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Grateful for Community:
May 2015

Dear Readers,

As Cowichan Green Community's (CGC) Annual General Meeting approaches, we often find ourselves discussing our relationship with our membership. Fortunate to have a strong and active membership, we are continually humbled and amazed by their thoughtfulness, sense of generosity, and community spirit. The backbone of the work we do, we'd like to dedicate this newsletter to all of our members for their continued support. 

A reminder of the impact that our members have in the community arrived in the mail last month. We received news that one of our long-term members, Barbara Dowd, had passed. A lovely spirit and a skilled weaver, Barbara first connected with CGC through our Wild Food Walking Series. A generous supporter of a number of regional organizations, we remember Barbara for her enthusiasm for nature. (Photo left: Barbara, with Wild Food Walk host Jay Rastogi, inspecting a fern frond.)

Saddened by this loss, we would like to express our gratitude for having had the opportunity to meet and know Barbara, and for the contribution she made to our organization. Thank you.

As mentioned above, we're in the midst of organizing our 2015 AGM. Accordingly, we want to remind members to join us on June 16th at the Duncan Christian Reformed Church for an evening of local food, learning, and contribution. This is not your typical AGM as the event will feature a community potluck and a presentation by Ann and Gord Baird, of Eco-Sense, who will speak to their experience in sustainable living.

We would like to announce that the Board of this dynamic organization is looking for volunteers to fill a couple of places at the Board table. If you want to be part of the leadership team for CGC, contact Bev Suderman at 250-737-1109 or to find out more. Please note, to be elected to the board or to vote at the AGM, new or returning members must be members in good standing for no less than 30 days (by May 17, 2015) prior to the AGM. Memberships can be purchased online or at the Garden Pantry Thrift Store (360 Duncan Street, Duncan)

Lastly, CGC is happy to announce the Second Annual Board of the Year Award. If you are an Executive Director of a local non profit organization or charity in the Cowichan Region you can submit your 500-1,000 word nomination on why you feel your board deserves recognition for their hard work. The winners will be announced at our AGM. For more information contact Judy Stafford @

We wish everyone a happy month ahead.

The CGC Team
KinPark Kids Camp is Back: Registration is Open 
Our second summer running KinPark Kid’s Camp is accepting applications. This summer will be full of more gardening and farming fun, as well as games, sports, crafts, and even children’s yoga at our KinPark Youth Urban Farm. Camp counselor, Alyssa Loucks, will be returning this summer, and the fantastic KinFarm Family Drop-in team will also be joining us as camp counselors. To register or to learn more about this camp, click here to read more...
Cowichan Agriculture Training Program: CGC Launches New Project!
The Cowichan Green Community is thrilled to launch the Cowichan Agriculture Training program in April, 2015!

This innovative one year program will provide participants with the opportunity to learn a wide spectrum of ecological agriculture skills and approaches from the soil up. Over the course of the program they will experience hands on training as well as class time learning about soil and plant biology, water and pest management, seed harvesting and saving, best farm practices, animal care and husbandry, and much more. Read more...
Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map: Food Map Now Online
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...


KinPark Youth Urban Farm & Family Drop In: Bursting with Blossoms & Blessings

April showers bring May flowers, and new stuff is blooming with excitement at the KinFarm Family Drop-In Centre. Along with blooming, April was full of hatching all sorts of new experiences; including baby chicks! We ran workshops on natural Easter egg dying followed by an Easter egg hunt at KinPark, as well as workshops on dream catcher making, animation, and digital photography led by youth from our Youth Outreach team. Read more...
Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace - Calling all Farmers & Food Producers

With less than one month to go to our soft launch, the folks at the Cow-op are busy behind the scenes getting everything ready to open our virtual doors to the region. As a local food producer in the Cowichan, this is the chance to be a founding member of what promises to be one more great marketing tool to get more local food onto more local plates. Read more....
Garden Pantry Thrift Store: Grow One Thing
With our busy lives and modern day conveniences, it’s easy to see why everyone isn't growing their own food. But anyone who has, will tell you there is nothing more delicious then fresh berries, fruit, vegetables, or herbs that you've grown yourself. And you won’t pay less anywhere else!

And there has never been more of an urgent need to get everyone growing local food. With the droughts in California and increasing costs of transportation, food in the grocery stores will only get more expensive. Read more...
Ceres Edible Landscaping: Manure in the Garden 

We are very fortunate to live in a rich agricultural region where we have access to not only local food to feed our bodies, but lots of fresh animal poop to enrich our soils. Many of us use manure to add nutrients to our soil and build fertility, but it’s important to know how and when to apply manure to be food safe – timing is everything. Read more...
Cowichan Lake Community Garden: Planting the Food Forest
CGC has been awarded a grant from Tree Canada to plant more fruit and nut trees in the food forest area of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden.  The food forest part of the garden runs along the north side of the garden and up and over the hill with meandering pathways through it all. In the month of May there will be 3 free workshops for the public on Planting and Feeding Fruit and Nut Trees, Planting Fruit Tree Guilds and Planting a Small Food Forest. Read more...
Producer Profile: Lavender Labyrinth

Take a walk through the Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth. In the words of owner Christopher Carruthers, “you won’t get lost”! Diverging from a traditional unicursal labyrinth design, Christopher and Julia Carruthers’ modern geometric labyrinth has been dubbed ‘processional’. Featuring wide wheelchair accessible pathways, the design allows patrons to pass one another uninterrupted. Accordingly, the formation encourages guests to walk, to meditate and to enjoy the scent of lavender at peace. Read more...
Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops

ChillFest 2015 - A Celebration of Mentally Healthy Living

On Saturday May 9th (12-4pm), CGC and partners will host CHILL FEST @ KinPark. It’ll be a big non-commercial event to celebrate Mental Health Week and help people connect with mental health resources in their community. Featuring: a huge Zen garden, Labyrinth, Tai Chi, Music, goatling petting pit, Library read-in, horticultural therapy, Bikeworks will be there with a slow bike race and spinning classes. Bring a bowl, spoon and something to add to our world famous stone soup! 

Date: Saturday, May 9
Time: 12pm-4pm
Location: KinPark (Alderlea Street in Duncan)
Cost: Free!
Contact: Christine @ 250-748-8506 or

Cowichan Lake Community Garden - Free Workshops

During the month of May, join us at the Cowichan Lake Community Garden for a series of 3 FREE gardening workshops. Tools provided. Please bring your own work gloves. The workshops will be held outside at the Cowichan Lake Community Garden so please dress for the weather.

Time: All workshops run from 1:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Cowichan Lake Community Gardens, 311 South Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan
Contact: Erin Ward @ 250-748-8506 or 

Annual General Meeting

Cowichan Green Community's (CGC) 2015 AGM will be held on Tuesday, June 16th at the Duncan Christian Reformed Church located at 930 Trunk Road, Duncan.

As in years past, this is not your typical AGM. Featuring Transition Cowichan's 4th annual Community Potluck and a presentation by Ann and Gord Baird of Eco-Sense, who will speak to their experiences in sustainable living, our goal is to leave attendees well-fed and inspired!

Date: Tuesday, June 16
Time: 4:30pm-7:30pm
Location: Duncan Christian Reformed Church, 930 Trunk Road, Duncan
Cost: Admission to the presentation is by donation. Contributions to the Community Potluck are welcome.
Contact: Vanessa Goodall @ 250-748-8506 or

Edible Garden & Farm Tour

Save the Date! The 6th annual Edible Garden & Farm Tour is just a few months away. We're currently accepting applications for garden and farm hosts. If you'd like to showcase your garden or farm at this event, please contact our team for details.

Tickets will go on sale in June.

Date: Saturday, August 15

Time: 10am-3pm
Location: Cowichan Region
Contact: Alyssa Loucks at 250-748-8506 or

Community Announcements

Dates: May 13 & 20
Time: 8:30am-4:30pm
Location: Community Futures Cowichan, 135 Third Street, Duncan
Cost: $50 for each day or $85 for two days, includes refreshments and lunch
Contact/ Register:
Responding to Abrupt Climate Change - A Presentation by Dr. Guy McPherson
Date: June 14
Time: 1:00pm-3:30pm
Location: Island Savings Centre, 2687 James Street, Duncan
Cost: By donation. Suggested $25

For Rent
38 foot Airstream trailer with covered shelter - Available June 1st, the trailer is located on a 20 acre working farm near Duncan. Ideal for single person. Mostly furnished. No smoking, no pets. On bus route, close to town and TransCanada trail - great for cycling. Small covered area outside and small yard space. Parking for one car. $435 utilities included. Call Harry at 250-418-5151

Garden Opportunities

Garden Share - Patricia Dawn is interested in matching Cowichan garden seekers with garden owners.  $5/per match.  250-732-9122 or
Job Postings

General Manager - O.U.R. Ecovillage - a 25-acre sustainable learning centre and demonstration site in Shawnigan Lake, BC - is pleased to announce an opportunity for a General Manager. This is a half-time contract position scheduled to begin in May/June to allow for overlap with outgoing personnel. Reporting to and working with the Board of Directors, the incumbent will help coordinate the implementation of the Business Plan and Strategic Plan and work towards the overall health and viability of OUR Ecovillage. Deadline: May 20, 2015. Submissions and Inquiries to: No phone calls please. For the full listing:

Market Gardener - Hope Farm - The Market Gardener will work under the direction of the Operations Manager, coordinating the day-to-day operation of the market garden facets of Hope Farm, as well as coordinating the sales of farm products and establishing new markets for Hope Farm products. Please send cover letter and resume to Only those applicants who are chosen for an interview will be contacted. Must provide an acceptable criminal record check, including the level of clearance required to work with vulnerable people.

Volunteer Opportunities

Work PartyTuesdays @ 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: 1:00pm-4:30pm
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 April:
  • Beechwood Tree Service. 
  • Deb Nikula, Don Maroc and Ken Lacroix for their voluntary work with our Cowichan Agricultural Training interns.
  • Gaylene for volunteering to help coordinate this year's FruitSave program.
  • Fiona for helping with Earth Day.
  • Ramona for the beautiful new shelving in the Garden Pantry Thrift Store!
  • The community gardeners in Lake Cowichan who are leading the development of a new communal growing space.
  •  Ernie Mansueti North Cowichan, Monroe Grobe, Belton Bros, and Alex Apostoli for their support in moving the portable to KinPark.
  • Corinne LaPointe for her donation of a rototiller 
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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