- Learn and work with, and under the guidance of, professional staff and college interns.
- Learn to work as teams - often in groups of 5 to 10 youth each.
- Be involved with elements of diversity, i.e., areas of interest which will incorporate workers into various farm teams such as:
- Greenhouses - 15 separate operations
- Fruit and Berry Operations
- Livestock, Feed Production and Maintenance Operations
- Building Maintenance
" A Plan To Better Their Futures Within Their Own Communities "
#1 Preface: We Want The Earth Back
#2 Learning By Working and Working at Learning
#3 Training Tomorrow's Farmers Today
#4 What Will It Take To Make These New Farms Work?
#5 How Will We Run These Farms?
Through these farming experiences,
and 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
- Socializing Skills
Benefits in Detail
- Grow from the first shovel of dirt to the excavation and 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 fully operational farm buildings.
- Observe construction bringing various food and livestock production buildings into operation and taking shape right before their eyes.
- Participate in all preparations and activities going into the 365-day-per-year greenhouses that are controlled-environment, organic food production operations.
- Assist with the indoor/outdoor preparations and activities for livestock production operations.
- Participate in the preparation and activities of the indoor/outdoor buildings for the farm's pets and "Name the Different Animals" recreational livestock programs.
- Assist with all preparations and activities that are involved with the 8-month-per-year outdoor organic farm field-food production operations.
- Watch, learn and assist with the entire 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 planting 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 that knowledge regarding which soil and plant-life amendments become everyday necessities for plants to sustain life, along with the daily nurturing of young plant growth.
- Learn and work at daily maintenance of young plants - watering; weeding; pest and disease observation, prevention 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 (pre and post harvesting), cleaning and handling while cleaning, any dry cleaning and/or drying operations, then packaging.
- Learn and participate in post-harvest handling of packaged products, cooling or refrigeration storage in preparation for marketabilitiy.
FARM FIELD OPERATIONS
- 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 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; 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 timing and implementation of irrigation when necessary.
- Learn and perform day-to-day observaton of plant-food product growth and care; then harvesting and handling of the harvested products.
- Learn to work with post-harvested products in pre-clean stages; during and post-cleaning stages including drying, grading and packaging for markets.
- Learn to work with post-harvested products, e.g. pre-cooling, cooling and refrigeration storage prior to market.
- Learn and participate in post-harvest field cleanup and closure of the fields by planting of cover crops at each farm season's end.
(For those youth intrigued with livestock-to-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 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, other grain and hay feed products for the livestock's consumption.
- Learn and become engaged in the entire feed production operations, handling and storage.
- Learn and work (as with machinery) "SAFETY FIRST" with livestock also.
FRUIT AND BERRY OPERATIONS
- Learn and work on lands set aside for fruit tree, bush and berry patch
operations - first acquiring knowledge of specific crop needs and long-term goals.
- Learn and acquire understanding of specific crops' soil needs, earth sculpturing to fit those needs, soil amendments, water and nutrient needs for pregrown starter plants.
- Learn and work at planting and nurturing young plants (shrubs, bushes and trees); implementing the pest, weed and disease control and maintenance
from young adolescent stages to the bearing of fruit and berry products.
CAREER CHOICE IDEAS for TOMORROW'S FARMER
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 farmsites, this will allow us the space necessary to open up many types of farming opportunities which may lead the new young farmers to make determinations regarding which direction or agricultural field of interest could potentially open doors for lifelong careers.
CRYSTAL LAKE AGRICULTURAL YOUTH FARMS
What Will It Take To Make This Farm Work?
Construction of the New Farms
- 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, youth, various professionals, educators and staff.
- Aid in guidance of all financial elements, i.e. banking, investors, sponsors.
- Aid in guidance to insure proper Supporter and Sponsorship "Branded Project Recognition".
- Aid and insure the farm &Tomorrow's Farmers are operating within all realms of the law.
The Engineers and Green Technology Architects Teams of both will work with various boards, agencies and commissions to insure the quality of the physical site, structural and planning designs. All physical site work necessary for "Green World" architectural layout, design and followups, or ongoing as-built work, will be done with Tomorrow's Farmers - the Green Farm and Green World future being a priority at all times. Various teams of "specialty occupations" will be recruited to undertake the diversified tasks of constructing this one-of-a-kind facility. Contractors specialties include:
- Land Clearing and Major Excavation.
- Concrete, Framing, Roofing, Siding, Insulation, Windows and Doors.
- Interior Finish Carpentry, Masonry, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Technical, Alternative Energy, Lighting, Security, Communication, Finish Excavation and Landscaping.
"Tomorrow's Farmers" will be at the helm to assist in various stages of the process deemed "Safe", under professional supervision. Specially trained teams of technical, trade or previously-educated youth will work in the ultimate "Safety First" environment with recognition for their "We Helped Build This Farm" abilities.
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
- Learn and participate in all facets of landscape preparation, maintenance and grounds care from lawn mowing, shrub trimming to Fall/Spring cleanups and Winter snow maintenance.
- Learn and work at day-to-day outdoor building maintenance of agricultural and other structures.
- Learn and work at day-to-day indoor maintenance of all buildings - greenhouses, barns, various workshops, recreational and learning centers.
- Learn and work at day-to-day maintenance of livestock containment areas, pasture fences, pens and paddocks alike.
- Learn and be involved in the many elements which go into sustaining an entire farm operation 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 can climb the occupational tree to the top.
- Experience opportunities to work directly with staff and college interns, having an average five-youth-to-one-leader configuration, thereby stimulating the youth to become leaders themselves.
LEARNING AND HAVING FUN, " ALL IN A DAY'S WORK" With farming comes enjoyment; and from enjoyment, the youth can experience fun within all agricultural and recreational activities. Learning, working, resting and enjoyment - the day will always be broken up with recreational activities.
"Too much work and no play make unhappy workers day by day"
The goal is smiles.Theyoung 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 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 observe flowering of the tree, shrub or bush to the fruit or berry production, and bringing their products to harvest.
- Learn and maintain the maturing fruit or berry care prior to, during, and post harvest; the care, cleaning, packaging, storage by pre-cooling, cooling,and/or refrigeration of final products prior to market.
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 socialization will come trough our various day-to-day, 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 trough 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, long-term life bonds formed by sharing mutual interests with their new found friends.
- Mechanized Farm Field Preparations and Maintenance Operations
- Farm Field, Plant and Field Care (hoeing, weeding, etc.)
- Irrigation, Pond and Water Maintenance Operations
- Fruit, Berry and Vegetable Harvesting Operations
Benefits for the Communities Youth
Crystal Lake Agricultural Youth Farms
LEARNING BY WORKING AND WORKING AT LEARNING
As each of the Greenhouses, Mushroom House and Livestock Buildings are erected to completion, working teams from Management, staff, college interns and "Tomorrow's Farmers" will be carefully organized, prepared and working various agricultural environments, once established or created.
Smaller teams of "Workers" will be established at all the income-producing sites (greenhouses and various barns) once the "First Phase" of construction allows and soon after the "Second Phase" (the balance of all other structures) is completed, we will be able to forge ahead with the entire farm work team.
Phase I: Greenhouses, Livestock Buildings, Farm-Field Operations will consist of:
40+ professionals, educators and staff;
Phase II: Balance of all Structures, Recreational Facilities completed;
Fruit and Berry Operations will consist of:
40+ professionals, educators and staff
When Fully Operational, Both Phases:
80+ professionals, educators and staff
The intent is to have a continuously available youth work team, to work an average of 15-20 hours per week, and with enough employees to satisfy
the needs of the professionally-calculated 365 day-per-year operations.
In order to do so, the number of professionals, educators, staff and college
interns has been calculated at a fixed number of employees and a variable
number of youth, rounding out at estimated figures of over 2,000 different youth
per year so that the farm may run smoothly.
Also, in the first year it is projected that, in fairness to "Tomorrow's Farmers"
and for all to have a chance to come to this special place, a carefully structured
worker-rotation program will need to be further explored, designed and activated.
A small personnel department will be actively working daily to keep harmony
within a closely monitored organization.
The Farm will assist the parents/guardians and "Tomorrow's Farmers" in
establishing areas of interest - scheduling around the youths' formal education,
and always ensuring family lifestyles as "Priority #1".
An energetic undertaking of organizational infrastructure of employment planning
has been, and continues to be, developed while plans for construction move
forward. The "Farm Field Operations" will be the simplest plans to orchestrate
as many years of farm history and leadership will compliment its continuation.
To move forward expeditiously, a constant vigil of all activities is underway daily
and will continue so until a more formal committee is drafted to design the curriculum.
TRAINING TOMORROW'S FARMERS
"Chief Sitting Bull" "A-HO"
"All In A Days Work"
at these new Farms.