Growing Food, Growing Leaders

Youth Farm welcomes visitors to their gardens for Taste of the Farm fundraising event

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Youth Farm’s Taste of the Farm event

Photo by Chris Shaffner

On September 18, Youth Farm hosted Taste of the Farm at Zion Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Supporters toured one of the farms and enjoyed a farm-to-table meal by chefs from Brasa and Restaurant Alma. Youth Farm gives children experience in raising, preparing, and selling food.

Yasmin Banishoraka: I started in Youth Farm when I was 8 years old and it pushed my leadership skills. I am currently on the Lyndale Neighborhood Association board and am 18 years old, the youngest age you can apply to be a board member. Youth Farm also made me recognize my passion for teaching kids.

Shannon Banishoraka: Youth Farm raises better individuals and emphasizes that you can’t just take; you also have to give back. My daughter Yasmin started a community garden for kids across the street. The garden has had a big effect on neighborhood children.

Jesús Pérez: I’ve grown up in the Youth Farm program since I was 10. I’m 23 now and currently working as a farm steward. I help kids and teens to build relationships with other kids and with the community. I came to the U.S. from Mexico, and I didn’t have friends. Youth Farm is a really friendly space. You don’t get judged for who you are. That’s why I kept coming.

Shanna Woods: I started at Youth Farm when I was 8 years old. I will be 25 soon and currently do youth work and want to study to be a naturalist. The program has meant a lot to me. We used to go to farms all of the time, and we’d see cows and goats. We got to interact with the animals and understand their interdependence with the whole farm. Youth Farm exposes youth to these cool experiences.

Fatumo Mohamed: I like gardening because I get to witness when things start out as a tiny bud. I like when they grow, and knowing I made it happen. It’s amazing to see that whole process. My favorite flowers to grow are sunflowers because they face the sun.