Dig Deep, Grow Strong
The Youth Farm is a 6-acre urban farm and collaborative educational site that cultivates a new generation of leaders by engaging young people in farming for the community.
A program of the Marion Polk Food Share, in partnership with Chemeketa Community College and OSU Extension, the Youth Farm features production fields, an orchard and a learning garden. We grow more than 40 types of fruits and vegetables (and more than 80 varieties!) and all food is grown using organic methods. The food we harvest is distributed to food pantries, partnering health clinics, youth farmers and their families.
Located on the Chemeketa Community College Campus in NE Salem, the Youth Farm also serves as a learning space for local school groups and community workshops. Contact us if your group is interested in a field trip or volunteer experience.
The 2019 Youth Farm program is generously supported by the Midland Area Community Fund, The Collins Foundation, First Tech Federal Credit Union, the Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program and The Tomberg Family Philanthropies.
Join the Youth Farm 4-H Club
The Food Share runs a year-round 4-H club that teaches youth from across Salem, between the ages of 13 and 18, how to grow food and cooperatively manage a small farm business while developing their leadership skills and preparing them for college or the workplace.
Throughout the fall and spring we host farm work days focused on teaching the skills needed to run an urban farm. Any youth interested in the farm can join us on one of these workdays.
Interested youth are also strongly encouraged to sign up for our youth farmer training in February. Training classes provide the base knowledge farmers need to know in order to plant, maintain, and harvest their own gardens as well as the basic knowledge and skills needed to help run the farm. The training is a requirement for those interested in applying for the summer farm crew.
Join the Summer Farm Crew
The summer farm crew is a tight-knit team of experienced 4-H members who want to further develop their farming skills. They also strengthen their service leadership skills by running our Farm Share Rx program, leading volunteer groups, and developing independent projects. Crew members enjoy farm-fresh lunch each work day, take home generous amounts of produce and are eligible for a stipend of up to $1000 (or $2,000 for returning crew leaders), depending on fund availability.
If you have any questions about joining the Youth Farm or how to join the summer crew, please email our team.