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.”
“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.”
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.
"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.