Posted on 02/13/2015 @ 05:14 PM
The BBYO Leadership Lab on Food Sustainability Leadership Lab was run by the local staff at the Atlanta-based urban farm, Truly Living Well. The farm is unique because it used to be the grounds of an apartment building, and it reuses some of the furniture found in the old apartment building. The featured speakers at the lab included Daron "Farmer D" Joffe, Chef Todd Ginsberg, Teens Turning Green founder Erin Schrode and Top Chef finalist Eli Kirshtein.
It was both an interactive and lecture-based program that included hands-on farm work. While enjoyed a homegrown, delicious meal by Chef Todd Ginsberg, there were multiple goals of the program. We were taught about the long, extensive process of growing organic food; unique gardening techniques; and the importance of food sustainability with its relationship to tikkun olam.
The urban farm was very inviting, and on the 6 acre premises, we were divided into various tasks including setting up the marketplace, weeding, layering cardboard and more. Learning from these members of the Atlanta community was very unique because it proved how even in a large city like Atlanta, there can still be farms and there are still ways to help support local farmers.
The Leadership Lab definitely inspired teens, including myself, because it showed how much hard work goes into growing the food we think so little of when we eat. It also made us think how even just planting a seed and starting a garden of our own can make a difference.
Personally, I love cooking and baking, so this Leadership Lab taught me the "behind the scenes" of what it takes to make my ingredients before I buy them. It also taught me that we should be more aware of what we eat because it not only affects us, but also our environment.
-Meredith Harris, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region: Northern Council, IC 2015 Press Corps