbers that help tell the story:

  • Participants hours at Crop City : 2,800+
  • Pounds of produce harvested: 300+
  • Number of Teaching Interns: 12

And while it won’t show up in any numbers or future learning menu, we shared a lot of laughs, games, smiles, and good food with a great group of participants.

Here’s a sampling of the lessons taught in the latter half of the Crop City summer. Continue reading Crop City 2015 – Final Recap!

Youth Spotlight: Solteria

Participants in Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture curriculum create healthy dishes, like asparagus and leak salads.

Youth at Watkins Park Community Center participate in Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm Curriculum every week. Many of the youth who participate have also joined Hands On Nashville for Crop City, a curriculum-based summer youth development program that positively impacts young people’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors about healthy eating and nutrition.  Many of the lessons the youth experience incorporate tangible analogies to help students better understand where food comes from and how it’s grown.

One youth, named Solteria, is especially involved in the curriculum. When asked about what she learned, she remembered a lesson that related the food system to shoe production. “I learned about food by learning about Nikes,” she said.

Solteria is also a great chef. She says her favorite dish she made with food fresh from the Urban Farm was an asparagus and leek salad. (Yum!). Solteria, we can’t wait to see you this summer at Crop City and look forward to seeing what healthy snack you create!

Volunteer Spotlight: Andy Myers

Hands On Nashville Volunteer, Andy Myers, volunteering at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.
Hands On Nashville volunteer, Andy Myers, volunteering at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

From helping edit curriculum taught to youth at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm to leading volunteers in garden projects, Andy Myers has served with the Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Program for more than a year.

Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Andy Myers

Clear Your Yard & Help Our Farm!

Bring your leaves to the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!

Fall is here! While the trees are definitely beautiful as they change colors, that also means it’s leaf raking time. This year, instead of pushing leaves to the side or putting them out to be collected, consider dropping them by the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm! We collect leaves all fall and use them to help mulch our gardens in the spring and summer.

We’re now accepting leaf drops at the Urban Farm (361 Wimpole Dr, 37211). Once you arrive, look for the gravel drive with the “Leaf Drop Entrance” sign. (Be sure not to confuse this with the exit or the parking lot entrance just a couple hundred feet away.) The signs will lead you through our Leaf Hall where you can deposit your leaves into one of our many leaf bins — bagged or loose leaves are accepted and greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions, contact our Urban Farm Coordinator Adam Curtis at

How Do We Use Leaves at the Farm?

Leaves are an important part of the regenerative agricultural system we practice at the Farm. 

  • During spring, leaves are used as mulch to help reduce weeds.
  • As the summer heat sets in, leaves serve to help reduce water loss and soil depletion in heavy mulch layers. 
  • During the fall, leaves are layered with manure on top of our vegetable production area as part of our crop rotation system. 
  • By the following spring, these leaves, broken down by decay and winter, are incorporated as nutrients into our soil. 

Thank you for supporting Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm!

Join our CSA(e) – Community Supported Agriculture education!

Here’s a tasty way to support Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program: join our CSA(e) – Community Supported Agriculture education!

Image of Youth serving at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!
Youth serving at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!

The community’s generous support enables us to educate youth about healthy eating and
sustainable living. Every week throughout the year, our Urban Agriculture Program engages young people in service-learning based experiences at our Urban Farm to empower them to make healthy eating choices. These youth gain practical experience in growing their own food, and learn how to cook (and eat!) delicious, nutritious meals.

HON Urban Farm Carrots
Carrots harvested from the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

To support these efforts, we’re inviting individuals to make a financial donation to Hands On Nashville. As a gift for your support, you will receive a weekly box of fresh produce from our Urban Farm for two months, along with fun updates about what Nashville youth are learning and doing at our Urban Farm. Together, we can continue to grow healthy communities through youth education.

For more information, please contact Urban Farm Coordinator Adam Curtis

Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2014 Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns!

This week, Hands On Nashville is kicking off Crop City, a six-week camp where community youth will learn how to grow food and make healthy eating choices! 2014 Crop City participants are youth served by the following organizations: Watkins Park Community Center, Y-CAP, Martha O’Bryan Center, Youth Villages, Sophia’s Heart, and the Nashville International Center for Empowerment.

As we begin, we would like to introduce you to a group of outstanding Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns who will lead the farm-to-table, curriculum-based summer youth development program.

Guided by Hands On Nashville staff, these awesome interns will teach Crop City participants – who live in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce — how to grow healthy produce to share with their communities and useful leadership skills to foster future growth. Please join us in welcoming these young leaders who are making a difference during their summer break.


2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Grace Bryant

Grace Bryant is a rising junior at Glencliff High School where she is currently preparing for a future in biological engineering. After school, Grace can often be found researching diseases among insects in a biology lab. Grace hopes to share her knowledge of nutritious plants and food with the world this summer, and in the future.

Fun fact: If Grace could be any movie character, she’d be Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – he has a lot of fun but still helps others.


2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Maria DartyMariah Darty is a rising junior at Glencliff High School. From joining the garden club and working for the newspaper to tutoring students at two different middle schools, Mariah has taken on many new activities over the last year. She is ready to continue learning and teaching others while adding an Urban Agriculture Internship to the list this summer.

Fun Fact: If Mariah could be any cartoon character, she would be Sponge Bob because he is always happy, and positive.


2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Emily DunnEmily Dunn  is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where she’s co-captain of the swim team; co-leads a club that raises money to fight cancer; and helps coordinate the school’s recycling effort. Emily is returning for her second year leading Crop City programming as an Urban Agriculture Intern. She’s driven to play an active role in eliminating food deserts.

Fun Fact: If Emily could be any cartoon character, she would be Phineas, from Phineas and Ferb – because they lived in an endless summer.


2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Jon EdwardsJon Edwards is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where he will serve as Student Body Treasurer next fall. As a volunteer, Jon has spent three Christmas holidays working at a school and orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua and has served as a tutor for elementary school students within the local community. This summer, he hopes to positively influence a child’s future out at the Farm.

Fun Fact: If Jon could only listen to one CD/album forever, he’d listen to, The Band by The Band.


2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Nikita HolbertNikita Holbert, a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, absolutely loves to be outside. Nikita is excited to bring her gardening experience (she has planted tomatoes, squash, and peaches at her grandmother’s garden…yum), passion for helping others, and strong interest in teaching youth to the Urban Farm this summer.

Fun Fact: If Nikita could have superpowers, she would have the abilities to disappear, pause the world, and run fast.



2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Ameena KhoshnawAmeena Khoshnaw is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. As a dedicated volunteer, Ameena regularly serves at local Islamic churches and has assisted in disaster relief efforts as an ICNA Disaster Relief Group volunteer. Ameena strives to be a shining example for her younger family members and help those less fortunate take steps toward success in their lives.

Fun Fact: Photography is Ameena’s favorite hobby – she loves capturing nature’s amazing scenes.

2014 Urban Agriculture Camryn MagsbyCamryn Magsby is a rising sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School. Camryn is a strong advocate of healthy eating, and has helped fight hunger as a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Rescue Mission, and Mercy Ministries. Camryn aims to inspire others to see the value of growing their own food this summer.

Fun fact: If Camryn could have any superpower, it would be to read people’s minds, like professor X from X-Men.


2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Dina MikaielDina Mikaiel is a rising senior at Antioch High School where she is an essential part of the school’s Leadership Class. Dina helps fellow students through the Adopt a Freshmen program, serves as a Big Sister, and hopes to meet new people and help change lives of community youth through education this summer.

Fun Fact: If Dina could travel anywhere in the world, she would travel to Egypt.

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Leyla Mohamed

Leyla Mohamed is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where she is a member of Beta Club, Red-Cross club and the Muslim Student Association. For the past three years, Leyla has volunteered at local mosques teaching children Arabic nearly every weekend. This summer, Lelya hopes to learn more about the agriculture system in Nashville and use her leadership skills to help improve it.

Fun Fact: If Leyla could have any superpower, she would have all of the knowledge in the world.


2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Miranda MooreMiranda Moore is a rising sophomore at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. She loves working with kids, and has many years of experience as a camp counselor. Miranda is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of healthy foods and nutrition with campers this summer, and is excited to learn more about urban agriculture throughout the process.

Fun Fact: If Miranda could only eat one type of food forever, she would choose Clementines.



2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Megnot Mulugeta

Megnot Mulugeta is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where for the last two school years she has helped organize fundraisers for FEED, an organization that helps feed and clothe children in Haiti. With a newfound interest in gardening, Megnot aims to help others to make healthier choices this summer.

Fun Fact: If Megnot could have any superpower, she would be able to read minds.



2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Farhiya Omar

Farhiyo Omar, a rising junior at Hillwood High School, is very excited to be spending a second consecutive summer teaching at Crop City this year. Farhiyo says that being able to watch the kids smile and grow last year was a very rewarding experience and is looking forward to again sharing her knowledge of farming with others.

Fun fact: If she could do anything she wanted, Farhiyo would travel the world.


2014 Urban Agriculture Rayan OsmanRayan Osman is a rising junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. Rayan is co-founder of her school’s Muslim-Student Association and regularly tutors elementary and middle school students. After college, Rayan plans to go to Somalia to help residents fight poverty. She hopes to gain knowledge about agriculture this summer.

Fun Fact: Reading is Rayan’s favorite hobby – it’s a really fun activity, she says.



2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Carson ThomasCarson Thomas is a rising senior at University School of Nashville where she co-leads USN’s Environmental Club, is captain of the Ultimate Frisbee Team and is involved with the Student Sustainability Initiative. Carson has served as a fellow at the Urban Farm for the last year, and is thrilled to be joining us again for her second consecutive summer as an Urban Agriculture Intern at Crop City.

Fun Fact: If Carson could only eat one type of food forever, it would be pasta.


2014 Urban Agriculture Chloe VaccaroChloe Vaccaro is a recent graduate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School and will attend UT Knoxville in the fall. As an Urban Farm Fellow and Urban Agriculture Intern for the past two summers, Chloe continues to make an impact at the Urban Farm. Chloe’s long-term goal is to help increase access to healthy food for families located in food deserts and hopes to continue to learn about organic farming this summer.

Fun Fact: If Chloe could only listen to one CD/album forever, it would be Live by Erykah Badu.

Nashville Chefs Collaborate on Dinner to Raise Money for Hands On Nashville

**Please Note: This dinner has been postponed for a TBD date. All ticket purchasers will receive a 100% refund this week. Please contact with any questions, and stay tuned for details on the September dinner!

Sycamore’s summer farm dinner on Sunday, June 8th features seasonal fare from four Nashville chefs

Sycamore Nashville, a pop-up concept created by husband-and-wife team Tony and Caroline Galzin, will host a summer beer dinner to raise funds for the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. The four-course dinner will highlight seasonal produce from the Farm. The evening will be a collaborative effort, with appetizer from Tony Galzin, a pasta course from Tom Lazzaro of Lazzaroli Pasta, a wood-fired entrée from Jim Garvin of Crankees Pizza, and dessert by pastry chef Audra Dykes.

Chef Tony Galzin demonstrates a healthy summer salad recipe for the participants of Hands On Nashville's Urban Farm youth summer program. The kids got to try their hands at making the salad, too!
Chef Tony Galzin demonstrates a healthy summer salad recipe for the participants of Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm youth summer program. The kids got to try their hands at making the salad, too!

Beers from Jackalope Brewery and other local brewers will pair with each course. The dinner will take place on Sunday, June 8th at 6:00 pm at POP Nashville (604 Gallatin Ave., Ste 202).

TICKETS: $50 each and include dinner and beer pairings. Tickets may be purchased at the event, or in advance here. Space is limited.

In partnership with Mayor Karl Dean’s Office and the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation, Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm engages volunteers – primarily young people – in service and learning. This dinner will support Hands On Nashville’s youth summer camp program at the Farm, which teaches Davidson county children about nutrition, sustainability, and healthy food choices.

This will be Sycamore’s fifth fundraiser for the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

Hands On Nashville is grateful for Tony and Caroline’s dedicated support of our work to engage young people in learning about healthy eating choices, leadership development, and FUN at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. Print

ABOUT SYCAMORE: Sycamore is a project from husband and wife team Tony and Caroline Galzin, both formerly of Chicago. Tony and Caroline have been hosting pop up events under the name Sycamore for the past year in Nashville at Fido, The Catbird Seat, Flyte, The Jackalope Tap Room, The Southern Artisan Cheese Festival and Outstanding in the Field. They are currently working on a new concept that will open in Nashville in 2014.

Notes from the Farm: Fall Work is Underway

PrintHappy September!

Fall is nearly here and you can almost feel the leaves beginning to change their colors. The foliage should be particularly remarkable this year given how much rain the Nashville area received this summer.

Things at the Farm are moving right along. Our summer crops are almost done producing, so we have been busy harvesting all the peppers, tomatoes, beans, and corn that we can before planting our fall crops and preparing for the winter. Most of the Farm will be in cover this fall and winter, which means that instead of primarily growing food, we will grow plants that help rebuild and protect our soil. However, we will still grow some food in one section of the Farm. This area will be dedicated to growing root crops (such as carrots, beets, and radishes) and greens (like spinach, kale, and lettuce.)

Farm visitors show off some delicious watermelons!

As far as programming out at the Farm, last week marked the beginning of our fall curriculum program. Over the next ten weeks, we’ll host groups of students a few times each week to teach them lessons on nutrition and gardening. This curriculum builds off the very successful Crop City programming we did over the summer and is a similar model.

Finally, we’re excited to announce that the greenway has been installed. We sincerely hope that visitors to the Farm and nearby neighbors will use this beautiful path often. Just be sure to say hello when you do!

That does it for now. Have a wonderful start to Fall and as always, feel free to email me with any questions about HON’s Urban Farm.


JC3Josh Corlew is Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program Manager. He oversees the organization’s efforts to engage volunteers in service opportunities that empower them to gain gardening skills, learn about healthy eating choices, and help address our city’s food access issues. An AmeriCorps alumnus, Josh also has a secret past life as a Trekkie (he’s a big fan of the TV series Star Trek, for the uninitiated among us), and he has been known to participate in death-defying canoe trips.