Ross, the other interns and I spent some time brainstorming our ideas for the stories we want to tell. We’re aiming for about ten in the next seven and a half weeks. Please give us some feedback about which ideas you think are best, which stories you think people need to hear, etc. These are our ideas so far:
- Seleshi Asfaw and his work with the sub-Saharan African community in Columbus, specifically their difficulty in acquiring teff, a grain that has both nutritional value and major cultural significance for them.
- Green Corps, which is a youth program run by the Cleveland Botanical Garden. It hires high school students to work in local community gardens, sell the produce at farmers markets, and produce Fresh from Downtown salsa. This gives them an opportunity to learn about agriculture while earning money.
- The town of Braddock, near Pittsburgh, has started a farm (Braddock Farms) on its main street, right behind a working steel mill. A non-profit called Grow Pittsburgh has been involved in the creation of the farm, which employs a small number of youth workers.
- Some restaurants grow gardens on their roofs and then incorporate the fresh produce into their menus. We have one definite example in Pittsburgh and will be searching for more if you have any suggestions.
- Urban chickens. We don’t have any specific leads on this, but we thought it would be interesting to show this side of urban agriculture, one that people don’t know much about and often have negative prejudices about. If anyone could suggest people who are raising chickens within a city and would be willing to talk with us, we would appreciate it.
- In the city of Athens, we have 3 ideas:
o There is a pizza place that it trying to get all of the pizza ingredients from local sources.
o Athens has a thriving farmers market that we wanted to visit (this might also give us ideas for the promotion of the OARDC mid-week farmers market).
o Krogers in Athens does not use locally grown foods, claiming that their regional office is in charge of deciding where the food comes from. The regional office says that it is up to the local store to decide. We plan to investigate.
- The Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh, on the other hand, makes an effort to sell locally grown products. We would like to contrast this to Krogers.
- There is an assortment of teaching farms across the Ohio countryside that help to get youth involved in agriculture. We plan to visit and interview at a few.
- Cleveland Public Schools have programs for youth involvement in agriculture that we plan to investigate.
- If possible, we want to look into how young chefs and people in the food preparation business are getting involved with local foods and what they are taught about local food systems and how they factor into the cooking business.
- Fresh Fork is a CSA that lists produce from local vendors in the Cleveland areas, allows people to place orders, and then delivers orders to 5 different locations in Cleveland, making the purchase of local produce convenient for everyone.
- Maureen Austin is doing some work with youth in agriculture through the OSU Extension in Stark County. We don’t have much information about this yet, more coming soon.
- There is a youth agriculture program run by the Youngstown Justice Department that we are looking into as well.
If you have any feedback about which stories you think we should pursue, please post in the comments section. Also, if you are involved in any of these stories or have additional information about them, or if we made any mistakes, please let us know.