Raspberries This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 30, 2012
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“It's all about getting your hands dirty,” my stepdad, Rich, said, brushing the sweat from his forehead. There are over 100 acres on the Hunger Task Force farm, complete with a greenhouse and any crop machine you could imagine. And Rich runs it all. He solves any problem and manages to deliver produce to needy Milwaukee families, while being a father to me.

Volunteers on the transplanter drop baby plants in the spinning machine that puts them in the ground. Due to the dry summer, the dirt was brittle and plants couldn't be properly placed. My job was to bend over and push each plant into the parched earth – acre after acre. With an aching back, I crawled across the dirt. I shoved every plant into the soil until the job was done.

The organic food at the farm is the best around. Apples, raspberries, cabbage, blackberries, and tomatoes grow here. Milwaukee public school students are constantly stopping by the farm and learning how to grow fruits and vegetables.

Shoving raspberries in my mouth, I saw a student approach me. “What is that?” he asked.

“A raspberry. Here, try one!” How in the world had he never had a raspberry? I handed him one. Students began to gather around me, fascinated by the foreign fruit. The plant's branches were bare within seconds. None had ever even seen a raspberry. How? Why?

Even the littlest things like a raspberry can change your outlook. These children had never even seen a raspberry, while I've been eating them my whole life. They appreciated everything with berry-stained hands and smiles.

My stepdad opens up a whole new world for these kids, and I help them appreciate it. By growing many crops, I expose students to farm life, provide food for underprivileged families, and make kids smile with the simplest things … like a raspberry.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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