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  September 2015 Newsletter: Feast

Dear Readers,

September is a month full of harvest themed events and celebrations, and CGC is primed and ready to enjoy and share the bounty of the 2015 summer harvest!

This month, we'll be attendin
g the Savour Cowichan Festival's "Barge on In" event on Friday, September 25th. For a second year in a row, our staff will leave their farm boots at work and gussy up for a night of food and beverage tasting on the barge at the Mill Bay Marina. From 6pm-9pm, ticket holders can check-out our booth and grab a free Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map and learn about the new Cowichan Online Marketplace,

In mid-September, CGC will organize a food-focused event at the Duncan United Church. Joining communities across Canada, CGC will host an "Eat Think Vote" All Candidates Forum and Community Potluck on Wednesday, September 23rd. Hosted from 5pm-9pm, come grab a bowl of KinPark soup and learn about the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford federal candidate's policies on local and national food issues. Please bring a potluck dish to share and a question for the moderator.

As well, in line with our "Feast" theme, we want to remind readers that our FruitSave program will be running strong until the end of October in the Cowichan region. If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer and help pick fruit in the Cowichan Valley and distribute it to those who need it most, please sign up today and help us share the harvest:) 

Lastly, as we make preparations for a busy month ahead, we'd like to extend a big thank you to all of those involved in the planning and running of our 6th annual Edible Garden & Farm Tour. The day was a total hit. Our staff and volunteers had a blast touring the various gardens and farms, and the event raised $1,000.00.

We wish everyone a great month ahead. 

Thank you for reading.

In Gratitude,
The CGC Team
Incubator Farm: Project Announcement

onion flowers
The Cowichan Green Community is elated to announce that we have secured land and funding for an Incubator Farm Project in Duncan. CGC would like to send a big thank you to the District of North Cowichan, for leasing CGC 3.5 acres for this project, the Island Coastal Trust for providing $10,000.00 in funding, the Real Estate Foundation for $20,000.00, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District for $5,000.00.

contributions will help to provide aspiring farmers the opportunity to learn about and grow their own farm business. How great is that! Read more... Online Marketplace Has Launched!

Buy Local! Buy Fresh! A farmers market meets the internet for convenient year-round shopping. Online shoppers in the Cowichan region are now able to buy produce from the convenience of their own home via the, the region’s first online farmers’ marketplace of locally grown and processed food. Read more...
Cowichan Agriculture Training Program: Celebrating Food and Knowledge Feasts

Well, the expression ‘hazy, lazy, dog days of summer’ certainly does not apply to the Cowichan Agriculture Training program (except maybe the hazy part)! We have been busy like the “Bee People” that Ted Leischner introduced us to on August 18th. In keeping with this newsletter’s theme of ‘Feast’, I can attest to several kinds of feasts that have been enjoyed by our hardworking interns. Read more...
Garden Pantry Thrift Store: KinPark Preserves are Back!

We’re excited to have KinPark preserves back in the Garden Pantry Thrift Store this month. It’s been a busy summer for the park between the Youth Urban Farm, Kids Camp, the Cowichan Agricultural Training interns, and community gardeners. Where our staff and volunteers find the time to step into the kitchen to process the harvest is a mystery:) But they’ve made the magic happen with jars of pickles, zucchini relish, and pickled beets! There is also fresh garlic, tromboncini squash, and dried parsley. Read more...
FruitSave: Love Fruit? Want to Support Your Community? 

Cowichan Green Community's FruitSave program is in need of a few extra helping hands. Consider becoming a pick leader or fruit tree assessor. Either position is 5-10 hours a month for September and October.

Pick leaders ensure that all the equipment needed for a pick make it from the CGC's office to the tree location and back again. Read more...
KinPark Kids Camp: A Summer Re-Cap

Our second year of summer camp at the KinPark Youth Urban Farm has come to a close and we are grateful for all the wonderful kids and parents who made this summer such a success!

From making salsa to baking green tomato pies, the kids enjoyed a variety of hands-on activities including gardening, kitchen science, up-cycled crafts like bubble wands and string bean jewelery, swimming, yoga, storytime in the shade, and playing with the bugs and bees in the hot sun. Read more...

Ceres Edible Landscaping: A Perennial Feast

Gardeners and farmers are now harvesting the fruits of their labour, filling pantries and stomachs, and creating memorable feasts.

While we live amidst a rich agricultural region, not everyone has time or perhaps space to tend an annual crop garden. The abundance of local farmer’s markets is the best second option to fill your fridge and larder, but you might also consider planting some low maintenance perennial vegetables in your patch of soil. Read more...
Cowichan Lake Community Garden: Project Wrap-Up and New Society Starts

As the Cowichan Green Community’s contract with Island Health finishes up this September, the garden volunteers are getting their paperwork organized to become their very own society. Several of the folks starting the society have been with the garden since the very first pathway was laid down over a year ago. Erin Ward, CGC staff member, has been helping coordinate the project since the very beginning as well. Read more...

KinPark Youth Urban Farm: Summer Wrap-Up

The busyness of summer camp and garden productivity has been replaced by the back-to-school bustle as the older high school kids return to the park to hang out between classes. The gardens are looking less lush as the plant leaves dry up and turn a rich golden hue colour due to cooler nights and shorter days.

Most of the tomatoes have been harvested but there are still many green ones hiding amongst the foliage waiting to be turned more...

Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Maps Still Available
This year’s Cowichan food maps are flying off the shelves into the hands of those wishing to source locally-grown produce and products. We still have many copies so come on by to pick up a map today! 

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: Green Fire Farm
Green Fire Farm is a new arrival to the Cowichan Valley, but the farmer at the heart of growing the farm is by no means new to sustainable and organic agriculture. DeLisa Lewis has over 15 years’ experience with certified organic vegetable and flower farming, holds a PhD in agroecology and soils, and teaches sustainable agriculture courses at UBC during the winter months. Read more...
Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops

Eat Think Vote - Duncan
CGC invites citizens in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding and candidates running in the federal election to a food focused non-partisan All Candidates Forum. We will share a meal together and engage in dialogue on local food issues. Please bring a potluck dish to share and questions for the candidates. For, more information, please check out our website.

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Time: Potluck from 5pm-5:45pm; Forum from 5:45pm-9pm
Location: Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram St., Duncan, BC
Cost: Free. We will accept donations at the door to help cover event costs. However, no one will be turned away.
Contact: Vanessa Goodall, 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

Healing Weeds and Herbs - in the garden & forest
Date: September 3, 10, & 17
Time: 4pm-6pm
Location: 5175 Bills Road, Duncan
Cost: $12 per class; $30 for all three clases
Registration: Contact Lorene Benoit at lorene@naturalpathremedies or 250-748-6802

Cowichan Exhibition
Date: September 11th - 13th
Time: Grounds open - Friday & Saturday 8am-10pm; Sunday 8am-4pm
Cost: Adult 3 day pass $23; Day admission $10 adults, senior $8, child $7, children <6 $ free.
Location: Cowichan Exhibition Grounds, 7380 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan  

Farmer Appreciation Week - Poetry Contest
Date: Sunday, September 13 (deadline)
Submissions: Online or in mail to: 
     ATTN: Poetry Contest
     BC Association of Farmers’ Markets
     203–2642 Main St. Vancouver, BC  V5T 3E6

Vancouver Island Carrot Seed Field Day and Potluck
Date: Friday, September 18th
Time: 5pm-7pm
Location: 13110 Doole Road, Ladysmith
Cost: Free, but registration is required
Register: Online
Contact: Chris Thoreau:

Cobble Hill September Festival @ St. John's Church
Date: Saturday, September 19th
Time: 10am-2pm
Location: 3295 Cobble Hill Road, Cobble Hill
Cost: Free admission
Contact: 250-743-3095 or

Feast of Fields - Shawnigan Lake
Date: Sunday, September 20th
Time: 1pm-5pm
Location: O.U.R. Ecovillage, 1565 Baldy Mountain Rd, Shawnigan Lake
Cost: General adult admin $95; children's tickets $15 (under 19); please see website for group rates. 

Savour Cowichan Festival
Date: Friday, September 25th - Sunday, October 4th
Schedule: See website for details
Cost: Varies. See website for details
Location: Cowichan Valley

Salmon and Mushroom Festival
Date: Saturday, September 26th - Sunday, September 27 
Time: 10am-4pm
Location: Lake Cowichan Centennial Hall, 309 S. Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan 
Cost: $2. Children enter for free.

4th annual Travelling World Community Film Festival - Opening Night Fundraiser
Date: Thursday, October 1st
Time: 7pm
Location: Cherry Point Vineyards, 840 Cherry Point Road, Cobble Hill
Tickets: $15 Cherry Point Vineyards Tasting Room, or by calling (250) 597-3405 or e-mailing  

4th annual Travelling World Community Film Festival
Date: Friday, October 2nd - Saturday, October 3rd
Time: Friday, October 2nd - 7:30pm; Saturday, October 3 - 1pm-7:30pm
Location: Vancouver Island University, 2011 University Way, Duncan
Tickets: 2 day pass is $10. Purchase at the door starting at 6pm on October 2nd.

For Rent

Commercial Kitchen Space - Renting CGC's commercial kitchen is a viable way for community groups, caterers, farmers, and small-scale food businesses to access an Island Health certified commercial kitchen without the worry of kitchen overhead. Whether you are in need of cold storage, space for producing value added goods, or wanting to run food skills workshops, our kitchen is outfitted to suit a variety of cooking needs.

The kitchen is available to rent seven days a week and comes equipped with a 6 burner gas stove and oven, a convection oven, walk in cooler and freezer, tables and seating for workshop facilitation, and a complement of basic cooking utensils and equipment. For inquiries, please contact Vanessa at 250-748-8506 or

Job Opportunities

Farm work - Veggie Vibes is hiring full/part time harvesters, weeders, and people for general farm work! Volunteers are also very welcome. Free veggies, fair wages and fine friends. Experience not required but a license is an asset! Please send your resume to:

Volunteer Opportunities

Retail Volunteers - The Garden Pantry Thrift Store
Cowichan Green Community's store is looking for a few extra volunteers to help cover week day shifts. Duties include greeting customers, processing sales, tidying the sales floor, and receiving inventory. If interested, please contact Rosalie at

FruitSave: Pick Leader
Pick leaders ensure that all the equipment needed for a pick makes it from CGC's office to the tree location and back again. The equipment includes the ladders, picking bags, picking poles, and weigh scales. Once the fruit is harvested, the pick leader reports back to CGC the total amount of fruit that was picked, how many pounds were donated and to what organization the fruit went to. Volunteers need to be able to transport at least the 6' ladder and in some cases the 11' ladder. If interested, please contact

FruitSave: Fruit Tree Assessor
Person who assesses the fruit tree prior to it being picked in order to determine:

  • how many volunteers are needed to pick the tree (how much fruit is on the tree and how easy it is to pick the fruit.)
  • What equipment is needed to pick the tree (size of ladder, type of ladder, picking poles, etc.)
  • Are there any special considerations such as sloping ground, special plants under the tree, etc...
  • Note: efforts will be made to match a person with a tree in their neighbourhood so a car is not always needed. If interested, please contact
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: Jesse at 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: 9:30am-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 August:
  • Dinter Nursery for donating a fruit tree for the Edible Garden & Farm Tour's door prize.
  • The garden and farm hosts and the volunteers who participated in this year's Edible Garden & Farm Tour. Your passion for local food is what makes this event so exciting.
  • Gaylene McMullen and Ann Radford for joining the store team!
  • Maison Preserves Co. and their Moss St. Market customers for the large donation of canning jars.
  • Justine, David, Linda, Josh and Sara, members of CGC's youth outreach team, for all their help canning, working with the kids cooking classes and camp.
  • Hank for his Green Tomato Mincemeat recipe.
  • CAT interns Shannon and Brandon for all their hard work at the urban farm and CGC kitchen.
  • The fairy gardener who dropped off extra gardening supplies to the urban farm in August.
  • Island Health for funding phase 2 of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden Project.
  • All the volunteers and donors that have created a beautiful community garden in Lake Cowichan for us all to continue to enjoy. 
  • Christine Pollard for her role in the Cowichan Lake Community Garden workshops.
  • VIRL for co-hosting 'Stories in the Park' for a 3rd summer in a row. 
  • Jess Margets for updating our Community Food Providers online database.
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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