Last summer, the Southern Labrador Strait of Belle Isle Community Youth Network started our “Growing for Good” youth project, thanks in part to a grant from the International Grenfell Association. We were able to hire four youth between the ages of 16-18 for seven weeks through programming outside the IGA who were mentored by “older” adults and a young entrepreneur in our community. At the start of the program the youth were taught how to prepare for setting potatoes, the seeds had to be cut, the ground had to prepared, trenches had to be made, potatoes were to be placed in a certain way, fertilizer was to be applied and the seed then buried again. We also set turnip, cabbage and beets, and the gardening area had to be prepared in a similar format, all while having to place a fence around it so animals such as rabbits, ground hogs etc. would not be able to gain access. During the months of July and August, youth participants gained great experience at the local greenhouse, “Bluespade”. It was here they learned how to care for vegetables and flowers. They assisted a local entrepreneur, Mr. Ian Ryland, with his caring of the plants, sales, and flower pot arrangements. As for the garden during this month they had to continue to fertilize the turnip, cabbage and beets which required a lot of attention and watering as July was a very dry month. There was also much weeding that needed to be done!

Gardening 1

L-R Valerie Layden, Maria Normore, Kaitlyn Davis and Hayley Parsons

In August the youth continued to care for their garden as in previous month. It was with the help of an “older” adult in the community that youth were taught how to preserve local berries such as bakeapples, partidgeberries and squashberries by making jams and jellies. They also learned how to preserve turnip tops, referred to locally as turnip greens. In September it was time to get the crops out of the ground, and what a great year it was for growth!

From the garden….

Gardening 2

…….to the table!

Gardening 3

The financial help for this project came from the International Grenfell Association and the Office of Public Engagement. The project was a great success and we will certainly be doing it again this coming summer!

Submitted By: Alisa Davis-Ryland Southern Labrador Strait of Belle Isle Community Youth Network