Raise Some Vegetables, Raise Some Money!
New 4-H Opportunity for Lincoln County High School Students
Lincoln County high school students have a unique opportunity to grow their own vegetables and become an entrepreneur through a new project of the 4-H Sustainable Living Club. An informational meeting is being held Saturday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. at the Toledo Library. Youth and parents are encouraged to attend.
The 4-H Sustainable Living Club’s idea is simple: club members receive a portable EarthBarrel garden complete with everything needed to raise vegetables at home. Youth can then use the food they grow for their family, to donate or to sell at the 4-H booth at the Farmers’ Market. The 4-H members keep all proceeds.
The EarthBarrel garden is the first of the entrepreneurial projects planned by the 4-H Sustainable Living Club. The Club is already managing a 7,500-square-foot garden in Toledo using the latest gardening techniques to develop a local, organic, sustainable food source. These projects are being funded by a grant from the Oregon State University Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!) program, which seeks to support local organizations in creating youth-developed community gardens in limited resource communities.
The EarthBarrel approach to gardening has several advantages, including mobility and the ability to get a jump on local, in-ground producers. Food production on the Oregon Coast is challenging because of the cold spring rains keeping the ground cold until usually June or early July. An EarthBarrel, on the other hand, is half full of water (about 20 gallons). The water stores the heat of the sun and gives it back to the plants at night. Because the barrels are portable, they can be placed anywhere they have full sun – a deck, yard, sidewalk, whatever is available. Thus with an EarthBarrel garden, a tomato plant can be planted in April and potentially produce ripe tomatoes by July.
These 4-H projects include financial components that teach what it takes to operate a food production business as well as the horticultural skills needed to manage a sustainable, organic garden. Youth in the 4-H Sustainable Living Club learn to grow food with and without soil, manage a greenhouse including mini greenhouses (cloches), use a water wicking system and subterranean heating and cooling systems as well as employ aquaponics and a compost hot water system.
High school students wanting to learn how to use chemical free, organic practices to raise food for their family or earn extra money should attend the informational meeting in the basement of the Toledo Library on March 1 at 1pm. Parents are also invited. For more information, please contact 4-H Sustainable Club Leaders Carl and Coralee Palmer at 541-765-2109 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Lincoln County 4-H Program Coordinator Todd Williver at the OSU Extension Office at 541-574-6534, email@example.com