The curriculum for Rooted at Carnation Farms is designed to empower teens to become inspired, educated change agents, motivated to improve the food system. The first summer, youth in the Garden Crew learn farming, take workshops to gain a foundation of various aspects of food’s route from seed to plate, and serve at a food bank. Carnation Farms’ aim is for youth to return the next summer for the Farm Squad, when they build on their knowledge and skills through advanced workshops, business experience with a farm-based enterprise, and service with a food- or agriculture-related organization for community impact.
Rooted Crew Members do physical farm labor to gain first-hand experience understanding the work involved in producing healthful food, for example:
• Weeding, hoeing, harvesting
• Cleaning produce, following quality control and food safety procedures, preparing it for sale
• Feeding chickens, collecting eggs
Crew Members also participate in educational workshops on a variety of topics, taught by Carnation Farms staff and guest speakers, to strengthen their understanding of the complexities of the food system and spark their curiosity. Sample topics include:
• Merits of organic and conventional practices, horticulture, water use, environmental sustainability
• Planning nutritious meals for themselves, label reading, being a savvy consumer
• Crop and animal production in the food system
Rooted incorporates on-the-job training and team-building to develop their abilities to take on leadership roles, equipping them to be agents of change in the food system.
• Public speaking
• Conflict resolution
• Giving and receiving work-related feedback
In 2020, Rooted will accept 20 crew members for the Garden Crew and 10 returning crew members for the Farm Squad. Rooted is managed by a Youth Development and Education Manager and led by three Youth Development Leaders.
To read more comments from Rooted crew members, see their blog posts