Archives for posts with tag: #farms

I would just like to say a big thank you to City Green Farms for allowing me to really follow my passion! Getting firsthand experience working in the community made me realize that there is a demand for fresh organic produce and how essential it is to educate consumers about the health benefits of these vegetables.

Each week I felt like a major contributor in the weekly farmer’s markets and I was able to guide our customers into making healthier choices, while educating them about the health benefits of the produce they bought each week. Working for City Green has helped me apply the knowledge I’ve acquired in school, outside the classroom setting.

I want to thank the entire staff at City Green for taking the time to share their expertise and knowledge with me. It was through these times that I felt I was able to learn and grow the most in developing my skills over the course of my internship. The staff was most responsive to my requests and always made me feel part of the group. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to community nutrition. I will forever have this experience to look back on and reflect.

Farm To Table Act
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Taste Testing at Martin Luther King, Jr No. 11 Elementary School

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Nicholas Copernicus Elementary

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Our farm salsa made on the farm!

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Building community gardens in Jersey City, Nj

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Food Demo (Kale Salad) at St. Paul’s in Paterson, Nj.
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Farm Modeling:
One of the pictures taken on the farm that was auctioned off to help our fundraiser.

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A couple of weeks ago I was browsing google for ideas to get more involved with education and nutrition and I came across City Green Farms. (http://www.citygreenonline.org/) They offer internships for college students during the spring and fall. What better way to get involved with my community and help spread the word about GMOs, health, and nutrition than to physically farm it myself. I applied and luckily got accepted! What’s really great about this internship is that it enables me to farm, teach classes, design recipes, and set up farmers markets in low income communities. I’ll be able to educate children as well as adults on proper health and nutrition. It’s the whole package! I’m super excited and ready to see where this takes me. Here are some pictures from this morning.

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“Life begins once your out of your comfort zone.”

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Cantaloupe as well as tomatoes and kale grew itself in the compost my father made. It’s amazing how life works. This is truly how it’s suppose to be.

 

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Side garden

 

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Recently, I was reading an article I came across on National Public Radio (NPR) about European Cows Vs. American Cows. Although not surprisingly, my mind was absolutely blown to see the glaring difference between the meticulous levels Europeans take to raise and sell their livestock, compared to the mass marketed standard American industrial cow produced through synthetic hormones and CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation).

The article elaborates on one Michel Baudot, a French farmer and the process with which European livestock is raised and their beef procured. With the exception of winter, these cows are grass fed and are free to roam virtually their entire lifespan. What I found amazing was everything from where they were born, what they are fed, how much they weigh, and so forth is all recorded throughout their lives. When the final product is sold at the supermarket, the sticker on the meat package is there to tell you the respective farm the beef came from. Not only does this make it easier to track if something were to ever go wrong from a government standpoint, but also awards we the consumer the right to know where what we’re eating came from.

The vast majority of American cows on the other hand, are only grass fed for the first few months following their birth. After this they are thrusted into the harsh reality of CAFOs, essentially feedlot facilities where they are penned in with sometimes up to thousands of other cows in an unhealthy environment where they are fed corn and injected synthetic hormones to optimize their production worth. It is sad that a majority of the American public is simply unaware or pays a blatant disregard to the fact that these hormones and CAFO’s are not only making the animals many times unnaturally bigger than they should be and compromising their health, but that we are also put ourselves’ at risk.

From a business perspective, I understand why American producers want to bulk up their cows: create a high volume product with limited effort and receive the cash reward. However, doing so at the expense of the overall health of our population and environment is shortsighted to say the least. I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “quantity over quality.” I’ll end the article on that note and let you decide how you want to spend your ‘cheddar’ on beef.

Google CAFO’s to get more information and check out other related articles on NPR.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113314725

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/cafo_issue-briefing-low-res.pdf