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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 and surrounding area…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 number of Green Thumbs who produce so much food that they often have a surplus. These 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, affordable 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 Corner of Chaplin and Queen Streets, right beside the BC Ferries Salt Spring Island Ferry Terminal 

Pop Up Farm Stand Sales take place every Sunday, 10 am to 12pm, during the Summer/Early Fall at the Corner of Queen and Chaplin Streets (by the Salt Spring Ferry Terminal in Crofton).

 

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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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

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Little Beauties ~ Nature Photography

It is always so remarkable to see bees in action. As I read about whole bee colonies being doused out by synthetic agricultural chemicals around the world, it is my hope that these images speak to the beauty of those most vulnerable and those we take for granted. Nature isn’t here for us to use and abuse. Vote with your dollar for ethical companies and local food producers as much as possible. Plant flowers that nourish your local ecosystem. Grow your own food.

All photographs are from our garden.

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

All photography by Jane Grueber

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Inspirational Tuesday ~ Be A Part of the Growing-Your-Own Solution

“Fruit is nature’s purest and most immediate enjoyment, requiring nothing more than a rinse or simple rub on your shirt to clean it. From the fruit-eater’s point of view, it’s effortless pleasure. It demands non of the slicing, chopping soaking, or parboiling needed by vegetables.  Even on a chemical level, its energy is more accessible, more mobile, with no complex starches to break down.” (MK Wyle in Greenhorns: The next generation of American Farmers, pg 97)

Improved Well-Being Linked to Growing Your Own

This will come as a surprise to no one, connecting to nature creates improved well-being. Research has repeatedly shown that sensory gardens and the practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing practiced in Japan), for example, have direct positive effects on emotional, cognitive and physiological well-being.  So when I came upon a recent article from the Washington Post extolling the wonders and scientifically-proven benefits of involving children in gardening: building microbiomes, better attention skills and patience, trying the fruit and vegetables they helped to nurture along and growing happier and healthier kids overall, I wanted to share it and add to it. In my opinion, not only is growing food good for the individual, it is good for community and humanity; developing understanding, empathy, and compassion are direct side-effects of growing and sharing food.

It is encouraging to see that growing food as a family is becoming more common, again. As we pat ourselves on the back for reaching this get-back-in-the-garden milestone, it is important to remember that most of the world (other than North America) still grows its own food, as well as the food to satiate the ever expanding North American appetite. Families used to grow their own food in North America and Europe in the not-so-distant past. It’s what they needed to do in order to have something to eat. It’s important to not forget that growing our own food is not a new lofty ideal, it is imperative for health, food security and environmental regeneration.

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In a recent book I read, Greenhorns: The next generation of American farmers, 50 new generation farmers discussed their modern day challenges with feeding the North American inflated expectations that fly directly in the face of growing food naturally and in sync with nature.

“In our supermarket culture, fruit has become so visual, so linked to beauty and perfection, that people ignore the fundamental paradox of modern fruit production – high levels of chemical are the cost of unscathed, ‘perfect-looking’ fruit.  In pursuit of this ideal, we’ve lost a sense of what good fruit might actually look like, cosmetic imperfections and all.” (pg 98)

Greenhorns: The Next Generation of American Farmers <br>50 Dispatches from the New Farmers' Movement by Zoe Ida Bradbury (2012-05-08)

Greenhorns: The Next Generation of American Farmers <br>50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement by Zoe Ida Bradbury (2012-05-08)

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Can’t Grow? Help instead!

I am a huge advocate of growing our own food, regenerating soil, getting the whole family involved in the process, sharing the food we grow with neighbours and others who face food insecurity.

I am a big believer in ‘real food is medicine‘  – preventative medicine. The more we are in tune with Nature and eat what Nature provides, the more we may improve our body’s functioning, mental clarity and overall well-being.

If you are not able to grow your own, support those who can and who are growing their own.

  • Contribute water to the community garden,
  • Buy seeds for those who share their garden bounty with you,
  • Share saved seeds,
  • Buy a bag of organic worm castings to help your neighbour’s garden grow,
  • Volunteer to glean your neighbour’s apple, cherry or pear trees.
  • Learn about regenerative gardening and growing practices (e.g, permaculture) See the short video below…education is power.

Teach your whole family to be a part of the locally sourced, regenerative gardening/farming and organic food solution in what ever way, big or small. Teach your children about the importance of healthy soil, rampant food insecurity and how to create meaningful change in this world.

~Grow~Share~Thrive~

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Inspirational Monday ~ Mini-Farm Your Front Lawn

I woke up this morning to a great post written and illustrated by two women, Jennifer Luxton and Erin Sagen, titled Comic: Why You Should Turn Your Yard Into a Mini-Farm. Take the time to read it and get inspired to do things differently.

They wrote this article for YES! Magazine to incite people to ditch the 40.3 million acres of front lawns in the Continental US and to grow food, herbs and ‘weeds’ that are beneficial for humans, animals and the planet. I couldn’t agree more. Re-creating the vast suburban luscious greens lawns into mini-farms is the future of locally sourced, nutrient dense food as well as a way to create food security.

To get you started, here are some ideas for growing delicious edibles that are also wonderful for honeybees, bumblebees and other beneficial insects.

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Herbs and Edible Flowers to Grow from YOUGROWGIRL!

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

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Free To Be ~ Nature Photography

“To the Wild Woman, being spiritual means whispering to the trees, laughing with flowers, falling in love with the sunset, consulting the waters and worshiping the stars at night. One hand to her heart and one hand toughing Mother Earth.” ~ Shikoba

These are recent photographs from our garden and our neighbourhood.

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

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Inspirational Wednesday ~ 4 Good Reads for Your Health

“Create the Visions that are Dancing in Your Soul”

The following reads may seem somewhat random, but I believe that logic does flow here. Having read recent statistics cited by the Canadian Cancer Society that 1 in 2 people will get a diagnosis of cancer in their life time and 1 in 4 will die of the disease, I feel strongly compelled to help in some way.  These numbers basically mean that every family will be affected in some way.

When I watched a family member succumb to this disease several years ago, I felt like I received a great big kick square in the ass, an acute wake-up call, to change the path I was walking on. This website about plant-based eating, food security and the appreciation of nature became a small part of my vision.

As a family we began to shift toward prevention and using food as medicine instead of irritant.  We began to grow some of our own food, teaching our kids to grow and appreciate the simple, rich taste of real food and to become empathetic stewards of the environment.

Two years later, we are in the process of moving to a new location where we can start growing nutrient dense foods on a larger scale, using a ‘grow-it-forward’ system to provide these foods to people with chronic or terminal conditions (who often cannot afford these foods) who choose to use food as a part of their holistic healing process. Ultimately, I envision our small family farm as an NPO that serves the local region.

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The following information is critical to our everyday choices as consumers. With knowledge comes power; the power to choose where and how we spend our money. Turning from consumer to producer (just on your kitchen counter) can change the world.

4 GOOD READS

  1. There are many wonderful books on how to grow your own inside your home and here is one of my favorites. It is filled with wonderful ideas for how to grow and use what you grow.

Indoor Edible Garden: Creative Ways to Grow Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables in Your Home

Indoor Edible Garden: Creative Ways to Grow Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables in Your Home

2. American College for Advancement In Medicine

The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM’s healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness.

3.  Worm Composting Canada

This may seem like a random addition to this list; however, worm poo (worm castings) is optimal food for your plants (indoors and out without the need to use synthetic chemicals to fertilize AND a great way to use up your kitchen scraps). The Worm Guy has a very useful and reader friendly guide on how to start your very own vermicompost.

4. The University of Minnesota Extension has an article about the application of glyphosate titled, Recommended Application of Glyphosate in Pre-Harvest Management of Wheat – information for commercial wheat farmers. This is an important read for all consumers.

To put the University of Minnesota information into perspective, please watch What’s with Wheat? The documentary is available on Netflix Canada and US that sheds light on the common and prolific use of glyphosate and the implications for our health.

 

 

~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

features image courtesy of Pexels.com

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Growing Urban ~ Early July

The summer and the entire growing season is going by so quickly. The garden changes almost daily and we are fully enjoying our harvest. Lettuces and spinach make for simple, flavor-filled salads. We shuck peas for breakfast, snack on strawberries, radishes and broccoli. We infuse our drinks with fragrant herbs and patiently await the arrival of our tomatoes and cucumbers. There’s nothing like a fresh salsa or bruschetta on a hot summer day.

Here are some photographs from our garden and its progress. I am really loving the companion plants we put in this year. Not only are they distracting pests of all sorts from the crops, they are a joy to look at.

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It looks like a busy place but among all those companion plants, there are fruits and vegetables.

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Giant dill that is now taller than our scarecrow.

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Runaway cauliflower. If not harvested at the right time, it goes on to create little florets that are not very tasty.

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As someone who loves cakes, I have been thoroughly enjoying the edible flowers in the garden as well. Flowers add such a lovely touch to the top of any cake without the need to go heavy on the icing.

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These cake topping beauties attract bees. Borage flowers, the dashing blue stars, refill with nectar every two minutes and have a way of keeping the bees’ attention. I have been on a mission to capture a bee in action for some time. They flutter from flower to flower and are surprisingly difficult to capture.

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I am in the process of starting up a larger Urban Garden Farm. I want to focus on growing specific greens and herbs that are known to be especially powerful for healing, or helping to ameliorate symptoms of, chronic conditions.

So now I am on a mission to find a polytunnel that will be a good fit for our back yard and for growing food free of chemicals or any off-farm inputs.

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

 

 

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Growing Stewards of the Planet ~ My New Project

To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~ Gandhi

This is an exciting time for me. Not only am I living the dream of growing food for my family, I get to take my passion in a new direction.

My debut Children’s Book, Give Me Your Feet, is a humorous and endearing story about the Earth who loves to feel all the critters and creatures, big and small, on her surface.

Simple language and actions bring the Earth to life in a whole new light. A recurring Ant character captures children’s attention.
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This original story comes to life with the amazing and original art of Vancouver Islander, Artists and Inspirational Superwoman Queen. B. Divine.

Together, we have created the “To-Gather Creative Community“. We are on a Mission to Connect Young Children to the Planet, foster compassion, empathy and environmental stewardship through organized outdoor activities, including story time and arts and craft activities. Please see the To-Gather Creative Community Website for the latest on our project.

Give Me Your Feet is written and illustrated for ages Birth to 6 years.

 

Here is Queen. B. Divines Mini Movie of Give Me Your Feet

 

Here are the book covers (front & back). We will be launching an eBook as well as a print book in the near future.

Give Me Your Feet

 

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~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

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