Freeport, ME, August 17, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- On their plot overlooking Casco Bay the Wolfe’s Neck Farm Teen Ag Crew is growing over two acres of produce using sustainable farming methods. They have delivered their first 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to food banks and anticipate donating over 4,000 more before the season’s end.
"The beautiful produce that we receive weekly from the young farmers at Wolfe’s Neck Farm goes directly to our clients both in meals served in the soup kitchen and through our food pantry. Because of our caring partners like Wolfe’s Neck we are able to provide local, fresh, and nutritious food for families in our communities,” said Doreen Nardone, Food Bank Coordinator for the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.
The teens also take part in volunteer service; this Friday they will take part in a unique, full-circle farm-to-table experience. After spending the morning harvesting produce for the Freeport Elders 3rd Friday Free Lunch they will help prepare and serve the meal to community members.
Sue Mack, Family Services Coordinator for Freeport Community Services relates, "The Teen Ag Program from Wolfe's Neck Farm has been a godsend for our food pantry."
The teens visit local farms and farmers’ markets to research marketing, pricing, display, customer service and farm income strategies. They apply their skills at the Freeport Farmer’s market and at a new farm stand they are helping to create at Wolfe’s Neck Farm.
“Physically, I’ve grown stronger from working with the animals and doing field work. I’ve grown as an individual by learning to be more confident. Also, I’ve grown as a student because I’ve learned a lot.” -Katie Josephs (age 16) of Falmouth, ME
In the process of learning, the crew members also help to educate others. The teens have worked the fields alongside students from Youth Build Alternatives and Cultivating Community. They serve as role models for the farm’s summer camp attendees; teaching the children how to properly harvest vegetables, identify and address pests, milk goats and even safely halter and bathe young cattle.
The crew is involved in all aspects of animal management such as tending the farm’s flocks of 40 sheep and 300 turkeys, some of which will be donated to an annual free Thanksgiving Feast at the Freeport Community Center hosted by Jonas and Kate Werner of Azure Café.
Caroline Wild, now pursuing an agriculture-related degree, participated in the program’s pilot year and has returned to the farm to help lead this season’s crew as the livestock intern.
“Teen Ag last year left me with some of the best friends that I have made, gave me such valuable experiences and knowledge about farming, cultivated my passion for agriculture and animal science, and most importantly, it let me pursue this passion. My experiences in Teen Ag helped me figure out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, and gave me the self confidence that I could do what I wanted to!” said Caroline.
The Wolfe’s Neck Farm Teen Ag Program was developed in partnership with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and supported by generous grants and donations from the Quimby Family Foundation, Norway Savings Bank, Johnny’s Selected Seeds and private donations.
High-resolution photos are available for download on our website.