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Meet Pepper


My name is Pepper. I came to MAP because I was interested in the organization and wanted to learn more about what they do. So far, I have had a very fun experience here, and it is a great first job. I especially liked going on a trip to the West Side Bazaar, because it was really cool seeing all the different businesses and the things they sell. I also like the day when we worked on the farm all together because I am interested in growing food. Working at MAP has been very fun so far.

Meet Des



My name is Des - class of 2020 - and I go to Amherst High School. The first two weeks of the program was not really that bad. My favorite activity is when I got the opportunity to cook. I've learned more about things I haven't known about, like advocacy and vegetables.

Meet Ingabire


I have been working at MAP for almost a year now and I always appreciate my summer time here. This program is all about teaching people (teens) how to work in their community. They give teens jobs and most of all they teach the importance of fresh and healthy food.

My thoughts so far on these weeks that I spent here are that this working place is full of people who are respectful and accepting. We play some games that are really good before starting activities. Every Friday at MAP we make meals and eat together as working members.

MAP has taught me something about the food system and how so many people and things contribute to make you eat the food that you eat. There are producers, consumers, processors, distributors, and waters that are involved in a food system. I am learning so many good things here and I don't regret being here - it's a nice working place. 

Meet Dakota



My thoughts on the first two weeks of work - If I was gonna make any friends or will I still be shy in front of people? I was thinking ‘what are we gonna do here?” My favorite actives are when we play games or when we are in groups learning about stuff. My favorite activity is when we are in our groups talking about the food we cook on our favorite holidays. What I’ve learned about the food systems is that they get all of their food from the garden, or the mobile market, which a truck that has fruits and vegies on it. I wanted to work here so I could know what they do here and how they do it.

Different customers and different markets


By Serge M

Hello, this is Serge once more. For those that don't already know, I've been at MAP for 4 years now and this summer I'm working as a Mobile Market Specialist. To recap what the Mobile Market does, we sell fresh vegetables throughout the city and the vegetables are stored in our refrigerated truck, the explaining how it is mobile.

This blog post is mainly about the different types of customers we get at different locations. This doesn't include customers at Elim place because I have not been there this summer. So, our other locations this summer are:

  • Massachusetts Farm on Tuesday, 4 -6 pm
  • Gerard's Place on Wednesday, 11-1 pm
  • and finally, Salvation Army on Friday, 11-1 pm

Meet Caleb



I am youth from MAP. I have been working with MAP for one school year and half a summer. My favorite activity of the program my be the cooking. Not just the cooking, but the sharing. Every Friday we sit down like a family and enjoy a meal that was put together by a group of teens. That me so much to me that MAP makes sure we all stay connected socially and mentally.

2016 Trip to Beaver Meadow Audobon Nature Reserve


At the end of each summer program Growing Green takes an overnight trip to Beaver Meadow Audubon Center


We spend time in the woods pulling up invasive honeysuckle plants.



Everyone had a turn to go canoeing in the pond. For some, this was their first time in a canoe!




In the evening before dinner we played field games.



After dinner groups gave presentations. Specialists shared the work they did during the summer. Teens new to MAP this summer presented their ideas on how to get fresh, healthy food to be sold in corner stores.

Thank you Beaver Meadow - Until next year!

Meet Cameron


 My first two weeks of the Growing Green program were awesome! When I first came to MAP I was a little shy, and I really didn’t wanna talk to anyone. I didn’t really know any one, but after the first two weeks it has been amazing. I’ve learned a lot about farms and gardens and different vegetables.

Meet Isabella



Hello! My name is Isabella. I am in 11th grade and going to iprep at Grover. I thought the first two weeks of orientation were nice because we weren't rushed in learning about MAP, and we got to play games and get to know each other. My favorite activity was when I canvassed and grade people surveys about healthy food in corners stores.

Summer farm update by Alexis


By Alexis S

Back on the farm, and thankfully this time the rain has come to bless our fields. This week was a great week on the farm with the rain helping the crops and the new youth helping to renew our beds.

Every Thursday the new youth come to the farm and helps with maintenance. As of late, we have been working on placing wood chips next to each bed to ensure no weed growth on walking paths. After some hard days of work our beds looked completely transformed.

Meet Delilah


My favorite activity in this program is cooking. I love to cook. Cooking actually gives me a quick experience on how it would be to work in a restaurant serving lots of people. When cooking I learn lots of things. While cooking I get to experience the making of different meals, healthy meals at that too. I also like working in groups and discussing how we will make our meal.

Meet Thaint



I am a student as Hutch-Tech. This is my first summer at MAP and by now, in my opinion, it’s quite fun. But thinking back to the first two weeks, I remember it as the time of ‘getting to know each other or everyone.’ But mostly, we played games such as ‘where the wind blows’ and ‘garbage can.’ But for the first two weeks some people came and went, so there are a few people I don’t really remember. I wasn’t nervous of anything because I still saw some old friends from the last school year and that gave me a sense of comfort. But, I still enjoyed it because it was all fun and games.

Summer garden update


By Birch

Last week the youth garden was looking pretty good. It rained a bit recently, and combined with our increased watering efforts the squash isn’t as sad. Also, the kale I planted with Kalil and Cameron last week has sprouted.

I’d say our cukes are doing the best by far. We’ve been getting the most consistent harvest from them. Also the arugula, before we ate it, did really good. Most everything else is struggling to stay alive. The strawberries were hit pretty hard by the heat.


Our biggest problem is having a watering system. The drought has hit us hard. I think we should bring extra water every week to put into our water barrels.

The Oles Family Farm has a crop rotation plan that involves fallow years. Maybe we could have 1-4 beds in our garden that are only a cover crop to improve the soil quality.

Meet Say Eh Paw



The reason why I joined this program is because I want to learn more things and experience new stuff. Also, I like to work in the garden and help my parents. In the 2 weeks I've learned more things about MAP. My favorite activities are working in my mom's garden and helping my mom with chores.

Community Organizing update


By Neena H

This week on Wednesday we facilitated two lessons with the new youth. One was called 'the Active Citizens Race' while the other was called 'Exploring Community Food Issues.' In these lessons youth learned what it means to be an active citizen and how they themselves can become more active in their communities. When talking about food issues in Buffalo, the youth we willing to share some personal anecdotes on how this issue has effected them.

Meet Khalil


My name is Khalil and my favorite food is pizza. My favorite movie is Deadpool. When I first came to MAP it was a lot of people and I was shy and scared to talk. Sports and activities I like to do are playing basketball and football. I like to play games and in my free time I like to practice.

Javert’s Farm Report


By Javert B

The farm appears to be doing really well as of Thursday 7/28/16. The eggplant is up to my knees (note that I am 6’6”). The cucumbers are getting bigger, and the cabbage heads are almost fully grown. The squash has seen better days, but it is still yielding fruit.

The new youth came over on Thursday as well, and with their helps we were able to weed and mulch the Shield’s Street farm plot. The next day we went to Oles Farm, where we weeded and picked onions and potatoes.

Meet Peter


My name is Peter and I am 17 years old. Currently, I live in Elmwood Village and just graduated from City Honors High School. In the fall I will be off to Cornell University. So far, I am loving the MAP Growing Green program because of it's diversity in activities and fun atmosphere. I love food, the outdoors and adventures, which makes MAP perfect for me. So far, I've been in the garden and farm for a week and I am about the start canvassing neighborhoods to push for support in MAP's Healthy Corner Store initiative.

Working together on the Mobile Market


By Serge M

Hello, this is Serge again. This summer is a bit different for me. I'm a specialist once again, but unlike the previous two summers I'm a Mobile Market specialist instead of a Communications specialist.

Even though I had experience working on the Mobile Market, this was a pretty interesting week. This year I get to know more of the interns that come in to help - how they heard about MAP and why they are interested in working at MAP. not only do I learn about the interns, but I also get to obtain more customer service skills, as well as more knowledge about people that know about MAP.

Meet Eh Soe


My name is Eh Soe. I just graduated from Riverside High School. I have worked for MAP a while school year and this is my second summer program. Working at MAP is really fun because I get to make new friends. My first two weeks were awesome, but we lost of youth that were supposed to work with us because of summer school My favorite activity of the summer program is playing morning games.

This week's menu: Italian Flying High Ninjas!

Summer Vegetable and Pesto Pizza

Made with peppers, onions, tomato and broccoli from the Mobile Market and basil from the Youth Garden.
From Simply in Season

Classic Italian Pasta Salad

Made with broccoli, cucumber, and onions from the Mobile Market.
Based on this recipe.

Green Salad with Caesar Dressing

Kale, cucumbers and red marble onions from the Youth Garden.
 Dressing based on this recipe.

Garlic Bread

Recipe developed by Ben H

Cannolis with Orange Ricotta Filling

Filling made using this recipe.

Lemon and Orange Infused Water

By Ben H and Adam P

Last week we made Italian food for MAP’s community lunch. It included pizza, garlic bread, pasta salad, green salad and cannolis.



New youth working in the garden

Claire, Say Eh Paw, Eh Soe looking at peppers.

By Birch

This week was our first week with new youth! We started the day with a survey created by Farming Concrete. Once everybody was there I held an egg carton out with various mood adjectives and everybody chose one at the beginning and the end. We plan to use it as a tool to measure the way out garden effects the members of it’s community.