Raising Excitement at the Youth Garden Project

From foodtank.com, by Alyssa Bruns
Raising Excitement at the Youth Garden Project

The Youth Garden Project (YGP) covers one and a half acres leased from Grand County High School in Moab, Utah and offers hands-on learning opportunities for youth and community members. YGP advocates for more local and organically grown food as well as community involvement, beginning with the children. Additionally, YGP provides the local high school with fresh food for school lunches. By teaching students how to grow their own vegetables and fruits, YGP is cultivating excitement about food.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Delite Primus, Executive Director at The Youth Garden Project.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Delite Primus (DP): The Youth Garden Project sees education as a vital part of creating a better food system. We use our garden as an educational platform to teach others how to grow food using organic growing techniques. We also engage kids in the process of growing food which often leads to our youth trying new fruits and vegetables and becoming excited about what they are eating!  

FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?

DP: In 2014, we began to work with the local high school to provide fresh salad greens for the school lunch salad bar. This connects students with the food being grown right next to their school, and often times middle school and high school students are themselves involved in growing the salad greens that they are later eating. We’ve begun to offer other vegetables, as they are available, and beginning in the Fall of 2015 hope to begin educating students about their food during the lunch period. This project is something we are proud of because it includes many aspects of our mission and is the start of changing food options for our local students.  

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

DP: To continue to increase local food accessibility. We have started increasing the accessibility to local food in our community by providing some fresh vegetables to the local high school, donating fresh produce to our community’s food bank, and maintaining a Community Nibble Garden. We would like to expand on some of these projects and continue to take away barriers that make fresh, local, healthy fruits, and vegetables inaccessible to some of our community members.

We will also continue to expand our youth and community programs to engage more individuals in educational experiences. We are set to expand the number of middle school and high school students we are engaging, while also creating new opportunities for community members of all ages. The Youth Garden Project plans to have more youth participants in our programs in 2015 than ever before.

FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?

DP: Buy from local growers and producers.

FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?

DP: The Youth Garden Project has a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals or groups. Individuals may also learn more about participating in our programs, attend a YGP sponsored event, or donate to our organization by visiting our website.

Download the 2014 Good Food Org Guide HERE.

Submit your suggestions for the 2015 guide HERE.