Gao Ly Yang
Soil Born Farm’s Youth Education program creates a space for curiosity, learning, and empowerment. By connecting youth to food, community and the natural world, we cultivate leadership, stewardship and healthy futures for all.
The Youth Education program focuses on two areas of education. Our Roots and Wings program provides farm-based educational experiences at the American River Ranch in Rancho Cordova. The Growing Together initiative focuses on supporting school gardens in the greater Sacramento Area. Both programs work together to provide youth the opportunity, both on- and off-site, to experience powerful connection with the natural world, hands-on learning, stewardship of the environment and delicious and healthy food.
Cultivating future stewards of our earth is about first cultivating love for our earth. We provide youth with experiences that invite them to feel a sense of awe, wonder and appreciation for the farm their school gardens and our environment.
Our programs connect youth to the natural world, themselves and each other through hands-on experiences. This builds awareness of our place as humans on this earth and our relationship with the plants and animals that live in our communities. We invite quiet moments of observation that allow youth to connect with their space as well as their inner voice. We work to cultivate a sense of community and comradery with their peers.
Connecting youth to their health can have positive impacts for the rest of their lives. When youth have a role in growing, harvesting or preparing food, they are more likely to enjoy healthy eating. By participating in meaningful work in gardens, youth engage in physical activities they enjoy while building strength and endurance.
Hands-on learning gives students the tools they need to enact change and become leaders. Working in gardens provides youth with both short- and long-term rewards. It is empowering for youth to see the positive impacts they can have on the land and in their community. Our program cultivates nurturing behaviors, connects science content to the real world and inspires youth to get their hands dirty for a purpose.
Note: Cited facts are from the 2020–21 school year.
“I love coming to Soil Born Farms. It is peaceful and I always have a great time.”
“We got to help harvest the pumpkins for the farm stand. This was fun because it was OK to get dirty.”
“I really love our school garden and learning about plants and bugs.”
“I can’t wait to share this compost lesson with my students. Our compost pile will be vital to our lesson on beneficial insects.”
“The experiences at Soil Born Farms have helped unify my students tremendously. I love the field trips because every student can participate and be successful.”
“You have single-handedly gotten my daughter to eat and like vegetables. Trips down the produce aisle will never be the same.”
“It was wonderful to see my child so joyful and engaged.”