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Radish journal #1


By Soliegh D

One thing that's been particularly meaningful to me this year is The Radish. Oh, how wonderful Radishes are, their beautiful fuchsia skin and crisp which flesh. We, the Farm & Garden group, went to Urban Roots to pick our seeds to grow this year. Going down the racks of seeds I knew what I was searching for - parsnips, peas, potatoes . . . . AHA! French Breakfast Radish 💗

Triumphant, I snatched the seed packet from the display and sprinted to the back table. I slapped it onto the table, thrust my finger at it and gave speech to the rest of the group to convince them to vote for us to plant it this year. In retrospect, I'm not quite remembering what I said, but whatever words came out of my mother did so with such passion and moving force (and possibly a threat) that nobody even questioned whether or not we should plant them. It was unanimous!

Oh, how I long for spring to come sooner; for the radishes to be plucked from the ground and the hear the glorious crunch of the crisp brassica being bitten into. Nothing says summer more than thinly sliced radishes lounging atop a piece of buttered and salted fresh French bread. Nothing tastes quite like a French Breakfast radish, with a rich yet mild taste, but still with that signature kick you can only get out of a radish. The sweet smell of a radish beckons me towards greatness, and always will until the day I die.

Interviewing Dan Ash from Farmer Pirates

Image source
By Maire E

This spring at MAP something that I found meaningful was interviewing Dan Ash from the People's Food Movement. He is one of the founders of the Farmer Pirates, which is a group of urban farmers. He specializes in the Farmer Pirates compost distribution service. I asked him questions all about the Farmer Pirates and urban farming techniques. The information I gathered was put onto information posters the People's Food Movement.

Through interviewing him I learned all about the importance of compost and how healthy soil can heavily impact the growing potential of your plants. This was extremely education for me as I am in the Farm & Garden group at MAP. We are currently learning about this at work and my understanding was broadened through this interview.

The interview with Dan Ash allowed me to have a more in-depth understanding of farming and what goes into doing it without pesticides and fertilizers that are used in commercial farming. We could use this in our garden by focusing on making the best coil we possibly can with compost and other methods. Healthy soil is better for the plants and those eating them.

Meeting Roxane Gay at the UB Distinguished Speaker Series

Photo by the Community of Giving Legacy Initiative who sponsor MAP's youth employees to attend the UB Distinguished Speaker Series.

By Birch K

Last week Thursday, I and a couple other MAP youth got the amazing opportunity to meet Roxane Gay in addition to attending her distinguished speaker talk. Most speakers have a pre-stadium informal Q&A session with a handful or UB students and other attendees. We were in what looked like a classroom, except there were three rows of armchairs - in addition to the regular plastic seats. After her introduction we got to have a bit of insight into her process as a writer and (occasional) speaker. As a growing writer myself, I asked her where her best criticism comes from. She replied that having an editor is very valuable to her. Unless she's indulging in a bit of narcissism, she said reviews are really made for readers, rather than writers. However, her writing was certainly not the only thing Roxane discussed. She also spoke about her guilty habit of watching Desperate Housewives, or as she put it 'skinny people misbehaving.'

She also talked about receiving internet hate. Aa a queer, black, womanist/feminist writer, trolls tend to send her hate. She told us that she mostly doesn't care, but some people make physical threats and that she 'wants to hide in her apartment all the time out of fear' but doesn't take it seriously.

After the Q&A session our troupe took a trip to the buffet on campus and ate our weight in food. Then we went to her actual talk. She was a bit unconventional in that she didn't have an actual speech. She read us some passages and answered audience questions. Her 'talk' was postponed from an earlier date, so there was a significantly smaller audience. Luckily, that meant two of us got our questions answered. I queued up and when I got to the mic Roxane remembered my name! She is a very funny, engaging person and she has a very reserved manner of speaking. It was a great change from the past speakers I've seen and I hope we get to attend more like her.

Meet Dakota!



Hi, my name is Dakota Blu. I go to Kenmore West. I'm also a freshman. I'm originally from Buffalo, NY. I've been working at MAP since summer 2016. I'm here at MAP to know how you guys work, and I wanted to work for so long, so this was my only chance. I really like it here.

What I've learned is that Buffalo has a climate zone and how the garden and the farm grow different kinds of fruits and vegetables; Also, about the healthy corner store issues. My favorite part of the job is going to the farm and garden and turning compost. My least favorite part is sitting in the meeting room because the lights always give me a headache and it's so loud all the time. I also don't like facilitating. A challenge that I face is getting my work done at a reasonable time since I get out of work so late. When I'm in school I'm always worrying about not being on time to work. My future plans are to go to college. I want to be a vet since I love animals so much (even though I'm not a vegetarian). If I'm not in work, I either play basketball with my cousin, stay at home and listen to music (K-pop) or I hang out with my friends. When I told my family I love K-pop I got my mom into K-pop too.

I think MAP is such a good working place, and I'd really love to continue working here until I'm a senior in high school because MAP has taught me a lot of things. I think working here really helped my socialization with people and learning to talk to new people. And, it helped me know that there's never a right or wrong question. MAP is a good place to work, and I would suggest signing up for the summer program to my friends so they could stop being lazy and learn something other than math, ELA, science etc.