One of the things that I love about the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) is their desire to bring the community into the fold. What I mean is that the organization is able to empower people to join in on the organization’s successes, and that only leads to further successes down the road. By offering up hands on learning opportunities, Buffalo’s youth is able to participate in practical, philosophical, and experiential opportunities.
On Friday, April 19th through Sunday, April 21st, 2013, MAP staff will be hosting a weekend-long training event that is geared toward promoting urban, youth centered agriculture. The training program is designed to give participants an opportunity to learn about urban fish farming, composting, and value-added food production – these are a few of the main components that make up MAP’s Growing Green program. According to MAP, trainees will also be able to “hear from regional experts on food system planning and development, and network with other beginning or established urban farmers.”
For those who are interested, the training information is listed below:
FRIDAY, APRIL 19th
5:00-7:00pm Welcome Reception and Registration
Join us for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, networking, and to hear an overview of the history and work of the Massachusetts Avenue Project.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20th
8:30-9:30am Breakfast and Registration
9:30-10:50am Workshop Block 1
Farm Planning and Management An in-depth look at the management and function of our urban farm, during all four seasons. Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager and Katie Pfohl, MAP’s Farm and Markets Assistant
Moving Local Food Policy Forward Public policy impacts all aspects of our food system. This workshop will discuss strategies for and challenges in engaging policy makers, the process of creating a Food Policy Council for Buffalo and Erie County and the lessons learned in the process. Led by Diane Picard, MAP’s Executive Director
11:15am – 12:45pm Workshop Block 2
Urban Chickens How to raise, feed, and harvest chickens, with a special focus on doing so in an urban environment. Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manger
Youth Education and Leadership Since 2003, MAP has employed and trained hundreds of low-income youth in Buffalo in organic urban agriculture, social enterprise development, community education and advocacy, food justice, environmental stewardship and food systems development. Growing Green youth have, in turn, educated thousands of community residents. Join us to hear our story, and some tips and lessons learned in educating and empowering young leaders. Led by Diane Picard, MAP’s Executive Director; Rebekah Williams, MAP’s Youth Education Director; and Tyler Manley, MAP’s Mobile Market Director
1:00-2:00pm Lunch and Keynote Address
Building Communities as if People Eat, presented by nationally renowned Food Planner, Dr. Samina Raja, PhD, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo
A time to network and rejuvenate. Enjoy a cup of coffee at Sweetness 7 or Five Points Bakery, browse the international shops along Grant Street or take a walk.
3:00-4:30pm Workshop Block 3
Compost and Worms Learn how to compost for the health of your farm or garden, in compost heaps and in vermicompost bins. Save money by making your own potting mix. Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager
2nd workshop to be determined: This will be a repeat of one of the workshop offerings based on registrants interest
4:45-6:00pm Beer Tasting at Community Beer Works
Dinner on Your Own
SUNDAY, APRIL 21st
9:30-10:50am Workshop Block 4
Aquaponics I: Learn the basic principles behind aquaponic fish farming, before an in-depth tour with Q&A of our own aquaponic systems. Led by Jesse Meeder, MAP’s Farm Manager
Value Added Products MAP’s Growing Green Works value-added products, Super Duper Salsa and Amazing Chili Starter, presented an opportunity for youth to practice leadership in business development and management. A hands-on approach launched in 2006, MAP’s Youth Enterprise program was funded with a one year start-up grant as part of an income generation strategy for youth employment. Our two value-added products sell at over 20 local venues and farmers markets, and in seven Wegmans stores. This workshop will walk participants through the nuts and bolts of developing a value-added product to support the local food system: from farm to shelf. Presenters: Katie Pfohl, MAP Farm Assistant; and Margaret Wenger, Growing Green Works Youth Enterprise Educator
11:15am-12:45pm Workshop Block 5
Farm Sales 101: Farm Stands, Mobile Markets, Restaurant Sales, and CSA Learn different strategies for selling your produce to a diverse market. Led by Tyler Manley, MAP’s Mobile Market Director and Katie Pfohl, MAP’s Farm and Markets Assistant
2:00-3:30pm Workshop Block 6
Community Gardens 101 Are you trying to start a community garden or sustain the one you belong to? This workshop will provide resources for starting and sustaining community gardens as well as strategies for engaging diverse community members and organizations to ensure success. Susannah Barton, Executive Director of Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, in partnership with a community garden leader (TBA) will share their experience and knowledge as facilitators of this workshop.
2nd workshop to be determined: This will be a repeat of one of the previously held workshops based on registrants interest
3:30pm Evaluation and Departure
Deadline to register is April 12th, 2013. Click here for more details or to register online.
*Please note one schedule change: the Community Gardening 101 workshop originally scheduled for Saturday was moved to Sunday.
The weekend-long workshop includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, a cocktail reception, and these intensive, hands-on training opportunities.