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Happy Holidays
December 2015 Newsletter

Dear Readers,

As we welcome the start of the winter holiday season, CGC would like to thank our members, volunteers, donors, supporters, and readers for contributing to an incredible year. We had a lot of fun in 2015 and are so amazed at what our community helped us to 
accomplish. From harvesting over 11,000 LBS of fruit through our FruitSave program, engaging over 100 families through our Family Drop-In cooking classes, to incubating new project ideas (stay tuned in 2016!), we'd like to thank everyone who has and continues to support our mandate to build a more food-secure Cowichan region.

In theme with this holiday newsletter, we want to encourage our community to embrace local when commencing your holiday shopping. Whether you're looking for ingredients for a holiday feast, or a gift for a host, friend or someone special, the Cowichan region is home to a wealth of creative producers and artisans. Featuring their goods at regional craft fairs, farmers' markets (i.e., the Duncan Farmers' Market is open year round), and at our very own Garden Pantry Store showcase, there are plenty of ways to give local this year. 

For example, you can celebrate our local farmers by giving the gift of Cowichan-grown food. Available in denominations of $25, Cow-Op Gift Certificates are perfect for that person who has one of everything - everybody has to eat! Or, what about the gift of experience? CGC offers gift certificates, in any denomination, for a Ceres Edible Landscaping consultation or garden work. As well, CGC offers "CGC Dollars" which can be redeemed for workshop registrations, purchases made at the Garden Pantry Store, or for a CGC membership. Ask our staff for details on how to purchase and share these gifts of experience.


Finally, our staff will take their annual winter break between December 25-January 3rd. Accordingly, we'd like to remind our readers that CGC's office will be closed on the following dates:
  • December 14, 2015 - Closed for Staff Strategic Planning Meeting
  • December 24, 2015 - Closes at 2pm
  • December 25, 2015 - January 3, 2016 - Office closed
Between December 1 and December 23, The Garden Pantry Store Holiday* hours of operation are as follows:

Mondays: Closed
Tuesdays-Fridays: 10am-4:30pm
Saturdays: 10am-5pm
Sundays (December 6, 13, 20 only): 10am-4pm

* The Garden Pantry Store will be closed on December 25-27, 2015 and from December 31, 2015 to January 1, 2016. The store will return to regular hours of operation on January 2, 2016.


We wish everyone the best of the season.

In gratitude,
CGC Team
Garden Pantry Store: Something's New!

Well, the first thing you will notice is our name changed to The Garden Pantry Store, then the next thing you will notice is that we have some great new products to go with the new look and feel of the store. So what is this all about? It’s about supporting our local island artisans and producers in a way that lets them concentrate on what they do best. Read more...
Cow-op.ca Online Marketplace: Holiday Shopping

As the region’s Farmers’ Markets wind down for the season, www.Cow-op.ca, the region’s first online Farmers’ Market, is still going strong. From the warmth and comfort of your own home computer or mobile device, shop for locally made, grown and processed foods and goods all from the Cowichan region. Read more...
Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map: Register Today

While the cool farm soils of the Cowichan rest under cover of mulch, the heat is being turned up on the 2016 production of Cowichan’s premiere farm, food and drink map making this the 7th edition of this valuable farm marketing resource in our region. REGISTER NOW! Read more...
Cowichan Agriculture Training Program: Why Buy Local?

When it comes to buying local food, some of the benefits are obvious. More money in the local economy, less reliance on products from elsewhere, more environmental sustainability, reliability, and accountability; these are often the first potential positive results that come to mind. Read more...
Ceres Edible Landscaping: How Your Local Soil Can Contribute to Planetary Health

There are more organisms in one tablespoon of healthy soil than there are humans on the earth. That’s right, good soil contains a complex biological community. These local life forms range in size from the tiniest one-celled creatures, such as bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Read more...
KinPark Family Drop-In Centre: Celebrating Local Gifts, Skills, and Goodies!

As winter rolls in, the KinPark Family Drop-In is getting ready for some fun and free holiday crafting, baking and, of course, cooking in the Family Cooking Classes. The program is looking forward to bringing family and youth together to celebrate the holidays, but more importantly the gifts and skills they bring to the Cowichan region. This holiday, the Drop-In will be celebrating the many local gifts and talents the Cowichan region has to offer! Read more...
Producer Profile: Lockwood Farms

I first met James while coordinating the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program during its 2013 pilot year here in Cowichan. Like many, James was thrilled with the program that offered low-income families and seniors the opportunity to shop for fresh local meat and produce, while getting to know the farmers and connecting with the community around healthy food. This is definitely his motivation for becoming a farmer. Read more...

CGC Events 
 
Introducing AgCafe, a chance to sit back, have a cuppa, and chat with other farmers about issues and experiences that concern you such as…

Water, finances, crop successes (and failures), new and heritage breeds, new tools and equipment, tool and equipment repair, farm start up, farm succession, access to affordable land, mentorship and skilled labour, new techniques and approaches, GE, access to seed, soil loss and erosion, accessing markets, farm status, ALR…and more!

Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Time: 9:30am-12:00pm
Location: CGC's Meeting Room, 360 Duncan Street, Duncan, BC
Contact: Stephanie Cottell, 250-748-8506 or stephanie@cowichangreencommunity.org

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
Date: Saturday, December 5
Time: 9am-3pm
Location: Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan
More information: 
Online

The Evolution of Community - responding to violence against women
Date: Wednesday, December 9
Time: 8am-12pm
Location: Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram Street, Duncan
Cost: $10.00. Please RSVP
Contact: kendraleigh.thomas@gmail.com or Warmland Woman's Support Services Society at 250-710-8177

Small Scale Food Processor Association Strategic Planning Session to establish a Communal Food Analysis Laboratory
Date: Thursday, December 10
Time: 6pm-9pm
Location: Tthe Business Advisory Team offices @75 Bastion Street, Nanaimo
Registration: Required. Complete online.
Contact: Candice Appleby, SSFPA Executive Director at: info@ssfpa.net


Askew Creek's Ivy Pull
Date: Saturday, December 12
Time: 3pm-4:30pm
Location: Meet in Chemainus at the Oak Street Askew Creek Park entrance near the mailboxes and across the street from Creek Side Village apartments.
Contact: Heather Taylor at tcichemainus@gmail.com

Alderlea Farm Café Re-opens
Date: Saturday, December 19-Tuesday, December 22
Time: See website for hours
Location: 3390 Glenora Road, Duncan
Contact: John & Katy at: 250-597-3438


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 Dayne at 250-748-8506 or dayne@cowichangreencommunity.org


Volunteer Opportunities

Garden Pantry Store

If you enjoy working with the public in a retail setting and would like to  support the goals and programs of the Cowichan Green Community, you might be interested in volunteering for the Garden Pantry Store. We have several date and time openings available and will do everything possible to accommodate your preferences. We have a great volunteer team, many who have volunteered with us for years...we'd love to have you join us!
 
If you think you would be interested, or would like more information, please email leslie@cowichangreencommunity.org or complete our online volunteer application form.

Meals on the Ground - Boxing Day Dinner

Meals on the Ground is looking for a few volunteers to assist their team to prep food, set-up the dining hall, and to serve their Boxing Day Dinner at the Duncan United Church. Shifts include:
  • Food Preparations, 10am-12pm
  • Set-up, 3:30pm-4pm
  • Serving, 4pm-onwards.
Interested volunteers are asked to contact Anne Balding at a.balding@hotmail.com or 250-710-0351.
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 November:
  • Jacquie and Gaylene for your amazing contributions to the Garden Pantry Store.
  • Hilary Stead for volunteering her time with the Cow-op!
  • VIU WEST students for helping us get into the holiday spirit.
  • Jesse Frank, who recently stepped down from his position as a Ceres Lead Gardener. Jesse's positive attitude, passion for compost, and admiration for cookies will be missed at our office. We wish him success in all his future endeavours.
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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
Email: info@cowichangreencommunity.org
Website: www.cowichangreencommunity.org


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