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October 2015 Newsletter

Dear Readers,

This month we've decided to celebrate the act of giving. The recent loss of our portable at the KinPark Youth Urban Farm, due to a fire, (more details found in the KinPark Youth Urban Farm update below) has reminded our team of the kindness within the Cowichan community. We are saddened by the loss of the portable and by the loss of time, materials, donations, and community support that went into setting it up. However, in the past few weeks, we've been overwhelmed with kind words, offers of donations and volunteer hours, and more. Whether in person, or via text message, email, Twitter, and Facebook messages, we'd like to express our deepest appreciation for those who reached out with the gift of support. Our community serves as our role model and this month you've certainly led by example. Thank you.

Looking ahead, October will be a month of new starts. Our autumn Family Drop-In programs are about to commence and we are preparing to host a series of new compost workshops in November. However, not all new starts are easy to accept. On September 30th we bid farewell and best of luck to Lisa Hanlon, a KinPark Family Drop-In Coordinator. Lisa, who joined our team in the fall of 2014, has obtained a position as a high school teacher. We are sad to say goodbye to a colleague whose kindness, laughter, dedication, and smile brightened everyone's day. Yet, we are consoled by the fact that "Ms. Hanlon" won't be far away as she's teaching Science 10 at Cowichan Secondary School. Congrats Lisa on this much-deserved opportunity!!! Stepping into her shoes will be long-term CGC staffer, Alyssa Loucks, who recently graduated with Honours from VIU's Child and Youth Care BA program. We are so excited to see how Alyssa shapes and leads the program.

We wish you a happy October and giving season.

Thank you for reading.

In Gratitude,
The CGC Team
KinPark Youth Urban Farm: Growing Stronger

On Thursday, September 17th, Cowichan Green Community experienced the heart-breaking loss of our youth and family drop-in portable at Kinsmen Park, also the home of our urban farm, due to fire.

The portable had been donated to Cowichan Green Community by School District 79 for use as a base for our summer camps and fall programming, as well as a youth and family drop-in centre that was to be launched this fall. We had moved the portable to the park this spring and begun to fill the space with generous donations from our community including a ping pong table, a piano, a beautiful loom, and a pool table from the Chemainus Neighbourhood House. Read more...

Garden Pantry Store: Introducing the new Garden Pantry Store Showcase!

The Garden Pantry Store Showcase is a brand new addition to our Garden Pantry Store and will "showcase" locally grown produce, locally produced preserved items, and locally created pantry-related artisan crafts.

From artisan works to zucchini relishes, we have a wonderful variety of unique gift items and personal kitchen “must haves” for you to choose from! New vendors are joining us each week and we invite you to come and visit soonRead more... Online Marketplace: Live and Ready for Orders!, Cowichan’s first online Farmers’ Market, has been live since August. We have been very busy at the getting more farmers and producers listed on the site! We currently have 15 diverse farms & producers with products available for sale, with more being added each week. Read more...
KinPark Family Drop-In: Is Back with Fall Programming

After an incredible summer running KinPark Kid’s Camp, our KinPark Family Drop-in is coming back with more cooking classes, fun farm activities, and after school drop-ins! We are very excited to see returning families and meet new faces.

As we roll out our fall schedule, we will also be wishing a farewell to our incredible team member, Lisa Hanlon, who is now starting a new adventure as a grade 10 science teacher at Cowichan Secondary!  Read more...
Cowichan Agriculture Training Program: Still Givin' It!

I saw an internet meme recently of a tractor riding across a sunset horizon that said: ‘During harvest farmers give up meals at their tables so we can have meals at ours’. If there is one thing that I think the CAT participants are learning from both their farm placement experiences and the stories that are shared when we tour farms in our area it’s this: Farmers are givers. Read more...

Producer Profile: Fat Chili Farm

Fat Chili Farm, a producer of local chilies, is located in Cobble Hill and is owned and operated by Shani and Avasta Farboud. Producing one of the most unique products in the area, this family run farm opened in 2010 after the Farboud’s moved to Canada from Beijing. Turn their love of spicy food into an ever growing business, Fat Chili Farm has definitely found a niche market here in the Cowichan Valley! Read more...
Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops
Compost Can Save the World - 3 part series

Research has shown that living soils produce higher yields and healthier food–that just plain tastes better. Living soil does this all while at the same time capturing and sequestering carbon. The first step to living soil is good compost. Yes folks, compost can save the world! 

Join Jesse Frank, CGC's resident compost nut for this 3 part series on compost. Take one or all three of these workshops. Workshops will be held at CGC's meeting room, located at 360 Duncan Street. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $25/class or $60 for all three (10% discount for CGC members). Register today at the Garden Pantry Store.

For more information, contact Jesse at or 250-748-8506

Session 1: Saving the world one compost pile at a time!

Date: Saturday, November 7
Time: 9am-1pm
Location: CGC's Board Room, 360 Duncan Street

In this session, we learn the basics, talk about the pros and cons of different bins and look a little deeper at the basic backyard composting system. We will start the morning inside with some info sharing, some presentations, and maybe even a video or two. Don’t fear though, we will spend most of our time poking into compost and building a compost pile. Be prepared to get your hands dirty, or bring gloves.

Session 2: Vermicomposting - Let worms do the work for you!

Date: Saturday, November 14
Time: 9am-1pm

Meeting Location: CGC's Board Room, 360 Duncan Street

Vermicomposting is a fancy term for composting with worms. In this session we will dig into the life cycle and needs of the red wriggler. We will look at different bins and systems, from homemade bins to fancy worm hotels. Participants will learn how to leverage the power of worms to compost kitchen scraps in their backyard, on their porch or even in their kitchen.  Who doesn’t like to play with worms!

Session 3: Compost happens!

Date: Saturday, November 21
Time: 9am-1pm

Meeting Location: CGC's Board Room, 360 Duncan Street

In this session, we build on our previous knowledge to look at the many options for composting in place. We will learn about sheet composting­–sometimes called lasagna gardening. We will explore the ever popular hugelkultur, and we will talk about the simplest of compost systems–trench composting. Participants will learn how easy it is to use the hard work of bacteria, fungi, worms and other critters to create beautiful garden soil. 

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

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.

Free Canning Workshop
Date: Monday, October 5th
Time: 10am-2pm
Location: Cowichan Neighbourhood House, 9806 Willow Street, Chemainus
Contact: 250-246-3203 or

Thanksgiving Special at Alderlea Farm & Cafe
Date: Sunday, October 11th
Time: 11am-8pm
Location: Alderlea Farm & Cafe, 3390 Glenora Road, Duncan 
Reservations:  Please contact for luncheon and dinner reservations 

Under the Red Umbrella Artwalk
Date: Thursday, October 15th
Time: 5:30pm-9pm
Location: Downtown Duncan

Wild Wings Festival 
Basket Making Workshop
Date: Sunday, October 18th
Time: 9:30am-4pm
Location: CGC's Meeting Room, 360 Duncan Street, Duncan
Cost: $90
Registration: Pre-registration is required. Contact Maria Curtis 250-748-7468 or

Voting Day
Date: Monday, October 19
Bring your ID card

Food Connections 2015 Conference - Get Social 
Date: Wednesday, October 28th
Time: 10am-3:30pm
Location: Parksville Community Conference Centre, 132 E Jensen Ave., Parksville 
More information or to register: Click here.

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

Looking For

Creative couple looking for farm rental:

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: Jesse Frank 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 Alyssa Loucks 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 September:
  • Our outstanding Eat Think Vote volunteers including Alan Philip, Sandy McPherson, Nadeane Nelson, and Barbara Sobon.
  • Ilse Sarady and Aaron Livingstone for donating a push mower to the Garden Pantry Store.
  • Patrick and Catherine for donating a push mower to the Garden Pantry Store.
  • David Polster, Dr.Jenny Horn, Wes Carter, Evelyn and Jesse Pereira, John and Katy Ehrlich or Alderlea Farm, Lyn Wytenbroek of Mossy Banks Farm, Curtis and Kim Robinson of Many Hands Farm, Javan Bernakavitch, Ken Nentwig, Darrel and Anthea Archer of Fairburn Farm and Top shelf feeds for their recent contributions to the Cowichan Agriculture Training program.
  • Amy Luck for donating a Co-op gas card to the FruitSave program.
  • Barbara Houston for her very generous donation of berry bushes for the Incubator Farm.
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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