Gardening the Community

Duration: approx. 30hrs a week for 3 months, Summer 2014

Location: Springfield, Massachusetts

Housing: Housing is not provided. Student is responsible for finding housing.

For more information: Gardening the Community

Qualifications
Strong interest in food justice, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable living in an urban environment; commitment to addressing racism and social justice issues facing youth of color.  Interested also in youth development and community-based learning.  Organizing and coordination skills helpful. Willingness to participate in the varied tasks of the program: from working directly in the soil, to doing outreach, to doing administrative tasks.

Funding: $3000, Available through the Miller Worley Center dispensed through the MHC UAF System.

How to Apply: Students must apply to this position through Lyon Net by midnight Feb 28.  Students must submit a cover letter describing their interests, experiences, and how this internship fits their career interest, a resume and letter of reference/reccomendation. These documents can be uploaded to Lyon Net or emailed to center-environment@mtholyoke.edu. 

(Reccomendation letters should be emailed directly to center-environment@mtholyoke.edu. )

Background
Gardening the Community is a food justice organization engaged in youth development, urban agriculture and sustainable living to build healthy and equitable communities.

The Program Focuses on:

Local Food Production
GtC grows thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables on city land, which are distributed by managing a small farmers' market.

GTC has launched an urban CSA program working with our partner farm, the Next Barn Over CSA, called GTC EATS.  This program provides weekly veggie boxes to neighborhood residents on a sliding scale, to increase access to healthy, affordable produce in our food desert community.  Interns working will help manage, develop and evaluate the program, and work with GTC youth and staff to develop materials and educational resources to help GTC EATS customers and other community members learn more about vegetables and healthy eating/cooking.

Conservation As Sustainable Living
In an effort to increase water conservation and sustainability, GtC integrates perennial food-producing plants into garden systems that also work to prevent erosion.  Fruits and vegetables are transported by a bicycle-powered delivery service, reducing air pollution and promoting healthy lifestyle choices.  Rain collection methods are utilized to reduce dependence on city water supply, and to practice low-input farming.  The organization institutes different levels of alternative growing practices within its program that encourage gardening without the use of chemicals, pesticides, or fossil fuel-powered machinery.

Community Outreach
GtC also distributes its vegetables to community members and neighbors.  This exposure informs the community about fresh, locally grown vegetables within their neighborhood and gains support for community gardens.  Students from the program are taken on field trips to farms, non-profit organizations, and community groups to deepen knowledge of agriculture and social change; they also work to install backyard gardens for community residents.  The organization hosts local youth groups and organizations from around the region, demonstrating to youth and adults the role that urban agriculture can play in community transformation.