Girls Inc Youth Farm provides unique summer jobs in Memphis

Girls Inc Youth Farm provides unique summer jobs in Memphis
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It is not your average summer job, but a program in Frayser hosted by Girls Incorporated of Memphis is taking on the challenge of farming.

Girls Inc. is sowing the seeds of a living-wage experiential employment opportunity for young girls in Memphis.

The program is putting teens to work on a small farm in Frayser at the corner of Dellwood and Baskin Street where the education goes far beyond growing vegetables.

"Through their work here they learn about social entrepreneurship and civic engagement," said Girls Inc. Youth Farm manager Miles Tamboli.

Year-round farm chores for income include tilling, weeding, harvesting, processing and packing produce.

"Currently we have about 20 different vegetables growing," said Tamboli.

High school students Zia Higgins and Mattie Reese have been members of Girls Inc. since they were elementary students.

"We're making okra and sunflower," said Higgins.

"It's something that I never thought I'd do," said Reese. "I don't like bugs and you do a lot of sweating, but we take breaks and drink water."

In addition to being paid to grow food, the girls sell their produce and develop a community outreach program.

The Youth Farm also cultivates skills like financial literacy, business planning and marketing.

Reese said with this unique summer job she believes her opportunities are endless seeds ready to sprout.

"Girls can do anything if they put their minds to it, and everything about Girls Inc. is awesome," she added.

Girls Inc. has a booth every Saturday at the downtown Memphis Farmers Market.

Learn more about the Youth Farm and the 2015 Girls Inc. Celebration Luncheon to be held Thursday, June 17

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