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The City Sprouts Internship

by: Aaron French, Manager of Farm Initiatives

2021 Interns Washing Vegetables at Cooper Farm

It may feel a bit more like summer outside right now, but we’re still deep in the throes of the spring season over here at City Sprouts. Our youth and adult education classes are in full swing, our community gardens are beginning to fill up with plants and community events and we’re getting ever nearer to breaking ground on our brand new urban farm site in northeast Omaha! While some of these things are new to us, certain things tend to stay the same year to year.

The Urban Farming Internship is one constant that continues to provide an incredible jumping off point for a summer full of incredible opportunities. Every year we’re fortunate enough to hire 15 incredible young people from all over Omaha to work with our dedicated staff to reduce food insecurity and continue to address issues of equity and justice within our food system, and this year's group seems absolutely up to that task.

2022 Interns - First Day (May 2022)

These paid interns, most of whom attend high school or college in the Omaha metro area, will spend their summer planting, maintaining, harvesting and distributing produce through City Sprouts’ wide network of fresh produce distribution partners. Interns also have the chance to immerse themselves in Omaha’s food system, exploring commercial compost facilities, urban farms, culinary incubators, farmers markets and food banks / pantries.

Beets and Radishes Grown by 2021 Interns

Additionally, and based largely on feedback from previous years interns, we’ve added a larger number of cultural experiences and field trips to our internship with planned outings to the Union for Contemporary Arts, the Great Plains Black History Museum, El Museo Latino and others. Culinary training from No More Empty Pots and a series of financial literacy workshops from the great folks over at Financial Beginnings Nebraska help to round out this year's internship offerings. (Hint: it’s never too late to encourage a young person in your life to consider applying for next year's internship!)

2021 Intern Billy - Financial Beginnings Class

While we do our best to offer a well rounded, informative and productive internship experience for the wonderful young people we work with, the true beauty of this internship stems from the interns themselves and the way they interact with each other and their community. The true magic comes from the games interns invent to pass the time while harvesting tomatoes and keep playing all year. It comes from one intern offering another a ride when their car gets a flat tire or from the sharing of snacks brought from home. It comes from seeing a young person experience the joy of eating a fresh cherry tomato or listen intently to the wise words of a community leader. We, here at City Sprouts, seek only to serve as facilitators or conduits, helping to make that happen.