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urban garden youth employment

Youth age 12-18 have the opportunity to apply for garden based summer work experiences.  These experiences are designed to build basic job, entrepreneur, communication, and leadership skills through garden based work at urban garden sites.  There are two components to the youth garden work experience:  CityFresh Entrepreneurs, and Community Youth Leaders.  The National Content Standards for Entrepreneurship Education are used to guide program planning and development in all Urban Garden Youth Employment programs.

urban garden youth employment

CityFresh Entrepreneurs
are engaged in garden-based entrepreneurial work experiences.  Using small, garden-based business models CityFresh entrepreneurs, facilitated by an adult leader, take part in all aspects of establishing and running a small, garden-based business.  From growing, marketing, and delivering a quality product, to cultivating satisfied customers and making connections with business people in the community, CityFresh Entrepreneurs gain hands-on skills while developing basic job skills through horticulture.

  • The CityFresh Veggies 1 and 2 Teams (ages 12-13 and 13-14) grow and sell fresh herbs and vegetables to local restaurant chefs. The focus of Veggie 1is to work with established customers and meet those customers' needs. The focus of Veggies 2 is on the creation of a marketing plan and sales pitch to build the customer base. 
  • The CityFresh Garden Products Team (ages 15-16) create a brand and partner with a Twin Cities company to manufacture and sell a unique product. The most recent garden-based item developed was Ba-Ba-Basil Ice Cream, produced and distributed by Izzy's Ice Cream, made with Genovese Basil grown by Urban Garden youth.

urban garden youth employment

Community Youth Leaders
Practice leadership and communication skills through community-building work experiences.  The youth, facilitated by an adult leader, design and deliver garden-related programs in the community.  Whether youth are testing new ways to grow food in an urban environment, or leading a neighborhood greening initiative, Urban Garden youth leaders expand their communication and leadership skills through horticulture in the community.

  • Oak Park Garden Team youth (ages 12-13) grow fresh vegetables and identify a charitable organization to donate their produce to as they work to provide tornado and hunger relief in affected neighborhoods of North Minneapolis.
  • Community Green Team members (ages 14-15) learn about non-profit organizations and about how plants affect the environment and our health. The mission is to visit and learn about non-profit organizations and educate them about plants that will be beneficial to their organizations in dealing with indoor air pollution. 
  • Garden Explorers (ages 14-16) improve the Arboretum's urban outreach programs by comparing them with other gardening groups to identify recommendations to incorporate into the Arboretum's future programming.
  • The Growing for Good Project (12 youth, ages 16-17) focuses on public gardening and community outreach. The teams will install, plant and maintain demonstration container gardens featuring healthy food plants at 20 community partner, non-profit organizations in North and South Minneapolis. The youth will also create a presentation and educational materials to provide the community with information about using container gardens and growing food.
  • SMILES (Summer Meals Integrated for Learning to Eat Smart) Team (6 youth, ages 17-19) will learn about nutrition, healthy eating, and menu planning as they plan, prepare, and test nutritious and delicious recipes to develop a cookbook. Each dish will use commonly available, fresh summer garden produce and be prepared and tested by the SMILES team to ensure the included recipes are tasty, kid-approved and simple to prepare. Throughout the summer, SMILES will perform demonstration style cooking presentations for Urban Garden participants, families, and community members utilizing and sharing the recipes they have developed.

urban garden youth employment

Urban Garden Youth Employment Learning Objectives:

  • Horticulture skills: planting, harvesting, plant care
  • Basic job skills: following through on assigned tasks, filling out time cards, calling in when sick or late, communicating with supervisor, learning how to act at work
  • Business skills: marketing tools, product list, invoice & billing, delivery & quality assurance, customer service, finding new customers, generating new product ideas, developing strategies to position products
  • Communication and interpersonal skills: public speaking, presentations, sales calls, effective listening skills, customer communications

2015 Summer Jobs in Urban Garden Program:

CityFresh New Products Team Facilitator

CityFresh Veggies Team Facilitator

Growing Good Communications Team Facilitator

Instructor Children's Garden in Residence

Lead Instructor Children's Garden in Residence

Lead Urban Gardener

Lead Urban Gardener Apprentice

Urban Gardener Outreach Team: Lead Gardener Apprentice

Urban Garden Program Overview

Urban Garden Youth Employment Teams 2012

Summer 2012
In their own words:

CityFresh Produce Team Overview

CityFresh Veggies 1 Team Overview

CityFresh Veggies 2 Team Overview

CityFresh New Products Team Overview
    Recipes for cooking with JamMN

Growing For Good Garden Team Overview

Seed Packets Garden Products Team Overview

Urban Garden Leadship Team / UROC Coordinator

Please contact the Arboretum's Education department for further information 612-301-1210