Rooted at Carnation Farms is one of the most meaningful summer jobs a teen can have. Throughout 7 weeks, employed 32½ hours per week, youth work outside on our farm in beautiful rural Snoqualmie Valley, harvesting produce, weeding, collecting eggs, and learning the basics about farm economics. Roughly half of their time involves hands-on agricultural work, where they gain a deep understanding of their role in providing nutritious, sustainably grown food for people to eat. The other half of their time is a collection of educational workshops, skill-building activities, and community service that provide a strong foundation in understanding the complexities of the food system. Through experiential education, youth learn about environmental sustainability, healthy cooking, sound nutrition, food justice, basic horticulture, public speaking, peer leadership, and more. Equipped with new knowledge and skills, and inspired by their exposure to our farm and staff, they end the summer motivated to be positive change agents.
We bring together teens from diverse backgrounds and experiences from throughout the Snoqualmie Valley and Greater Seattle, who form deep bonds to each other and to the land. By building strong character in youth in our locale, we help build strong communities that value and support local farmers and farm products.
The first year of the program is called the Seed Crew, and we hire young people who have completed their freshman (9th grade) or sophomore (10th grade) year of high school. They form teams of 10 youth, supervised by an adult leader.
In the second year of the program, the Root Crew, teens who have participated in the Seed Crew, return to engage in higher level farming and farm business skills, deepen their understanding of the food system, and participate in field trips to see first-hand how organizations and companies play key roles in a healthy food system. They deepen their attachments to each other, to the farm, and to their commitments to be change agents in the food system.
After the Root Crew, youth may continue the subsequent summer as Peer Leaders with the Seed Crew, and later as Youth Program Educators. Youth in the Seed Crew and Root Crew may extend their work hours in the summer (up to 40 hours per week) and during the academic year with employment opportunities at Carnation Farms.