TUF: Teen Urban Farmers

The Teen Urban Farmer's Mission is to empower teens through a unique summer employment experience and year-round after-school program that builds a strong work ethic and marketable skills in the areas of horticulture, entrepreneurship and leadership.

  • image TUF teens at their farm stand
  • image taking care of the plants on a beautiful day
  • image spring cleanout
  • image preparing to transplant seedlings to the ground
  • image painting signs for the garden
  • image lunch time
  • image composting
  • image assessing the daily harvest

TUF teens take on leadership roles in the garden, providing key support for critical garden operations while learning basic job skills from carpentry, composting, and cuisine to working with children, teamwork, accomplishing goals, and discovering and developing personal gifts and talents. Teens looking for a summer job are encouraged to get in touch directly with ICG to learn more or to contact Youth Employment Services (YES) through Ithaca Youth Bureau. ICG employs over 15 teens (ages 14-18) each summer. TUF (formerly YHAP- Youth Horticulture Apprenticeship Program) has been running continuously since 1999. Beginning in 2015, ICG expanded TUF to include a weekly after school program for interested students.

ICG's Teen Urban Farmers come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and bring unique languages, heritage, and cultural perspectives to their work at ICG. They learn how to work as a team, solve problems, persevere through all kinds of weather, and become effective members of the work force. They also witness first hand the impact of their work on the environment and on children's experiences at the Garden.