by: Aaron French, Manager of Urban Farm Initiatives
Engage in the Latest Internship Happenings
As we near the midpoint of the summer season, we thought it’d be good to reflect on all that the incredible members of the City Sprouts Urban Farming Internship have accomplished so far. As part of their four month intensive dive into the world of sustainable and equitable food systems, interns have traveled all across east Omaha to learn, bond as a team and grow tons of food! Let’s take a look at a brief snapshot of what these hard working (and hilarious) young people have been up to over the past two months here. While we can’t cover everything, we hope hearing their stories inspires you to find ways to plug into the innovative and exciting work happening within local food systems here in Omaha. First and foremost, we’re about having fun. Growing, cooking and dealing with food in any way is inherently fun, right? Whether it’s cooking a time-honored family recipe with a grandparent, pulling your first carrot out of the ground or learning from a failed attempt at starting a sourdough culture - food is fun! The City Sprouts interns bring that value to life almost every day in our farm fields and out in the broader community. Every activity is powered by one of the hardest hitting playlists we’ve ever heard that ranges from low-fi in-the-car tracks to old (and new) school hip-hop that fuels transplanting marathons. The crew is also continually finding ways to make even the most difficult and repetitive tasks feel like the opposite of work. Building new friendships (along with some friendly rivalries), brainstorming ideas for new TikTok’s and dialing in the perfect order at Zesto all help make every day of the internship feel like hanging out with friends you’ve known forever.
Secondly, we’re getting to know our community. A constant in the City Sprouts Urban Farming Internship is the immersion within the Omaha communities we have the pleasure to work in. City Sprouts works closely with so many amazing organizations doing incredible work and every summer we try to introduce interns to as many of them as we can. Field trips, educational experiences and volunteer opportunities help make this internship more than a typical summer job for the 15 young adults we get to work with. A quick snapshot of some of the community activities they have participated in are below: Union for Contemporary Art: Interns spent a full day hanging out with the inspiring staff at one of Omaha’s best cultural institutions. The day started with a mural tour of North Omaha (providing inspiration for interns’ own mural designs) and continued with interns designing their own linocut stamps, featuring farm tools, produce and kitchen equipment, that were used to decorate recipe cards designed by the Union and City Sprouts. These recipe cards feature a diverse range of appetizers, snacks, main courses and drinks and will be distributed at the Union’s free produce stand most Saturdays! Sherman Community Center and Garden: A huge shoutout goes to the Omaha Parks and Recreation department for allowing our interns and staff to use the incredible space at the Sherman Community Center for lunches, breaks and some intense foosball games! In thanks for the use of this neighborhood asset, interns have been hard at work tending to the large community garden at the Sherman Center, with all produce being distributed to folks who need it! Bountiful Harvest Food Pantry and the Food Bank for the Heartland: As part of our ongoing, and incredibly exciting, partnership with Bountiful Harvest and the Food Bank for the Heartland City Sprouts interns have spent several days volunteering at this grassroots food pantry and the Food Bank’s headquarters. By packing and helping distribute produce and shelf stable food goods to community members, interns have learned about an important pillar of Omaha’s food security and justice system and been able to immerse themselves in this valuable work!
Last but not least, we’re growing FOOD! Interns and City Sprouts staff have been hard at work building our new farm in the Sherman neighborhood! With the help of some new and innovative farm equipment, our farm crew is producing fresh veggies on over 1.5 acres so far, with much more planned. Interns have learned the ins and outs of plant biology, various irrigation systems and sustainable farming practices. With our large harvest season just around the corner, we’re incredibly proud of the hard work these young folks have put in and couldn’t be more honest when we say it couldn’t be done without them!
Learn more about the City Sprouts Urban Farming Internship
Follow us on Facebook + Instagram @omahasprouts. Or, contact Aaron French, Manager of Urban Farm Initiatives.