Sara Touey, a Community, Environment, and Development major, studied urban farming — a subject that’s relatively new to the agricultural world — during her internship at the Penn State Center in Philadelphia.
By Anna Criswell
Penn State News
February 15, 2017
“During the internship I went to a farm on the site of Teens 4 Good, a nonprofit associated with the Penn State Center,” said Touey. “They teach youth from lower-income neighborhoods how to grow and harvest their own food. They also teach nutritional programs, how to cook with produce and job-development skills they can take into the real world.”
Smaller farms associated with urban agriculture don’t have the heavy machinery or space one would find on a rural farm, or many workers, Touey explained. “It was humbling — it’s a very personal process,” she said about working at Teens 4 Good. Along with a handful of other volunteers, she worked in a small unit with the head farmer. She was given the opportunity to get her hands dirty, see how the food was grown and gain first-hand experience with the process of working on a smaller farm.
“We got up early in the morning and really got personal with growing foods. It gave me a greater appreciation because before this internship, I was completely removed from the growing process,” she said. “It’s so easy to get food from the grocery store and not really think about where it comes from.”
While Touey learned a lot about urban agriculture and the benefits of integrating with nonprofit organizations, she realized that many people are confused when it comes to the definition of urban agriculture and what it does.