Young Farmer Initiative
Long-term youth employment and empowerment programming
Through our young farmer employment initiative, youth who are receiving minimal formal educational instruction learn to function in an alternative setting, secure new skills and earn a salary – incentive which helps them take responsibility for themselves, the team and the farm. Indeed, employment serves as the primary motivator with the young person feeling tremendous pride as the farm’s yield makes its way to our consumers’ tables.
Kaima’s multi-generational team is responsible for growing, harvesting, marketing and helping deliver fresh veggies to our growing customer network. Moreover, our non-hierarchical work environment means that young farmers are given significant responsibility, including allowing them to practice their newly-honed skills in real time by leading tours and agricultural workshops. Participation may last from 3-24 months. There is a regular rotation of up to 10 fulltime farm positions open with some 20 taking part annually.
In collaboration with local welfare authorities, Kaima youth attend school part-time while working on the farm. Using nature as an outdoor classroom, young people are relieved from the social pressures of the classroom; earn a salary; are exposed to strong adult role models, and benefit from alternative educational programming, enabling them to graduate after 12th grade. Ninety-five percent of our participants graduate; it is estimated that as few as 50% would do so without our intervention.
Community Engagement Initiatives
Short-term programming on earth care and farm-to-fork experiences
- Group activities: Kaima Beerotayim also provides hands-on educational experiences which encourage environmentally responsible and sustainable consumerism; reinforce essential principles of the slow-food movement; teach about the farm’s commercial activities and zero-waste philosophy; and provide opportunities for the public to harvest their own vegetables. Such programs include volunteer opportunities and workshops for school and scouting groups, educators, synagogue communities, NGOs, the IDF, family missions and other visitors from around the world.
Chef’s Meals: Kaima Beerotayim hosts delicious meals prepared from the farm’s bountiful harvest. These special experiences not only deliver amazing food in an unforgettable setting, but also introduce the public to the benefits of eating locally-grown food. To complement these meals, we source wine, olive oil and other ingredients from local food artisans.
Reducing hunger in the community
- Inspired by our Jewish traditions, Kaima Beerotayim has launched a new initiative – Feed my Neighbor — to appreciably expand vegetable donations and model the highest principles of Tzedakah, empowering participants as responsible, empathic citizens. The undertaking will allow us to scale operations to feed 5,000 people, including Holocaust survivors, single-mother-led households, the critically ill, the chronically or suddenly unemployed, and others.
- Worked with 170 youth in our full-time educational employment initiative
- Held 40 community events that brought together some 1,500 people of all ages
- Established strong relationships with local welfare and educational authorities and a number of NGO’s
- Built a CSA customer base of 150 families. On average, 90 families order from our online system each week.
- Developed a line of organic products, including spreads, jams, and pickles, embracing “root-to-stalk” food preparation which makes use of the whole vegetable rather than only prime parts
- Donated 2,000,000 kilo (4,100,000 pounds) of food to those in need