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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 from local gardeners and brining it to the community at reasonable prices at our Garden Surplus to Table Pop Up Farm Stand. 
Because our neighbours have embraced this vision and things have grown very quickly over the summer, we are already planning 2019 growing season. Stay tuned.
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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 1 pm, 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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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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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