By Bettny Mazur
For those of you who I have yet to meet at a Farmer’s Market, Spring Garden Festival, or YouthGROW event, my name is Bettny Mazur, and I am the YouthGROW Farm Manager, starting my second year as an Americorps VISTA.
As our days are getting shorter and the winds chillier, I take a moment to reflect fondly on the summer that brought us so much laughter, growth, and pounds upon pounds of vegetables. It is also a time for me to reflect on my first complete season as the YouthGROW Farm Manager, and all that I learned and everyone I learned from. First shout-out goes to Mother Earth who cares little for how much water you need and when, yet is abundant in rain, sunshine, and the glorious living soil that supports it all. The second, and most important, shout-out goes to the amazing YouthGROWers, all 34 of them, who brought meaning to all of the work that I do.
When I am down, I think about all 16 youth at Bell Hill working together to support 50 feet of PCV pipes to funnel water gushing in the streets into our rainbarrels, which supplied us with water throughout the summer. I think of pulling our first garlic (finally!) and seeing the youths’ faces as they were able to see what was laying beneath those long stalks that were there all summer. I remember hearing first-year youth Manny give his first farm tour, insisting on being called Farmer Manny, as he explained what companion planting and herb spirals were, with so much excitement.
These are the memories that get me through the long cold winters in the office, when I actually have to be inside in front of a computer instead of being outside getting sunburns and dirt under my fingernails.
I’m reminded that creating spreadsheets with seed companies and vegetable varieties actually means thousands of seedlings that the community and school gardens will soon take home to grow in their own gardens, teaching children of all ages what it means to grow your own food. I know that the piece of paper with a farm outline is the basis for growing and learning about those seedlings with the YouthGROWers and harvesting them for tasty community meals and farmers market sales.
These are the things that keep me going: thinking of the cycles and connectivity of it all. Sure I have learned a thing or two from having my own gardens and many googlings of “how to grow…” but the real learning comes from the youth who teach me how to be calm when things don’t always go your way, to go through so much strife and still greet the world with a smile, and how to work hard towards something you believe in for the betterment of your community. So I shout a huge THANK YOU into the chilly night sky for all that this opportunity as the YouthGROW Farm Manager has given me, and how I will never be the same from it.
Bettny Mazur is YouthGROW Farm Manager.
Jett says: Don’t be a Scrooge this holiday season! Help others out!
If it’s all about giving thanks for all your good fortune and blessings, why not give thanks by helping Worcester inner-city kids reach their potential? Why not give thanks by making sure no Worcester family is hungry on this Thanksgiving Day? – R. Tirella
ORDER YOUR THANKSGIVING PIES TODAY!
YouthGrow Thanksgiving pies!
These pies are beautiful, delicious and made with lots of food justice love!
Buy one for Thanksgiving dinner and one to enjoy later on … because they’re that yummy!
Get your Thanksgiving Pie from your favorite Food Justice organization – Worcester’s Regional Environmental Council! Support REC’s youth programs – especially YOUTHGROW!!
So you know: REC has been around for 20 years, detoxifying Worcester inner-city soil, starting and helping to maintain scores of urban community gardens in places like Main South, Green Island, etc, advocating for clean, safe city neighborhoods. REC makes fresh produce available to inner city families through their Worcester farmers markets and farmers market van. REC works with Worcester inner-city youth. Its staff and volunteers – all so young, hip and aware! – expose our city kids to gardening, healthy eating, physical activity/outdoor exercise, community responsibility and community love!
THE REC YOUTHGROW PIES ARE GREAT! Organic, local apple pies made from scratch!
Order yours now! For your family or a friend’s!
Pick up or delivery of unbaked apple pies on Monday, November 24.
You bake it fresh for Thanksgiving morning!
All-butter crust or vegan on request for the low price of $20 per pie.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order today!
FRIENDLY HOUSE NEEDS FOOD FOR FAMILIES
Every year the Friendly House on Wall Street provides hundreds of low-income families with soup -to-nut Thanksgiving meal ingredients!
For MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL SUSAN DALY at 508.755.4362
Help Executive Director Gordon Hargrove, Education Director Daniella Delgado, the lovely Josefina and the lovely Susan D. help others!
YouthGrow Thanksgiving pies!
These pies are beautiful, delicious ad made with lots of food justice love!
Buy one for Thanksgiving dinner and one to just to have…because they’re that good.
Get your Thanksgiving Pie from your favorite Food Justice organization!
Organic, local apple pies made from scratch available for order now!
Pick up or delivery of unbaked apple pies on Monday, November 24. You bake it fresh for Thanksgiving morning! All-butter crust or vegan on request for the low price of $20 per pie. Email email@example.com to place your order today!
COME GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY AND VOLUNTEER AT THE YOUTHGROW FARM!
Tuesdays and Fridays 2:30-5pm:
Harvest, Overwinter, and Help put the Farm to Bed @ Oreanic Farm (63 Oread St.) now through November 18!