Monday, September 2, 2013

Meet more Youth Farmers!


Although our 2013 summer Youth Farm has officially come to an end, there are several more youth leaders we haven’t had a chance to introduce you to yetAmirah Davis and Kadiata Kaba are two of our youngest program participants who happen to be best friends and are about to start their sophomore year at the High School for Public Service. 
“I am really going to Miss Dhira’s daily cooking demonstrations.  My cooking skills have improved a lot since working on the farm this summer,” shares Kadiata. 
 “I never fully appreciated what I’ve been putting into my body until this summer; I have learned a lot in our nutrition classes,” adds Amirah.
“Our youth advisors and teachers this summer have shown a lot of patience with all of us.  We definitely have a lot to learn as teenagers, but I was impressed by how open to criticism our teachers were.  They wanted to know what they might be doing wrong and could possibly do better in the future,” says Amirah as Kadiata nods in agreement. 
“Working on the farm this summer has inspired me to have a garden in my 1st home if at all possible.  I would like to grow mostly flowers and fruit.  And I would definitely like to come back to the farm next year.  My skills should be higher and I would enjoy passing them onto others.  I have loved working the market and getting the chance to track money and spending with the customers,” shares Kadiata.
“I plan to be in a leadership role next summer if I am invited back.  I want to share my knowledge with others and help them to succeed here, too.  I had applied for the Summer Youth Lottery, but I didn’t get chosen.  I would have been able to work with various companies in the city.  I can honestly say that I am glad I ended up working on the farm because I was physically active all summer and I learned a lot of great information and skills,” Amirah states with conviction.
Both Kadiata and Amirah can’t say that they love composting but they recognize how important it is for the environment.  “It’s just a smart way to create healthy soil,” says Kadiata.  “I agree,” shares Amirah, “Compost has more moisture than regular soil and is so healthy for the plants.  But I could do without the bugs sometimes!  I probably hate trellising tomatoes even more than composting because we’re always playing catch up with the plant, but maybe my experience will be different next summer.”  “We’re here to do a job and you just learn to deal with some uncomfortable feelings on the farm,” adds Kadiata.
Amirah has enjoyed working with the hand fork because she likes to weed shallow plants.  And Kadiata actually loves irrigation – especially with a wand.  “I really like the rhythm of going back and forth when I’m watering a bed of plants.  The sprinkler can be too broad, but the wand is just right.”
Amirah plans to attend Howard University in the future and wants to possibly become a gynecologist.  “I really care about women,” she states. “I love kids,” adds Kadiata, who is seriously considering becoming a pediatrician.  “It would be great to teach kids how to recognize plants. First you smell them and if edible, taste them.”

“ Oh I’m really going to miss being on the farm, but hopefully we’ll be back!” exclaims Amirah who gives Kadiata a hug as they are walking back to the group.