The following article was written by 4H Foodgrains Club member Arielle Aubrey for West Carleton Online.
WEST CARLETON – A typical summer for a 4H Foodgrains club member involves multiple meetings in the field, getting hands on experience about all things crops, while getting to catch up with many familiar faces.
Like most other things, this became impossible as COVID-19 swept through the community, and many were afraid they were going to be unable to “learn to do by doing” this summer.
Despite this setback, the West Carleton 4H Foodgrains Club decided to persevere, and meet via Zoom every few weeks for the duration of the summer. As it turned out this year there was a great turn out with 19 members in attendance.
In a regular year, members all take part in planting a crop at the 10-acre plot located on Carp Road, in Carp. Throughout the summer, members attend meetings at the site where they learn important information about the crop planted. This includes education on crop physiology, protection, and management strategies. Once harvested at the end of the summer, members will sell the crop, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an organization whose vision is to end world hunger.
This year, the plot was planted with 10 acres of barley, and members took turns visiting the field to see how the crop progressed, as well as to provide a scouting report. As well, each member was given seed to grow their own barley at home. This resulted in various planting locations, including edges of fields, gardens, pots and even tires. During the zoom meetings, members learned about barley physiology, made cropping decisions regarding the plot, and had lots of fun with weed ID quizzes.
At the last meeting, as harvest season was coming up, members discussed the sale of their barley. This year, it was purchased by Ottawa Valley Grains, located in Carp as well. Members were excited to be a part of the decision-making process for selling their crop and raising money for the Foodgrains bank while also supporting a local business.
From start to finish the West Carleton 4H Foodgrains Club has been nothing short of resilient throughout these tough times. This even includes finding an alternative for their achievement day.
Usually, West Carleton 4H members are getting ready to display their crops and posters at the Carp Fair, however due to the circumstances they have instead decided to put together a presentation documenting their barley growth over the summer.
This presentation will be available online at the West Carleton 4H Foodgrains Club Facebook page.
The club also like to thank its many sponsors for their continued support.
Thanks to Maple Holmes Farm, Ruth Campbell, Carol & Stuart Nicholson, Bit-a-luk Farms, Hill/Hudson Spraying, Kinburn Farm Supply, D & J Transportation, Royal Bank of Canada, Carp Agricultural Society, Carp Farmers Market, Cavanhill Farms, Cochran Seeds, P.T. Sullivan Agro Inc., North Gower Grains, Ottawa Valley Grain Products, Maizex, Jockbrae Farms and Harvex Agromart.