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August 2015 Newsletter: Edible Landscapes

Dear Readers,

The 6th annual Edible Garden & Farm Tour will take place in just over two weeks and we are so excited by the diverse array of gardens and farms that are participating in this year's tour. From urban gardens to active farms, this tour promises to showcase an assortment of production scales and styles. Attendees will be able to view urban potted gardens, permaculture gardens and farms, greenhouse designs, bio-digesters, thoughtful irrigation systems, and more. Each garden will be hosted by the property owner, so attendees will be able to ask the "hands behind the shovels" for tips and tricks to landscaping with edibles.

Tickets for this event are on sale now. They can be purchased at the Garden Pantry Thrift Store (360 Duncan Street in Duncan) or online. Please note, our website has been experiencing some technical difficulties that we are working to fix. If you are attempting to purchase tickets online and run into any issues, please contact our staff at Tickets cost $20 for non-members; $15 for members of CGC; and $30 for families (2 adults + any children under 13 years of age).

In addition to the Edible Garden and Farm Tour, we will also host two free garden workshops in August. As a part of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden project, we will host a Therapeutic Gardening Workshop on Saturday, August 1, and an Edible Plant Identification Workshop on Saturday, August 15. Both workshops will be held at the Cowichan Lake Community Garden in Lake Cowichan from 9am-11am. These workshops are free and open to the pubic. For more information, contact Erin at 

We wish everyone a great month ahead. 

Thank you for reading!

In Gratitude,
The CGC Team
Cowichan Lake Community Garden: Free Workshops

The Cowichan Green Community is offering more free gardening workshops at the Cowichan Lake Community Garden this summer with funding from Island Health.

The first workshop was on Water Conservation Gardening and we had an enthusiastic group of garden members and volunteers who soaked up new knowledge on how to conserve water in the garden. Read more...

Cowichan Agriculture Training Program: Celebrating a Job Well Done!

This August, we are celebrating the CAT intern’s successful completion of the Organic Master Gardener course offered by Gaia College. It is definitely the most extensive and formal learning component of the training program. We are so proud of the team’s achievement! There were definitely some challenges in understanding the amazing and foundational interconnected processes underlying healthy farm, garden, and landscape ecosystems. Now we have a committed group of Micro-herd Nurturers (a bit of an inside reference ~ can you guess what it means?). Read more...
FruitSave: Bearing Fruit

The FruitSave program is well underway for the 2015 season. So far volunteers have been out on 11 picks and have harvested 1,545 pounds of apples and plums. Nearly half a tonne of fruit has been given to emergency food providers and community groups in the valley.

We extend a big thank you to Eugene and Wally Fleck for distributing and collecting mason bee houses to some of the FruitSave tree owners. This pilot program was very popular. Read more...
Ceres Edible Landscaping: Observation
While quietly working in the garden one evening I realized how much I enjoy this time amidst the busyness of the garden community. Ladybugs eating aphids, aphids eating the kale, cucumbers getting out of control, the tomatoes that need pruning, why is that plant growing so well and the one next to it struggling, and what is that growing amidst the squash?  Change is constant and observation is key to managing our growing and living spaces. Read more...
Garden Pantry Thrift Store: Canning Jars

With the early start to the hot summer weather, many gardens and fruit trees are bursting at the seams with fresh local produce. Many are now trying to keep-up to try and preserve this abundance into the cooler months.

At CGC, it’s no different. Canning has officially kicked into full gear and we need more jars! If you or someone you know has boxes of them stashed away, let us take them off your hands in the Garden Pantry Thrift Store. We promise they will go as fast as we get them.. Read more...
KinPark Kids Camp: Growing Green Kids 

KinPark Kid’s Camp has been in full swing since July. We’re excited for August because that means more kids and more fun activities!

Every week, campers have the opportunity to explore, plant, water, and harvest in the gardens, learning about what food plants look like, and how flavourful vegetables are straight from the plant! Read more...
KinPark Youth Urban Farm & Family Drop In: Summer Harvest

KinPark has been has been a hive of activity this summer! 

The gardens are exploding with produce: cucumbers, zucchini, herbs, bush beans, and an abundance of flowers. Winter squash and melons are starting to peek out beneath the bounty of vines creeping around the garden. Onions and garlic have been pulled and are now curing for winter storage. Read more...

The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map has Arrived
This year’s Cowichan food maps are back from the printers and flying off the shelves. 

The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map (BLBF), is an annually produced local farm map which has been helping Cowichan residents search out locally produced food, wine, and value-added products for the past six years. Spanning from Shawnigan Lake to south of Nanaimo, the map highlights local food, farm products, and businesses. Read more...
Producer Profile: TeaFarm

Wandering the Duncan Farmers’ Market in a frenzy to quickly buy my goods and get on with my day, I stumbled upon Teafarm’s booth, with a sign reading “Slow down! Take time for tea”. I am drawn into a fascinating conversation with Teafarm’s Victor Vesely about his journey with his wife, Margit Nellemann, in starting Canada’s first tea farm. Read more...
Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops

Storytime in KinPark
What do you get when you take good books, kids, soil and seeds, and mix them together? Storytime at the KinPark Youth Urban Farm of course! For the third summer in a row, the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) and the KinPark Youth Urban Farm are teaming together to host children’s storytime at the park geared for 0-5 year olds (all ages are welcome however). This program is part of the library’s Summer Reading Club whereby kids receive a special kit to keep track of their reading and are awarded a collectible medal if they complete their reading log.

Date: Tuesday, July 7 - August 11, 2015
Time: 10:30am-11:30am
Location: KinPark Youth Urban Farm, Duncan
Contact: Lisa Hanlon at 250-748-8506 or
We know we feel better after a morning in the garden. Find out how therapeutic gardening can specifically improve our physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual selves. Our instructor Christine Pollard has taught and practiced Horticultural Therapy for over 25 years. This workshop is part of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden Project.

Date: Saturday, August 1
Time: 9:00am-11:00am
Location: Cowichan Lake Community Garden, 311 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan
Contact: Erin Ward at 250-748-8506 or

Edible Garden & Farm Tour
On Saturday, August 15th, from 10am-3pm, come explore some of the Cowichan Region's most impressive, beautiful, and tastiest edible gardens and farms. With 9 edible masterpieces to view on this self-guided tour, attendees are given the chance to meet the very hands behind the shovel, and to take away gardening secrets, tips, and techniques for growing their own edible pieces of art. From food forests, to cob garden structures, these gardens and farms are not only visually striking, but tasty as well.

Tickets are now on sale! Purchase your ticket(s) at the Garden Pantry Thrift Store, or online through our website. Click here for more details, and to purchase your online tickets

Date: Saturday, August 15
Time: 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Cowichan Region
Contact: Alyssa Loucks at 250-748-8506 or

Edible Garden Plant Identification Tour - Free Workshop
Jump into the amazing botanical world of plants and learn how to identify species while touring the garden. Practice getting an eye for botanical features that will improve your plant and ecological knowledge. This workshop is part of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden Project.

Date: Saturday, August 15
Time: 9:00am-11:00am
Location: Cowichan Lake Community Garden, 311 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan
Contact: Erin Ward at 250-748-8506 or
Community Announcements
Diversity is the stronghold of a resilient community. Like-mindedness doesn't always mean we agree with each other about everything. CGC shares events that are submitted to us by our community that we feel may be of interest to our members. However, we do not necessarily endorse or actively support the events posted on the Community Events Calendar.

Community Events

Ladysmith Days
Date: Saturday, August 1 - Sunday, August 2
Time: All day. See website for schedule
Cost: Free entry
Location: Transfer Beach, Ladysmith

Cobble Hill Fair
Date: Saturday, August 22
Time: 7am-4:30pm
Cost: $7 for adults; $5 for seniors and juniors; Free for children under 12
Location: Cobble Hill Hall, Cobble Hill

For Rent

Bachelor Suites - rooms available immediately and for August 15 & September 1. One year lease required. For inquiries, please contact Judy Stafford at or 250-748-8506. Stop by the Garden Pantry Thrift Store to pick up an application.

Job Opportunities

Environmental Outreach Staff  - Are you passionate about the environment? Do you enjoy working with the public? If so, CGC is looking to hire an individual to assist our team conduct environmental education at public events between August 2015 and June 2016. Prospective candidates must hold a valid drivers license, have vehicle access, be available on weekends and weekdays, and have good working knowledge of some of the Cowichan Region's key environmental concerns (ie. water restrictions). Remuneration to be determined. For more information, or to submit an application, please contact Vanessa Goodall at Please submit cover letters and resumes as a PDF.

Looking For

Cabin to rent - Energetic young couple seeks a quiet cabin (with garden space) to rent in the Cowichan Region for October 1st. We are happy if a work-trade is available. We are a horticultural therapist and a carpenter. Please email Star at with any leads.

Volunteer Opportunities

Work Party Tuesdays @ the Urban Food Forest

CGC is looking for volunteers to join us for Work Party Tuesdays at the Community Urban Food Forest. If you are new to food forests or gardening, this is a great opportunity to learn lots about plants and ecosystems! When there is a substantial harvest, all food forest volunteers are offered a free bag of fresh produce.

Volunteers can anticipate weeding, mulching, planting, seeding, cover cropping, harvesting, adding soil amendments, and pathway maintenance. Tools and gloves are provided. 

Date: Every Tuesday
Location: Urban Food Forest behind CGC's office @ 360 Duncan Street, Duncan
Time: 2:30pm-4:30pm
Contact: or 250-748-8506

KinFarmin' Fun Weekly Work Party

Release some stress by pulling weeds and planting seeds at our KinFarm Family Drop-in! Families and youth are welcome to check-out the farm and get their hands dirty. It is a great opportunity for people to gather, relax, have fun, and learn about growing food.

Gloves and tools are supplied.

Date: Every Thursday
Location: KinPark Youth Urban Farm, Alderlea Street, Duncan
Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
Contact: Lisa Hanlon at or 250-748-8506

Thank you

CGC would like to send out a special thank you to the following individuals and businesses for their support during the month of July:
  • Jenny and Wes Horn of Left Field Farm for the generous donation of office supplies and food processing equipment.
  • Municipality of North Cowichan for supporting the Cowichan Incubator Farm Project.
  • Doug from Valley View Farm for donating a truck load of manure to the Cowichan Lake Community Garden. 
  • Community Options Society for volunteering at KinPark and at CGC's office. From painting the greenhouse, helping to finish buidling the tumbling composters, canning pickles and beets, to data entry, we would like to send a special thanks to the staff and participants of the Job Skills Program.
  • Duncan Garage Cafe for buying local produce!
  • Tourism Cowichan for helping to promote the Edible Garden & Farm Tour.
  • Rebar Creative for creating CGC's new FruitSave rack card. It looks gorgeous.
Copyright © 2015 Cowichan Green Community | All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
360 Duncan Street
Duncan, BC  V9L 3W4

Phone/Fax: 1-250-748-8506

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