Its summer program, Grow Binghamton, does just that while involving the youth in the community. “We tried to make it outside this year, so we do a lot of our workshops here, which we normally do inside. And we’re trying to mainly stay here instead of traveling in the van together and being really close together,” said Townsend. “Day to day we usually do some farm work in the morning. That’s always farm maintenance, gardening, just growing vegetables and taking care of them really. Thursdays are our big harvest days for our CSA so that’s always a busy morning,” said VINES Youth Program Manager Hope Townsend. “I think VINES and Grow Binghamton specifically is really a constant in so many of our youth’s lives,” said Townsend. “I think it’s really beneficial not only for them to grow their own food, but see where the food goes and see where they can get involved in the community,” said Townsend. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — VINES, or Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, is committed to developing a community food system. The organization is still providing a place for kids to learn this summer while also allowing them to give back to their community. A significant part of Grow Binghamton is to help teens build life skills. While many summer programs were canceled this year due to the pandemic, it was important for this program to run. The teens involved are also growing and harvesting produce. Although changes were made for everyone’s safety, Grow Binghamton only has six teenagers involved this year, as opposed to the standard 25. “We do a lot of workshop stuff. They’re training us in leadership. We’re learning about financial literacy,” said participant Tayvia Wright. Grow Binghamton takes place at the Binghamton Urban Farm on Tudor Street. “I’ve grown up in Binghamton my whole life, so I’ve been around here a lot. I’ve seen things when we’re at our peak, and we’re at our lowest like during floods. So I can see how small things really affect people, so if I’m able to give something to my community to help out a little bit, it feels like I’m going a long way,” said Wright. VINES runs 18 community gardens throughout the greater Binghamton area.