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Happy New Year!

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year! 

At the start a new year, we look forward to all the possibilities that the next 365 days hold. Accordingly, this newsletter is filled with updates and hints as to what to expect from Cowichan Green Community in 2015. From the continuation of our flagship programs, such as the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map, FruitSave, and the KinPark Youth Urban Farm, to the start-up of a few new projects (details to come), we're ready for what the New Year has in store.  

Our staff have been busy making plans for a great selection of gardening workshops, including Fruit Tree Pruning and a series of work parties at the Cowichan Lake Community Garden, and our annual events, such as the Duncan Seedy Sunday and the Edible Farm & Garden Tour. We are certain that the next twelve months will offer plenty of opportunities for our staff and community to improve their gardening skills and get their hands dirty. For details on our upcoming workshops and events, check-out our website.

In the mean time, we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2015. Please note, our office and store will re-open on Tuesday, December 6, 2015. We look forward to seeing you then:)

In Gratitude,
CGC Team
Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map - Calling all Cowichan Farmers and Food Producers

While the cool farm soils of the Cowichan rest under cover of mulch, the heat is being turned up on the 2015 production of Cowichan's premiere Food Map. 

Published annually in June, the BLBF! Cowichan Food Map is a comprehensive directory for sourcing local food; it makes food producers more visible in the region, supports their growth into the market, and links consumers to local food. The map showcases our region’s abundance of local farms, food producers, and local food events. The map is available to the public for free.

Registration is now open. If you're a local farmer or food producer and want to list your farm or business on our map, register online today.

Cowichan Lake Community Garden - All About Trucks

It’s all about trucks these days as we forge 
through the first stages of creating the new the Cowichan  Lake Community Garden. Big trucks, small trucks, medium trucks – we’ve needed them all!

Our volunteers have transported an amazing amount of materials for the garden.  Bob has been trucking cardboard over from Country Grocer as we use cardboard as the first layer under our bark chip pathways. Read more...
Ceres Edible Landscaping - Time to Design

In January, especially on blustery cold days, the season calls for some inside garden design time. A cup of tea and some gardening books or magazines can get the ideas percolating and the plant wish list begins to grow. Exploring seed catalogues is also a great way to get inspired and prepared for a fresh, new gardening season. Read more...
KinPark Youth Urban Farm & Family Drop In - Dream Big!

The excitement is building for what we envision for the drop-in centre this year! We can see a booming, creative space full of families and youth – countless unique individuals to make up our KinFarm Family. We are doing our best to use the quiet winter months to prepare for the bursting forth of seedlings, blossoms and families come springtime at the farm and drop-in. Read more...
Garden Pantry Thrift Store - Happy New Year

2014 went by in a flash, and now the Garden Pantry Thrift Store welcomes the New Year 2015! Last year was full of incredible donations from many of our community members. From canning jars to gardening tools, the community greatly expressed their support of Cowichan Green Community by donating countless treasures to the Garden Pantry Thrift Store. This year, 2015, the store will greatly appreciate the many gifts our community has to offer whether it is in donated items or dedicated volunteer work. Read more...
New Community Project - Cow-op

Coming soon! There's a new way to get Cowichan grown foods to local market. The new Cowichan food producers co-op is launching the "" online marketplace in 2015. 
An initiative of the Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace, in partnership with CGC, will allow local food lovers to shop direct from local farms and other food producers online every week. Read more...
Producer Profile:
The Happy Goat

Kirsten and Cory Spencer of the Happy Goat Farm, Dairy & Cheese Company have found a niche production method and a land-lease agreement that works resulting in a progressive style of farming that sets these young agrarians apart from any other dairy operation on the island.

The Cowichan Valley is home to a diverse number of farms producing a diverse number of products. It is surprising to learn then that The Happy Goat in Glenora is the only raw goat’s milk cheese producer on Vancouver Island. Clearly, the business is not for everyone. Raw milk cheese production can be a regulatory ordeal, explains Cory, but with a proper sanitation program in place and a lot of determination, it is possible. Read more...
Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops
Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace AGM
Come learn about the Valley's first producers co-operative and their online marketplace, Share your ideas or become a member at the Cow-op's first AGM: January 29th at The Station. It’s a potluck dinner so bring your favourite dish to share.

Anyone who grows, eats, or believes in local food is warmly welcome. For more info or to let us know you're coming, email or visit:

Date: Thursday, January 29, 2015
Location: CGC's Board Room @ 360 Duncan Street, Duncan
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Contact: or 250-748-8506

Fruit Tree Care & Pruning Workshop
Once again CGC is offering this very popular spring workshop. Good tree health is critical to good production in your orchard, whether it consists of 5 trees or 500 trees. Join ISA Certified Arborist and Urban Forester Todd Gesshe for this day long workshop on basic tree biology, fruit tree health, philosophy of pruning, and hands-on pruning procedures.

To register please visit the Garden Pantry Thrifty Store at 360 Duncan Street. Payment by cash, debit, or VISA. Please register early as this workshop sells out each year!

Date: Saturday, February 21
Time: 9:00am-3:30pm
Location: Cowichan Green Community, 360 Duncan Street, Duncan
Cost: $35 (CGC members) or $40 (general public) 
Contact: or 250-748-8506

Work Party Wednesdays @ the Urban Food Forest

CGC is looking for volunteers to join us for Work Party Wednesdays at the CGC's 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 Wednesday starting January 7th, 2015
Location: Urban Food Forest behind CGC's office @ 360 Duncan Street, Duncan
Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm
Contact: Erin Ward at or 250-748-8506

Community Events 

Qwext tu Saxwa’ - Clam Garden Movie Night
Date: Tuesday, January 6
Location: Cowichan Elders Building, 5768 Allenby Road, Duncan
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Register: For more information please contact Jared “Qwustenuxun” Williams at 250-746-6184 or

Transition Cowichan Open House
Date: Thursday, January 8
Location: Cowichan Green Community's Board Room, 360 Duncan Street, Duncan
Time: 5:00pm-7:30pm
More info: Bring finger food to share

Introduction to Compassionate Communication (NVC): Inner Freedom Part 1
Date: January 29, 30 & February 1
Time: 8:30am-4:30pm
Location: Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan
Cost: $400.00 (or $750 when you register for Part 1 & Part 2)
Register: or 250-538-7696

Farmer 2 Farmer
Date: Thursday, February 19
Location: Saanich Fairgrounds, 1528 Stelly's Cross Road, Saanichton
Time: 9:00am-4:30pm
Cost: $35 at the door (includes lunch)
Register: Online

BC Association of Farmers' Markets Annual Conference
Date: Friday, February 20-Sunday, February 22, 2015
Location: Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, 1681 Cowichan Bay Road
Time: All Day
Cost: Please see website for details
Register: Online

Introduction to Compassionate Communication (NVC): Inner Freedom Part 2
Date: March 27, 28, & 29
Time: 8:30am-4:30pm
Location: Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan
Cost: $400.00 (or $750 when you register for Part 1 & Part 2)
Register: or 250-538-7696

CVRD Environment Commission Newsletter

Did you know that the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) produces a monthly e-newsletter? Sign up today and receive monthly highlights in your inbox on their 12 Ideas for a Sustainable Cowichan. Sign-up online today!
For Rent

For more information, or to book an appointment, please contact Judy at 250-748-8506 or

Work & Volunteer Opportunities

Greenhouse Coordinator (Seasonal) - Providence Farm seeks a Greenhouse Coordinator to facilitate and manage their attractive and thriving retail nursery that uses organic growing techniques, emphasizes quality plants suitable to our growing region, and highlights Providence Farm’s niche gardens.

Working in direct collaboration with the Horticultural Therapy Program Coordinator, he/she maintains and creates a nursery environment and stock that is well suited for the integration of horticultural therapy programming in the greenhouse. To be considered for this position, please submit your resume and covering letter to by midnight on Friday, January 9, 2015, or mail/deliver it to Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan.

Volunteer Sales Clerk - CGC is looking for a few more volunteers to work at The Garden Pantry Thrift Store. Duties will include, welcoming visitors, helping to clean, organize and price 2nd hand items received, answer questions regarding CGC, completing sales transactions, and assist with general up-keep. If interested, please contact Rosalie at
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 December:
  • Lakeside Dig 'N Haul for picking up a load of manure for the Cowichan Lake Community Garden.
  • Andy Rowe, Deborah Peet, Bob Day and Shane of Lakeside Dig ‘n Haul for picking up loads of manure, cardboard and leaves.
  • Notta Farm and Valleyview Farm for donating manure to the Cowichan Lake Community Garden.
  • U-Fix-It Bikeworks for the donation of bike rims and composting worms.
  • Municipality of North Cowichan for donating a Ping Pong Table to the KinPark Family Drop-In Centre.
Copyright © 2015 Cowichan Green Communtiy | All rights reserved.

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

Phone/Fax: 1-250-748-8506

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