Rinsing Carrots for Shareboxes
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
This is a proverb perfectly mirrors the experience that high-school aged youth get when they participate in Hidden Villa’s summer camp program, Farm Academy. This 3 or 6 week apprenticeship combines field-based instruction with hands-on experience in sustainable organic farming. Working alongside the Hidden Villa agriculture team participants are exposed to progressive food production practices and philosophies. They learn about irrigation techniques, the science of soil, pest, and disease management, as well as environmental and social issues in agriculture.
“In school we learn biology, physics, chemistry, but not much about agriculture. At Farm Academy we’re learning where our food comes from, which is important because everyone has to eat. You can go to school all your life without knowing where your meat or vegetables come from. We see how much work it takes and understand why there are people that are standing up for farmworker rights.” – 2013 Farm Academy Participant.
Gaining the skills and experience in farming techniques is an important aspect to Farm Academy, but equally important is recognizing the way that food brings us together. Participants harvest and cook for a weekly potluck, bringing together volunteers, staff, and community members. They prepare and harvest for weekly Community Supported Agriculture shareboxes, donations to the Community Services Agency of Mountain View, and for the Los Altos Farmer’s Market. Farm Academy participants see the full cycle of the season from farm, to market and table.
We are excited for our upcoming Farm Academy and feel privileged to be teaching young people to grow food, for themselves and others for a lifetime.
Helping at Farmer's Market with Farm Interns