Two words that Grow Binghamton crew member Kia would use to describe her summer with VINES are different and smooth. “Different because we usually have a bigger group, now there are less of us and it’s smooth because everyone is returning so we already know what to do.”
As with all VINES programming the Grow Binghamton Youth Program had to adapt to the world we’re living in this year. Just six youth were hired for the crew this year, instead of the usual 25, to ensure the safety and health of everyone in the program. As Kia pointed out, all youth hired had participated previously in the program so there was less basic training involved allowing for leadership skills to be honed this season.
The size also contributed to a sense of closeness for the crew. “There are times we just have open conversations,” Crew Leader Tayvia said, “and we trust each other when we are talking.” Crew member Robert echoed the sentiment saying that not only did he feel closer to his peers but that he got to know VINES staff better than he had in previous years.
Over the course of the six-week program the crew not only grew and harvested shares for 65 Urban Farm Share members they also visited Shared Roots Farm to harvest garlic and Bleuet Hill Farm for blueberry picking. They had a myriad of guest speakers share information about everything from composting with Cornell Cooperative Extension to financial literacy with SEED Planning Group. As well, they worked with the Broome Community Land Trust to interview local residents about their experiences with housing.
Learn more about their summer and the impact the Grow Bing crew had on the community on our website.
Your donation to VINES keeps our Grow Binghamton program running! Thank you!