On Thursday, October 16, Cowichan Green Community will recognize World Food Day. A day dedicated to bringing attention to global food insecurity, the theme of this year's event is the family farm. With the goal of recognizing the significant role that family farms have in building resilient food systems, on this day we encourage you to ask where your food comes from.
As consumers, we access food from a host of different locations. Whether it's from a grocery store, farmers' market, road side stand, garden plots, emergency food provider, restaurant, or a pot luck, the food on our plates is the result of a lot of hard work.
According to a United Nation's (UN) Food and Agricultural Organization (FA) estimate, there are over 570 million farms world wide, of which 500 million are classified as family farms. Ranging in scale from subsistence, hobby, to commercial production, "family farms represent the vast majority of farms in the world, but less of the share of the world's farmland." However, they are responsible for up to 56% of agricultural production (FAO, 2014).
Whether it's from your morning cup or coffee or tea, to the cooking oils, spices, vegetables, and meats (or alternatives) that make their way to our lunch and dinner plates, it's important to recognize the role of the family farm within the context of the global food system. Within Canada, the 2011 census reports that the total number of farms in Canada continues to decline and that the image of the small-medium size farm is giving way to more and more larger farms - which represent a mix of family and industrial operations. Facing significant barriers to production, while working within a system that often undervalues to true cost of food, on World Food Day CGC will extend our brightest of smiles and thanks to the family farms that keep us fed.
In Gratitude, CGC Team
Food Security Report Card - A Food Security Coalition Project
The impacts and issues surrounding food security intersect the
work of many community members and organizations in the Cowichan Region.
Defined as a situation that exists when all members of our community have access to enough nutritious, safe, ecologically sustainable, and culturally appropriate food at all times, food security affects all of us. Some of us are more food secure than others. Read more...
Ceres Edible Landscaping - What and How Does Your Food Eat?
What are the garden plants you munch on eating from the soil and air? Where does all that compost and mulch you put on your garden beds go? How does ‘feeding your soil’ relate to feeding your own body? It is all connected.
The average shrub, such as a lovely blueberry plant is composed of 44% carbon, 44% oxygen, 6% hydrogen, 1-4% nitrogen and the very important remaining 3-5% has 60-70 different mineral nutrients. Read more...
Kin Park Youth Urban Farm - It's Fall, So Drop In!
While summer has officially turned to Fall and the greenhouse temperatures don’t get nearly as high at night, we are cleaning up the beds, seeding them with winter cover crops (buckwheat, winter pea, vetch, and fall rye), seeding winter veggies (spinach, radish, turnip, tatsoi, scallions) and keeping our tender crop of new kale going. Read more...
FruitSave - Over 5000 lbs of Fruit Havested
The fruit just keeps on rollin' in! To date, CGC's FruitSave volunteers have harvested 5,066 lbs of fruit, of which 2,687 lbs has been donated to emergency food providers. An additional 1,296 lbs of windfall has been collected and distributed to farmers with livestock in the region. Congrats to everyone, especially Pamela and John, CGC's volunteer FruitSave Coordinators, for their hard work and dedication to the project.
It seems we'll have a few more good weeks for fruit picking. If you're interested in getting involved, or if you have a fruit tree that has too much fruit, please contact us at email@example.com
Farmers' Market Nutrition and Coupon Program -
We’ve had an amazing second year coordinating the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program with the Duncan Farmers’ Market during the summer season. The program offered $15 a week for 16 weeks to 55 low income families and seniors referred by community agencies here in the Cowichan Region. Read more...
Garden Pantry Thrift Store - Treasures
As the days get shorter and we can our last tomato, clean up our gardens and finish our winter planting, we’d like to thank everyone for visiting the Garden Pantry Thrift Store. We’ve had generous donations of canning jars, garden tools and cook books throughout the last couple of months, and they’ve found new homes as quickly as they were received.
That’s the great thing about our store. Read more...
Producer Profile: TeaFarm
Wandering the Duncan Farmers’ Market in a frenzy to quickly buy my goods and get on with my day, I stumbled upon the TeaFarm’s booth, with a sign reading “Slow down! Take time for tea.” I am drawn into a fascinating conversation with TeaFarm’s Victor Vesely about his journey with his wife, Margit Nelleman, in starting Canada’s first tea farm. Read more...
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.
Contact: Erin Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-748-8506
Cowichan Community Culinary Festival Join us on Saturday, October 4th from 11am-2pm in tasting local food recipes prepared by the Cowichan Community Kitchens team, in partnership with Cowichan Green Community. Held within the Savour Cowichan Festival, this free family-friendly event will take place at the Centennial Park cob oven in Duncan. Aside from profiling the best ingredients from Cowichan Region farms, this festival will feature live music, kids' activities, and demonstrations by local chefs.
Date: Saturday, October 4, 11am-2pm Location: Centennial Park Cob Oven, Duncan Time: 11am-2pm Cost: Free Contact: Nelly Pardo at email@example.com
Cultivating Mushrooms at Home Join Jacob Cooper, of Salt Spring Mushrooms and Sprouts, for an afternoon of fungi fun! During this three hour workshop, Jacob will teach us about different edible mushrooms and how to cultivate them. Beginner mushroom growers are welcome as Jacob will introduce some of the basics of fungal propagation. Students will also have the opportunity to help inoculate CGC's Food Forest's first mushroom beds.
Date: Saturday, October 4 Location: Cowichan Green Community's Food Forest, 360 Duncan Street, Duncan Time: 3pm-6pm Cost: $35 for CGC members & $40 for the general public Contact: Nora Arajs firstname.lastname@example.org Register Online:Click here or stop by our store
One day left to register for this incredible organic gardening program.
This 8-week comprehensive course, taught by Gaia College, is for the experienced gardener, budding farmer, or professional landscaper. Course topics include: soil biology, botany, composting, permaculture, soil fertility, water-wise gardening, tree pruning and garden design. Learn to create fabulous food and ornamental gardens organically.
Course dates are October 14 - December 6, and the course fee is: $695 + GST (Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and a few Saturdays). You can register in-person at the Garden Pantry Thrifty Store at 360 Duncan Street, or register online. Seats are limited so please don't delay! For details, contact Nora @ email@example.com or 250-748-8506.
DBIA's Under the Red Umbrella An initiative of the Duncan Business Improvement Association, this showcase of local artists and downtown Duncan businesses is an opportunity to explore Downtown after business hours! CGC's Garden Pantry Thrift Store will be open featuring the work of local artivist Lulu Marie. Showing original acrylic paintings from the Wild Salmon Series. Inspiring passion for change!
James Barber Fundraiser for the CGC's Teaching Kitchen The fourth-annual Barber bash, taking place at historic Providence Farm, is a culinary celebration of the bounty of the Cowichan Valley — paired with valley wine and cider — honouring Canada’s late Urban Peasant and former Cowichanian.
Organizer of the event is Chef Bill Jones from the renowned Deerholme Farm. Bill will gather some of the talented chefs and producers of the region to put on a great meal using fantastic local products.
Date: Sunday, November 16 Time: Doors open at 5pm Location: Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan Cost: $100/ticket. Order online, or stop by CGC's store. Contact: Vanessa Goodall at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aluxut Traditional Foods Event - Preparing Pi’kwun Salmon
Date: Sunday, October 5
Location: Qw’umiyiqun Reserve, 1350 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan
Time: Fire starts at 8am and lunch will be served at 12pm
Contact: Jared “Qwustenuxun” Williams at 250-746-6184 ext: 253
One Dy Only Bike to Work Week Event!
Date: Wednesday, October 8
Location: Coffee on the Moon, 501 Canada Avenue, Duncan, BC
Seed Processing Workshop - Learn to clean your own seeds! Date: Sunday, November 2 Location: Duncan Time: 10am-1pm Cost: Free Register and Location details: Contact Vanessa @ email@example.com
For more information, or to book an appointment, please contact Judy at 250-748-8506 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Garden Plot Available in Sahtlam Area - Jean has 3/4 acre of growing space (previously certified organic) available. She will rent out the land in exchange for produce. Please call 250-748-2717 for details.
Land for Lease - 1-2 acres of farmland is available in Cobble Hill off Telegraph.
Looking to lease or negotiate an agreement for growing. Contact Robin McDaniel 250-710-4051 or email@example.com
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!
CGC would like to send out a special thank you to the following individuals and businesses for their support during the month of September:
Kin Park would like to thank Ernie Mansueti, CGC's Youth Outreach team, The Duncan Garage Café, and Edible Earth seeds for their continued support.
Graham Cannon, our new VIU intern, and Christine Carter, our new KinPark Youth Urban Farm and Family Drop in Centre Coordinator, for diving right in!
Thanks to the Work Party Wednesday crew for helping to keep the food forest growing so gloriously.
Sam from Optiums Electric for his continued support.
Island Return it Duncan for providing CGC the opportunity to volunteer at Sun Fest and for the generous donation.