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Digging In at the iGrow South City Youth Farm

An initiative of the Tallahassee Food Network, the iGrow Youth Farm program has its flagship location in Frenchtown. Established in 2011, iGrow is a youth empowerment and urban agriculture project, named and largely run by the youth themselves. Given the success of iGrow in Frenchtown, TFN has partnered with Whole Child Leon to open up a second iGrow in South City on 510 Orange Ave. We’ve chosen to replicate the Frenchtown iGrow model in South City due to similar demographics. We’ve already broken ground on the 26,073 sq. ft. lot and, on three designated work days, volunteers have been coming to the farm to set up raised beds and create mulch paths, among other tasks. The farm is composed of long raised beds for the youth and smaller plots for families in the area to tend and grow. We are actively recruiting middle and high school aged teenagers and families in South City to become involved in the iGrow program.

The purpose of iGrow is to grow healthy food for the community, provide meaningful youth employment and grow youth leaders that are capable of teaching peers and the broader community the basics of raising food. At the core of iGrow is the Leadership Corps. These young people –with assistance from adult coordinators, youth and university volunteers—are responsible for managing the production, administration, outreach and team development associated with running the Youth Farm. In return, the youth receive biweekly stipends for their work. Not only the youth, but the entire family is engaged in the process, multiplying the potential impact for positive behavior and lifestyle changes.

Funded by Tallahassee, FL (June 2015)