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Akron Community Foundation is Shanti Funding Partner for 2018!

ACF logoWe are so pleased to be part of the Akron Community Foundation (ACF) education grantee family for 2018!! ACF funds will support our Farm to School Program for Akron Public Schools. The contribution will asist us in upgrading our current youth garden and support student participation in a farmers market, vermicomposting and summer farm camp program. Thanks ACF!!

making soccer mouseFri Boys Camp1

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United North Hill Soccer Association reaching out for local biz support!

Shanti recognizes the need for preventative measures as a safeguard ensuring( the immigrant youth issues in other states (see what Minnesota is dealing with right now) does not gain a toehold. PIONEER PRESS ARTICLE ON SOMALI YOUTH GANGS

soccer kids netImmigrant youth face extraordinary additional challenges that most other youth groups don’t, including differences in language skills between generations, cultural norms, peer influences from outside the culture. And consequences for bad behavior? Well, how about the added fear of deportation–real or not?

Recognizing these extraoridnary challenges, Shanti is working with SAMAL Foundation and several other organizations to form youth clubs with a potent mix of sports & recreation, mentoring, tutoring and of course…urban agriculture.

Already Shanti has identified more than 50 area youth interested in joining this club. Making its debut:

UNITED NORTH HILL SOCCER ASSOCIATION (UNHSA), a youth soccer club in North Hill combining the great sport of soccer with mentoring and tutoring opportunities for youth 5th-12th grades.

UNHSA accepts players of all backgrounds and ethnicities. Our youth soccer program is starting its first season of play in Spring of 2018!

We need your financial support this playing season to obtain soccer balls, goals, shoes, uniforms, transportation and rental space for our programs.

www.gofundme.com/shanti-community-garden

 

Shanti planting seeds for a boomin’, bloomin’ 2018 growing season

Young asian boy using magnifying glass to observing butterfly inWhat’s new in the Shanti Garden for 2018?  A lot!!!

We are so excited and optimistic about making it all happen.

Let’s take out the looking-glass and look ahead:

 

 

FLURRY OF COMMUNITY GRANTS SUBMITTED

We applied for many grants including NPP, Akron Community Foundation, GAR Foundation and USDA Urban Farming and Farm-to-School.  We expect to hear within the next several weeks and are encouraged we’ll get more than a few nibbles from all our hard work with many seasoned partners putting forth our best efforts in writing up these proposals. We are particularly encouraged by a proposal we submitted this week to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service based in Cleveland  for a high-tunnel (hoop house) install for seasonal extension.

FARMERS MARKET RENEWED IN NORTH HILL

farmers marketWe are meeting regularly with North Akron Community Development Corporation, landowners Exchange House and Hibernian’s Club with the assistance of Summit Food Coalition and Countryside Conservancy to renew the North Hill farmer’s market.  Exchange House will also be designing and installing the new outdoor space including the development of unique sheltered vendor stalls.  Hibernian’s Club will be offering a beer garden.  Summit Food Coalition and Countryside Conservancy will be working with us on providing vendor training.

The market will be operating on Saturdays,  May-September, with local artisans, freshly grown food and prepared food vendors.  Community dining space including food trucks and musical entertainment will be a regular feature to provide a full COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE!

Shanti is heading up the food vendors who will not only get a free garden plot or two, but also get trained in customer service and operations for their farm stands… and even receive ongoing entrepreneurial training for operating their own food business some day!

We are also involving North High School youth in assisting us in organizing the market and operating a few food stands of their own.  Shanti will be setting up a weekly CSA program to farmers market customers to generate additional revenue.

ADDITIONAL FARMLAND TO MEET DEMAND

goats-new-york-1We are checking out leads on grazing land leases within 30 minutes drive of Akron to provide a base camp for our livestock project, including sheep, goats and chickens.  We hope to find a leasing partner that can provide fencing and shelter in addition to pasture. This would be a key revenue source for us!

We are working with LandBank, private landowners and church groups in North Hill to provide additional garden space to meet the demand for participating families.

Reap what you will sow!  Our challenges are many, but with all the support from our community partners, grant proposals, carefully-laid plans and client needs–we know we’ll be rewarded with a rich and fertile season ahead!!

 

If you’d like to make a donation, go to www.gofundme.com/shanti-community-garden

 

 

 

Fall Clean-up with Jennings Middle School

A hearty thanks to the 12 community volunteer 8th grade students who assisted us last Friday afternoon with fall clean-up of the North Hill Community garden.  Students are working on their 8 hours of community service to earn their spot on the bus to a Spring visit to Cedar Point.  They got a good hour and a half with Shanti Farms!jennings1clc

We look forward to working with these students next year as we plan for the 2018 growing season.  The students will work with us on planting, composting, farmer’s market and community arts projects in the gardens.  The culinary arts class has great plans to work with us!

jennings logoEven though the temps were in the 20s and snowflakes were flying, these hardworking students pulled out the cornstalks, took down the vines, picked up trash and even harvested the last of the cabbages for us after school!  Thanks 8th grade Jennings Middle Schoolers.  What a great bunch of young kids up-and-coming for the community and furthering urban agriculture!

 

 

 

Keeping that Rich Agricultural Heritage Growing in the Youngest Generation of American Refugees

North Hill families celebrated the last seed planted and last fencepost pounded with a Friday night celebration!

One of Shanti’s key programs is to reach out to the youngest generation of refugees to ensure they never lose their rich agricultural heritage.

Friday night’s farm-to-school class proved Ag Heritage for Refugee Youth is alive and well. Shanti Farms will continue to cultivate it with a kids Farm-to-School summer camp program.

Catch all the action here……with our 12 budding farmers including Reedhom. Arman, Sasan and Angkith with Camp Counselors Bhakta Rizal and Tom Crain and Guest Counselor Liam Murray.

To see the video of the first night if Summer Camp for Junior Farmers, go to  FACEBOOK SHANTI FARMS

garden gatewayFri July 14 under the tentFri July 14 boys2Fri July 14 boys1