New 4-H club forming in the Comox Valley

Does your child love growing plants?

Do they want to learn how to grow food locally and organically in the Comox Valley?

A new 4-H club is forming at G.P. Vanier High School for youth ages 9-18. Meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of each month from 4-5:30 at the school.

“We have a fantastic climate to grow food year-round and lots of interest in young people on how to start a horticulture-based business,” said Arzeena Hamir, a local farmer and one of the leaders of the new Vanier 4-H Club. “Not only does 4-H allow participants to gain growing skills, but it also provides a venue to explore leadership skills in public speaking, meeting management and fundraising.”

The Vanier 4-H Club will take advantage of the garden across the street on Headquarters, formerly the Compost Education Garden. Participants will be able to adopt their own bed to grow out plants for their own projects. There will be opportunities to enter produce into local fairs and also grow vegetables for the cafeteria program at the school.

“I’m really excited about the idea of youth growing food at the garden that goes into the cafeteria and feeds other young people,” said Tanya Best.

A volunteer at a number of school garden projects on the North Shore, Best is looking forward to putting her skills to work here in the Comox Valley.

“My sons are both at Vanier so this is a great way for me to connect with the school,” she said.

4-H is a youth leadership program with clubs spread across Canada, where young people enrol in projects and learn from the guidance of volunteer leaders. The new Vanier 4-H club will initially be horticulture-focused, but youth have already expressed an interest in beekeeping, photography, and environmental stewardship. Students in Grade 11 and 12 can also receive high school credits through 4-H projects.

Apart from recruiting young people into the club, Vanier 4-H is also looking for adults to volunteer with youth. Interested individuals must clear a police background check and undergo an interview with senior 4-H leaders.

For more information in registering your child for Vanier 4-H or volunteering with the club, please contact Arzeena Hamir at 250-702-5657 or arzeenahamir@shaw.ca

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