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Buying Canadian: Canadian Countermeasures to US Tariffs

I love Marion Nestle’s “Food Politics” Blog.  She is a Paulette Goddard Professor, of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003 and from which she officially retired in September 2017.

It is well worth it to listen to and read her thought-provoking interviews about the politics involved in food. I am often left very enlightened and dumbfounded by the intricacies and back-stage antics involved in conventional agriculture and how food actually gets from farm to table.

The one thing I learned from Marion over the years is that we, as consumers, have a lot of potential power – potential – because we may not always be conscious of it or using it in a directed and empowered way.

Marion’s July 11, 2018 blog post about the US tariff induced retaliation – particularly the list of Canadian Countermeasures taken – is impressive.

Growing your own and supporting local farmers/producers has never been more timely and pressing. Consciously choosing to purchase local and fresh foods is the key to creating a sustainable food system.  Choose to be a part of the local food movement.

Grow~Share~Thrive

 

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Creating A LOCAL FOOD Movement

Our mission is to feed our neighbours – creating more sustainable food security – as well as decreasing food waste and carbon emissions.
 
We do this by taking extra garden-grown food off of local gardeners’ hands and brining it to the community at reasonable prices.
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Introducing Our ‘Garden Surplus to Table’ Program

Connecting Local Gardeners & Small-Scale Growers with their Community ~ Fostering Food Security & Access to Fresh Foods ~ Reducing Food Waste ~ Reducing Emissions

Creating a Local Food Movement

The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small-scale, in our own gardens. If only 10 percent of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” 

~Bill Mollison, Founder of Permaculture

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Keeping It Local and Affordable

Calling All Backyard Gardeners in Crofton…Did you grow more than you can use? We will be happy to take it off your hands…

 

We are launching our Summer Season Garden Surplus to Table Program where we connect backyard gardeners and small-scale growers with their local community.

The idea of a ‘garden surplus to table’ program came from various conversations with backyard and community gardeners as well as neighbours and local organizations over the last year.We are lucky to live in an area with a high percentage of Green Thumbs who produce so much food that they often have a surplus. The gardeners want to see their surplus go to good use.

We believe that such a program will connect this local food abundance with those in our community who need it and/or want it. It will also give something back to the gardeners as a way to encourage more local food production.

 

Our mission is to help stimulate and support the local food movement by supporting local growers AND providing easy access to fresh, local food in the community.

Creating access to fresh, local produce improves local food security. A ‘garden surplus to table’ program provides local, fresh foods directly to the local community at affordable prices, reduces food waste and carbon emissions.

This program also supports local backyard gardeners and small-scale growers by turning their surplus produce into profit.

 

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How It Works

  1. Contact us & Let us know you are interested in participating in the Garden Surplus to Table program in Crofton/Duncan/North Cowichan, BC area.
  2. We pick up your surplus (garden produce you do not want or need)
  3. We sell your extra food directly to the local community at low-cost
  4. Participating Gardeners and Growers receive 50 percent of proceeds from the sale of their surplus (maybe to buy more seeds and grow-a-row for the community)

 

Possible Food Resources Right in Your Backyard

  • Fruit trees, shrubs (even those deemed ornamental but with edible fruit)
  • Your Garden – do you grow tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, radishes, kale, greens, strawberries, currants, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, fennel, onions, garlic, etc?
  • Culinary herbs such as mint, oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, parsley, chives, etc.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I sign up?

Please sign up by contacting us. and letting us know you are interested in participating. We will contact you within 24 hours to determine what produce you may have available.  You must sign up in order to participate in the program. Don’t worry, it won’t take long to sign up. We may ask to meet you in your garden and chat briefly about what you grow and when it may be available to pick up.

 

2. Do you accept fallen or bruised fruit/vegetables?

Yes. Mildly bruised fruit such as apples or cherries make for great pies. Your waste could be someone’s treasure. In general, fruit and vegetables should be in good condition: ripe, not moldy, rotten, decomposing or filled with worms.

 

3. Is there a minimum amount of food?

No. There is no minimum. If you have one or two extra cucumbers to sell, you can drop them off at our Farm Stand location on Chilco Road. If you have lots of surplus from your garden, we will be happy to pick it up on a Friday or Saturday in order to get it ready for sale on Sunday.

 

4. Do you take food that has been grown with synthetic fertilizers (e.g., MiracleGrow®)?

Yes, we do. However, we encourage all participating growers to use organic growing practices – ideally no off-farm inputs. Great fruit and vegetables begin with great soil. Compost is an excellent way to improve your soil conditions. Companion planting – growing herbs such as Chamomile, Thyme, Lemon Balm and Chives alongside your vegetables –  helps to support a healthy soil microbiome and deter pests. Using Comfrey Leaves and/or Stinging Nettle Leaves to make your own simple compost tea/natural fertilizer is also well worth the effort to protect soil and grow nutrient-dense food.

An excellent book on how to create optimal, healthy soil and one that I highly recommend is Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web. This book is available at the Cowichan Library in Duncan. We always hear about healthy intestinal flora (microbes) and how important it is to our overall health. It is the same thing with soil. Healthy microbes equal healthy soil.

This book is a beautifully written (not boring) primer on Soil Microbiology and sheds light on how we are inextricably linked to the health of this fragile ecosystem we take for granted.

Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition

5. What do you NOT accept?

We do not accept any foods grown near driveways, roadsides or where herbicides or pesticides may have been applied.

We also do not accept foods grown near any area that has been sprayed with ‘demossing’ agents or ‘RoundUp®’ type agents.

We strongly encourage participating growers to use environmentally sound means of eradicating ‘weeds’. The following natural formula is an excellent herbicide for your garden, driveway, or curbside:

1 gallon of white vinegar

2 cups Epsom salts

¼ cup dish soap

Credit to Jess Yund for this formula.

 

6. Does Seedling in the Wind harvest the fruit/vegetables from my garden?

No. We currently do not glean or harvest from gardens.

 

7. Where do you sell the food?

Your surplus garden produce will be sold on Sundays during the growing season at the Queen Street Play & Water Park in Crofton, BC.

Queen Street Pop Up Farm Stand Sales every Sunday, 10 am to 1 pm, during the Summer/Early Fall

 

8. How long is the program?

This is our first season and we will run this program from July 1 to September 16.

 

9. What do you do with the profit from sales?

Although we try to keep our operating costs to a minimum, we do need to cover the cost of gasoline. We may hire local students to help with preparation for market or to assist with the market.

 

10. Can my business buy the surplus food?

The redistribution of surplus food is intended to improve food security and access to fresh, local foods in the local community.

 

11. What happens to the food that is not sold?

Our aim is to sell all the food. However, should there be food left over, the grower has a choice: 1) food is returned to the grower OR 2) the grower allows us to donate food to local families or the food bank.

 

12. Do you accepts surplus food from backyard and small-scale growers only?

We take surplus food from local backyard gardeners and small-scale growers (orchards, small-scale farms) as a way to support and promote local growers. We continually work on expanding relationships with local growers and welcome those who wish to support the local food movement.

 

13. Who sets the Price at the Pop Up Market?

We set the price. Our goal is to strike a balance between keeping prices reasonable and accessible and making sure our contributors are fairly compensated.

 

~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

Home ~ Contact Us~Next Pop Up

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Our First Farm Season

It has been a long while since my last blog. We moved to our new property in August 2017 and have been busy unpacking, landscaping, planting herbs and berry bushes, building garden beds as well as expanding the gardens.

Our farm stand is now open on the weekends where we sell seasonal produce including culinary and medicinal herbs, edible flowers, . As of June 1, 2018, phase one of landscaping/planting is done. I have two more phases in mind…

We are so excited about the beautiful weather on Vancouver Island that is making the plants grow and thrive. Pollinators are out making swift work of the polyculture we deliberately established. Our organic compost is coming along wonderfully with the help of comfrey and stinging nettle which are high in nitrogen. It will be ready for use in the fall to support the underground ecosystem – good food grows from good soil.

I have been busy over the winter working on a Chartered Herbalist Diploma from Dominion Herbal College in Vancouver, British Columbia. The final exam was three days ago. I am happy to report that I passed and am officially a Chartered Herbalist.

I have always loved and felt a deep connection with nature. Studying herbalism and traditional medicine, which I am deeply passionate about, has set that need for connection and ancient wisdom ablaze once more. It is amazing that just a few generations ago, herbs and botanicals were the go to medicine for common complains in North America; a way to heal on physiological, emotional and energetic levels using nature’s compound remedies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes Traditional Medicine and states the following:

  • Traditional medicine has intrinsic value, and in recognition fo this fact, it should be promoted and its potential developed for the wider use and benefit of mankind.
  • Traditional medicine has certain advantages over imported systems of medicine, because as an integral part of the people’s culture, it is particularly effective in solving certain cultural health problems.
  • traditional medicine contributes greatly to scientific medicine, thus justifying its development from the Western biomedical perspective.

One can certainly spend a lifetime learning about this beautiful planet and its medicine.

 

Until next time, here’s a walk through our garden!

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French sorrel salad, kale, dill, edible flowers (violas, pansies, English daisies)
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A cake topped with our edile flowers – had to share this

 

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Beautiful Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

 

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Art beneath our 100-year-old cherry tree

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Strawberry blossoms
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Apple blossoms
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A delightful visitor

 

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Wild Rose blossoms
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Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

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Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

 

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Borage (Borago officinalis)

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Garden Rue (Ruta graveolens)

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Grow~Share~Thrive

 

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Inspirational Sunday ~ Forest Bathing? Dive In

“What does a physician need to feel comfortable writing a prescription to someone to go spend time in nature?”

For those who have regular contact with nature likely harbour a knowing about the not-so-subtle benefits on their overall sense of well-being. The concept of Nature bathing as a prescription from a medical professional is perhaps a bit far fetched. Or is it?

After speaking to an acquaintance (that happens to produce a kava beverage) who was panicking on the telephone about having to do another production run before the Holiday Season because they were completely out of stock – an unexpected surprise, it struck me just how much of a pressure cooker we live in with no pressure relief valve.

I started my own search for a pressure relief valve several years ago and stumbled upon the concept of Shinrin-Yoku which has changed my life…from concrete walls to a farm.

The term Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) was coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982, and can be defined as making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest.

A study (one of many on this subject) published in the Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine Journal in January 2010 showed that being in nature had a significant effect on salivary cortisol levels, blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate variability which were used as physiological response indices before and after contact with nature.

The results showed that forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity (fight or flight) than do city environments.

Their results contributed to the development of a research field dedicated to forest medicine, which may be used as a strategy for preventive medicine.

Below is a very powerful and inspiring video about Shinrin-yoku and the significant role it plays in preventative medicine, self-care and over all quality of life.

Is Nature Bathing on Your Vision Board for 2018?

Learn More

Dive into shinrin-yoku or become a trained guide in 2018.

Get a free Shinrin-yoku  starter kit by signing up at shinrin-yoku.org for their newsletters. Access their informative printouts, links to research articles and resources as well as opportunities for guide training.

For more information, purchase one of their 40-page handbooks.

A Little Handbook of Shinrin Yoku by M. Amos Clifford

 

Grow~Share~Thrive

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Inspirational Monday ~ Important Reads for Your Natural Health

5 Wellness Books to Read this Fall

This shortlist of great reads came from a larger reading list recommended by the experts at the American College of Health Sciences. I regularly participate in ACHS continuing education courses and webinars and borrow the books they recommend from our local library.

Here are my 5 favorite wellness books which I had a chance to peruse and put to good use in my kitchen.

As I settle into more indoor time and harried obligations, I am always on the lookout for books to help me re-focus on self-care. Fortify your mind, body and spirit with these great resources.

Happy Fall Reading!

 

Controlling Stress and Tension (9th Edition), by George S. Everly Jr., Daniel A. Girdano, and Dorothy E. Dusek

Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement, by Katy Bowman

Raise your hand if you or someone you know may benefit from holistic strategies for managing ‘stress’?  This books helps you identify the parts of your life that are causing stress, how your body responds to stress and to discover personalized activities to alleviate stress.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use by Rosemary Gladstar

Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, by Rosemary Gladstar

A must have for those interested in creating their own natural self-care products. ACHS says: ‘Rosemary Gladstar is an iconic herbalist, and her book presents an informative guide for knowing, growing, and using medicinal herbs. Each herb chapter has recipes or formulas for medicinal use of the herb. This best-selling text profiles 33 of the most-common botanicals used in herbal medicine, including how to prepare your own remedies like tinctures, oils, and creams.’

Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal by Rosalee de la Foret

Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal, by Rosalee de la Foret

This resource makes incorporating herbs into everyday cooking a breeze. ACHS says: ‘An American Herbalist Guild Registered Herbalist (RH), de la Foret demystifies the kitchen and shows how to turn common foods into healing agents … and on a budget! Using herbs and making your own remedies does not have to be expensive. de la Foret shows it’s “as simple and inexpensive as cooking dinner.” Twenty-nine of the most popular herbs are profiled, including history, modern uses, and recipes.’

 

The Detox Diet, Third Edition: The Definitive Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, and Detox Plans by Elson Haas, MD

The Detox Diet: The Definitive Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, and Detox Plans, Third Edition, by Elson Haas, MD

This book has put me into full garden planning mode and it’s only November. ACHS says: ‘In this fully updated text Haas breaks down the detoxification process and cleaning protocols for things like sugar and caffeine. Hass also provides 50 recipes to follow-up detox.’

 

101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home: A Nerdy Farm Wife’s All-Natural DIY Projects Using Commonly Found Herbs, Flowers & Other Plants by Jan Berry

101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home: A Nerdy Farm Wife’s All-Natural DIY Projects Using Commonly Found Herbs, Flowers & Other Plants, by Jan Berry

Author Jan Berry offers many projects you can make with common herbs and oils … no fancy equipment needed! This is my kind of essential resource.

~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

Resource: American College of Healthcare Sciences

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Vancouver Island’s Hidden Treasures ~ Start Planning Your Next Foodie Expedition

I am always on the lookout for unique deliciousness – home-made ingenuity, character, panache and gusto. Passion and hard work are perhaps the main ingredients in making dreams come true.

Vancouver Island is filled with such stories. Farmers and artisans from all walks of life who bring their own brand – mainstream or not – and make it work.

Don Genova, a Canadian Journalist, has written a very informative book with amazing home-grown recipes about the Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands that captures the spirit of this place off the west coast.

Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

Don’s enthusiasm for local food, wine, ciders, farms and the people behind such artisanal exploits is inspiring and his book is a beautiful window on the options and opportunities as well as some amazing recipes. This book is a wonderful guide for foodies and those who engage in casual or serious travel-for-food – a virtual trip through bakeries, chocolatiers, cooking gear and kitchen shops, farms, specialty shops, butchers, charcutiers and salumists, sea food, specialty shops and even some recommended Saturday adventures. Start planning for your next vacation or your next escape!

After moving to Vancouver Island on a whim three years ago – not knowing much about the local farm or food scene – I was quickly drawn deep into the mystical feel of the land, nature and the potential to do and create in harmony with the planet.  Very early on, I met many people who were on a path that was never even a consideration in my mind. But this is what this island and surrounding islands do, they gently nudge and offer.

Locally sourced and biodynamic stopped being abstractions and became reality. I wanted to support these people who worked their butts off and didn’t allow corporate cents and sensibilities to dictate their passion and vision.

My next expedition is to Alderlea Farm near Duncan, Vancouver Island, where Katy and John run a family friendly farm-to-table cafe and take part in community-supported agriculture.

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

View our Original Photos on Canvas Gallery Shop here.

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Seedling in the Wind Micro-Farm ~ Opening Spring 2018

Rather than fighting the world we reject, let’s use our knowledge, skills, insights, principle and techniques to create the world we do want. ~ Bill Mollison

We are so proud to announce that Seedling in the Wind Micro-Farm will open in Spring 2018. We are located in beautiful Central Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Our micro-farm, as the words suggest, is a small-scale, family run operation. All plants and seeds have been carefully obtained from producers that exclusively use organic practices as well as heirloom AND non-GMO seeds only. We grow our plants and foods using ONLY organic growing practices and materials.  We use organic worm castings, bat guano, horse manure and our own organic compost.

Our Philosophy

Everything we need to nourish our bodies, minds and souls is found beneath our feet. The planet provides us with the medicine and nutrition we need for maintaining optimal balance in our bodies as well as for supporting recovery and return to a healthy balance.

Our Brief Story

We love all things sustainable, local and organic. As a family, we are nature enthusiasts, gardeners, photographers, hikers and now farmers. In early 2017, our family started an Urban Front Yard Farm Project. We turned our dry grass into a productive hugulkultur garden in order to grow food for us and our neighbours.

Our urban garden project included 360 square feet of growing space on our front suburban lawn. We wanted to know if this space could provide nutrient dense sustenance for a family of 5 over a 22 week growing season and beyond? We wanted to know if growing our own could save us money or even make money?

Read more about our Front Yard Urban Garden Project here.

Once we started growing our own, we just couldn’t stop. In August 2017, basically on a whim and with the winds of synchronicity blowing, we sold our suburban home and bought a small acreage in a rural part of Vancouver Island all in the span of four weeks. It was a whirlwind AND we are happy to say we have settled in to our new place nicely.

We down-sized big time, shedding much of the stuff that was cluttering every corner of the old house – a truly liberating experience. We uprooted our garden beds from the front lawn and transferred them, rather unceremoniously, to our new garden, where most plants are once again thriving, still giving us tomatoes, cucumber and squashes.

Our dream is to farm, to grow and to nourish our bodies and the planet…so we started a farm…Seedling in the Wind Micro-Farm! We are the growers of Superfoods – plants that can help to create, maintain and restore balance.

We have been busy landscaping our family run, small-scale, organic farm and planting all kinds of berries and herbs as well as growing a new (to us) kind of superfood that will be ready in the spring. Stay Tuned.

We are off on a new and exciting adventure and we hope that you will visit us when we open in Spring 2018!

~Grow~Share~Thrive~

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The Bee’s Kneez ~ Nature Photography

Bees are almost impossible to capture in action. They flutter about with such focus and determination, rarely stopping to pose for the camera. Whenever I water the garden, I am armed with my camera in hopes of capturing the abundant life, activity and beauty.

My hope is that such photographs capture the very interconnection and divinity of life that happens all around us, all the time. Blink and you miss it – perhaps even take it for granted. Without this microcosm of activity, there would be no food. We are all connected and depend on one another for survival, big or small.

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

All photographs by Jane Grueber 2017

See Photo Gallery here

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Inspirational Tuesday ~ Serious Food For Thought about Food and Urbanism

Here are three good pieces on the current state of the world today. I hope they inspire you to look around and be the change we need.

  1. The future is living local, growing local, being a good neighbour and citizen. James Howard Kunstler exposes and asks critical questions about our current urban design and why we stopped developing places that are worth caring about. What has changed in the last 50 years in how we design the very places we inhabit? What does current architecture communicate to us? What does it really say about us? Do we use ‘Nature Band-Aids’ to remedy ‘mutilated urbanism’? Do current habitats induce anxiety and depression?  (Note: contains foul language and intense cynicism). Put on your seat belts, the age of the 3000 mile Caesar Salad is coming to an end and I couldn’t agree more…

 

2. Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture News is a hub of useful and relevant articles available from his Permaculture Research Institute.

What is Permaculture? “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labor; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” Bill Mollison

 

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3. This is a must read for those who are currently indifferent to or apathetic about Genetically Modified Organisms that flood our processed foods and crowd out supercenters. The jury is not out on GMO foods as some would have us believe and the hidden funding of ‘impartial’ academic research by big agro is the tip of the iceberg. This article was forwarded to me in the early morning hours by a very good friend of mine.

This article is about the impending defamation lawsuit launched by an academic who was called out by a New York Times journalist on his undisclosed research funding sources. I look forward to seeing all the evidence in this suit.

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

 

All photographs by Jane Grueber 2017