On most Monday afternoons this summer, Boys and Girls Club teens have been operating a farm stand at Lincoln Land Community College. They have been learning about local foods and entrepreneurship as part of a six-week Boys and Girls Club program, Teen Career Launch.
In addition to running the stand, the teens get hands-on experience in composting, planting seeds, harvesting and even cooking with produce from the garden. They participate in taste-testing each week to try foods, such as kale, and recipes, like spinach-artichoke dip, made with fresh garden ingredients.
The program helps youth enhance their gardening knowledge, make better food choices, gain cooking skills and explore careers in local foods. It is made possible by a grant from North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education.
While on campus, youth also attend presentations on college and careers. “We’re introducing kids to workforce concepts around food. It helps them explore what they want to do and what it takes to get there,” explains Record.
“The Boys and Girls Club has an interest in starting its own farm stand one day, and we’re glad we could offer them this opportunity to learn,” adds Record. “It’s a great way to get ideas and see what’s possible!”