YOUTH GARDEN PROGRAM

Voice of San Diego Article

The Second Chance Youth Garden is a six-week job training program for young people ages 14-24 who have had involvement with the juvenile justice system. As a partnership with San Diego County Juvenile Court and Community School (JCCS) system, our program combines in-class and experiential learning to increase youth awareness of urban agriculture and food justice, and help move them towards successful high school graduation.

During garden-based training, youth seed, cultivate, transplant and harvest the fruits of their labor. They learn about composting, soil fertility, irrigation, and plant anatomy/reproduction.

Kristin Kvernland, Youth Garden Manager, displaying some of our fresh garden produce for sale

Kristin Kvernland, Youth Garden Manager, displaying some of our fresh garden produce for sale

They also acquire sales and marketing skills by helping with produce sales. Other program components include healthy cooking classes, nutrition education, financial literacy, job readiness/development, professional certification, youth development workshops and fun! Upon completion of the program, youth receive individual case management to work toward high school graduation, paid internship opportunities, part- and full-time work and higher education.

All garden produce is sold through a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA), as well as onsite farm stand at the San Diego County Office of Education, and the People's Produce Farmers Market.  Any revenue generated from the program goes back into providing youth with stipends as well as garden supplies and materials. 

If you have any questions or are interested in buying produce please contact KK, our Youth Garden Manager, 619 839 0952 or kkvernland@secondchanceprogram.org. 

Youth programs are made possible by grants and other community support. If you would like to donate to our youth programs, please contact Trisha Gooch, 619-839-0950 or via email

Youth Garden press and radio interviews - Voice of San Diego Careers for Mid-City Youth

Where to buy our produce

CSA          

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it’s an easy way for people to buy fresh and local produce directly from their local farmer (or urban farmer in our case!) Through our CSA, customers get a box of fresh produce every week grown by local youth in City Heights and Southeast San Diego.  All proceeds go back into running youth programming and sustaining our urban farming efforts.  We sell CSA shares three times per year, and each one of them is a 10-week commitment.  Customers prepay for the 10 weeks and get a bag of fresh produce delivered to them!  Let us know if you are interested.  It only takes five other people to become a drop-off site.

PEOPLE’S PRODUCE FARMERS MARKET

The People’s Produce (PP) Farmers Market is located in Southeastern San Diego.  Defined as a “food swamp”, Southeast San Diego is a neighborhood lacking healthy food access.  The PP market addresses this issue by providing residents with healthy, affordable farm fresh food every Saturday from 3pm to 6pm (47th Street and Castana). We sell at this market once a month.

FARM STANDS

Farm stands are like pop up farmers markets. Traditionally these are held on the farm but we also set up at other locations. Currently we sell at the San Diego County Office of Education and are looking for more venues to host a stand.  If you are interested please let us know! This can be a onetime event or an ongoing commitment (every two weeks, once a month etc).

RESTAURANTS SALES/SPECIAL EVENTS

Although our space is limited we are very excited to work with local restaurants and can even make arrangements to grow special crops.  This will become more feasible in the spring when we expand to a new site.  We have also had a variety of requests to host special event farm-to-table dinners at our urban garden sites.  We are more than happy to host special events with advanced notice.  We have chefs we have worked with and are also open to working with new chefs too.  We provide all produce and space on site and have youth help cater the event.