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Chicken And Vegetables With Next Generation Farmers

Zion Moore and Jason Rosales Harms standing in between rows of vegetables on a farm. Hoop house and other farmers are visible in the background.

Zion Moore (left) and Jason Rosales Harms are Senior Farmhands at the Next Generation Farmers Youth Program at the Lawrence Community Gardens on the far eastside of Indianapolis. Zion explains that the garden beds are built up in order to direct water into the paths if there's flooding. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

“And I talk to them constantly about activism, food justice, systematic oppression, food equality, food access, food security, those are terms that they’re becoming familiar with early, because this is the work that we do. “

This week on the show we visit The Next Generation Farmers Youth Program at Lawrence Community Gardens on the far eastside of Indianapolis, for a farm tour and an interview with CEO and Founder, Sharrona Moore.

This year, most summer camps and youth programs have been cancelled due to restrictions in place to slow the spread of the novel Coronavirus. This has left many families scrambling for child care, and many kids with too much time on their hands. Sharrona Moore decided to go ahead with the summer youth program.The program takes place entirely outdoors, so social distancing is a real option. 

But they had to make many changes this year for the day camp to be as safe as possible for participants.


A teenage girl stands at a cash register inside of a shed/farmstand. A chart with groups and tasks is visible on the wall.
In addition to farming skills, participants in the Next Generation Farmers Youth Program learn basic skills for running a small farming business. The students take turns staffing a farmstand on-site each morning and a few will remain after the program to keep it going two days a week and on Saturdays throughout the summer. They receive a weekly stipend for participation in the program plus profit sharing from produce sales. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

I’ve had Sharrona on the show before. She is also the founder of the Indiana Black Farmers Co-op. We’ve talked with her about food deserts and farmers markets and whiteness.

I dropped by the farm last week for a chance to see the youth program in action. Second and third year Senior Farmhands Jason Rosales Harms and Zion Moore gave me a tour of the farm before my interview with Sharrona Moore.

Green peppers in clear plastic bags, eggplant, cucumber and yellow cherry tomatoes on a wooden table.

Farm-to-table is one of the themes of the program. Sharrona wants the students to understand the processes of getting all kinds of food from the farm to the table. The instruction includes vegetable farming, bee keeping and caring for chickens. This year they even offered a chicken processing workshop. (Kayte Young/WFIU) 


Music on this episode:

The Earth Eats theme music is composed by Erin Tobey and performed by Erin and Matt Tobey.

Additional music on this episode from Universal Production Music.


Stories On This Episode

UN Report Says World Hunger Could Rise By One Fifth

Plastic bins filled with bread on the back of a truck with a blue tarp over the top. Two people viewed from behind are unloading the bins.

Five United Nations released a report indicating that COVID-19 could increase the number of people suffering from hunger by as much as 19 percent as food supply disruption and economic hardship bear down on vulnerable populations.

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