By Clint Brinkley
This summer Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture was super excited to partner with the Cherng Global Leadership Academy to bring members out to the Urban Farm. Students from all over the Midwest got to come spend 10 days in Columbia, MO working on developing their leadership skills. Part of one of those days was spent at the Urban Farm. Students got a tour of the farm and talked about our growing practices, but also discussed the ideology behind why we do what we do. After that had a group discussion about needs we see within our different communities, and how each community is a bit different. A solution to a problem in Ashland may not work as a solution to the same problem in Chicago, for example. The students then came up with ideas for responding to some of the needs we identified, and then learned how to research organizations and agencies that were already working on solutions. Lessons like these, while very important and empowering, can be a bit emotionally exhausting, so of course we got to walk around and snack on a few garden treats afterward! One treat that we tried was the flowers of the toothache plant (named for the numbing/tingling sensation the plant gives your moth when eaten). You can get an idea of how it feels by their reactions in the picture!