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Sicamous, Grindrod and Enderby schools harvest garlic grant

ERS garden club recieves $400 in funding from Grindrod Garlic Festival
Eagle River Secondary’s garden funds are growing as Ian Richardson from the Grindrod Garlic Festival presents the school’s garden club organizer Becky Kuczwal, centre, and Grade 11 student member Ava Fischer a cheque for $400 on Friday, Feb. 2. (Heather Black-Eagle Valley News)

Eagle River Secondary’s (ERS) agricultural education recently received a treasure trove from the garlic clove.

On Friday, Feb. 2 Grindrod Garlic Festival Society (GGFS) representative Ian Richardson presented the high school with a $400 cheque to support the school’s garden club formed last year, aligning with the society’s goals of promoting local food, agriculture and sustainable farming practices.

“I would like to continue on with this club as it had a lot of interest from the students,” organizer Becky Kuczwal, the school’s youth and family support worker, said in the application.

In the request, she outlined that the funding would be used to buy two bales of dirt, seed starter pots and some strawberry plants and, if funding remained, would also like to get some irrigation for the strawberry plants, and consult with someone educated in permaculture to brainstorm ideas for the school courtyard.

As additional benefits, Kuczwal added that she has also been connecting with the Shuswap Food Action Society, and mentioned the learning opportunities this project creates.

“This grant would help our young population with attaining knowledge around self-sustainability around food growth, harvesting and preserving,” she explained, “as well as impacting the community as the young people are encouraged to bring their vegetable plants home to plant in their garden.”

Every year the GGFS sends out grant applications to all schools in School District 83, with Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, also funding some of those. In addition to ERS, this year’s recipients also included Grindrod Elementary and M.V. Beattie in Enderby at $500 each, with the latter sponsored by Valley First.

Since 2017, the GGFS has given out nine grants totalling $4,350, with Valley First having paid out four at $1,975.

Now in its 14th year, the 2024 Garlic Festival will take place on Aug. 18 at Quilakwa Park in Enderby, with further information on the organization and its initiatives available online at

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About the Author: Heather Black

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