Sunday, July 25, 2010

ENYF! = Exciting Nutritious Yummy Foods!

Daysha (left) and Becky (right) are guest bloggers from our Summer Youth Employment Program at the High School for Public Service Youth Farm in partnership with the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders and their Growing Leaders Program.

Motivation….motivation , motivation, motivation! One of the many terms that describes the farmers of East New York Farms! (ENYF!). 12 years running and still going strong, it’s the place where positive attitudes are always active. Working as a team built strong with confidence, we received a warm welcome from many friendly faces when we arrived. The ENYF! mission is to spread awareness about fresh foods to the community, get youth off the streets, and to send a positive message that there is a healthier alternative in their neighborhood.

Suetanya & Cameal, who are Farm Education Interns, gave us a grand tour of their wonderful farm (located on 613 new lots avenue) starting with their bumble bee tool shed which we affectionately named Luis as a mate to our tool shed named the “divalicious” Lola . We saw many varieties of fruits and vegetables that the farmers hard work grew. One of their crops that surprised us the most was their bitter melon.Up tall, spiky, and containing a bitter taste that is optional to eat raw or cooked, this fascinating produce really made our eyes pop !

The farm provides, in our opinion, one of the most popular fruits on the planet, the acidic and sweet taste of the red juicy strawberries. Barely growing this season, a few strawberries were left over and felt the need to shine.

After the tour, which included a rain water collection system (far left), a green house powered by the sun (middle), a man-made bee hive (which they harvest honey from), a pond, a shade shack, a compost system (ABC, 123), a fabulous mural (right), a stone oven, and 70 different fruits and vegetables, we were given an opportunity that we couldn’t refuse…TO VOLUNTEER! Luis supplied us with tools to help us with the volunteer work we were ready to take on. Being a group of 7 added on to their 12 we made a positive step to help out their farming environment. Helping with compost & weeding, we used their tools to our best advantage. From helping them turn their warm, steamy compost, to pulling up every farmer's worst nightmare (aren’t weeds just the worst?!) we felt like we were a part of their farming community. We strive for “Motivation….Motivation, Motivation, Motivation” on our farm here at the High School for Public Service. It was more than a pleasure visiting ENYF! and creating new friends to make a larger dedicated community.

If you would like to buy produce at ENYF! visit them on Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm and Saturdays 9:00am-3:00pm, 613 New Lots Avenue. Check out the ENYF! blog for a calendar of events and intern opportunities at the farm.