In 2018, the TCEDC re-implemented the Garden & Kitchen Youth Internship Program (with Partner Sponsor Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Foundation), intensive training for area at-risk youth between the ages of 15-21 from the Taos Pueblo and our ethnically diverse local community to learn “from seed to opening a food business”. The internship was a paid 12-week program, 20 hours per week focusing planting, harvesting, seed saving, value-added food production, and food preservation. Over the course of the 12 weeks the interns successfully completed serval major projects including repairing two greenhouses at TCEDC, maintaining their own individual plot of vegetables and flowers, making a compost pit and implementing vermiculture, and to sell weekly produce at a weekly farm-stand market as an affordable, accessible opportunity for people to buy fresh produce. Students closed the season with an “Autumn Harvest Festival” in October.
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