This trio of youth gardeners will be toiling in the garden, and donating the fruits of their labor to the Pelican Rapids Area Community Food Shelf.
From left, Janae Laferriere, Sylvia Pesch and Eva Rustand--pictured with Cary Haugrud, of the Pelican Community Education, which is sponsoring the project. The girls also received a grant from 4-H.

A trio of young gardeners have a simple plan: 

Grow food. Give it away. 

The Pelican Rapids Youth Garden for Foodshelf Project is being spearheaded by eighth graders Sylvia Pesch, Janae Laferriere and Eva Rustand.  

They reserved two plots at the community garden site in north Pelican, and they’ll be weeding, hoeing and growing several times a week. 

“These students just took it and ran with it,” said Cary Haugrud, Pelican Rapids Community Education. “We hope to keep it going. It may become a permanent summer activity.” 

The gardening project is a youth enrichment program, which encourages community service, explained Haugrud. Two of the youth are 4-H members, and the program is expected to build coalitions among church groups.  

“They amaze me every day with their planning,” noted Haugrud. 

All of the  youth-run garden vegetables will be donated to the Pelican Rapids Community Food Shelf.

The PRHS students will be implementing a “share the work” system, which means that the various youth organizations that volunteer will take turns weeding, watering, and harvesting the garden. 

While they have already received a 4-H grant, they are still looking for more  groups to volunteer. The 4-H  grant provided seeds and supplies. 

Julie Tunheim and Janet Linberg have been their community garden contacts.

For additional information or if interested in volunteering, contact Maree Pesch at or Cary Haugrud at