Grow Pittsburgh’s Urban Farmers in Training Program provides local teens with the opportunity to gain summer employment while learning about the value of growing and eating healthy food. Our program has four components that are woven throughout the summer experience:
Learning to Grow Food
Every participant is intimately connected to the process of growing food from planting seeds, to garden maintenance, pest i.d. and harvesting. Students leave with skills that can be applied to other farm projects, community gardens or backyard gardens.
It is essential to make the connection between growing the food and actually preparing and eating the food. We focus on using seasonal produce from the farm to prepare easy and delicious meals with the youth.
Understanding the Food System
We run a series of workshops and discussions to help students understand the larger food system and the implications that they have on the health of the environment, the community and the individual.
Building Leadership and Public Speaking Skills
Each year we often hear that the highlight of the program is working with the public in selling farm produce at a weekly farm stand. Students are consistently given authentic leadership and public speaking opportunities through working the farm stand, leading tours of the farm, presenting in the annual youth garden summit and participating in our internal “leader of the week” program.
We currently run this program in Braddock and Homewood. These projects are made possible in collaboration with the Braddock Youth Project and The Homewood Children’s Village. UFIT runs for six weeks each summer at both sites.