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On June 27, Youth and Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) and The Talking Farm welcomed families from the community to the urban garden space at Y.O.U.’s Youth Center and Headquarters, 1911 Church St., to participate in enrichment activities and learn about the joint programming offered by Y.O.U. and The Talking Farm.
Y.O.U. and The Talking farm are partnering on the Food, Farming, and Future program. Founded in January 2018, “F Cubed” teaches high school program participants about environmental justice, food production and business development through the urban farm space. Participants care for the ten raised garden beds and then sell the produce at the West End Farmers Market and donate it to the Evanston Vineyard Food Pantry. Residents can purchase F-Cubed produce at the West End Farmers Market, Church Street at Dodge Avenue, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Aug. 4.
The Farm Day enrichment activities included garden tours hosted by The Talking Farm manager Matt Ryan, raised bed and composting workshops, flower planting and planter decorating facilitated by Y.O.U. staff, cooking demonstrations by local culinary master Chef Q and tile decorating with mural artist Piloto. The tiles will be incorporated into a mural being created by Y.O.U.’s high school program participants. Boxes of produce from the Y.O.U. garden were raffled off at the event.
A representative from The James B Moran Center for Youth Advocacy was also present to provide information about the recently opened civil legal clinic at Chute Middle School.
“My two boys and I thoroughly enjoyed Y.O.U.’s Farm Day. Tile making, unconventional but delicious veggie taco demo, and garden tour activities were top notch. The crew at Y.O.U. and the Talking Farm are truly invested in our community,” said community member Liz Gustafson.
Y.O.U. CEO Maggie Blinn DiNovi said “As part of our commitment to providing Y.O.U. programming to the communities surrounding our new building, Y.O.U. has been excited to offer a variety of Saturday enrichment opportunities over the past year, including today’s Community Farm Day. These programs have given youth and families an opportunity to come together and learn new skills related to cooking, coding, STEM, urban farming and the arts and we look forward to continuing to offer these types of enrichment opportunities as a complement to our after school and summer programming.”