Curriculum & Resources: The Food Project
The Food Project not only grows good produce, it grows good people. Based in the Boston area, The Food Project works with more than 125 teens and thousands of volunteers each year to grow over a quarter-million pounds of chemical-free food— donating thousands of pounds of produce to local hunger relief organizations and selling the remainder through community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm shares and farmers markets.
Just as important, The Food Project is a resource on sustainable communities. Their wisdom and experience are accessible to organizations and individuals worldwide. This venerable organization’s wealth of information and knowledge is available through materials, workshops, videos, and more.
Here are just a few of The Food Project’s resources. Classroom teachers, informal educators, and community organizers, be prepared to be inspired!
The Food Project's manual series captures the nuts and bolts of each of its acclaimed programs and address the fundamental principles, structures, and philosophies vital to the success of any youth-based program. Manuals include how to run a sustainable production farm while integrating thousands of youth and volunteers; how to engage young people throughout the school year with community-based programs; and how to establish food lots in urban areas.
EXPLORE The Food Project Manuals
How do you successfully establish trust and rapport with teens and thousands of volunteers? From ice breakers to team building, The Food Project shares its tried-and-true games that build reliance and camaraderie in any group of youth and adults. Activities to introduce groups to specific issues, such as food systems and hunger, are also offered.
EXPLORE The Food Project Activities
Teen participants with The Food Project not only are taught to plant seeds, they are also taught the science and merits of sustainable agriculture. The eight-part series is an accumulation of years of experience, with units that cover the principles of sustainable agriculture and food systems; the importance of compost and fertile soil; the role of insects in farming; and—my favorite—weed management (if only …).
Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, they work with over a hundred teens and thousands of volunteers to farm on 31 acres in rural Lincoln, Mass. and on several lots in urban Boston. They focus on identifying and transforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in unusually responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work.
- New Crop of Farmers: The Food Project's Jessica Liborio
Jessica has spent half her life working with The Food Project, a Massachusetts nonprofit whose mission is to connect urban youth with sustainable agriculture.
- Brower Youth Award Winner Diana Lopez
- The Food Project photo essay by John Wang
Fresh chard, freshly harvested in the morning by Summer Youth Program youth, heads to a market managed by The Food Project in Lynn, Mass.
The above resources accompany the April 2013 YES! Education Connection Newsletter
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