" A Plan To Better Their Futures Within Their Own Communities "
Through these farming experiences,led by professional staff and educators, the youth will enhance their lives and their communities by gaining:
- Practical Learning Skills
- Day-to-day Operational Skills
- Socialization Skills
- An Agricultural mindset, and
having fun while doing so
- Grow from the first shovel of dirt in the preparation of the land.
- Learn all that goes into the new farm every step of the way.
- Watch from the prepared lands, the very foundations blossom into a fully operational farm.
- Participate in all activities that go into the 365-day-per-year greenhouses with controlled environments, and organic food production operations.
- Assist with the indoor/outdoor activities for livestock production operations.
- Participate in the activities of the indoor/outdoor buildings for the farm's pets and recreational livestock programs.
- Assist with all activities that are involved with the 8-month-per-year outdoor, organic farm, field-food production operations.
- Watch, learn, and assist with the farm landscaping at post-construction completion stages.
- Learn "Safety First" in every aspect of farming and recreation.
Stages of Farm Development
Day-to-Day Operational Skills
- At all greenhouses, prepare the growing beds, assist in produce choices, and make final preparations for the planting of organic crops.
- Implement the knowledge gained, plant the chosen crops, learn seed-to-plant formation and plant-care techniques.
- Learn and implement knowledge regarding which soil and plant-life amendments become everyday necessities for plants , along with the daily nurturing of young growth.
- Learn and work at daily maintenance of young plants - watering, weeding, pest and disease observations, preventions and controls, including record keeping of their activities.
- Study plant growth rates, making determination of next scheduled and actual plantings of sequential crops, insuring long-range sustainable plant growth for consistent food production inventories.
- Learn and work at maturing-plant maintenance and care, preparations for future harvesting, then actual harvesting of crops that are ready for market.
- Learn and work with food-product handling during both pre and post harvesting.
- Learn and participate in post-harvest handling of packaged products, as well as cooling or refrigeration storage practices, in preparation for marketabilty.
- In a field-by-field method, prepare each field, often different from one another
(i.e. terrain, soil type, workability).
- See and learn, that after mechanical land preparation by staff, comes the physical aspect of working the fields: rock picking, grooming and readying the fields for the next high-tech mechanical planting of seeds and/or pre-started transplants from the greenhouses.
- From field-by-field analysis of soil sampling, participate in the preparation of specific soil and plant growth amendments for targeted crops to be grown.
- Learn and work at preparing individual pre-started transplants for planting via worker-assisted mechanical transplanting machinery.
- Learn and work with either approved organic ground covering or natural ground, followed by the introduction to, and operation of, mechanical planting machinery.
- Learn and implement "Safety First" when working around or on machinery.
- Learn and utilize the worker-assisted machinery in the actual planting of crops.
- From day of planting, learn and perform day-to-day care, including pest, weed and disease observations, and controls for each.
- Learn and implement the various forms of those controls (i.e. how the weather affects each problem, and when to activate such controls).
- Learn and assess day-to-day, week-to-week water needs for crops as well as type, timing, and implementation of irrigation when necessary.
- Learn and perform day-to-day observation of plant to food product growth and care, through to harvest and handling of the products.
- Learn to work with post-harvested products in both pre and post-cleaning stages including drying, grading and packaging for markets.
- Learn to work with post-harvested product processes (i.e. pre-cooling, cooling and refrigeration storage prior to market).
- Learn and participate in post-harvest field cleanup and closure of the fields by planting cover crops at season's end.
There will be a separate livestock facet for those interested in pets, and breeding programs for those youth intrigued with livestock-for-food production
- Livestock-for-food production
- Learn and work with the diversity of the livestock world where they will see, touch and feel the "No Named" livestock of many species. From the beef cattle, hogs, goats and sheep to the poultry species of chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, the youth will learn to understand the livestock's significance in the food products world.
- Learn and work with animal housing and care, from young to harvest.
- Be caregivers by feeding, cleaning housing facilities, tending to outdoor livestock containment, free-range livestock handling and care, and basic 24/7 welfare of all the livestock.
- Learn and work with start-to-finish feed systems and techniques for various livestock in preparation for harvest.
- Learn and participate in farm field operations including livestock feed production, from seed to corn, and other grain and hay feed products for the livestock's consumption.
- Learn and become engaged in the entire feed production operations, including handling and storage.
- Learn and work "SAFETY FIRST" with livestock also.
Career Choice Ideas for Tomorrow's Farmers This new farm project was thought out and developed to give the communities' youth very diverse choices in individual areas of interest. At the various farm sites, we will have the space necessary to open up many types of farming opportunities, which in turn will help guide the new young farmers in making choices regarding the direction or agricultural field of interest, potentially open doors for lifelong careers.
CRYSTAL LAKE AGRICULTURAL YOUTH FARMS, Inc.
Who and What It Takes To Make This Farm Work? Construction of the New Farms: Tolland, Ellington, and Stafford, Ct./Hamden and Monson, Mass.
- Legal representitives to finalize remaining approvals; aid in organizational elements; aid in infrastructure design and development; insure and guide the farm management in all legal interests of the farm, the youth, and the various professionals, educators and staff.
- Engineers and Green Technology ArchitectTeams working with various boards, agencies and commissions to ensure the quality of the physical site, and it's structural and planning designs. All physical site work necessary for "Green World" architectural layout, design and follow-up, ongoing as-built work, will be done with Tomorrow's Farmers as the Green Farm/Green World future is kept a priority at all times.
- Contractors of Various specialty occupations will be recruited to undertake the diversified tasks of constructing this one-of-a-kind youth based facility. Contractors specialties will include land clearing and major excavation, concrete and masonry work, both rough and finish carpentry, as well as wide array of technical trades ranging from HVAC to alternative energy specialists.
Building and Grounds Maintainence
- Participate in all facets of landscape preparation, grounds, maintenance and care from lawn mowing and shrub trimming to Fall/Spring cleanups and Winter snow maintenance.
- Outdoor building maintenance of agricultural and other structures.
- Indoor maintenance of all buildings - greenhouses, barns, and various workshops including recreational and learning centers.
- Daily maintenance of livestock containment areas, pasture fences, pens, and paddocks alike.
- Be involved in the many elements which go into sustaining an entire farm operation 24/7/365 days per year.
- Learn and work as teams which will provide avenues of advancement in
every area of interest.
- Learn and grow from the foundations of each area of interest, understanding they too can climb the occupational tree to the top.
- Experience working directly with staff and college interns.There will be an average of five-youth-to-one-leader, stimulating the youth to become leaders themselves.
"LEARNING AND HAVING FUN, ALL IN A DAY'S WORK" With farming comes enjoyment and with enjoyment the youth can experience fun within all agricultural
and recreational activities. Wether learning or working, the day will always be broken up with recreational activities.
"Too much work and no play makes unhappy workers day by day"
The goal is smiles.The young farmers must have opportunities to learn, work and have fun.
We will strive to keep smiles by providing various indoor and outdoor recreational activities, sports, and programs to keep the young farmers happy throughout the four seasons of the year.
- Learn and work on lands set aside for fruit tree, bush/berry patch operations while first aquiring knowledge of specific crop needs and long term goals.
- Learn and aquire understanding of specific crops soil needs, earth sculpting to fit those needs, soil amendments, and water/nutrient needs for pre-grown starter plants.
- Learn and work at planting and nurturing young plants, implementing pest, weed, disease control, and maintainence from young adolescent stages to the bearing of fruit and berry products.
- Learn and utilize longer-term tree, shrub and bush maintenance programs, month by month, on a year-by-year basis - as maturity of some takes 3 - 7 years.
- Learn and maintain the maturing fruit or berry care prior to, during, and through post harvest. Learn the care, cleaning, packaging, andstorage practices of the final products prior to market.
"Tomorrow's Farmers" , within the various settings of their agricultural interests, will have wonderful opportunities to socially interact with their fellow work team members, college interns, and staff.
- They will develop social skills as they work with other team members, as well as with the public. Public communicastion skills will come through our various daily on-site farm product sales directly to the public.
- They will have the ability to interact at larger farm functions, gatherings and recreational activities.
- They will be able to make new friends during day-to-day work and recreational activities, especially through town-by-town integration of all youth coming together at the new farms.
- They will interact with elder staff and other youth through the diversity of farming operations programs, thus providing them with possible life long bonds formed by sharing mutual interests with their new found friends.
- Pasture Fencing, Animal Containment Operations
- Agricultural Repair-and-Maintenance Shop Operations
- Farm Field Equipment Maintenance Operations
- Agricultural Products Marketing Operations
- Farm Recreation Facilitation and Maintenance Operations
- Overall Farm Management Operations
The diverse areas of operations, and the continuous rotation of youth within those areas of their personal interest, will provide opportunities to grow and work as teams into productive young adults.
Benefits for the Communities Youth
Crystal Lake Agricultural Youth Farms, Inc.
A Non-Profit Organization
LEARNING BY WORKING AND WORKING AT LEARNING
TRAINING TOMORROW'S FARMERS
"All In A Days Work"
at these new Farms.
Fruit and Berry Operations
"Tomorrow's Farmers" will be at the helm to assist in various phases of the construction processes under professional supervision. Specialty teams of technical trades or previously educated youth will work in the ultimate "Safety First" environment, with recognition for their contributions in helping to build this farm.