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Warm Winter Tidings!
Dear Readers,

We take our work at Cowichan Green Community pretty seriously sometimes! If you've ever stopped by our office on a Monday afternoon, you'll typically find our staff and volunteers preparing for a busy week ahead. Thankfully we all have a good sense of humour and can take a moment to laugh at ourselves and enjoy the lighter moments.

During this merry season, the staff of CGC are wrapping up odds and ends and preparing ourselves for the year ahead.  Soon we will meet to dream-up our 2015 calendar of events, workshops, and projects.  An exciting opportunity for our team to break-out the flip charts and sticky notes (yes, we are big on sticky notes), we look forward to debriefing the successes and challenges of 2014 so that we can make our ongoing programs even more robust and perhaps developing a few new ones! These details will be shared in our January e-newsletter. For now you can rest assured that 2015 is going to be filled with many reasons for our staff and community to laugh and learn together.

In the mean time, we want to thank everyone who supported the work of CGC this past year. It was truly a year of great change, particularly as we wrapped up The Station's major renovations and celebrated our one year anniversary as owners of this building. Accordingly, whether you're reading this e-newsletter as a volunteer, member, donor, contractor, or as an interested community member, we want to express our deepest sense of gratitude for your support and encouragement. 

Lastly, just as many of our projects and events will take a rest over the holiday season, so too will our staff and volunteers. Please note that our office and thrift store will be closed on the following dates: 
  • December 15, 2014 - Closed for Staff Strategic Planning Meeting
  • December 24, 2014 - Open - 10am-2pm
  • December 25, 2014 - January 4, 2015 - Closed
We look forward to re-opening our doors on January 5, 2015 at 10am. 

For now, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season. 

In Gratitude,
CGC Team
Garden Pantry Thrift Store - Green Holiday Inspiration

Evidence of the holidays abounds as you enter the Garden Pantry Thrift store. Though, the growing season is slowing, creativity is still in full bloom here. We’ve been sprucing up the store with ornaments such as burlap stockings and canning ring garland.

The KinPark Youth Urban Farm partnership with the Vancouver Island University Workplace Employability Skills Training (WEST) program has been a huge help for our holiday decorating and gift making. Read more...
Cowichan Lake Community Garden - Project Update

Come March 2015, locals in the Cowichan Lake area will have a super sunny and beautiful community garden space for growing their own tasty, nutritious food!

Communal herb gardens, fruit trees, berry patches and sheltered seating will lure the community in to smell the flowers and harvest the produce. Raised wooden garden boxes will be available for community members to grow their own food in with access to gardening tools and taps for watering. Read more...

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.

Ceres Edible Landscaping - Luxury of Leaves

In the Cowichan Region we are fortunate to have a vast amount of free organic amendments to use in our gardens. Big leaf maples, which grow so abundantly in our region, provide a rich source of organic material that can used to create leaf mould.

Leaf mould is fully composted leaves that can be used as a wonderful soil conditioner, helping aerate the soil, retain moisture, and support microbial activity. Read more...
Kin Park Youth Urban Farm - Small Steps, Big Rewards

The happy and smiling faces of our YO (Youth Outreach) team and VIU interns, Graham and Alyssa, have been fantastic in making our drop-in a warm and welcoming place despite the cooler temperatures these days. We recently had 18 youth from the adjacent Cowichan high school stop by for hot chocolate. They came for the warm beverages but ended up staying for conversation and hanging out. There have also been a few repeat families every week, who encourage us to keep up the great work.  Read more...
James Barber Fundraiser - Thank you!

On Sunday, November 16, the Cowichan Chefs Table, spearheaded by local chef and author Bill Jones of Deerholme Farm, hosted a James Barber Fundraiser for Cowichan Green Community’s Teaching Kitchen.  A long table style dining experience, five local chefs collaborated to develop five distinct locally inspired courses, each paired with local wine, cider or gin! Read more...
Producer Profile:
Sweet Roots Farmers' Co-op

A partnership between Tessa Stiven, Robin Sturley, Kelly Grainger, and Joan Kallis, Sweet Roots Farmers' Co-op is a new initiative in the Cowichan Region. Focusing on winter crops, the team of four local farmers has decided to pool their resources to market their produce collectively. Read more...
Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops

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: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
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

Cowichan Lake Community Garden Work Party #5

Join us in building the Cowichan Lake Community Gardens.  We need a few volunteers to come out to build pathways and to prepare the soil for planting.  The garden site is located just behind the big ball diamond near the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena. If you can bring a wheelbarrow, please do.  We will provide snacks.  Please dress for the weather.  No gardening experience is required. 

Date: Saturday, December 6, 2014
Location:  New Community Garden Site - 311 South Shore Road Lake Cowichan, BC
Time: 10am-4pm
Contact: Erin Ward at or 250-748-8506
Community Events 

Making Hay While the Sun Shines: Building our Islands’ Local and Regional Brand 
Date: Friday, December 5
Location: Somenos Hall, 3284 Cowichan Valley Highway (#18), Duncan
Time: 9am-3pm
Cost: $20 donation at the door (Or donate what you can. No one will be turned away).
Register: or 250-748-8506

Island Farmers' Alliance AGM
Date: Friday, December 5
Location: Somenos Hall, 3284 Cowichan Valley Highway (#18), Duncan
Time: 3pm-5pm
Contact: or 250-748-8506

Annual Breakfast with Santa @ Evergreen Independent School
Date: Sunday, December 7
Location: Cobble Hill Hall
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $20/ family of 5; Advance: $4/child, $5/adult; Door: $5/ child; $6/adult
Info & Tickets: 250-732-2443 or

Documentary Night @ Cowichan Library - Featuring "A Fierce Green Fire"
Date: Monday, December 8
Location: Cowichan Library in the Island Savings Centre, Duncan
Time: 6pm-8pm
Cost: Free

Terra Madre Day w/ Slow Food Vancouver Island
Date: Wednesday, December 10
Location: Victoria Public Market at the Hudson 
Time: 5:30pm-9:30pm
Cost/Ticket: See website

From Gutter to Garden, From Rooftop to Tap
Date: Friday, December 12
Location: Delta Ocean Pointe hotel in Victoria
Time: 8:30 am-3:30 pm
Cost: Fee is $225
Register: Online 

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

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

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!

Click here for the November 2014 newsletter - Clear the Air to reduce carbon emissions.

For Rent

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

Work & Volunteer Opportunities

Child & Youth Outreach Program staff (part-time) - The Canadian Mental Health Association (Cowichan Valley) is seeking applicants to fill a part-time temporary position in a busy child and youth outreach program (the U Fix It BikeWorks and ArtWorks).  This position is to cover a 1-year leave of absence. The successful applicant will possess a diploma or degree in child and youth care or related field plus 3 years experience. In addition, a passion for, and experience with, arts and crafts is required.  Familiarity working with diverse age groups and ethnicities is an asset, as is an understanding of the Circle of Courage model.  Resumes and cover letter may be submitted to by December 5, 2014.  

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 November:
  • Elmworth Construction.
  • The many hands behind the James Barber Fundraiser for CGC's Teaching Kitchen. We are overwhelmed by your kind donations of time, food, wine, auction items, space, promotions, and more! Thank you.
  • Buckerfields for their generous donation of greenhouse poly.
  • The students from QMS for their help building our new cedar fence at KinPark.
  • Canada World Youth, Jason and Rahmi, for their warm spirits and hard volunteer work
  • Tea Farm for the donation of tea.
Copyright © 2014 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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