This semester, students from Dr. Julie Grossman’s Service Learning for Sustainable Soil Management class (SSC 428) at North Carolina State University (NCSU) have been working with a couple of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s farms and gardens programs teaching youth about soil science. Students Alyssa Degreenia, Will Hildreth, and John Galloway worked with the IFFS Youth Farmer Training Program (YFTP) apprentices, teaching them about soil carbon. Above, they watch proudly during the YFTP graduation ceremony on the farm.
The NCSU students combined both lecture and hands-on teaching methods to convey their knowledge to the youth involved, but found that it was their enthusiasm and passion for the topics at hand that inspired and motivated the youth the most.
This project not only benefitted the youth by building their knowledge about composting, vermicomposting, carbon cycles, soil organisms, and potential careers in agriculture, but also allowed the NCSU students to learn how to share their own knowledge and enthusiasm and hone their leadership skills. By figuring out how to effectively transmit what they know to others, they were able to hone in on their own passions as well.
Part of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s mantra is “Give a man a fish. Teach a man to fish. Stock the pond for all.” We believe in the power of education in so many ways, including teaching folks how to grow their own food, building self-sufficiency with information and resources , and providing learning opportunities that spread this transformative knowledge throughout the community. This partnership with Dr. Grossman’s class at NCSU is a vital part of this community of knowledge sharing. It is only by working together that we can truly create a hunger-free community and transform the local food economy into a more healthy, just, sustainable, and secure food system that feeds everyone healthy, nutritious food.