Posts

Sylvia, a Bennington College YAP intern, harvesting kale at The Tutorial Center's YAP Farm at Hiland Hall in North Bennington.

Bennington College Students Bring Energy and Enthusiasm

Two friendly faces often seen at our YAP Farm at Hiland Hall Farmhouse this season were those of Sam Lawson and Sylvia Maderes.

Both students are Bennington College juniors and each has their own reasons for taking advantage of this Tutorial Center work experience.

Bennington Colleg interns Same Lawsen and Sylvia Maderes harvesting carrots to be sold at the Bennington Farmers' Market and through The Tutorial Center's YAP Food Network

Sylvia, a literature and dance major from southern Pennsylvania, has always had an interest in science and nature, taking several science classes throughout her educational career. She likes knowing about food, growing food and food systems. As she says, “It’s good to know where your food comes from.”

Sam, from slightly closer Holyoke, Mass., is studying biology and anthropology at the college. He admits that since interning at the YAP Farm under the guidance of farm manager JJ Beck he’s beginning to think about future career pathways that include agriculture. “Not in producing food,” Sam said, “but perhaps in the areas of biology and chemistry.”

Sylvia and Sam have been with the part of the YAP farm team since early June which has allowed them to experience all aspects of the farm from planting, to weeding, to harvesting, and now putting the farm to bed for the winter planting cover crops such as buckwheat.

This is the second year that Bennington College students have had the opportunity to work at YAP Farm. This is one element of the growing connection between The Tutorial Center’s YAP and Bennington College.

Sam Lawson, Bennington College student and YAP intern harvesting carrots at the YAP Farm at Highland Hall  Bennington College intern readies the harvest for the YAP Food Network

Sylvia, a Bennington College YAP intern, harvesting kale at The Tutorial Center's YAP Farm at Hiland Hall in North Bennington.  Bennington College intern Sam Lawson harvest carrots at The Tutorial Center's YAP Farm at Hiland Hall in North Bennington.

 

YouthWork&Learn – Off and Running

The first week of school at YouthWork&Learn – we started this school year at full speed!

IMG_1125

Weeding is never done!

On the first day (Wednesday), after all the welcomes and introductions, and a cook-out for lunch, we harvested vegetables and herbs from our garden and prepared it for the farmers’ market in Poultney.

market

Setting up for farmers market

On Thursday, we were selling at our farmers market booth (as we did all summer with the Youth Agriculture Project – YAP).  Students also paid  a visit to the Green Mountain College farm and woodshop.

IMG_0497

The view from the Eagles Nest at Smokey House Center

Friday, we hiked the Eagles’ Nest trail, for a great view of the mountains and some environmental science with Michael Kelley.  Not everyone made it to the top, but we’ve decided that to graduate from YWL you have to get to the Eagles Nest at least once!

IMG_1162

Projects take planning and organization.

The next Tuesday, after a day off for Labor Day, we did project planning (SMART goals and action plans), each student deciding on a project linked to individual interests.  Then garden work – love that weeding!

IMG_1177

Even with heavy-duty tools, it takes strength to wrestle the privet roots out of the ground.

Wednesday, it was off to Emerald Lake State Park for a day of invasive plant removal under the direction of Colleen Balch.  After some training, our group worked on uprooting large privets, hanging them upside down in the trees so they couldn’t reroot.  We also pulled out masses of multiflora roses.

IMG_0024

Hanging invasive privet upside down so it can’t reroot.

Thursday morning it was off to the farmers market again, and Friday into the woods again, this time to the Old Sugar House.  We’re always on the move at Smokey House!

Volunteers for Solarfest

Winding up elYAP14 Solarfest doorsectric fences, moving staging platforms, picking up horse poop, and removing hinges from old doors – these are some of the tasks our YAP crew did to help prep for Solarfest.  Solarfest is a 3-day, non-profit, sustainable energy and music festival powered by solar energy.  It is run mainly by volunteers, and our crew  worked four days last week  helping to transform Forget-Me-Not Farm in Tinmouth into a welcoming concert and workshop venue.IMG_0950

 

 

YAP! Youth Agriculture Project

TTC Receives $63,676 funding from VT Dept of Labor to support this summer’s Youth Agriculture Project

YAP! Youth Agriculture ProjectVermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced recently that The Tutorial Center will receive $63,676 in funding support to conduct its Youth Agriculture Project during the summer of 2014, as part of the Vermont Dept. of Labor’s Summer Employment Opportunity program. The funds will partially support the operating cost of the Youth Agriculture Project and provide wages for participating youth.

“Providing workplace experience for young Vermonters helps them make smart academic and career choices, gives them a foot in the door to some of the best companies across the state that are hiring, and helps keep them here in Vermont after graduation,” Gov. Shumlin said.

“Involving students in the workplace builds their confidence, their career awareness, and their future marketable skills,” agreed Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan.