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July 2015 Newsletter: 
Taking Stock

Dear Readers,

On June 16th, CGC celebrated another successful AGM. With over 100 people in attendance, the venue was packed with guests eager to dig into a local food potluck (thank you Transition Cowichan for co-hosting this), and to learn from this year's guest speakers Ann and Gord Baird of Eco-Sense. Speaking to their experience in developing their eco-friendly home and property, the Bairds shared images and stories from the construction of their cob home. Discussing everything from composting toilets, rainwater harvesting and grey-water use, solar energy, to the policy challenges they faced in constructing the first load-bearing code approved cob dwelling in North America, this engaging duo left the audience in awe.

A tough act to follow, the presentation was followed by the announcement of our 2015 The Station Board of the Year Award and the Green Superhero Awards. This year's Board Award went to the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association (featured in the photo on the left), which provides therapeutic riding services for persons with disabilities. The Green Superhero Awards went to the Workplace Essential Skills Training class of 2015 for the youth category, U-Fix it BikeWorks for the group category, and Craig Evans of FarmShip Growers Co-operative for the individual category. Make sure to congratulate these proud winners for their great accomplishments and work in the Cowichan Region!

As part of the formal AGM proceedings, we reflected upon our achievements from the past year - which we've shared in the infographic above. It's hard to believe sometimes the amount of activities and projects we're able to pull off and the amount of connections we've made in the community. A big thanks goes out to all of those who contribute and support CGC! It's gratefully appreciated. Lastly, the event concluded with the announcement of our 2015-2016 board of directors. While we are sad to say good-bye to Aaron Livingstone, Helen Nation, and Tamara Dinter, we are thrilled to welcome Erika Mundel to CGC's board.

We'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy month ahead. Please take note that on Wednesday, July 8th, Stage 3 water restrictions will take effect throughout the entire region and that all fires, including campfires and recreational fire pits, are banned due to the high fire risk. Check out your local government's website for updates on both restrictions. 

Thank you for reading!

In Gratitude,
The CGC Team
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...
Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace: Opening in July
The website opens to the public in early July launching a weekly ordering cycle that sees consumers placing orders from the convenience of their own home or mobile device and picking up their bag of Cowichan-grown groceries on every Thursday afternoon at Cowichan Green Community’s commercial kitchen, 360 Duncan St., next to the Duncan Garage. Read more...
KinPark Kids Camp: Making a Difference One Bean at a Time 
As of July 6th, KinPark Kid’s Camp will be open for a second summer of gardening and farming fun at our KinPark Youth Urban Farm on Alderlea Street in Duncan. Camp is also full of fun games, sports, recycled crafts, and children’s yoga! KinPark Kid’s Camp gives children a chance to learn about gardening and growing local food. Read more...
Cowichan Lake Community Garden: Creating a Sense of Place

The Lake Cowichan Garden Committee has truly created a wonderful sense of place in the garden. There is a feeling of different ‘rooms’ in this ‘garden home’ that is lovely to experience. All the rooms are open to wander through, no closed doors here and the garden is getting busier as people adopt areas to tend and boxes to grow vegetables in. Read more...
Cowichan Agriculture Training Program: Swinging into the Summer
The Cowichan Agriculture Training program is now in full summer swing in the valley! June has seen the interns really engage in the learning and hands on experience offered through the program. The heat has been challenging, and the work hard, but the interns have demonstrated the steely stick-with-it-ness indicative of a successful team and initiative. Read more...
KinPark Youth Urban Farm & Family Drop In: 
Summer is here and the fruits of our labours are already showing in the gardens and with the ever-growing CGC family! We have taken the time to plant the seeds, care for them, and hope they flourish, even with sometimes harsh environmental conditions such as drought. As we see time and time again, plants and families alike are at once resilient and beautiful. Read more...
Garden Pantry Thrift Store: A Shout Out to Serious Coffee

You never know what you’ll find in our Garden Pantry Thrift Store; but the one constant has been our burlap sacks! We are super grateful to Serious Coffee who not only donates the burlap to us but they’re also quick to send people our way when they receive calls to purchase them. So what can you do with burlap in the garden? It’s great material to use as sheet mulch, especially during these hot, water restriction months. You can also use them as growing containers for many plants such as potatoes, herbs and even mushrooms. Read more...
Producer Profile: Mossy Banks Farm

Mossy Banks Farm is a Permaculture farm and a space to learn. Often referred to as "Jurassic Farm," its peaty soils from the marsh allow plants to grow vigorously. The property is over thirty acres, only seven of which are being farmed. The rest of the property is held in ecological reserves including Garry Oak meadows on the bluffs, the mossy forest floor, and the beautiful wetland marshes at the base of the property. 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
Time: 10:30am-11:30am
Location: KinPark Youth Urban Farm, Duncan
Contact: Lisa Hanlon at 250-748-8506 or

Water Conservation Gardening - Free Workshop
Learn gardening techniques that will help you conserve water. We will build little natural terraces out of logs and stakes on the slopes; and make a ‘hugelkulture bed’. Learn best mulching and watering practices. This workshop is part of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden Project.

Date: Saturday, July 18
Time: 9:00am-11:00am
Location: Cowichan Lake Community Garden, 311 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan
Contact: Erin Ward at 250-748-8506 or

Therapeutic Gardening for Everyone - Free Workshop
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, July 18
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, July 18
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

Lavender & Arts Festival @ Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth
Date: Saturday, July 11
Time: 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Opposite 6357 Wicks Road, Duncan
Cost: $5.00 u-cut bunches
Contact: Online

Downtown Duncan Days
Date: Friday, July 17 & Saturday, July 18
Time: All day. See website for schedule
Location: Downtown Duncan
More Information: Online

Mad Hatter Tea Party in the Garden
Date: Sunday, July 19
Time: 2pm-4pm
Location: TeaFarm, 8350 Richards Trail, Westholme
Cost: $30. Call to reserve
More information: Online

One Cowichan presents Local Clean Energy: Lessons from the Field
Date: Thursday, July 23
Time: 7pm
Location: 200 Cowichan Way, Quw'utsun' Cultural & Conference Centre - Quamichan Room, Duncan
Cost: Free
More information: Online

Damali Lavender Festival
Date: Saturday, July 25
Time: 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Damali Lavender & Winery, 3500 Telegraph Road, Cobble Hill
Cost: $5.00 adults, $3 seniors & $2.00 children <12
More information: Online

Employment Opportunity

Environmental Outreach Staff - Are you passionate about the environment? Do you enjoy working with the public? If so, CGC is looking to hire a staff person to assist our team conduct environmental education at public events between July 2015 and June 2016. Prospective candidates must hold a valid drivers licence, have vehicle assess, 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 Judy Stafford at Please submit cover letters and resumes in a PDF.

For Rent

Bachelor Suites - rooms available immediately and for August 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.

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 May:
  • Reber Creative for the donation of graphic design services.
  • Vancouver Island Regional Library for partnering with CGC to host Storytime at KinPark.
  • Shannon, one of CGC's Cowichan Agricultural Training Interns, for all of her work at KinPark.
  • Ye Old Dogwood Lumber for their donation of wood to the KinPark Community Gardens
  • Heather Ferris for coordinating the construction of two new raised garden beds at the community gardens.
  • Hillside Soil for the donation of six yards of soil to the KinPark community gardens.
  • Ann and Gord Baird for delivering such an inspiring presentation at our 2015 AGM.
  • Transition Cowichan for co-hosting the local foods potluck at our 2015 AGM.
  • All the AGM guests who attended and contributed to the local foods potluck. It was inspiring to see the diversity of local foods that are produced in the Cowichan Region.
  • Serious Coffee for the generous donation of burlap sacks.
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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