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Urban Delights Youth Farmstand Project    
> VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
Executive Summary
Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc. has partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Onondaga County and SUNY ESF to expand our Urban Delights Youth Farmstand Project and implement the Southwest Community Farm Project. Utilizing the �Youth Corps� model, the Jubilee Homes� expanded Urban Delights program of 10 � 15 youth will develop an Urban Farm to 1) grow fresh produce 2) educate community residents on sustainable growing practices, and 3) improve the use and quality of vacant land. Youth will plan, design and establish the farm through after-school and summer employment programs developed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, and Jubilee Homes. The Southwest Community Farm Project was awarded a substantial grant from the Lincoln Bellevue Community Initiatives Planning Group to implement this project as the anchor for a comprehensive Midland, Lincoln, Bellevue neighborhood development project

Motivation

The Jubilee Homes� Southwest Community Farm Project is an innovative project designed to provide youth from the inner city with employment opportunities and simultaneously promote good citizenship and positive environmental practices within Southwest Syracuse. The Southwest Community Farm Project will be developed within Syracuse�s Southwest Community which is an area plagued by environmental risks inclusive of vacant land, poor soil quality, and food insecurity. Due to the lack of financial resources available within the Southwest Community to stimulate and support healthy development, vacant land within the neighborhood continues to increase as houses and old buildings are demolished. Furthermore the demolition of commercial and residential structures has contaminated the soil via the left remnants of sub surface structures and contaminants such as lead and asbestos. As well, the Southwest Community is comprised of very-low to moderate income households many of whom rely on corner stores, which often offer minimal nutritious food choices and at higher prices than supermarkets.

Southwest Community Farm Project Objectives:
  • Improve the use and environmental and aesthetic quality of vacant land � The Southwest Community Farm design will be completed by project partners and will include fencing to provide security and identity for the facility. The farm is in its first phase of development. In 2011 youth and project partners covered the entire site with a geotextile barrier, on top of which they have built raised beds for growing. In phase two of the plan a hoop and/or green house will be constructed on the site in order to facilitate year round growing. A portion of the space will be dedicated for community use. Area residents alongside project youth will work together to construct their own bed using program tools and materials.
  • Increase Food Security - The Farm combats food security directly by providing healthy foods to Southwest Community residents. The project is also committed to growing produce that is culturally representative of Syracuse�s inner city populations, thereby making access and preferences for fresh produce even more attractive.
  • Enhance community awareness of food security, healthy and nutritious food choices, and the importance of green spaces � Youth promote and assist in facilitating educational events that focus on urban agriculture and healthy eating
  • Youth Development - The Urban Delights youth participants will learn all aspects of developing and managing the urban farm. Youth will also receive extensive training on incorporating healthy eating and lifestyle choices in their lives and the lives of community members. This includes teaching them how to prepare the fruit and vegetables they grow, safe food handling practices, the importance of the variety of fruits and how to make healthy lifestyle choices in a variety of settings.
 

Urban Delights Youth operating
summer produce stands

Former A-Shack Market (492 Midland Ave) & 1 parcel of planned site of Urban farm

Young children enjoying fresh strawberries from the Urban Delights Farmstand at the Lexington Park
Southwest Community Farm Build
November 23, 2010

On November 20th, after years of planning, Jubilee Homes� Southwest Community Farm Project took its first step towards transforming itself from 12 vacant lots into a productive youth-run urban farm. Over 60 volunteers from the neighborhood, Jubilee Homes, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County�s CommuniTree Stewards, Syracuse United Neighbors, local churches, and City of Syracuse Parks, Fire and Neighborhood and Business Development departments gathered to cover five of the 12 lots with four inches of wood chips. See our urban farm ground covering video here.

Volunteers spread approximately 150 cubic yards of willow wood chips over the site and stuffed 600 linear feet of filtrexx garden soxx which was placed around the site to contain the wood chips and to provide a farm border which will be planted in the spring. The ground covering is the start to environmental improvements to the site in preparation for further site construction in the spring of 2011, when raised bed will be built and youth from the Southwest neighborhood of Syracuse will begin farming.

The project is a collaboration of Jubilee Homes, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Starting in 2011 youth employed by the Urban Delights program will learn about entrepreneurship, food systems and food security through urban farming on the site. Community garden space will also be available for neighborhood residents. These efforts are supported in part by a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Justice grant.

The farm build was made possible by our partners and significant contributions from the City of Syracuse, SUNY-ESF Willow Biomass Project, the Midland-Lincoln-Bellevue Community Initiatives Working Group, filtrexx, and OCRRA. Thank you!

For further information about the farm contact Kristina Kriby at 315-428-0070 or kkirby@jubilee-homes.com.
 




  
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Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc. - 901 Tallman Street - Syracuse, NY 13204 - Phone (315) 428-0070 - Fax (315) 428-0461 - Email info@jubilee-homes.com
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