Manchester Community & Educational Garden Gets Dressed for a New Season!

We are so excited to begin our sixth season of managing the Manchester Community & Educational Garden! This past weekend a group of friendly, dedicated folks came together and got the garden in tiptop shape. Be sure to also take a look at Grown, In 60 Seconds! – our time-lapse video showing all of last season’s garden magic in under a minute!

The 1-1/2 acre garden is home to our acclaimed Manchester YAP! program, and MEMS Farm to School Program, plus around 20 individual families of gardeners.

The success of this garden, and it’s place in the Northshire community is a living, growing tribute to what can be accomplished when hearts, heads, and hands come together!

Grown, in 60 Seconds! Time-lapse Video

Watch the entire 2015 season of growth at the Manchester Community & Educational Garden as it grew from April to September!

Exclusive Tees printed this season's YAP! Shirts

Social Enterprises Working Together

Exclusive Tees printed this season's YAP! Shirts

Celia Overby, program director at Exclusive Tees brought us all the joys of spring – New YAP! shirts!

Nothing says spring like the arrival of a new season’s YAP! shirts!

This season’s shirts are cooler than ever as they were produced by another social enterprise, Exclusive Tees, that operates out of the Springfield, MA area.

Not unlike our YAP! program, Exclusive Tees provides vocational training, workplace skills, and employability programs but instead of using agriculture, they produce silk-screened products. The program is based in the Center for Human Development and gives committed youth in the residential program an enriching opportunity and valuable employment references.

TTC Awarded Harvard Pilgrim Foundation Grant!

2015 Mini_Grant_Tutorial_Center

We just received the great news that our YAP! program has been selected for a Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation Community Sprit Award.

The award was established to honor and encourage the spirit of community caring awakened by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care created a special fund to help their employees direct mini-grants to local community programs, helping to improve the places where we live, work and play.

The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation board recently created the Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund to support nonprofit organizations throughout Harvard Pilgrim’s service areas that make fresh (and often local) food easier to find and buy. In an effort to support our colleagues at Harvard Pilgrim who get involved in giving and service projects that focus on fresh food, the Foundation will add an extra $50 to the 2015 $500 mini-grants that support healthy fresh food programs.

We will certainly put the grants to good use, fueling our mission of providing agriculture education to students and fresh, local food to the community!

Food Revolution Day

We’re Joining the Revolution!

Food Revolution Tutorial Center Students Cooking at TTC-9859

IMG_1525Actually we’ve been a leader in this movement! But on May 15th we’re amping up our rally cry in support of Chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day – a global push to make food education a part of everyday school curriculum world-wide. Over 750,000 people have already signed the petition urging this important change!

Food and agriculture have long been part of our work with students—evidenced by our popular YAP! program and the way TTC at Smokey House includes cooking as part of YouthWork & Learn’s alternative school program. We understand that arming people with familiarity with good, whole foods can make all the difference in our students’ and staff’s well-being. Better food choices mean less childhood obesity, reduced diet-related disease and improved overall health for every body.

FFood Revolution Tutorial Center Students Cooking at TTC-9548or Food Revolution Day our centers will be featuring special cooking sessions using recipes from our newly published e-book, Garden Candy Basics. Instructors will be engaging students of all ages including those in adult education and ESL classes.

Vegetable pizzas, blended tomatoes on rustic bread, and spiralized veggie salads are a few easy, affordable and delicious dishes they’ll be creating and enjoying—reinforcing the idea that healthy choices benefit both the individual and the community.

Juanita Burch-Clay, YouthWork & Learn coordinator at our program at Smokey House, tells us “Many times the students have said they thought they didn’t like something, but they like what we made. I guide us to meals that are healthy, tasty, relatively inexpensive, and easy to make at home. These are survival skills they’re learning.”

Survival indeed! Let’s make fresh food and better eating an everyday movement! Let’s be revolutionary! Make Lucas’ Chicken Cordon Bleu!
IMG_0214 Food Revolution Day TTC Pumpkin Throw Food Revolution Tutorial Center Students Cooking at TTC-0304