Tag Archives: Flyte World Dining and Wine

Notes from the Farm: Summer Camp Feeds Hungry Young Minds

By Josh Corlew, Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Program Manager

Sunflowers last summer were beautiful – about to flower again!

For the past few weeks, the Urban Farm has been thriving with activity. The mild spring weather and mix of sun and rain has made the fields so happy — the garlic is ready to harvest, the tomatoes and peppers are beginning to set fruit, and the sunflowers should be opening their heads in just a few weeks. With our second full growing (and teaching!) season underway, we can’t believe how much has been accomplished in the last year thanks to the community’s support!

Along with all of the anticipation around growth and renewal on the Farm comes the excitement of our second year of Hands On Nashville’s summer youth development program called Crop City. This farm-to-table, curriculum-based camp engages 400 young people in fun learning activities around healthy eating, nutrition, and connecting them to where food comes from — the ground! Most of the participating children are from neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce. Through Crop City, the youth get a chance to learn from one another, play a role in growing the vegetables at the Farm, and learn about making healthy food choices. During the final week of the program, chefs from local Nashville restaurants will visit the youth on the Farm and show them how to prepare simple recipes using the healthy produce they’ve helped to grow. (Special thanks to Chef Tony Galzin of Flyte World Dining and Wine, and Caroline Galzin of Rumours Wine Bar, for their support in this effort!)

Crop City participants playing an ice breaker game, Giants, Wizards, and Dragons!
Crop City campers this week playing an ice breaker game – Giants, Wizards, and Dragons!

We were inspired by the results of last summer’s program at the Urban Farm: participants were able to recognize more vegetables than they had at the start of the program, and more than 75% said they were trying to make healthier food choices as a result of their experience. We are working toward even bigger and better outcomes in 2013, and can’t wait to share them with you!

Hands On Nashville Urban Farm Apprentices during their training last week doing a team-building exercise.
Hands On Nashville Urban Farm Apprentices during their training last week doing a team-building exercise.

 

One of the coolest aspects of Crop City is that the curriculum is lead by the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm Apprentices. Selected through a competitive application and interview process, these amazing teenagers are leading all of the Crop City activities under our guidance. We’ll be introducing the 15 Apprentices via this blog soon, so stay tuned! (They are one incredibly talented group of high school students.)

Chef_Galzin1small
Last summer, Chef Tony Galzin (Flyte World Dining & Wine) demonstrated how to make a tasty, healthy salad using the veggies the campers helped grow. We are excited to have Chef Galzin back again this year for the cooking workshop in July!

The community continues to be very supportive of our efforts at the Farm. We have enjoyed working with several corporate volunteer groups over the past few weeks on infrastructure improvement projects at the Farm. Special thanks to Starbucks, Ford, Cummins, and Deloitte for their hard work and support.

If you’re looking to get involved with the Urban Farm, there are two ways to support our efforts:

1) Volunteer! During the summer, our public volunteer opportunities are a little more limited, since we have so many young helping hands. But we do have weekly early-morning composting projects, and we’d love to have you join us (a perfect way to make an impact but beat the heat!).
> Click here to sign up. 

2) Support our Urban Agriculture Program with a monetary gift.
> You can make a donation here. 
Be sure to type “Urban Agriculture Program” in the “description” field.

Planting sweet potatoes. These turn into vines with beautiful purple flowers (and the sweet potatoes are so fun to dig up once they're ready!)
Planting sweet potatoes. These turn into vines with purple flowers (and the sweet potatoes are so fun to dig up once they’re ready!)

If you have questions about the Urban Farm, please email me at josh@hon.org. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more Farm updates throughout the growing season!

 

 

 

 

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Josh demonstrates how to plant spinach at the Urban Farm.
Josh demonstrates how to plant spinach at the Urban Farm this spring.

Josh 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.

Notes from the Farm: A Recipe for Positive Youth Development

By Adams Carroll, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Urban Agriculture Program –

Chef Kristin Beringson
Chef Kristin Beringson shows Summer Camp Kids how to make fresh salsa.

Last week we were fortunate to have two esteemed visitors to Youth Service Camp at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. Our friends at Nashville Originals organized cooking demonstrations for our campers led by Chef Kristin Beringson of the Holland House Bar and Refuge and Chef Tony Galzin of Flyte World Dining and Wine. Both chefs came with simple, tasty recipes highlighting the astounding seasonal flavors of the produce the campers helped to grow this summer. I hope a few of our campers are inspired to try these recipes at home! Several of the campers told me they tried squash for the first time in these dishes… and they liked it!

Our campers were impressed by our guest chefs’ knife skills and infectious love for their craft. I was too, but something else really moved me. I was so inspired by the volunteer spirit that our guests exhibited. It was clear to me that they both are driven to make our community a more vibrant place to live through their service. In sharing their skills and experience in a simple cooking demonstration, these chefs did much more than toss together a tasty garden salad. They also modeled positive behavior and served as role models for our campers. I won’t be surprised if, 10 years from now, Nashville’s hottest new chef shares her story of being inspired to choose her profession because of Chef Beringson and Galzin’s

Chef Galzin
Chef Galzin shows kids how to blanch vegetables and create an easy summer salad.

service last week.

After his demonstration, I remarked to Chef Galzin that he did a really good job of engaging his youth audience during his demonstration (more photos here). He told me that as the oldest of four brothers, he learned early on how to maintain young peoples’ attention levels. However, another experience uniquely prepared him to be a good role model for young people at the Urban Farm.

Before moving to Nashville, Chef Galzin volunteered with the Spark Program in Chicago, which connects hundreds of students with apprenticeships in their dream field. It was clear to me that Chef Galzin’s experience working as a mentor with Spark taught him how to bring out the best in our youth by nurturing their curiosity and giving them opportunities to use their ingenuity, creativity, and skills to overcome challenges. I am of the opinion that our society chronically underestimates the abilities of youth. Programs like Spark give kids an opportunity to prove to themselves and the world that they are able to accomplish great things.

Inspired by the chefs, Summer Camp kids make their own salad variations and share ideas with each other.

All of this got me thinking about the principles of positive youth development – principles I had in mind when developing the curriculum for our Youth Service Camp and Apprenticeship program (Farmer Josh introduced the Apprentices back in June). I wanted to make sure that we weren’t just creating a program to keep kids busy between school semesters, but rather one that is an opportunity for young people to live purposefully by contributing to our community in meaningful ways and building valuable life skills.

If you have ever despaired for the future of this world, then I challenge you to take note of the amazing things our youth apprentices and campers have been able to accomplish when asked to take an active role in creating their experiences in an environment that is supportive and safe. Together, these young people have turned five acres of floodway into a productive, beautiful Urban Farm that grows healthy produce for members of our community who need it most. Trust me, our future is in good hands!

A native Nashvillian, Adams Carroll serves as AmeriCorps VISTA Member for HON’s Urban Agriculture Program. He oversees the development of the Urban Farm Apprenticeship and Summer Youth Service Camp program. A bicycling enthusiast and dedicated bike commuter, Adams is a volunteer with Walk/Bike Nashville, the Oasis Center, and Free Bike Shop. His longest bike ride? 3,500 miles across 14 states.