FARM CLUB BADGES | BUG DETECTIVE
May 28th, 2020

To earn BUG DETECTIVE: You should be able to find and identify a number of different bugs on or around crops. Look under the leaves! Look near the flowers! Look in the soil! Look in your compost! You should be able to determine if a bug is helpful or not helpful on the farm. For example, bees and butterflies transport…

FARM CLUB BADGE | HAPPY HARVESTER
May 26th, 2020

To earn HAPPY HARVESTER: You should be able to recognize when a variety of crops are ready to harvest. You might need to examine the color, size, taste, firmness, etc. of each crop to do so. You should be able to harvest a variety of crops correctly. When harvesting leafy greens (such as kale, collards, spinach, etc.) only…

FARM CLUB BADGES | RECIPE WRANGLER & FOOD CRITIC
May 21st, 2020

To earn RECIPE WRANGLER: You should be able to distinguish between the list of ingredients and instructions within a recipe. You should be able to determine what materials are needed after reading through a recipe. You should be able to understand the sequence or flow of a recipe. To earn FOOD CRITIC: You should be able to use descriptive language to…

FARM CLUB BADGES | THE CULTIVATOR
May 19th, 2020

To earn THE CULTIVATOR: You should be able to identify and pull weeds to keep your crops happy and healthy. Remember, a “weed” is any plant that is growing where you don’t want it to grow (i.e. too close to crops, inviting disease and stealing nutrients). When pulling weeds, be sure to remove and dispose of the entire…

FARM CLUB BADGES | WATER WIZARD
May 15th, 2020

To earn WATER WIZARD: You should be able to identify the part of a plant that absorbs water (i.e. ROOTS).  Remember to water near the base of your plants to be as efficient as possible. You should be able to water your plants using different methods or tools (i.e. watering can, sprinkler, soaker hose, drip tape, hose, etc.)….

FARM CLUB BADGES | MEASUREMENT MASTER
May 12th, 2020

To earn MEASUREMENT MASTER: You should be able to recognize different units of measurements (e.g. pinch, teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, ounces). You should be able to distinguish wet and dry measuring utensils. When measuring dry ingredients, use the back of your knife or finger to “level” them in order to add the correct measurement of each. You should be able…

GATHER 2020
May 7th, 2020

WHAT IS GATHER? Gather is an annual grassroots fundraising weekend where people gather across the city to learn about and support Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s nationally recognized food-based education model Good School Food. HOW DO I PARTICIPATE? Post a photo or video on your own Instagram/Facebook (during May 14th through the 17th) of you or…

FARM CLUB BADGES | KNIFE WHIZ & TOOL SAFETY
May 7th, 2020

To earn KNIFE WHIZ: You should be able to distinguish between different types of knives and their purpose (i.e. chef, paring, serrated). You should be able to safely and effectively hold a knife to make various cuts. To hold your knife, it helps to use your index finger and thumb to grip the knife right in front of the…

FARM CLUB BADGES | THE GERMINATOR & TRANSPLANT EXPERT
May 5th, 2020

To earn THE GERMINATOR: You should be able to list the basic needs of seeds (i.e. what they need to start to grow, or germinate) and provide those needs for your seeds. Air Water The perfect temperature You should be able to determine the basic planting depth for most seeds. In general, you should plant a seed in a…

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | WORM WHISPERER
April 30th, 2020

Did you know a worm has FIVE “hearts”? Use this activity to explore the anatomy of a common earthworm. Don’t forget to download the K–2nd & 3rd–5th lesson plans!

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | SEED DISPERSAL
April 28th, 2020

Have you ever seen a large tree growing by itself in an empty field and wondered how did it get there? Its seed was transported there by a process called seed dispersal! Use this lesson to explore the different ways seeds are dispersed in nature. Then put your new knowledge to work in a design…

Mohamed’s Meatball Soup
April 27th, 2020

Ready in 1.5 hours | 8 servings INGREDIENTS: 1 lb. ground beef, thawed 1 onion – ½ finely diced, ½ slice 1 bell pepper – ½ finely diced, ½ sliced 1-2 green onions, thinly sliced Oil 1 cup breadcrumbs 3 bouillon cubes 1 tsp honey 2 tsp soy sauce 2 tbsp mustard Spices: onion powder, garlic…

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | ADAPTATIONS
April 23rd, 2020

Why do bees have hair on their legs? Why do chameleons change colors when they feel threatened? Explore the wild world of adaptations with this activity to find out why certain plants and animals have changed or evolved over time to better survive in their chosen habitats. Download the the lesson plan for 3rd–8th grade…

RECIPE: KALE, EGG, AND MUSHROOM QUESADILLAS
April 21st, 2020

INGREDIENTS:  2-3 cups kale, cut into thin strips 2-3 mushrooms, cut into thin pieces 2 eggs 1 tbsp. garlic, minced (fresh or preserved) 1 cup cheese (mozzarella, Colby jack, etc.) 1 tbsp. olive oil 2 tortillas Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste Other seasonings, to taste (i.e. onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, etc.)  DIRECTIONS:  To…

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | POLLINATOR HUNT
April 16th, 2020

Spring is finally here! Beautiful flowers are blooming everywhere, which means fruit is not far behind! Use this activity to explore the world of pollinators and learn how they play a large role in getting fruit to our kitchens and seeds to our gardens. Download the lesson plan for K-2nd grade here!

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | SOLAR OVENS
April 14th, 2020

Can we, as humans, harness the power of the sun? The answer is yes! We can use the sun to our benefit in a variety of ways. Use this activity to explore the idea of leveraging the sun’s energy to design and construct a solar oven. Download the lesson plan for 3rd–5th grade!

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | COMPOST 101: PART TWO
April 9th, 2020

Where does all of our trash go? This lesson gives your student the opportunity to explore a natural way to recycle their food scraps – rather than throwing them into the trash. Combined with the book, Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth, students also get a chance to practice letter recognition…

APRIL CROP OF THE MONTH | STRAWBERRIES
April 8th, 2020
AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | COMPOST 101: PART ONE
April 7th, 2020

Have you ever wondered how soil is made? All soil is unique and each has a number of different ingredients. Healthy soil (or soil that is rich in nutrients for plants) has a specific combination of inorganic and organic matter. Use the activity below to learn how to create your own nutrient-rich soil and reduce…

WE WILL CONTINUE TO GROW FOOD | OUR PROTOCOL
April 6th, 2020

We have developed strict protocols for our staff to follow so that we can safely continue to grow and harvest fresh food for our community. Jones Valley Teaching Farm will continue to do the important work of growing food on all seven Teaching Farms for as long as we are allowed. As staff, your individual…

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | SOIL ADVENTURES PART 2 (K-5)
April 2nd, 2020

Did you know that soil can be many different colors? Use this activity to explore the soil right below your feet in your backyard. After collecting a few soil samples, work with your student to turn them into paint and create a beautiful soil masterpiece. Download the lesson plan here. 

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | RECYCLED PLANTERS
April 1st, 2020

How can we preserve the natural resources that add so much to our daily lives? It’s important to understand the difference between nonrenewable and renewable resources and how we interact with them each day. By using the “Three R’s” (reduce, reuse, recycle), you can play a role in conserving the resources we need to survive!…

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | SOIL ADVENTURES PART 1 (6-12)
March 31st, 2020

Have you ever wondered how some plants grow on a sandy beach? Different plants prefer different types of soil texture. We can test our own soil texture to know what plants would grow well or how to improve the soil for planting. All it takes is scooping a soil sample into a jar, shaking it…

WINTER | 20
March 27th, 2020

RAINBOW RATATOUILLE: PreK students learned the importance of eating colorful foods to ensure they have the necessary nutrients to be happy, healthy, and strong. Using ingredients from all the colors of the rainbow, students helped prepare a ratatouille by slicing orange and purple carrots, and tearing green and purple kale. STONE SOUP: This winter, 2nd Grade…

AT-HOME ACTIVITIES | COLORS ABOUND (K–5)
March 26th, 2020

With March 20th marking the first full day of Spring, a larger array of colors are brightening up our world with flowers, insects, leaves, and more! This activity encourages students to look closely at our natural environment by searching for specific colors through a scavenger hunt. Here you can download a lesson plan for K–2nd…

MARCH CROP OF THE MONTH | SPINACH
March 24th, 2020
COVID-19 RESOURCES & UPDATES
March 18th, 2020

In light of the current events and developments surrounding COVID-19, Jones Valley Teaching Farm has suspended all programming including: Good School Food, open volunteer hours, and our production internship. We are currently working with city agencies and other non-profits to share helpful information as it relates to food accessibility in our community. We will continue…

MEET JESSICA & HANA!
March 3rd, 2020

Meet Jessica and Hana! Jessica, our Downtown Campus Farm Manager, pursued a degree and career in sustainable agriculture because she wanted to do something positive for our environment and the people in it. Jessica joined Jones Valley Teaching Farm in 2016. Hana, our Assistant Farm Manager, holds a degree in Environmental Science with a focus…

PRODUCTION INTERNSHIP
February 11th, 2020

POSITION DESCRIPTION The Production Internship is an opportunity for a select number of participants to learn and practice a variety of skills related to urban farming and small scale mixed vegetable production. You can learn more about our work at jvtf.org. Our Farmers work hard to be both efficient and experimental with our farming practices…

FEBRUARY CROP OF THE MONTH | BROCCOLI
February 3rd, 2020
MEET JOSIAH!
January 30th, 2020

Meet Josiah! Josiah Tellis is a senior at Woodlawn High School. He joined the High School Apprenticeship program at Jones Valley Teaching Farm in August 2019. During his freshman year, he was known for wearing a backpack the whole time he attended Farm Club. Once at Farm Club where they cooked egg roll bowls, Josiah…

MEET KELLY, MOHAMED, & NENE
January 23rd, 2020

Meet the Woodlawn High School team! Mohamed was involved in the creation of the Teaching Farm before graduating from Woodlawn High School (WHS) in 2015. In August of 2015, he began his role as Farm Manager for the WHS Teaching Farm and continues to excel in that role. He also leads our paid internship program…

MEET DESTINY!
January 13th, 2020

Meet Destiny Nelson-Miles! Destiny has been involved with Jones Valley Teaching Farm since 2015 as a 6th grader at W.E. Putnam Middle School. At Putnam, she participated in Farm Club and Greenhouse Club, where she helped design and build a greenhouse. Destiny is now a junior at Woodlawn High School working on our Apprentice team….

JANUARY CROP OF THE MONTH | CARROTS
January 10th, 2020
MEET JOI & ZEE
December 5th, 2019

Meet Joi-Lindsey Garrett and Zee Wilson. Joi joined our team in the Fall of 2016 as the Instructor at Henry J. Oliver Elementary School. Zee was in our first class of interns at Woodlawn High School during the 2016-2017 school year, and joined as Teaching Farm Apprentice in the Summer of 2018. Joi strives to…

MEET FERNANDO & JERICK
December 4th, 2019

Meet Fernando Colunga and Jerick Hamilton! Fernando began volunteering at the Downtown Campus as a production intern in the summer of 2016, and was hired as an Instructor in the summer of 2018. Jerick was an intern at Woodlawn High School from his Junior year in 2016 through his graduation in 2018. Jerick joined as…

MEET AVANT CLAIBORNE!
December 4th, 2019

Meet Avant Claiborne! Avant is currently a senior at Woodlawn High School and an Intern on the Teaching Farm. Although he has been involved with the Teaching Farm since his freshman year, he joined JVTF in the Fall of 2018 as a junior and enjoyed his first year as an intern so much he decided…

MEET ALDER & MARISA
December 4th, 2019

Meet Alder Feroce and Marisa Sitz. Alder joined Jones Valley as a Teaching Farm Fellow in 2016 and was stationed at Phillips Academy and our Downtown Campus. Alder accepted the Instructor position at Glen Iris Elementary in 2017.  Marisa started working at Glen Iris Elementary School in the spring of 2019 as a Title I…

MEET ALAN & TELVIN
December 3rd, 2019

Meet Alan Gurganus and Telvin Caples, JVTF’s current team on the Teaching Farm at Avondale Elementary School. Alan is a champion of sustainability and has led in science and environmental education efforts since 2001. Alan joined as the Instructor at Avondale Elementary in the Spring of 2018. Telvin was an intern at Woodlawn High School…

DECEMBER CROP OF THE MONTH | CABBAGE
November 26th, 2019
FALL | 19
November 15th, 2019

Birmingham City School students returned for another semester, JVTF welcomed a new class of Woodlawn High School Interns, summer crops were replaced with cool weather crops, volunteers supported JVTF throughout our sites, and endless amounts of hard work went into the success of this Fall! DURING SCHOOL: PreK students used their senses to explore the Teaching…

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN APPRENTICE
November 14th, 2019

We often get asked the simple question “What does a typical day look like?” The answer is, every day at Jones Valley Teaching Farm is different and our plans can change as quickly as the weather. Below is an outline of a day in the life of Teaching Farm Apprentice Corniqua “Nene” Murphy from the…

NOVEMBER CROP OF THE MONTH | KALE
October 29th, 2019
OCTOBER CROP OF THE MONTH | TURNIPS
October 3rd, 2019
SUMMER | 19
August 12th, 2019

This summer, Jones Valley Teaching Farm hosted Camp Grow — a free, three-week summer program on the Teaching Farm at Woodlawn High School offered to 20 middle school students from Hayes-K8 and Putnam Middle School. Camp Grow focused on all things culinary including skills in the kitchen (such as knife-handling, seasoning various dishes, and exploring different…

Gather | July 2019
July 12th, 2019

In 2019, Jones Valley Teaching Farm recruited Gather hosts for two separate weekends during the summer.  Hosts coordinated a dinner of their own design and invited their friends to gather with them around a table to celebrate and support Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s Good School Food program. Our final Gather weekend of 2019 took place July…

SPRING NEWSLETTERS
July 1st, 2019
Fall Production Internship
June 21st, 2019

Position Description The Production Internship is an opportunity for a select number of participants to learn and practice a variety of skills related to urban farming and small scale mixed vegetable production. Your can learn more about our work at jvtf.org. Our Farmers work hard to be both efficient and experimental with our farming practices…

Farm Stand Grand Opening
May 12th, 2019

In the Spring of 2018, Jones Valley Teaching Farm received a grant through the Healthy Food Financing Program of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for a Farm Stand at the Woodlawn High School Teaching Farm. Soon after, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students from W.E. Putnam Middle School and C.W. Hayes K-8 school…

Gather 101
May 2nd, 2019

WHAT IS GATHER? The Gather concept is a smart, of-the-moment fundraising idea that lends itself to seasonal entertaining opportunities throughout the year. The roots of the program are togetherness, food, generosity, and community. Particularly in the South, sharing food with those we care about is a longstanding, important tradition. Most of us grew up with…