Day 6 of Youth Crew was a rather gloomy and wet day but this didn’t seem to inhibit our eager crew members from showing up. To get the day started we played a game of Killer Wink. The idea is, one person (designated secretly by the facilitator) is the assassin. The assassin “kills” people by slyly winking at them as everyone introduces themselves to each other one-on-one. The detective (also chosen at the start) has to guess who the killer is before the assassin kills the whole community.
Upon finishing the game, Youth Crew visited the farm’s watershed mural. The mural represented two types of farms: one, an industrial monoculture type farm; the other, a biodiverse and environmentally sustainable farm, similar to Real Food Farm. Molly handed each crew member an index card with a word and description of an element of the mural – compost, runoff, Chesapeake Bay, chemical fertilizer, biodiversity, etc. Reviewing the mural, each crew member located the picture associated with their word and read the description out loud for us. Putting the pieces together, we learned about how different agricultural practices can impact the watershed – in our case, the Chesapeake Bay. Take away – using natural fertilizer like compost wisely and planting a diversity of crops can reduce the nutrient runoff into the Bay, protecting the habitat of marine animals like crabs, oysters, and rockfish (the Maryland state fish!).
Our morning continued with planting in one of our hoophouses. This time of year was perfect for cool weather crops like parsley, and cilantro. We’ll be using these herbs in our cooking in future sessions! The crew found out that working as a team by breaking up the tasks moved us faster – one crew member gently popped the transplants out of the trays while another member arranged the planting triangles (spaced at eight inches) and tucked the baby plant into the soil. Plants were watered in before we finished up!
For lunch, we worked together to make a rainbow stir-fry with swiss chard, red onions, green peppers, and chicken.
We prepared two types of grains – quinoa and brown rice – and did a taste test to give everyone a chance to experiment with new flavors. One of our core values is “Try It On,” so we provide lots of opportunities throughout the year for our crew members to try something new for them – quinoa was a first for many!