This North Carolina Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) project uses community gardening to: empower communities to produce food for families, deliver hands-on nutrition education, create opportunities for youth to develop agri-related business skills, build leadership among community members, and provide engaging activities for family members of all ages to work together for a common purpose.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Fruitful Partnership with Growing Change



Over the last 4 years the CYFAR community garden project in Scotland County has had the privilege of partnering with Noran Sanford, a passionate licensed mental health therapist, on a project that combines clinical work with innovative programming focused on sustainable food production for youth ages 14-17 who had been placed out-of-home, out-of-school and on probation.





This diverse group of nine young men (calling themselves Growing Change) has grown, harvested and donated thousands of pounds of produce from three sites in the county, started a vermicompost business, built compost bins and started beehives for two community gardens, participated in multiple public speaking engagements across the state, and were accepted into the NCFood Youth Initiative. Considering many of these youth had never been out of the county, had poor reputations and were one step away from incarceration, these accomplishments are extraordinary.

This unique partnership of NC Cooperative Extension, NCA&T State University, NC State University, Department of Public Safety, UNC-Pembroke, local agencies, citizens and the faith community is supporting growingchange.org, whose goal is to transform small closed rural prisons into sustainable farms and educational centers for youth and veterans.  This model,“Flip the Prison”, has already gained national attention and will begin with an abandoned site in Wagram, NC - the same town in which the Wagram Community Garden started in 2009 as part of this project.

Grace Summers (center, red shirt), applied research coordinator, works with high school students at a 2013 Youth in Agriculture Workshop sponsored by The Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Photo credit: Agricultural Communications, N.C. A&T State University (Greensboro, NC

You can read more about Growing Change and their incredible accomplishments in this short story written by Sharon English, Family & Consumer Science Agent with Scotland County Cooperative Extension.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Veggie of the Month December: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato grits anyone?? Yummmmmmm!


Sweet Pots_Veggie of Month_Dec 2013_Durham -


Friday, October 25, 2013

Briggs Avenue Community Garden wins beehive and colony!


TFNC HomeFrom Toxic Free NC news

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Congratulations to Briggs Avenue Community Garden in Durham for BEEing the winner in our 2nd Annual Save a Bee Beehive Giveaway
Briggs Avenue Community Garden is located in an area of Durham where most children and families live at or below the poverty line. The garden is a place where food is grown for families and where community members fellowship, share skills and learn about pesticide-free gardening. Right now they have more than 40 community-maintained plots, but are expanding next year to accomodate even more gardeners.