UNION COUNTY — Spring will be here before you know it and Union County 4-H is offering the youth of Union County the opportunity to enjoy the season by participating in its Small Garden Project and/or its Poultry Project.
There’s nothing more fun than planting seeds in warm soil, watering them, and watching day after day until tiny green leaves pop up. With the 4-H Small Garden Project, youth can do just that, and have fresh garden vegetables to eat in just a few short weeks. To kick off the State 4-H Garden Project, Union County 4-H is planning a 4-H Gardening Daycamp April 3-5, from 9 a.m.-noon. This is the week of Spring Break for Union County Schools, so why not come out and learn how to grow your own food. There will be a registration charge for the day camp to cover the cost of supplies and snacks in the amount of $20.
The purpose of the Small Garden Project is to educate youth of South Carolina on where and how their food is grown, using hands on, in the garden experiences. It is open to youth ages 5 to 18 and will be supplemented with newsletters to assist the youth in planting and maintaining a successful garden. Youth in this project also have the chance to earn awards based upon their record book. 4-H’ers will plant a small garden of at least 50 square feet that contains a minimum of four vegetables. Two of the vegetables planted will be a surprise given to you at the beginning of the project. Youth must plant at least two additional edible crops of their choice. Cost for this project is only $10. You can participate in the Small Garden Project, even if you do not attend the Garden Daycamp.
To participate in any of the Small Garden project, youth will need to complete an application form, available through the local Clemson Extension Office, or on line registration is available. Gardening Project registrations are due April 7, 2017.
It’s that time of year again, time to sign up for our 2017 Spring 4-H Poultry Project. It may be cool now but Spring will be here before you know it and the days will be getting warmer. With that in mind, you know you want to join the fun of raising chickens!
Although there are other ways for youth to obtain chicks, by working through 4-H youth ages 5-18 have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons in the care and maintaining of the flock in a fun and engaging atmosphere with other youth. Raising baby chicks from day one to egg laying age can be a rewarding experience for our 4-H youth across South Carolina. The deposit for the chicks is less expensive than you can typically purchase on your own and once the youth successfully complete the project they will have the deposit returned. Registration will remain open until March 15, 2017.
Our pullet project remains our most popular animal project, and one that does not require too much time, or expense, other than feed and shelter. This year youth can order multiples of twelve (for $35) or twenty-five (for $60) chicks to grow out over the summer. Chicks will be placed with the youth around the first of May. The four breeds of chicks that will be offered this year are Golden Comets, Buff Orpingtons, Araucanas, and Plymouth Barred Rocks. All of these breeds are hardy, easy to raise, and lay large brown eggs, except for the Araucana which lays blue/green eggs. Upon successful completion of the project (participating in one show, completing a project record book, and returning either 3 (for those raising 12) or 5 (for those raising 25) birds to our final auction in November) the entire deposit will be returned and all remaining birds are yours to keep. It is like getting chickens for free!
If youth already have chickens and do not wish to raise more this year, they can participate in our 4-H Laying Flock project. Using the birds you already own, you can participate and enjoy all of the opportunities of youth in our pullet project. Youth in our poultry projects will receive timely newsletters to guide them through the project and caring of the birds.
To participate in any of these projects, youth will need to complete an application form, available through the local Clemson Extension Office. On line registration is available this year and if you contact our office we will gladly supply the link. Pullet Project registrations are due by March 15, 2017; Laying Flock registrations are due May 1, 2017.
Youth who are not already a member of 4-H for the 2016-2017 year will be required to pay an additional membership fee of $10. With membership, youth will receive a t-shirt and also have the opportunity to participate in other 4-H projects offered for the year including clubs, projects, and numerous summer camps.
Participating in 4-H is a rewarding experience for our youth. They learn responsibility and caring, as well as a vast array of life skills that will help them grow into versatile, well-rounded adults. 4-H projects, such as the 4-H Poultry project, encourage the process of “discovery” of knowledge and solutions, and build competence and confidence.
For more information, contact your local Clemson Extension Office in Union at 864-427-6259, Ext. 113, or contact your Union County 4-H Agent, Anne Brock, by email at [email protected]
The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.
This story courtesy of Union County 4-H.