Youth Engagement at the Farm

Growing food is an incredibly effective vehicle for achieving social change, especially among groups of people who can easily feel dis-empowered.  When growing food, you tend to get out what you put into it. If you don’t look after your soil, plant your seedlings and seeds carelessly, and don’t pay attending to maintaining weeds and pest while the veggies are growing, the chances are that your crop will suffer. But if you care for your veggies like the living things that they are, then you will be rewarded with the biggest and the tastiest veg you can get!

For young people and former refugees, who can often feel like so much of their life is outside of their control, seeing this reward for the hard work they have put in can be a truly empowering experience.

It’s almost a year of Green Connect’s re-vamped youth employment program. Its been a big learning curve for us, but one thing that has become eminently clear is how the farm provides an exciting and supportive environment for young people to build their confidence and skill set while on work experience. We’ve had some great success stories of young people who have moved through our work experience program, into training, and on to paid employment at Green Connect or externally. Just as importantly, we’ve also had young people who live with disabilities, mental health issues or other barriers who have found their time at the farm to be a positive experience. We consider this a huge success.

“I’m really glad I came to Green Connect. It has taught me so many things that I can now go home and do the same things they taught me at the farm. It’s a good, fun experience” – Josh, YEIC Participant

We still have places available in our youth employment program. If you or someone you know are a young person between the ages of 15 and 23 who are not employed or formally enrolled in training and are interested in doing work that’s good for people and planet, then get in touch!

Cal Champagne

Green Connect Farm Manager

What in the box this week:

Cherry Tomato Carrot Kale Capsicum Sweet Potato Cucumber Salad mix (bag) Rainbow Chard Buckwheat Leaf Potatoes Onion Grapes Apples Banana Plum
Mini mix * * * * * * *
Small veg * * * * * * *
Small mix * * * * * * * * *
Regular veg * * * * * * * * * ** **
Regular mix * * * * * * * * * ** ** * * *
Large veg * * * ** ** * * * * *** ***
Large mix * * * ** ** * * * * *** ** ** * *
Fruit box ** ** * **

What’s that in my box?
Buckwheat leaves have been used for both medicine and culinary purposes in Europe and Asia. The leaves can be used as vegetables and best prepared steamed or sauteed. Buckwheat leaves are rich in proteins, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron and are also high in Rutin which is a powerful antioxidant which helps fighting leg edema (swelling caused by fluid retention) It should be noted that it’s not recommended to eat more than 40 g of buckwheat leaves a day as it contains fagopyrin.

Recipe ideas: 

Kale and Sweet Potato Veggie Nuggets

Kale and sweet potato nuggets
Makes approx. 18 nuggets
1 medium sweet potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
Olive oil
1 cups frozen kale
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon flax seed meal
1 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Lightly brush the cut sides of the sweet potatoes with olive oil and arrange cut-side down on the baking sheet. Cook until quite soft, about 35 minutes, remove and set aside. When cool enough to touch, scoop out the flesh into a medium mixing bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Add the kale, chilli powder and smoked paprika. Sauté the kale with chilli powder and smoked paprika until fully wilted the liquid has evaporated and the spices fragrant (about 4 minutes), combine mixture with sweet potatoes.
  • In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed meal with 2 tablespoons water, mix until thoroughly incorporated and set aside for 5 minutes. Once gelatinous, transfer to bowl with the kale and sweet potatoes. Fold in the breadcrumbs and salt until the dry ingredients are well combined with the veggies.
  • Line a second oven tray with baking paper and lightly oil. With your hands, shape the balls into oblong nuggets, and pat smooth. Arrange an inch or so apart on the oven trays. Bake until the nuggets have dried out and formed a nice brown crust on the bottom (approx. 30 minutes). Flip the bites and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until firm. Serve immediately alongside your preferred dipping sauce, or freeze for later.

Recipe from:

Healthy Carrot and Apple muffins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup  rolled oats (or oat bran)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large tart apples (peeled, cored and shredded)
1-1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or flax seed meal)
1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (alt, plant-based milk)
1/4 cup oil


Preheat your oven to 190°C and grease your mini muffin pans.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, stirring until well blended. Add the shredded apples, carrots, walnuts and raisins and stir until they are coated with the flour mixture and then make a well in the center of the mixture.
In a small bowl, stir together the eggs, milk and oil. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until everything is just moistened.
Fill muffin pans about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes for regular muffins and 12 to 15 minutes for mini muffins.