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       April 2015 Newsletter:

Hatching New Projects!

Dear Readers,

Fun Food Fact: Did you know that each day of the year is associated with a food holiday, or day of observance?  For example, within North America, January 20th is a day devoted to cheese lovers, the potato is celebrated on March 8th, and the mighty egg is honoured on June 3rd.  Now, not all of these food days give recognition to healthy or local foods.  Junk Food Day, which is celebrated on July 21st, is a key example!  However, unhealthy foods aside, we think that these food observance days are a great way to not only celebrate the foods we eat, but to recognize the food traditions that surround them and the work that goes into bringing those foods to our table. 

In exploring the different food holidays, our staff recently surveyed which food holidays our birthdays fell upon.  Overall we ended up with an eclectic mix of ingredients and dishes.  From kale day, hot and spicy food day, pigs-in-a blanket day, to macaroon day, we have the makings one excellent party menu! 

Now that we have your attention, CGC does have a  few announcements to make. In March, CGC had to say goodbye to a few staff members.  Rachael Sinclair, Kin Park Youth Urban Farm & Youth Outreach Intern, and Annamarie Couch, our Assistant Property Manager, moved onto other opportunities.  We thank them for being a part of our team and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.  

We would like to introduce two new staff members.  First our new Assistant Property and Store Manager, Ramona Challenger. She will take the lead in managing the daily ins and outs of running The Station, including taking the board room and kitchen bookings, and the Garden Pantry Thrift Store.  Second, we'd like to introduce Stephanie Cottell, who will manage the Cowichan Agriculture Training Project that's set to begin on April 20th, 2015.  We are so excited to work with Stephanie and to see how she unrolls this amazing project.  
Lastly, CGC's staff and board would like to congratulate our Executive Director, Judy Stafford, for winning the Duncan Business Improvement Area Society's "Spirit of Excellence" award. This award recognizes Judy's commitment to the DBIA and her support for the downtown business community. Go Judy go!

(Judy holding her award with the DBIA's Lisa Hykaway & Mark Paetz)

Wishing you a happy peanut butter and jelly day!

The CGC Team
Thank you Rachael Sinclair: A Shining Star 

One of our most treasured interns, Rachael Sinclair, wound up her internship with us at the end of March.  

We first met Rachael through the VIU Employability Skills program back in the winter of 2012-2013. Rachael and nine other 1st and 2nd year students came to KinPark each week on Thursdays, rain or shine, to shovel manure, pull weeds, shape beds and sow seeds. We were immediately drawn to Rachael’s quirky sense of humour, her generous smile, and her endless enthusiasm. Read more...
Sharing Our Seed Stories: Digital Stories are now Online!


After an exciting year of outreach, public engagement, and interviews, the Cowichan Green Community’s (CGC) Sharing Our Seed Stories project is calling it a wrap!

Funded by Service Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), this project sought to chronicle the historical and contemporary seed saving practices of the Cowichan Region. Engaging seniors and elders, who have specific knowledge of saving local and heritage seeds, with local youth interested in learning to save seed, the project produced a series of five digital stories that captures their stories about saving seed. Read more & check out the videos online...

KinPark Youth Urban Farm & Family Drop In: Hatching Fun at the Urban Farm
The KinFarm Family Drop-In Centre is jumping into spring with new and exciting upcoming workshops and events for all to enjoy. March was filled with fun and learning as we offered multiple workshops, such as starting seeds, jewellery making, and teaching crochet basics led by youth from our Youth Outreach team. Read more...
Garden Pantry Thrift Store: Tools & Garden Equipment Needed

Spring is an exciting time for any gardener and farmer and it’s always fun to check out what will spring up in the Garden Pantry Thrift Store. We have lots of different seeds to try as part of our seed exchange as well as a wide variety from Salt Spring Seeds at $3.50 a package. For every seed purchase we’re also giving a free seed bomb while supplies last! Read more...
Cow-Op: Calling all Cowichan Farmers

The Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace is steadily moving ahead on it’s goal of opening the virtual doors to the new online marketplace,, for Cowichan consumers this June 1st.

By mid-April, we intend to have our new Market Manager hired to take us to the next level. We will be continuing to recruit new producers, training ourselves on the website and inviting consumers to enjoy increased access to the Valley’s freshest and best foods.  Read more...

Cowichan Lake Community Garden: Project Near Completion

The Cowichan Lake Community Garden project has come so far in the past six months and is almost ready for the grand opening later in April. What was once a mound of soil on the edge of a parking lot, is now a flourishing community garden where sweat and love have been shared in building this new community gathering space.  Read more...
Producer Profile: Providence Farm

Providence Farm is one of the true gems of the Cowichan Valley. Having celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2014, they’re a historical one as well.

The farm started with the Sisters of St. Ann who agreed to use the farm for additional programming with Mental Health BC to create job opportunities through horticultural therapy. That grew into many different facets including small engine mechanics, wood work, art, textiles and kitchen programming, just to name a few. Read more...

Save the Date

Cowichan Green Community Events & Workshops

Earth Day 2015 - Duncan
The Cowichan Green Community (CGC) is excited to partner with the City of Duncan, the Municipality of North Cowichan, and One Cowichan to co-host Duncan's 2015 Earth Day Celebration.  

The day will be filled with free, family-friendly games and hands-on activities that are focused on the creation of a more sustainable Cowichan. From a recycling quiz with the CVRD's Zero Waste Team, gardening activities with CGC's Family Drop-In Team, a sewing class with Transition Cowichan, to live music, this should be a fun filled event for all.

Date: Saturday, April 25th, 2015
Time: 10am-2pm
Location: The Green Door (126 Ingram Street, Duncan)
Contact: or 250-748-8506
Community Announcements


Management of Invasive Species and Restoring Stream Sides
When: Thursday, April 2
Time: 7pm
Location: Chemainus Secondary School, 9947 Daniel St, Chemainus
Contact: Transition Cowichan (Chemainus group):

Want to Grow Bigger Better Vegetables? Workshop with Joy Story
When: Thursday, April 2
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: The Hub, Cowichan Station, 2375 Koksilah Road, Duncan

Just Eat It Film Night
When: Thursday, April 9
Time: 7pm
Location: Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram Street, Duncan
Admission: By donation or free
More information: Online

Stinging Nettle Weekend Event
When: April 11-12
Time: All day
Location: 3390 Glenora Road, Duncan
Tickets: $50 adult/$20 children. Reservations recommended.
More information: 250-597-3438 or

Edible Wild Plants Workshop @ Wildwood Forest
Date: Sunday, April 12
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: TBA
More info: Online

Fed Up - Documentary Screening
Date: Monday, April 20
Time: 6pm-8pm
Location: Cowichan Library Branch, 2687 James Street, Duncan
More info: 250-746-7661

Providence Farm Plant Sale
When: Saturday, April 25
Time: 9am-2pm
What: Farm-grown and community donated plants as well as garden related products and farm garage sale. Refreshments available.
Where: 1843 Tzouhalem Rd, Duncan
Job Postings
Farm Apprentices - Cowichan Green Community is looking for 10 interns to participate in a one year project that will encompass both in-class training and hands-on farm training. We are currently taking applications from people who are under 30 years of age, either on Employment Insurance and/or have been on Employment Insurance within the last 3 years (or 5 if it was a maternity leave), and unemployed or working less than 20 hours per week. If you know anyone who meets this eligibility and/or is interested in more information, please contact Judy Stafford at or 250-748-8506

Staff for local Bokashi Co. - Do you want to be a part of the “Bokashi Movement”?  Help us help others take control of their compost! Email us your resume with a cover letter expanding on these points.
  1. Are you passionate about the environment, gardening, composting.
  2. Do you have willingness to learn about our products in depth - it will require attending the local workshops, weekend markets, garden shows etc.  - Remuneration paid to the right person on an agreed upon commission percentage of total sales basis. 
  3. You are personable, having direct sales experience would be an asset, an organic gardening/farming background would also be a plus.
  4. A reliable vehicle is a must. If you are that someone that is willing to make the effort and long-term commitment in order to manage markets/events/workshops next season, this is the position for you!
The right person may also qualify for another division of our Eco-friendly Moss Removal business; this person would be adaptable to heights and work independently. More details upon interview.
Email in confidentiality to


Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer FruitSave Co-Coordinator

Our experienced and amazing FruitSave Coordinator is looking for a partner to share the workload of running the FruitSave program this year.  Do you want to help feed our community?  Are you good on the phone, email, and coordinating people?  We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Rosalie at for more information.

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-4:30pm
Contact: Erin Ward 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 March:
  • Our Duncan Seedy Sunday volunteers Ashleigh, Sandy, Adam, Barb, Barbara H., Susan, Shaiyana, Fiona, Susan, Janet, Jo, Shirley, and Kendra. This superstar team of volunteers helped to make this event a total joy to host. From organizing the parking lot to running the seed exchange, your time and enthusiasm for local seeds is heartwarming. Thank you! 
  • Heide and Michael Hermary for the donation of raspberry canes and plants.
  • To all the volunteers at the Cowichan Lake Community Garden project for their tremendous support of the Cowichan Lake Community Garden. In particular we'd like to thank Tagz Fencing, Sawmill Sales Direct, Cowichan Lake Timber, Buckerfields, Apex Soil and Landscaping, Cedar Grove Roofing, Notta Farm, Valleyview Farm, and Dinters.
  • To those who participated in the Sharing Our Seed Stories project.  CGC would like to thank the storytellers and community organizations who helped to bring this project to life.  In particular, we would like to thank Shirley Bellows, Craig Evans, Roger Foucher, Emy Peter, Della Rice, Sierra Robinson, Ron Wall, and Keith Wyndlow, whose stories are shared in the digital stories.  Additionally, we would like to thank Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) WEST program, the Cowichan Food Security Coalition, and the Central Island Seed Savers Network for their participation and support throughout the project. Lastly, we would like to thank Brittany Lowe and Jacqueline Mays, VIU Interns, for their support in reaching out to Cowichan Valley seed savers.
  • The Cowichan Land Trust for tools donated from their scrap metal drive.
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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