Tag Archives: Hands On Nashville Urban Farm

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!

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Crop City 2015 – Mid-summer Recap

060815_Crop City-6The warm summer sun is upon us, veggies are thriving at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm and Crop City summer camp is in full bloom. Here’s a look at what’s been on the learning menu during weeks 1-3!  Continue reading Crop City 2015 – Mid-summer Recap

Youth Spotlight: Solteria

Leeks
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: Daniel McDonell

Hands On Nashville Volunteer Daniel McDonald blowing insulation during a Home Energy Savings Project in January 2015.
Hands On Nashville Volunteer Daniel McDonell blowing insulation during a Home Energy Savings Project in January 2015.

It wasn’t long after Daniel McDonell moved to Nashville that he began volunteering. In his first year as a HON volunteer, Daniel has made a significant impact during sustainability-focused projects. We recently caught up with the Memphis native about his passion for the environment, favorite projects, and why he thinks volunteering is one way to keep the civic character of thriving town. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Daniel McDonell

Please Join us in Welcoming our Newest Team Members!

Over the last few months, we’ve welcomed three new AmeriCorps members to the Hands On Nashville team! Charlotte, Nicholas, and Ashleigh will all play leading roles in supporting Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC), which offers year-round service-learning opportunities to inspire and empower youth ages 11 to 18 to create meaningful community change. Continue reading Please Join us in Welcoming our Newest Team Members!

Clear Your Yard & Help Our Farm!

FallLeaves
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 adam@hon.org.

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!

Introducing our 2014-15 Urban Agriculture Communities & Food Interns!

We’d like to introduce you to a group of nine outstanding Urban Agriculture Communities & Food Interns who will be serving with us throughout the 2014-15 school year!

The Urban Agriculture Communities & Food internship is a service-learning opportunity for high school students who want to gain sustainable gardening and community development skills while working to address social justice. After a highly competitive application process, these youth were selected to serve.

We’re excited to introduce them to you now….

"I serve because I believe in the power of youth!" - Grace Bryant, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I believe in the power of youth!” – Grace Bryant, HON Communities & Food Intern

Grace Bryant is a junior at Glencliff High School where she is a leader on the Garden Club each year. As a Communities & Food Intern this summer, Grace led the “Growing Station” at Hands On Nashville’s Crop City Youth Development Program. Through this internship, Grace’s goal is to learn more about food insecurity issues facing our community and how to help.

Fun Fact: Grace’s favorite hobby is knitting. She says she loves that she can make things for others.

 
"I serve because we've got work to do." - Simon Cooper,, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because we’ve got work to do.” – Simon Cooper, HON Communities & Food Intern

Simon Cooper is junior at Hume-Fogg  Academic High School where he is Class Vice President, a member of the environmental club, and is co-president of debate club. Simon is returning for his second consecutive year as a Communities & Food Intern. “I would like to learn as much about the food system as possible, so that I will be armed with the knowledge necessary to help remedy it,” he says.

Fun Fact: Simon’s favorite hobby is reading because, as he says, “one can learn anything” by reading.”

 
"I serve because it makes me happy!" - Emily Dunn, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because it makes me happy!” – Emily Dunn, HON Communities & Food Intern

Emily Dunn, a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, has spent the past two summers making a difference as a Teaching Intern at Hands On Nashville’s Crop City Youth Development Program. Emily is also a Volunteer Leader at HON’s Urban Farm, and says she would like to gain more knowledge about food deserts so that she can better understand how the community can help resolve them.

Fun Fact: If Emily could have superpowers, she would be able to fly or breathe under water. “Just think about all the exploring you could do,” she says.

 
Emma Fischer, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because through service comes greatness.” – Emma Fischer, HON Communities & Food Intern

Emma Fischer is a senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School who is no stranger to the Hands On Nashville team. Emma is currently a Volunteer Leader at Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm, has helped lead youth community service events, like Global Youth Service Day 2014, and served as a Communities & Food Intern during the 2013-14 school year.

Fun Fact: If Emma could travel anywhere, she would go to the moon.

 
"I serve because I enoy the feeling of helping others!" - Cameron Jackson, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I enjoy the feeling of helping others!” – Cameron Jackson, HON Communities & Food Intern

Cameron Jackson is a junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. Cameron’s goal for this internship is to improve the food system in her community while working with people who want to do the same. Cameron is currently a member of Mayor’s Youth Council, is on the Board of Directors at Epicenter Nashville, and is a Student Government Association representative at her school.

Fun Fact: If Cameron could only listen to one CD/album forever, it would be My Everything by Ariana Grande. “It has a song for every emotion,” she says.

 
Rachel Langley, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
Rachel Langley, HON Communities & Food Intern

Rachel Langley is a junior at Nashville School of the Arts. As a Communities & Food Intern, Rachel’s goal is to help other people achieve their goals of growing their own food and making better food choices to enhance positive lifestyles. She says raising and caring for her nephew and cousin has been an important leadership role in her life, and she looks to apply her knowledge throughout this internship.

Fun Fact: If Rachel could have any superpower it would be to fly so she could go anywhere at any time.

 
"I serve because I believe I can make a difference in the world." Rachel Tuggle, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I believe I can make a difference in the world.” – Rachel Tuggle, HON Communities & Food Intern

Rachel Tuggle is a senior at Donelson Christian Academy where she is the President of Interact Club, a Student Ambassador, and helps lead the school’s Chemistry Club. As a Communities & Food Intern, Rachel wants to learn ways to help integrate better methods of food production and distribution into the community.

Fun Fact: Rachel’s favorite hobby is painting. “It helps me relax and makes me feel better,” she says.

 
"I serve because it makes people happy!" Destiny Rainer, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because it makes people happy!” – Destiny Rainer, HON Communities & Food Intern

Destiny Rainer is a junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. As a Communities & Food Intern, Destiny’s goal is to learn more about the community food system, and become a better leader.
Fun Fact: If Destiny could eat only one food forever, she would eat peaches – “they’re healthy and taste great,” she says!

 
"I serve because I love to help people." - Iyana Rainer, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I love to help people.” – Iyana Rainer, HON Communities & Food Intern

Iyana Rainer is a freshman at Nashville School of the Arts where she is in the Beta Club, and has served on the Student Council. As a Communities & Food Intern, Iyana’s goal is to try new and healthy foods, and bolster her communications skills.
Fun Fact: If Iyana could eat only one food forever, she would eat watermelon – it’s healthy!

A Great Summer of Youth Service!

We had a blast serving and learning with hundreds of outstanding youth this summer. We explored issues that impact our community, talked about sustainable eating and healthy food choices at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm, and worked alongside skilled youth interns and other future leaders. What can we say? We’re already looking forward to next summer! Here’s a recap of our 2014 summer.


Crop City 2014 Youth Development Program Recap:

Crop City 2014 Participants_1
Youth from Sophia’s Heart harvest materials for Squash Slaw at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!

Last week, Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture team wrapped up its six-week youth development program, Crop City, and it was a huge success! Over the past two months, 763 youth spent a total of 1,923 hours learning about nutrition, the social and environmental impacts of our food choices, and of course, gardening, at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

Each day, participants played educational games and harvested food from the garden, which they then used to create healthy, delicious snacks right at the Farm. Over the summer we harvested and ate 646 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies! This year’s partners included the Martha O’Bryan Center, Y-CAP, Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Watkins Park Community Center, Sofia’s Heart, and Youth Villages.

To see more pictures of the Crop City 2014, click here.

To learn more about our outstanding Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns who led Crop City this summer, click here.


Youth Volunteer Corps Summer Camp Recap

2014 YVC Summer Youth Camp Week 3
Youth serving at The Nashville Food Project during week three of YVC Summer Camp.

This summer, Hands On Nashville also launched YVC Summer Camp, a brand new summer camp for youth ages 14-18. Each week, campers explored an issue that impacts our community.

During the months of June and July, campers learned about environmental issues, homelessness and hunger, health and wellness, and youth education, and served the Nashville community through experiential service-learning projects. Campers served at the Nashville Rescue Mission, gardened at BELL Garden, sorted medical supplies at Project C.U.R.E. and served and learned with many other community organizations.

2014 YVC Summer Camp Week 4
Youth serving at Fannie Battle during week four of HON’s YVC Summer Camp.

Huge thanks to our 2014 Summer Youth Leaders, Ben, Cecilia, Emily, and Conor, for helping make YVC Summer Camp a success!


Interested in serving as a youth leader? Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps is now recruiting passionate, dedicated youth to serve as leaders for our ongoing, monthly volunteer projects. Email Ashleigh at hon.org for more information.

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 adam@hon.org.

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.