Homegrown Leaders for Sustainable Food Systems and Rural Communities
The project will be based out of the Harvest Moon Learning Centre (Clearwater, MB) and involve interested youth from the Pembina Valley region and potentially from urban. After promotion in schools during the spring, the Homegrown Leaders facilitator (Michelle Schram) will identify and recruit a group of 5 youth (aged 15-18) in different communities to participate in a weekly leadership program throughout the summer. Through interactive educational workshops, hands-on experiential learning, and field tours, these youth will learn about local and alternative food systems and have opportunities to practice and apply their skills and knowledge. Leadership training will also be incorporated into the program, which will build on existing HMS youth programming (Eco-Kids Camp, Eco-Challenge), where youth involved in Homegrown Leaders will be encouraged to take on mentorship roles. The Eco-Kids Camp is an annual summer day-camp for children aged 8-11. The camp includes activities such as learning how to transplant garden plants, how to prepare dishes with local ingredients, and other skill-building local-themed projects. The Eco-Challenge is an annual event, involving grade 7 and 8 students from schools in the local school division. In this one-day event, students attend four workshops based on the environment they live in, that are run by local ‘experts’. Themes of the workshops in past years included ‘Soils’, ‘GPS’, ‘Local Food and Preserving Techniques’, as well as ‘Local Food Chains’. For more information on these youth programs, see the HMS website ( http://www.harvestmoonsociety.org/education/youth/). Further opportunities for youth leadership will occur at the Harvest Moon Festival in September, 2011.