Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Edward Milne Community Garden Update

Memorial Mural to Pia Carroll, Slow Food member and Garden Champion

This year, the garden at Edward Milne Community School continues to flourish. Over 250 students, from Nature K to grade 12, helped grow produce for the school Culinary Arts and Foods programs, which in turn produce and serve 100's of meals per week. Produce is harvested year round from the 15 outdoor raised beds, greenhouse, and seasonally from the mini orchard and berry plots. They have a focus on unique heritage crop varieties and this season have dedicated two plots to Milpa or Three Sisters growing, featuring 10 Indigenous corn varieties, beans, and squash.  

They also connect with local farmers and other producers, including ALM farm, Full Circle Seeds, Cast Iron Farm, Silver Cloud Farm, Dakini Tidal Wilds Seaweeds, Alderbrook Grange and others. Students learn through contributing to the community and have volunteered well over 100 collective hours through projects at the Sun River Community Gardens and other sites. Class curriculum includes knowledge of local traditional First Nations foods, how to harvest and prepare ethnobotanical plants and wild seafoods, and how to cook over fires. Lessons also vary seasonally with apple pressing during the Summer, and visit the local salmon runs in the Fall, tap Big Leaf Maples in Winter, and harvest tea plants and seaweeds in Spring. 

This year, their Trades access program has built an outdoor learning space and they hope to add to their garden space in 2018/19 through consultation with the UVic Permaculture Program and local First Nations Knowledge Holders. Also in 2018/19, the school will be offering a Sustainability and Local Food Systems elective course to compliment our Environmental Studies and Marine Biology programs, as well as to help increase school garden use and production. 

Slow Food Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands is proud to be among the long list of supporters who have helped the garden grow, including the Whole Kids Foundation, Farm to Cafeteria Canada, the Food Rescue Project, Sooke Soil, Agriculture in the Classroom, and many others.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

Campaign to Save our BC Fisheries

In partnership with fishers, harvesters, EcoTrust and the TBuck Suzuki Foundation and other supporters across Canada, Slow Food Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands and the Slow Fish campaign support this campaign.  

The Canadian Government is managing our fisheries using policies that result in the privatization of access to fish resources. Catch shares, in one form or another, are now used as the principle means of managing commercial fisheries on the Pacific Coast, and individual transferable quotas (ITQs) are used in 60% of BC fisheries. The cost to purchase quota for Pacific commercial fish species has skyrocketed over the last 30 years due to concentrated ownership by a wealthy few. This has led to economic prosperity for a select few at the cost of many fishermen and coastal communities.
Further, citizens and local small businesses -- fishmongers, chefs, restaurateurs, etc -- can not access a good supply of local fish for their dinner tables and their customers. Currently 85% of Canadian seafood is exported while up to 93% of the seafood available to Canadians is imported. Canadian food security is in great danger when we are selling off access to one of our most important protein sources.
The Pacific commercial fisheries today continue to land a significant catch and a high dollar value. It is estimated that Pacific commercial fisheries land 129,670 tonnes of fish each year [source], worth a gross landed value of $356 million [source]. However, the number of boats and fish harvesters have decreased dramatically over the last thirty years, resulting in significant job loss and economic hardship for coastal communities. --

Number of personal commercial fishing licences reflecting the number of fishing jobs in British Columbia, 1985-2015.

This is our best chance yet at saving BC seafood from multi-national corporate ownership
and bringing attention to the plight of our fishing communities! 

Please sign today & share widely.

  • The petition will be delivered by hand to Justin Trudeau's office in Montreal. This will be a bilingual campaign, translations are happening now.
  • We will also have letters available for you to send to your MP.
  • For more information please visit this link.

Let's help put Canadian seafood on Canadian tables! Take action now >

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Slow Food Chef's Alliance Lunch at Ragley Farm | Sept 24th 2017

Spend an afternoon at the farm while feasting on the bounty of another successful growing season! Join us at Ragley Farm on Sunday, September 24th as we celebrate local food and those who produce it. Meet your farmers and enjoy a meal created by Chef's Alliance member Oliver Kienest and friends of Wild Mountain Food & Drink. Look forward to an afternoon centered around community, good food and conversation. A fundraiser for our volunteer convivium, we will also have a silent auction. Thank you for supporting your local food community!

  • Date: Sunday, September 24th
  • Time: 2:00-6:00 pm
  • Location: Ragley Farm, Sooke
  • Members - $45.00
  • Non-Members - $55.00
  • Optional Drink Pairing - $15.00

Click here to purchase tickets

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Edible Seaweed Identification Foray with Dakini Tidal Wilds & Wild Mountain | June 11 2017

Sunday, June 11th at Whiffen Spit Park in Sooke - Amanda Swiminer, marine biologist and seaweed harvester for Dakini Tidal Wilds and Chef Oliver Kienast from Wild Mountain Food & Drink and member of the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance, will lead a wild foods foray along the coast, identifying seaweeds and their culinary uses.

- $15 for Slow Food members
- $20 for friends of Slow Food

Meet in the Whiffen Spit parking lot at 10am.

For more information and tickets click here

More info on Dakini Tidal Wilds:
More info on Wild Mountain Food & Drink:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thank you from our Garden in Sierra Leone

Slow Food Vancouver Island received a lovely thank you note from our Slow Food  garden leader in Sierra Leone. But the thanks really belongs to you our members and supporters, who made our Sketches from Trauma Farm evening and silent auction November 12 such a success.   His e-mail is copied below along with some images.


Dear Slow Food Vancouver Island supporters:

It is with great joy the members of the Slow Food community gardens in
Sierra Leone have learnt about your generous financial donation for the
maintenance and repair of their community farms and garden tools. This will
enable us increase productivity and fetch us considerable increase in our regular 
income. Thanks to Slow Food Vancouver Island in Canada.
The advantage of having Slow Food gardens in Sierra Leone can be seen
clearly. Most of our produce is now sold to the local school boarding home
management and the school community. The project has helped hundreds of
people receive food from the gardens planted in homes, schools and
communities, particularly people who can't  grow food for themselves -
like orphans, venerable children, the sick, the elderly and the
desperately poor. 
However, the unexpected blow to the community of the Ebola outbreak left an
indelible mark on a whole range of people and communities in our country.
A huge number of these are the children and women, many women became widows
and children became orphans.
Kudos to the Slow Food Vancouver Island members for their immense, valuable and meaningful assistance to the 72 orphan children identified by the Slow Food members in the Slow Food gardens communities in the country. This assistance has made life for these
venerable kids indeed more comfortable for which we are very  grateful.
Our sincere gratitude goes to you for their support.

Ibrahim Mansaray, Slow Food Leader Sierra Leone