Tag Archives: gardening

Resolve to Serve Stories: Weed Wrangle®

Cayce McAlister remembers how different the forest looked when she was young.

“You saw tree trunks. You didn’t see all this low-level scrub,” she says. “All that green scourge you see in the woods is invasive plants.”

cayce mcalister
Cayce McAlister

McAlister says that native plants and trees don’t stand a chance in areas that are overgrown with non-native species. Invasive plants reproduce and spread quickly, often out-competing native plants. This leads to a reduction in plant diversity and the loss of habitat and food for wildlife.

Now McAlister is on a mission. A former president and longtime member of the Garden Club of Nashville, she was instrumental in founding Weed Wrangle®, an annual event where volunteers gather in parks and public spaces to remove problematic plants. The annual pull puts a dent in the problem, but McAlister says that alone won’t solve the issue of invasive plant growth. There must be public education, too.

Each Weed Wrangle® site will have an official on hand to show the participants clippings of the pesky plants to target and tell them the best tactics for removal.

“Invasive plants have no borders, and the success of our effort is affected dramatically by landscaping practices of neighbors to all of these public areas,” she says. McAlister encourages attendees to take their new knowledge home and eradicate invasive species in their own yards. Then talk to the people next door about doing the same.

In 2015, its first year, Weed Wrangle® drew more than 500 volunteers to 13 sites across Nashville. McAlister says the event has grown quickly and now exists across multiple Tennessee markets and in 13 other states. Since its inception, Weed Wrangle® has engaged 3,164 volunteers in Tennessee, who have contributed a combined 27,528 volunteer hours.

This year’s event, slated for March 2, has 20 Middle Tennessee sites where volunteers will wrangle weeds. You don’t have to be a gardener to help, says McAlister, who, as the event’s National Chair, is a full-time volunteer and travels the country spreading the seed of an idea that first took root in Nashville.

“There is a job for everyone out there. Little kids can pick up debris and drag it to the pile. Big buff people, they’re all trying to yank everything out of the ground instead of using tools,” she says with a laugh. “It’s a fun day.”

You can join the fun by browsing Weed Wrangle® opportunities here.

Interested in signing up to host your own Weed Wrangle® site? Visit the Weed Wrangle® website or email Ampage158@gmail.com.

Photos courtesy of Weed Wrangle.

 

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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.

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.)

watermelons
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.

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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.

Notes from the Farm: Wrapping up Summer and Prepping for Fall

It’s hard to believe that August is here already. The summer sure has flown by this year!

It was a busy summer at the HON Urban Farm!
It was a busy summer at the HON Urban Farm!

The summer months yielded an impressive amount of produce this year, and we’ve been busy harvesting bushels and bushels of peppers, tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers for the past few weeks. Of course, all of the produce we harvest at the Urban Farm will be donated to Hands On Nashville’s nonprofit partners throughout Middle Tennessee.

I hope that you and your families were able to enjoy a break from school and work at some point over the summer. As most of you probably know, children in the Metro Nashville Public School system returned to classes on August 1. Given the early start date this year, all of our summer programming finished up at the end of July.

Out at the Farm, we are beginning to focus on our plans for this fall. But before we jump into that, I want to take a moment to share some of our many successes from this summer with you!

June2013Campers
Crop City campers learning about nutrition and healthy eating.

As I have reported over the course of the last few updates, we hosted a five-week nutrition curriculum at the Farm this summer called Crop City. We had close to 900 children come out to participate in the Crop City program this year and it was a huge success, thanks in large part to our outstanding team of Urban Farm Apprentices. These 15 high school students did an amazing job leading Crop City participants this summer and we hope that some of them will come back next year.

In the meantime, we are very lucky to have three of those Apprentices participating in our 2013-2014 Fellowship Program! They will join seven other high school students to implement service projects at nonprofits across the city throughout the school year. All ten Fellows are introduced in our most recent Farm blogpost.

That pretty much covers it from here! Have a wonderful August and, as always, feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or concerns.

IMG_20130726_095205
Our wonderful Urban Farm 2013 team takes a break to pose for a group shot.

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Headshots 42 colorJosh 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.

VolunTEEN: Not Simply a Chore

ferriss headshot1Guest Post by Ferriss Bailey
HON VolunTEEN Summer Youth Leader

Ferriss Bailey, a rising senior at Montgomery Bell Academy, is one of the four inaugural Summer Youth Leaders. During the four summer service weeks, Ferriss leads service learning opportunities that address the environment.

The BELL Garden at Bellevue Middle School is a large, educational garden that is run by Liz Meeks and sustained with volunteer help. The garden contains more plants than most people even know exist, and it is a wonderful educational tool for students. However, it takes a substantial amount of work to keep it lush and thriving.

In my time as a Summer Youth Leader, I have been fortunate enough to lead four projects at BELL with volunteers of all different ages and backgrounds. Together, the volunteers and I enjoyed weeding, harvesting, and sometimes, even eating in the different beds.

One project particularly stands out in my mind when I think of my time at Bell. I was leading four volunteers, all of whom were around my age. We worked extremely hard, but it seemed like nothing! While we worked, we talked about our different schools and told funny stories, and by the end we had become great friends.

Certain projects like BELL can be extremely hard, especially when you are working in the hot sun. However, BELL and the other challenging projects are not simply a means to an end, but a great way to meet amazing people while doing important and impactful work.

Learn more about HON’s youth leader programs here!

Liz Meeks teaches volunteers how to properly water plants at the BELL Garden.
Liz Meeks teaches volunteers how to properly water plants at the BELL Garden.

Crop City: Local Chefs Visit the Farm!

With the 2013 Crop City program winding down here in its final week, campers were treated to a very special visit at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm yesterday!

Local chefs Tony Galzin and Jo Ellen Brown stopped by and spent the morning whipping up a pair of delicious summer dishes for campers to enjoy. The demonstrations, part of Crop City’s unique farm-to-table curriculum, gave dozens of youth a first-hand look at how easy it is to create dishes that are not only delicious, but healthy as well.

Chef Tony’s squash salad and Chef Jo Ellen’s fruit dip were such a huge hit yesterday that we thought it would be a great idea to share the recipes with you.  Give one or both of these outstanding recipes a try in your own kitchen!

Chef Tony Galzin puts the finishing touches on his summer squash salad.
Chef Tony Galzin puts the finishing touches on his summer squash salad.

Summer Squash Salad

2 medium summer squash
1 bell pepper
6 cherry tomatoes
1 lime
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper

–Wash all vegetables.
–Cut squash into 1/4 inch slices.
–Microwave in a plastic container with a little water for 2 minutes.
–Check to see if the squash is tender. If it’s not, microwave until cooked.
–Strain out water and put the squash in a bowl.
–Cut the pepper in half. Remove the seeds, and cut into small dice. Add to the squash.
–Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add to the rest of the vegetables.
–Cut the lime into quarters and squeeze the juice over the vegetables. Add the olive oil and mix.
–Season with salt, pepper, and a small amount of cayenne, and mix.

Yogurt Almond Fruit Dip

Chef Jo Ellen Brown slices apples for her yogurt almond dip.
Chef Jo Ellen Brown slices apples for her yogurt almond dip.

1 cup of Greek or plain yogurt
1/2 cup of peanut butter or almond butter
2-3 Tablespoons of honey
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

–Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk until the dip has a consistent color and texture. Serve with sliced apples.

Many thanks to both chefs for donating their time and expertise to help Nashville-area youth eat smarter and healthier!

Meet our Awesome Urban Farm Apprentices!

We are so excited to introduce our truly amazing 2013 Urban Farm Apprentices, who have been training and working diligently to make the future of our communities brighter, one step at a time. All 15 Apprentices have gone through a rigorous application and interview process and weeks of training to become the rock stars they are today. 

This summer, HON Urban Farm Apprentices will lead groups of up to 60 of their peers through a curriculum built around agriculture, the food system, and healthy eating at our Youth Summer Camp and Crop City programs, both held at the fabulous Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

Without any further ado, read on to learn more about each of these awesome young people!

2013 Urban Farm Apprentices (in alphabetic order):

GA2013-AminaAmina is a rising sophomore at McGavock High School. She loves food and enjoys being around others. She also loves being in the outdoors and is good at helping people.
GA2013-CarsonCarson is a rising junior at University School of Nashville. She is a scholastic-winning author and budding environmentalist.
GA2013-ChloeChloe is a rising senior at MLK. She loves listening to music and also enjoys ballet and meeting new people.
GA2013-DanielDaniel is a rising senior at MLK. He enjoys backpacking and whitewater rafting. He is interested in pursuing a degree in agriculture business.
GA2013-EmilyEmily attends Hume-Fogg High School, where she is a member of the GSA and the Fighting Disease Club. She served as co-captain of her school’s swim team and she enjoys making art.
GA2013-EmmaEmma is a rising junior at MLK. She is an avid gardener, aspiring writer, and LGBT rights activist.
GA2013-FarhiyaFarhiya is a rising sophomore at Hillwood High School. She enjoys reading books and getting to know new people.
GA2013-HaydenHayden is a rising senior atHume-Fogg. He loves running and juggling and is excited to work at the Urban Farm this summer. Hayden enjoys working outside and hanging out with other kids.
GA2013-JazminJazmin just graduated from Glencliff High School. She wants to do nonprofit and leadership work, and loves to volunteer.

GA2013-KatherineKatherine is a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic and is an event organizer for her Environmental Action Club. She is passionate about music, cooking, books, nature, and helping others. Katherine aspires to be a sustainable systems designer on a city-scale.

GA2013-LydiaLydea is a sophomore at Nashville School of the Arts, where she enjoys playing the cello and going to English class. Her favorite hobbies include reading books and ‘fangirling’ over Benedict Cumberbatch (go Sherlock!).

GA2013- MariaMaria attends Glencliff High School and is a rising senior. She is passionate about helping others and aspires to become a pediatrician. She also loves soccer and watermelon!

GA2013-NancyNancy is a rising sophomore at MLK. She enjoys playing soccer and volleyball in the summer with her church. She also plays ping-pong and has played the piano and clarinet. Nancy enjoys volunteering and reading books in her free time.

GA2013-RachelRachel is a rising senior at Nashville School of the Arts. She enjoys painting and is president of the National Art Honors Society. She loves to work out and stay healthy while maintaining a positive attitude and encouraging others.
GA2013-TerrellTerrell is a rising senior at Glencliff and describes himself as an Afrocentrist. He is plenty of things, one of which is an athlete. He runs or bikes to the Urban Farm every day.

Notes from the Farm: Welcoming fall, swings, & students

By Josh Corlew, HON Urban Agriculture Program Manager –

It was an amazing first summer at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm! We harvested 600+ pounds of vegetables and had more than 2,000 volunteers pitch in to transform these five empty lots of flood plain into food producing space where much learning,discovery, and outdoor fun has taken place.

The Farm during peak summer harvest.

Thank you to everyone who has given their time, energy, support, and enthusiasm to make this a successful first year for the Farm! Your volunteerism makes it possible for us to grow healthy food that is donated to nonprofits that serve families in need.

But summer is over, and fall is in the air (and the ground as well). The summer crops of squash, cucumbers, beans, corn, and watermelon are gone. The tomatoes and peppers are nearing the end of their productivity. Our newly leafed out trees are beginning their hibernation process.

Fall, however, brings its own excitement. The change of the weather is invigorating, both to our volunteers who are eager to get warmed up by getting to work, as well as some of our fall crops. We have lots of herbs and flowers that are loving the cooler weather, and our kale has been pruned back and is really enjoying the reprieve from pesky bugs that this time of year brings.

Spinach seedlings pop their heads out of the soil.

We’ve also recently planted quite a bit of spinach and lettuce in some of the garden rows where squash, corn, and beans used to thrive. Now they’re just starting to pop up and leaf out. If all goes well, we’ll be in for a lot of spinach through the winter. We’ve also begun work on the new garden plot, preparing it for a very productive spring by starting some cover crops (these will fill the soil with beneficial nutrients). Next spring we plan on doubling the amount of growing space that we had this year.

Kids from Head Middle Magnet and West End Middle spent part of their fall intercession time at the Farm on Monday.

Fall also means school is back in session. This week we’ve had some great groups of Metro Nashville Public Schools students who volunteered at the Farm as part of their fall intercession and our Hands On Fall Break volunteer opportunities with the HON VolunTEEN Program. In addition to helping turn compost and harvest vegetables, the kids learned how compost works (it gets up to 160 degrees!), why drinks full of sugar aren’t good for our bodies, and how to choose healthier alternatives. A seventh grader named Ricky said he wished he could come to the Farm every day… maybe we have a future farmer in our midst!

VolunTEEN volunteers harvested all these sweet potatoes today!!
We got this awesome thank-you card from the West End Middle students!

If you’ve been by the Farm in a few weeks, you probably noticed our amazing new swings. We were very fortunate to have employees from Molex volunteered last month to make the swings and create some new compost bins. Their enthusiastic volunteerism will help make the farm more productive and enjoyable. The swings are made from beautiful cedar wood, and next spring we’ll have food vines growing up the trellised sides, adding to the food grown at the Farm. We have great hopes for those swings being covered in grapes, muscadines, kiwis, blackberries, raspberries, and all manner of other tasty treats.

Also, we were honored to be featured in Nashville Public Television’s Volunteer Gardener show, which aired this week. Check it out below!

I hope you’ll come down and enjoy the space sometime soon, and if you’d like to volunteer with us this fall, check out our volunteer opportunities here!


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.

Turtles, Picnic Tables, & Summer Camp at the HON Urban Farm

By Josh Corlew, HON Urban Agriculture Program Manager –

We have a lot of visitors on the Farm, each one bringing their own special gifts. Volunteers bring their willing spirit and hard work, donors bring the resources needed to keep our program going, our apprentices bring leadership and education, and our campers bring a youthful enthusiasm and curiosity. But there are also several non-human visitors on the Farm. Here’s a picture of one of the more unique visitors that our apprentices found last week:

Photo of turtle
Hi, momma Shelly.

We named him Sheldon initially, welcomed him to our space, and went about our day. Later that afternoon we came back to find Sheldon is actually Shelly… she had dug a nest in our tomato row! We’re not sure if she’ll be back to lay eggs or raise some tiny turtles, but we’ll keep an eye out for her.

Another favorite visitor to the Farm is Sally the salamander, and she helps keep the pests at bay:

Photo of salamander
Isn’t he cute?!

Last Friday one of our corporate partners, Deloitte, joined us for a day of impact. They built five new compost bins and two beautiful picnic tables for us. Here’s one of the cedar picnic tables:

Cedar picnic table
These picnic tables will provide a much-needed place to relax and take a breather for our Farm volunteers. Thank you, Deloitte!

This week was our first week of Summer Camp at the Farm. Every day we’ll have teens from area nonprofits coming out to learn and work on the Farm. Led by our apprentices, the campers learn about the food system, how to grow food, why it’s important to eat healthy food, and how to cook some simple recipes using farm fresh produce. Our schedules are booked from Mondays through Thursdays, but on Fridays we have room for other teens to come participate. If you’re 11 through 18 and would like to join us on the Farm on a Friday, just sign up here by clicking on one of the VolunTEEN opportunities. Learn more about the HON Urban Farm here.

JoshJosh 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.


Introducing the Urban Farm Summer Apprentices

By Josh Corlew, HON Urban Agriculture Program Manager –

This week brings a very exciting new addition to the farm: our apprentices! I’m so excited about the team of eight youth apprentices that we have training with us right now. They went through a rigorous application and interview process and I’m convinced that every one of them is up to the challenging and fun season that we have ahead of us.

This summer HON Urban Farm apprentices will lead groups of up to 60 of their peers through a curriculum around agriculture, the food system, and healthy eating. They will be the leaders of our Youth Summer Camp held at the Urban Farm. I want to dedicate the rest of this post to introducing our awesome new team.

Meet the HON Urban Farm Apprentices (in alphabetical order):

Photo of Ashley
Meet Ashley! She loves dance.

Ashley attends Glencliff High Schooland helps tutor math. She’s very active in dance classes and enjoys a wide variety of dance styles including tap, jazz, and ballet.

Photo of Chloe
Chloe is captain of her varsity softball team.

Chloe attends MLK Academic Magnet High Schoolwhere she is active in Beta Club. A softball player, Chloe is on the varsity team where she also serves as captain.

Photo of Evie
Evie has been in several plays at her school and The Nashville Children’s Theater.

Evie attends Hume Fogg High School. She’s very interested in drama and has participated in many plays at her school as well as productions at The Nashville Children’s Theater. An active member of her church’s youth group, Evie also has helped to organize the CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) walk for the past several years.

Photo of Jazmin
Jazmin aspires to be a professional chef.

Jazmin attends Glencliff High School and is all about the extracurriculars. Her resume is chocked full of participation in service and cultural groups including Latinas Unidas, Rise Above Hate, Jump Study Foundation, and United Nations, just to name a few. She offers her bilingual talents as a translator for after-school tutoring programs, and aspires to be a professional chef!

Photo of Maria
Maria is an active member of the Glencliff High garden club.

Maria attends Glencliff High school where she is very active in many clubs including the Garden Club (yay!), ITOP, Beta Club, Teens United, and United Nations. Maria has also worked with the Oasis Center and hopes to continue to grow in her leadership abilities this summer.

Photo of Maynan
Maynan’s name means “shining moon.”

Maynan attends McGavock High School and has been in the U.S. for about seven years. She enjoys helping out with a Bantu summer camp in her free time. In her native country, Kenya, her name means “shining of the moon”.

Photo of Saida
Saida enjoys tutoring kids in Nashville’s Bantu community.

Saida is a student at McGavock High School. She likes to tutor kids in the Bantu community in after-school programs and is also actively involved with Catholic Charities. Saida has experience growing food from her days in Africa, and we’re excited to learn from her this summer!

Photo of TJ
TJ has experience in designing and building garden beds out of cob.

TJ has just graduated from Glencliff High School. While he was there he was a part ofthe Garden Club and an Engineering class in which he helped design and build garden beds out of cob. While TJ has many talents, one of his favorite activities is parkour.

It has been a pleasure getting to know these remarkable young people over the past week, and we are really looking forward to a rich summer of learning, growing, and teaching.