Transition Sooke August - September 2013 Newsletter
Newsletter July 2013
Awareness Film Night: The Sacred Science
The 19th season of Awareness Film Night starts with the screening of "The Sacred Science". This movie follows eight brave souls as they leave the developed world behind in search of deeper answers to their "incurable" chronic illnesses such as Parkinson's,  cancer, diabetes, alcoholism and depression.  Living in seclusion for one month in the heart of the Amazon jungle, these men and women take part in the powerful healing practices of Peru's indigenous medicine men and women, working with centuries-old plant remedies and spiritual disciplines.  In their most desperate hour, these patients are forced to confront not only their physical ailments, but their own spiritual and psychological barriers in the process.
Five will return with real results, two will return disappointed and one won't come back at all.

Come on out for an evening of wonderful amazement:
October 9th, 2013
7 p.m.
Edward Milne Community School
By donation.
Sooke Fall Fair
Essential Oils 101
Introductory Class

This class will introduce you to Essential Oils — tools that empower advanced self-care for you and your family. Most people want to be well and have choices over their wellness. But navigating the world of complementary and alternative medicine can be confusing. In this short class Lee Hindrichs and Lynn Birch will demystify what aromatherapy is…and what it isn't. You will look into the working of essential oils, methods of delivery and which basic oils should be part of every household.

October 5th, 2013
11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Ahimsa Yoga, Sooke

Register at 
Come on out for the first of the new season's Transition Cafes
This coming Sunday, Oct. 6 
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  
at the Reading Room Cafe
with hosts Yvonne and Dave Court.
Need some more convincing that a face-to-face conversation is invaluable in this electronically mediated era? Check out this video about the Innovation of Loneliness!

Seed Saving

It's that time of the year again.... While we harvest the last summer vegetables and prepare the garden beds for winter, we should also be thinking about next years saving some seeds! This is easier than you might think and gives a wonderful sense of the magic of nature when you can complete the cycle next spring.
This video gives a good intro to the world of seed saving and on this website you can find some more in depth info per plant species. 
Ready for some more gardening: the possibility to grow and harvest fresh produce during winter is definitely one of the benefits of living in Sooke. This monthly planner gives you an idea of what you still can sow this year. 
On a pleasant Sunday in early August, 2 car loads of Sooke Transition Town members took the ferry to Saltspring Island at the invitation of Transition Saltspring Island. Starting with coffee in Ganges, we ranged widely around the island looking at various building projects – some completed and others underway. 
We saw many different kinds of green and sustainable building features including insulated rammed earth, recycled wood, hempcrete, insulated concrete, and clay/straw construction. Energy systems used included passive solar, solar hot water, geothermal, sun pump, wood-fired supported by all kinds of sophisticated insulation applications – even sheep’s wool insulation! A veritable feast of innovation! Our hosts were very welcoming and allowed us to roam around their homes and land freely. 
One of the highlights of the day was the formal start-up of the Level 2 Charging Station in Ganges with who else but local Green MP Elizabeth May and MLA Gary Holman in attendance to do the first official “plug-in”. There was quite a crowd to cheer them on with speeches by them and representatives of Transition Saltspring and the Earth Festival Society. There were various electric cars on display and even a cake to celebrate this special occasion.
It was clear to me both at this public event and on their website that Transition Saltspring is very much a going concern with a critical mass of conscious and committed people who are really having a positive impact on island life. If you check out their website, you will see they have done a highly professional job of preparing a Climate Action Plan which is very well researched and impressive. The Earth Festival Society has prepared  a Community Energy Strategy that is equally well done. Perhaps we need to partner with Royal Roads to create a student opportunity to put something like this together for us!
I feel both humbled and inspired by how far ahead the Saltspring community has progressed in the quest for local resilience and sustainability. Here in Sooke, we obviously have a long way to go. Yet, we have made a good start and we must continue to be persistent and patient. Unfortunately, the future is not so friendly and the necessity for the kind of shifts the Transition movement is proposing will become more and more obvious and compelling. Our job is to keep at it and be ready to serve the greater good when the time comes. 
Michael Tacon  September, 2013

CRD Regional Trails

Latest News from Harbourside Cohousing

Harbourside Cohousing's rezoning application achieved third reading at the DOS Council meeting on Sept 9th. The participatory design phase of the cohousing now intensifies as members work with their architect and project manager to design the site and the units. The goal? To begin construction in summer 2014 and move in July 2015. With 19 members now on board, Harbourside is seeking 11 more households to join in designing a community for adventuresome aging on the waterfront in downtown Sooke.

Don't miss our Open House, Sunday, October 20 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. A presentation at 2:30 will give an update on Harbourside's progress.  Imagine designing your own home for aging well in Harbourside's community. Our design process intensifies Oct 26 with a workshop with architect Peter Treuheit. The workshop is free to members.  Get to know Harbourside for 3 months as an Associate Member household ($125) and participate in the Design Workshop. For more information please visit or email
Margaret Critchlow and Andrew Moore from Canadian Senior Cohousing Society are putting on a second course on "Aging Well in Community". This two-day course will be held at 
Royal Roads University
Nov 2nd and 3rd, 2013
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Participants had a great time during the previous course with redesigning the gloomy MacLeans magazine cover about Boomers. The future looks bright for Cohousing boomers! 
Please take a few minutes and fill out Sooke Food CHI's Grow Local Consumer Awareness Survey.
At the end you can enter a draw to win a local food basket!

Book of the Month

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
by Barry Estabrook 

Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry: hundreds of herbicides and pesticides, artificial gassing, dramatically reduced nutritional value, a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?
Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Florida, a.k.a. the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of "seedsmen", then moves on to commercial growers and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants. He also describes the poor circumstances the labourers have to work and live in.
Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry. The book reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an expose of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.


“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein
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