The youths who work in the garden can take food home for their families.
The gardens at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center also include 45 community plots this summer — up from 16 because of the pandemic.
In the past, Briarpatch Youth Services and Common Wealth Development have arranged for youths to work in the gardens but the coronavirus pandemic mostly prevented that for a variety of reasons.
But Briarpatch was able to funnel its funding to pay for some youths to work and provide some youth supervisors, and Common Wealth was able to fund one position.
In addition, one youth works on the sprouts business run out of Badger Rock Neighborhood Center. The sprouts are sold at Willy Street Co-op, Metcalfe’s and Hy-Vee stores, and the project funds the position.
The employment started in the summer and will continue through at least the first quarter of the school year.
Badger Rock is a program of Rooted and serves the south side of Madison through the neighborhood center, middle school, community garden and the urban farm production garden. Karlson is the farm and education manager at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, and Kip Thomas is manager of the commercial kitchen.
The gardens normally serve as a classroom for students to grow food at Badger Rock Middle School, which is a public charter school with an interdisciplinary, project-based learning program focused on environmental sustainability. Students can take the garden class and also get out in the garden and cook in the kitchen through core classes.