Dirty hands, a green thumb and new careers
It was a rainy April day at the community garden at Snaw-naw-as First Nation, but the dozen youth from through Vancouver Island did not seem to mind. Many knelt in garden beds, planting vegetables.
Others made a trek to the beach along Nanoose Bay to gather truckloads of seaweed to be used as mulch and fertilizer. A few sat dry inside the gazebo, shelling hazelnuts and walnuts for roasting.
The day was a hands-on-and-get-dirty part of a 16-week program designed to introduce First Nation youth to potential careers in agriculture and the agri-food industry. “I am particularly excited about this program,” said Natasha Bob from Snaw-naw-as.
She is the leader of the Nanaimo Youth Services Association project that is supported by the First Nations Agriculture Association.