Thursday, January 28, 2010

Help GreenLeaf?

UPDATE as of 1/28/2010: We've heard from the wonderful folks at DUG that the seedling program is well underway but has had some funding cuts this year. The priority of the program is to serve low-income families: so please do participate if you are income eligible and get some free seeds and seedlings for your own garden!

But to make sure there are enough veggies to go around please hold off on participating on GreenLeaf's behalf. DUG has very generously offered to donate any seeds and seedlings left over from the program to us. And of course, we are always happy to accept monetary donations, or donations of seeds, seedlings, or tools of your own. Please contact me at if you would like to make a donation.

Thank you all so much!



Hi Friend!

Even as it's snowing and frigid outside, spring is in the air and on my mind. "Why!?" you may ask?

Because Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) is giving away free seeds and seedlings! As you may know, I've been working for the past year to start an organization called GreenLeaf, to grow healthy food on urban land with Denver youth. We will be planting our first farm this summer, with the assistance of talented youth interns from Denver Venture School. So, we're looking for all the free seeds and seedlings we can get!

I'm writing with a last minute request for you, if you live in the Denver area: Check out DUG's free seeds and seedlings program, and sign up. Get as many seeds and seedlings as you need for your garden this summer, and donate the rest to GreenLeaf!

But you'll need to act fast---the deadline is Monday, February 1st! You can sign up at your local rec center, or call DUG at 303-292-9900 to find the location nearest to you. It's easy: all you have to do is list your name and address, and pick what you want to grow! We're looking for any veggies and herbs, especially tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, broccoli, cabbage, and squashes.

Will you visit your local rec center to sign up for free seedlings for your garden and for GreenLeaf? Email me and let me know!

It's free for you, and free for us, and think of all the delicious food we'll grow!

Thank you!

Growing together,


Monday, January 11, 2010

Announcing GreenLeaf's 2010 Spring Internship Program

GreenLeaf is proud to announce our 2010 Spring Internship Program!

We are recruiting 8 students from the Denver Venture School to participate in this exciting and brand-new program. Interns will:

  • Attend and participate in weekly meetings, including some Saturday workshops.
  • Participate in developing GreenLeaf as a new non-profit organization.
  • Plan GreenLeaf's farming season for 2010 including crop planning and marketing.
  • Develop GreenLeaf's 2010 summer program including curriculum, games, and activities.
  • Interns will earn a $tipend for full participation. There is also a chance that interns may transition to paid employment with GreenLeaf for summer 2010 or after.

The Denver Venture School (DVS) is a new, innovative charter school engaging students in a project-based curriculum focusing on entrepreneurship and business. GreenLeaf's Spring 2010 internship program is open ONLY to DVS students: since we are a startup, we are particularly excited to have the opportunity to engage the talent, knowledge, and skills of DVS students to build our organization collaboratively.

DVS students will have a unique and powerful influence on how GreenLeaf starts and develops, with real responsibility and decision-making power. Students can get involved in GreenLeaf from the beginning and will have significant influence on how we do what we do.

We are encouraging students to apply if they:

  • Like to garden or do work outside
  • Are interested in starting and developing an organization
  • Want a fun and challenging intern experience
  • Can commit to participating fully and doing their best
  • Are interested in food, social justice, or sustainability

We’ll be spending some time inside but more and more time outside as the weather gets warmer. Together we will try new things, learn new things and do some hard things: it’s guaranteed to be an adventure. We will play a lot of games and everything we do will be participatory and hands-on.

Students who are interested in applying should know:

  • This is a job: we will be colleagues
  • You will have real responsibilities and support to fulfill them
  • We value and expect collaboration, communication, and accountability

These are the major learning goals we will achieve as part of the internship:

· Nonprofit basics

o What is a nonprofit organization?

o Why is GreenLeaf a nonprofit, and how does it operate?

o What are the different roles within a nonprofit?

· The Business of Farming

o The Food System

o Ecology

o Farm Planning

§ Crop Planning

§ Budgeting

§ Seed starting and planting

· Planning for GreenLeaf's Summer Program 2010

o Logistics

o Content

These are the foundational ideas that GreenLeaf and the internship program are based on:

o Positioning young people to assume leadership in the organization and expand their understanding of quality of life issues affecting them, through:

§ Supporting and challenging youth to do their best and be their best selves

§ Sharing ownership of the learning process with youth

§ Creating a safe and engaging group environment to foster collaboration, exploration, risk-taking, problem solving, and self-management

§ Giving students real responsibilities that impact individual and group achievement

o Situating learning in its natural context. We recognize that learning occurs "at the intersection of community, shared practice, identity, and meaning."[1]

o Enabling youth to act in intentional and strategic ways to ensure current and ongoing quality of life for themselves and their community

o Creating and nurturing vital community networking and partnerships that support the organization and its participants in the long term

o Intentionally building in a process for ongoing planning and evaluation

Thanks to The Food Project for the lovely picture!

[1] Morrell, E. (2005). Becoming Critical Researchers: Literacy and empowerment for urban youth. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.