The Youth Farm Cooperative is a cooperative farming business run by the youth who join. The youth garden and sell their harvest at the downtown and pocket markets. The Youth Farm Cooperative provides an opportunity for the youth to grow and develop their gardening, business and entrepreneurship skills. The youth make operational decisions and share in the proceeds from their markets. The youth are also able to earn a summer school entrepreneurship credit, or just volunteer.
How it works
The youth work in the garden in the morning and in the afternoon they have skill-building workshops, educational excursions, guest speakers, and selling at the markets for real-life experience. Whatever they are unable to sell is donated to the Neighbourhood Emergency Food Pantries.
The Youth Farm Cooperative was officially started in 2014. It is the end result of several other attempted projects. The idea started in 2012 when the Neighbourhood Group decided to offer the youth of the community a free summer camp to give the youth a productive way of spending their summer. However, not many of the youth were interested in the idea, instead, they wanted a way to earn money over the summer. The Neighbourhood Group organized sessions with Second Chance Youth Employment for workshops and speakers. Unfortunately, the idea was not successful. The Neighbourhood Group felt that the youth could benefit from strengthening their employability skills so they told the youth about a Winnipeg First Nations Group that had started a blueberry farm. The youth brainstormed and decided that it would be best to grow vegetables and sell them at the market, or to restaurants.
The Youth Farm Cooperative has a downtown market on Wednesdays and a pocket market in the West Willow Woods Public School parking lot.
Rain and Heat Day Policy
If a rain day occurs, it is the student’s responsibility to meet at Mitchell Woods Public School at 8:30 am as there will be an attendance sheet. A facilitator will be at the farm to ensure no one accidentally goes to the farm and direct them to Mitchell Woods.
If a heat day occurs, the Farm Facilitator will make the decision whether it is safe to work outside or not. This can occur any time from 8:30 am – 11:00 am. Any temperature exceeding 35 degrees with the humid index is considered dangerous to work outside. If the decision is a heat day, the students will go to Mitchel Woods Public School.
Phone: 519 826 9930
Office Address: 495 Willow Road, Portable #1, Guelph (off the school parking lot)
How to join and download application
Download and print the application then bring it into the office located at 495 Willow Road, Guelph Ontario, N1H 7C7, Portable #1