Boston MA — Back in the summer of 2019, Boston Youth Wrestling envisioned a space for cultivating our own food locally. Because we have a commitment to health in our program, planting the seed for equal access to food is important and planting a garden was the natural thing to do. Staff got the groundwork rolling: clearing, tilling, and aerating the barren land plot.
Cultivating the Next Generation of Coaches: Student-led Group Work Plants the Seed for Healthy Eating
By Jeanette Smith Americorps VISTA for BYW, September 4, 2020.
We are in year two of partnering with the Margaret Wright Community Garden at Fort Hill in Roxbury! Our Coaches in Training (CIT), the first secondary education age group to start gardening in the area, put on their gardening gloves to join the community gardeners to maintain our Boston Youth Wrestling (BYW) plot along with our home base garden. Now at summer’s end, we want to share what they have learned about their cornucopia of a harvest!
This year, our Executive Director, Bior Guigni, expanded the project to include a vacant overgrown landscape piece in front of the BYW office in Nubian Square. “We strive to have a program that not only teaches why healthy habits are important, but how to develop the skills and mindset to continue to provide for ourselves and for our community. Everyone should have access to fresh foods regardless of your circumstances.” Both plots took shape for the first time this year because of the CIT’s and their commitment to the Health and Wellness program. The transformation from weeds to tomatoes in our Warren garden plot is seen below.
Inspiring educational snippets focused on urban gardening guided the CITs efforts to grow for a better future and propelled the gardening project into a community-wide narrative. Above it all, just tasting the fruit of his labor, one CIT happily commented that, “When I got home from the Community Day, the first thing I did was make some scrambled eggs and put the plants that we grew inside of it. Such as the onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. I’m not going to lie, it was the best scrambled eggs I have ever had.”
One CIT answered the question, “Was there anything that spoke to you about gardening and the importance of food availability?” by saying, “This guy