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Celebrate Seeds!

Dear Readers,

February brought spring to us a month sooner than expected, and Cowichan Green Community (CGC) warmly embraced the lengthening days.  Excited to see the blooming of snow drops and crocuses, we took advantage of these early signs of spring and began to seed the ground and greenhouse at our urban farm in Duncan. These early, joyous signs of spring were also found along the pathways of our urban food forest.  At our last work party Wednesday, volunteers spotted new rhubarb stocks, as well as some calendual that had self seeded. 

Moving in from the field, our office was not unaffected by the promise of spring. Seeding new programs and friendships, this past month set the stage for a productive few months ahead. From our successful Donor Breakfast, which raised funds for our core programs such as FruitSave and the KinPark Community Gardens, the development of grant ideas and opportunities with new partners, to preparing menus and meals at our KinFarm Family Drop-In's Cooking Class, the sunnier skies have set our sights on some big goals!


In theme with conversations of spring, March also means the arrival of the 7th Annual Duncan Seedy Sunday.  Our staff's favourite event of the year - we wait in anticipation each winter for this event - and we are so excited to again host this event at the Cowichan Tribes Gymnasium Si'em Lelum (5574 River Road, Duncan) from 10am-2pm on Sunday, March 8th. The day will be filled with seed and gardening workshops for adults and kids, a book signing by Carolyn Herriot (1pm-2pm), Farm's Gate Food & Catering will be on site serving up their delicious fair, and much much more.  Just remember, that on March 8th (at 2am) Daylight Savings Time begins. So before you go to bed on the 7th of March, "spring" your clocks ahead by an hour.

Wishing you a fantastic March and a joyous start to the growing season.

With thanks,
The CGC Team

 
Donor Breakfast: Thank You Donors!


Each year, the staff and board of the Cowichan Green Community (CGC) host a breakfast for current and prospective donors. Serving a locally inspired breakfast, this event is CGC's opportunity to say Thank You to those who support the work that we are so happy to do and to inform our supporters how their contributions directly impact the community.

This year's Donor Breakfast, which was hosted on Tuesday, February 17th at the Duncan Christian Reformed Church, raised $27,000.00 in pledges and donations. Our most successful event so far, funds raised will go towards supporting CGC's ongoing programs in 2015 including FruitSave and the KinPark Community Gardens, our annual events such as the Duncan Seedy Sunday and the Edible Farm and Garden Tour. Read more...

Cowichan Valley Co-Operative Marketplace: Seeking members & Market Manager

With it’s newly elected board of farmers, the Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace, is now working hard to recruit new members to the co-operative, in particular, farmers or local food processors with a desire to sell their fresh produce, meats, cheeses and more online, through the co-operative’s new online marketplace: Cow-Op.ca. Read more...

Ceres Edible Landscaping: Starting Seeds for your Garden

Early spring is a wonderful time to get out and start peering deeply into your gardens; the longer you look the more you will find.  Some of your plants have re-seeded themselves, like in our food forest gardens at CGC which has tiny purple orach seedlings sprouting.

You will also discover plants that have over wintered that are now re-growing again from their underground hiding places. 
Read more...
KinPark Youth Urban Farm & Family Drop In: Seeding Community

Spring has sprung and it's been a beautiful month to be outside with the birds singing and the sun shining at KinPark. Nearly a month earlier than usual, the first precious shoots are bursting forth with new life. Things are really ramping up at the farm and there is so much to do preparing the beds for this year’s plants.

We have been working hard to turn under the rye cover crops, pruning, mulching, installing raspberry trellis, and loading beautiful fluffy soil from Hillside Stone and Garden, onto our new and existing garden beds.
Read more...
Garden Pantry Thrift Store: Tools & Garden Equipment Needed

It’s that time of year when our Garden Pantry Thrift Store is looking a bit bare.
As gardeners and farmers get prepared for this spring growing season, many have been coming in looking for han
d tools, rakes, hoes, shovels, hoses, etc. etc. to get their beds ready for planting. If you have any extras you’re no longer using but are still in good shape, please consider finding them a new home by donating them to the store. Read more...

 

Cowichan Lake Community Garden: Team Bonding


Our volunteers have now mastered the fine art of ‘lasagna mulching’.  When we arrive at the garden scene for the Saturday work-parties, our regular volunteers seem to start moving leaves, manure and cardboard like a well practiced dance team!  It's really amazing to see how well we have all gotten to know each other, and how well  we work together. Read more...
 
Producer Profile:
Cherry Point Estate Wines

 
As you meander along Cherry Point Road, you’ll come across the beautiful rolling landscape that comprises Cherry Point Vineyard. It’s a beautiful location where you’ll find exceptional wines produced by the warm and engaging Xavier and Maria Bonilla, owners of Cherry Point Estate Wines. Read more...
Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops
 
Duncan's 7th annual Seedy Sunday!

A time for our community to kick-off the gardening season, this event features local seed vendors, live plant and garden vendors, a seed exchange, kids’ activities, and community booths.

In addition, this event will feature a series of seed saving and gardening workshops that are hosted by local seed and garden experts, including Carolyn Herriot, Jason Greenwood, & Joy Story. Admission is by donation (suggested minimum of $2.00). Children 13 years and under enter for free.

Date: Sunday, March 8
Time: 10:00am-2:00pm
Location: Cowichan Tribes Gymnasium Si'em Lelum, 5574 River Road, Duncan
Contact: Vanessa Goodall at vanessa@cowichangreencommunity.org or 250-748-8506

Sharing our Seed Stories Video Premiere

A series of 10 digital stories that document the history and knowledge of seed saving in the Cowichan Region, the premier screening of Seed Stories will be hosted at the 7th annual Duncan Seedy Sunday. Funded by the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), this community based project engages seniors, community members, and youth interested in saving seed. Join us and learn how community members are learning to save seeds and the important knowledge to maintain them.

Date: Sunday, March 8
Time: 10:15am-11:00am (screening); 11am-2pm (reception)
Location: Cowichan Tribes Gymnasium Si'em Lelum, 5574 River Road, Duncan
Contact: Vanessa Goodall at vanessa@cowichangreencommunity.org or 250-748-8506
 
Growing Edible Native Plants - Free Workshop

We will introduce plants that can be propagated from the wild. Learn how to take cuttings from native plants and grow them up in pots for your garden. 

This workshop is part of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden project. 


Date: Saturday, March 21
Time: 10:00am-11:00am 
Location: Cowichan Lake Recreation Arena, Curling Lounge Room, 311 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan
Cost: Free
Contact: For more info contact Erin Ward at 250-748-8506 or erin@cowichangreencommunity.org
Community Announcements

Events

Burn It Smart: CVRD's Free Wood Heat Workshop
Date: Thursday, March 5
Time: 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location: Island Savings Centre, Mesachie Room, 2687 James Street, Duncan
More information: es@cvrd.bc.ca or 250-746-253 (Toll Free: 1-800-665-3955)

Threats to Health Care, It's Your Business - Town Hall Meeting
Date: Wednesday, March 11
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: Duncan United Church Hall, 246 Ingram Street, Duncan
Cost: Free but donation will be gratefully accepted.
Contact: Council of Canadians, Cowichan Valley Chapter - Donna Cameron at 250-748-2444

Land Linking Workshop & Farmer Social - Comox Valley
Date: Saturday, March 14
Time: 1:00pm-6:00pm (Workshop); 6:00pm-9:30pm (Social & Potluck)
Location: Merville Community Hall, 1245 Fenwick Rd, Merville 
Contact: Moss Dance, westcoast@youngagrarians.org 

Vancouver Island Spring Farmer Mixer - Comox Valley
Date: Sunday, March 15
Time: 9:00am-5:00pm
Location: Merville Community Hall, 1245 Fenwick Rd, Merville 
Contact: Moss Dance, westcoast@youngagrarians.org


Beer & Burger Fundraiser for Cowichan Nature Estuary Centre
Date: Sunday, March 15
Time: 5pm-8pm
Location: Cowichan Bay Pub, 1695 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay
Tickets: $25.00 each. Purchase tickets at Volume One Bookstore, Cowichan Land Trust, or the Nature Centre.

Citta Slow Cowichan Bay AGM
Date: Monday, March 16
Time: 7pm
Location: Cowichan Bay Village at the  Maritime Centre, 1761 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay

The Future of Energy - Film Night
Date: Thursday, March 19
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: Island Savings Centre, 2687 James Street, Duncan
Admission: Free


Introduction to Compassionate Communication (NVC): Inner Freedom Part 2
Date: March 27, 28, & 29
Time: 9:00am-3:00pm
Location: Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Road, Duncan
Cost: $400.00 (or $750 when you register for Part 1 & Part 2)
Register: mitch.miyagawa@gmail.com or 250-538-7696

Scrap Metal Drive in honour of Cowichan Land Trust’s 20th Anniversary
Date: Saturday, March 28
Time: 10am-2pm
Location: Drop Metal Off at VIU's Cowichan Campus Parking Lot
Contact: 250-746-0227 or email info@cowichanlandrust.ca


Basket Weaving Workshop with Maria Curtis
Date: Sunday, March 29
Time: 9:30am-4:30pm
Location: Cowichan Green Community's Board Room, 360 Duncan Street, Duncan,
Cost: $75 with all materials supplied
Register: Pre-registration required. Contact Maria at 250-748-7468 or mariacurtis@shaw.ca

Farm Opportunity

ATTENTION FARMERS & AG PRODUCERS - Phillips Brewing is seeking local Vancouver Island farmers and ag producers to work with them on the production of good quality malting barley for their new malt plant located at the brewery in Victoria. If cereals work in our crop rotation, and you have an interest in the local food economy, Phillips Brewing would like to talk to you. Please contact: Blair S. R. Louden of Ceres Ag Management Corp., at: blair@ceresag.ca or by phone at: 778.440.3826.

For Rent

2 Bedroom Suite -  Beautiful, spacious 2 bedroom suite for rent April 1. Quiet 1/2 acre property, trails, walk to river, near Hub.  Organic gardens outside. Suite for 2 individuals @450/month plus utilities, or small family or couple @900/month plus utilities. No smart meter. Contact Dorothea or Irvin @ 250-748-7124.

Shared House on Farm - Housemates wanted for farmhouse on 6 acres in Cobble Hill for April 1st. Looking for eco-minded people to share 5 bedroom house with late-twenties couple. We are asking $800 for basement suite with workshop and wood stove. Shared kitchen, laundry, and garage. Lots of outdoor space for organic gardening. We have 4 chickens and a pug. Children and well behaved pets welcome. For more info contact Elizabeth and Josh at proudfoot86@gmail.com  or 778-356-0749

Farm Suite for Rent - We offer a small one bedroom suite in the lower part of our split-level home, with a kitchenette, private bathroom with shower, living room and access to laundry. Separate entrance. Included in rent: 1000 s.q ft. garden space, 200 sq. ft. of greenhouse space. Fenced pasture could support a horse. Chicken coop. Wifi, heat, electricity, water, included. Rent is $850 per month or $600 per month if you are willing to do 5 hours per week of farm chores (per person, maximum 2 people). Available April 1st. Looking for quiet, private person or couple, non-smoking, preferable with some farming or gardening experience. Cedar/Yellow Point area.  Please reply with details about yourself to mdrysdale67@gmail.com


Job Posting
 
The Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace is on the hunt for a qualified market coordinator to oversee their soon-to-launch online local food marketplace. This is an excellent opportunity for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who believes in local food sustainability and accessibility. Click here to read more about the Cow-Op and to view the job posting.

http://cowichangreencommunity.org/cow-op-march-2015/
 
Survey for Farmers

If you are currently farming, want to be a farmer, or have recently exited farming, please take a few minutes to complete this survey to support the next generation of farmers in Canada. 

The National New Farmer Coalition and the University of Manitoba have put together a survey to assess the needs of new farmers in Canada where it concerns policy and educational opportunities. The results from this survey will be used to develop a National New Farmer Policy Platform that they aim to share with all levels of government. It will also document the sources of new farmer learning and make suggestions on how to improve this training in Canada. In order to give weight to our recommendations, they need as many farmer voices as possible. Click here to access or share the survey.

Volunteer Opportunities

Cowichan Land Trust - Spring Opportunities
  • March 6th to 13th, 3 or 4 days during this time period we will be completing field work in the Yellow Point area. This work is part of a larger ecosystem mapping project.  Must be comfortable working outside in all weather conditions.March,
  • Scrap Metal Drive for Cowichan Land Trust’s 20th Birthday. Volunteer needed to help organize this event on March 28th, 10am to 2pm, also volunteers with trucks needed to help pick up metal on the day of the event.
  • March through June, School Program Leaders, Volunteers needed to lead school programs at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. Training provided.To find out more or to sign up for volunteer opportunities please call 250-746-0227 or email info@cowichanlandtrust.ca
Work Party Wednesdays @ the Urban Food Forest

CGC is looking for volunteers to join us for Work Party Wednesdays 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 Wednesday
Location: Urban Food Forest behind CGC's office @ 360 Duncan Street, Duncan
Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm
Contact: Erin Ward at erin@cowichangreencommunity.org or 250-748-8506

Cowichan Lake Community Garden Work Parties



Help build the new Cowichan Lake Community Garden. Volunteers can anticipate helping to create vegetable beds, and plant fruit trees and herbs. No experience necessary. Refreshments provided.



Date: Every Saturday until March 31, 2015
Time: 12:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Cowichan Lake Community Gardens, 311 South Shore Road (behind the ball diamond), Lake Cowichan
Contact: Erin Ward at erin@cowichangreencommunity.org 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 February:
  • Our donors, both ongoing and new, for supporting our work and our community.
  • Janet Martinez of Excellent Frameworks for donating a beautiful wall hanging for the events’ door prize.
  • The Cowichan Valley Heritage Quilters Guild for donating a lovely quilt for the events’ door prize.
  • Cowichan Bay Seafood for the amazingly generous donation of smoked salmon.
  • Hope Farm, Island Shire Farm, Notta Farm, and Spring Hill Farm for the donation of eggs.
  • Sweet Maggie’s Farm & Mobetta Herbs for the donation of squash, onions, and garlic.
  • Tree Island Yogurt for the donation of yogurt.
  • Thrifty Foods for donating a $50.00 smile card.
  • TeaFarm for the donation of tea.
  • Wilberry Orchard for donating hazelnuts.
  • We’d like to thank the guest presenters, Graham Cannon, Max Carter, and Christine Pollard who wowed the crowd with their humour and supportive words.
  • A debt of gratitude goes out to our table captains who championed this event: Penny Lehan, Paul Slade, Kelly Slade, David Slade, Alison Garnett, Jesse Whittington, Laura Finch, Kent Goodwin, and Bob Isbister
  • Cowichan Secondary Leadership class for helping to organize Pink Shirt Day.
  • Qualicum Beach Seedy Saturday event coordinators for donating their surplus seeds to the Duncan Seedy Sunday seed exchange. 
  • Apex Soil and Landscape Supplies for donating bark mulch for Lake Cowichan Community Garden.
  • Lakeside Dig 'N Haul for picking up another load of manure for Lake Cowichan Community Garden
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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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