Growing Young Farmers Society
Our Impact Why We Exist
In the event of a disaster, Vancouver Island has only 72 hours worth of food supply. By learning how to grow food, students can play an active role in increasing our island's sustainability and decreasing our dependence on imported food sources.
Our Story What We Do
The Growing Young Farmers Society's programs are suitable for learners of all ages and abilities, from preschoolers to university students! We combine theoretical teaching in the classroom with hands-on practical learning in gardens located on school grounds or nearby. Our program emphasizes the importance of local, organic, sustainable food sources, and teaches children and youth how to grow healthy produce and share their knowledge with their families and community. In addition to our in-school program, GYFS also runs summer camps, after school care programs and workshops.
Our Programs How We Do It
All GYF School Programs start with interactive presentations to students about the importance of growing and producing local health-friendly organic food. Then, every week, students visit chemical-free food-growing areas where they grow and produce the food — and do so "hands-on". The food-growing areas are situated on school grounds and/or are within easy walking distance. Students participate in this exciting and innovative program every week. Therefore, the program becomes literally part and parcel of their regular curriculum-based school week. The GYFS Program is structured, supervised and mentored.
Why we need the Growing Young Farmers School Program
- We have become dependent on imported food.
- We have only 72 hours of food supply.
- We need more people growing and producing more healthy-friendly food — in a community for a community.
- In BC there are 500,000 school-aged students.
- The vast majority of those students are able and capable of growing and producing food.
- The Growing Young Farmers School Program provides the structure, supervision and mentorship that actually empowers students in such a way that they are able to grow and produce the food themselves.
- By growing and producing food every week, students become very aware of the "growing and producing more food in a community for a community” scenario.
Who teaches the students how to grow and produce the food?
- Within the structured and supervised Program, Grower-Educators provide the mentorship required to teach the students.
- All Grower-Educators are experienced in growing and producing health-friendly food. They also have experience in supervising and/or teaching school aged children.
- There is an ever-increasing number of requests from principals and teachers to have their students participate in our Growing Young Farmers School Program.
We need more Grower-Educators
The GYF School Program is run by our Grower-Educators who:
- Plan, coordinate, mentor and supervise every GYF class, every week, in every school.
- Work with the GYF Program Director to ensure learning outcomes are reached and gardens are successful.
- Invite school teachers to determine their own level of involvement, and encourage the use of GYF classes to complement and reinforce their teaching material.
What You Can Do
GYFS is always excited to welcome new volunteers! If you are passionate about growing healthy food, working with children and want to make a difference, get in touch!
Some areas where we accept volunteers:
- Help us for a day, or at events like building a new garden, or renovating and revamping an old one
- Become a GYFS Board Member
- Summer Camp Assistants
Please contact us to find out more!
GYFS is always grateful for donations from our community and individuals who wish to support our cause. Donations come in all shapes and sizes, whether it is a donation of time and labour, supplies and tools, or financial, we appreciate any and all contributions!
Donations are appreciated through CanadaHelps.