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Youth Farm Stand is Growing Business Skills, Entrepreneurship, Nutrition Awareness

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  One of the stands at the Downtown Farmers Market is doing a lot more than helping someone make a salad or get food for the family.  A group of teenagers working there is getting a glimpse of farming, business and even entrepreneurship.


It didn’t start out very glamorous for 14-year-old Diana Santa

“At first we usually weed al lot, and do harvesting and check on the (plants) every week.”

She came to the Urban Delights Youth Farmstand through CNY Works after showing an interest in farming.

“It’s been good so far, the past 3-4 weeks we’ve been here.  We’ve got a lot of home grown food, so that’s good too.”

She’s learning about gardening at an urban garden near the Southwest Community Center, but also some things that will help her move toward her goals nursing.

“It kind of helps me with my leadership and makes me think about  how I should work harder and do what I can to get where I want to be.”

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Much of the produce comes fromm an urban garden near the Southwest Community Center. Youth learn some farming and gardening skills along with the farms stand business experience.

  Most of the vegetables and herbs sold at the stand were grown by the participants.  Nyazhia Rhodes is 15-years-old and wasn’t sure what she was getting into.

“Before when I first found out I would be working at a farm stand, I was like, ‘what is that.’ Then when I finally got here and got introduced to it, it’s actually a nice program.”

She also feels as though she got some business and entrepreneurial skills…and learned a little about nutrition

“Usually I wouldn’t eat vegetables as much as I do now.   I would just eat fruits, but now I eat vegetables because they’re both very important in a nutritional diet.”

The program is sponsored by Jubilee Homes.  It takes the youth to a working farm to learn about farming practices.  Then Director Twiggy Billue has them manage every aspect of the growing and marketing. 

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
The Farmstand is at the Downtown Farmers Market on Tuesdays

  "They are doing some unit pricing, some cost-effectiveness, some financial pieces, seeing how they’re going to bring all these subjects they’re getting in school into the real world; they’re actually getting to put it to use during the farm stand.”

The Urban Delights Farm stand is regularly at the downtown farmers market in Clinton Square.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.