Update re: new Co-op Projects to Support You! (February, 2020)

From Co-op Coordinator Nancy Klein (February 21, 2020):

Good day to all our valued members and supporters of the Gulf Islands Food Co-op (GIFC),

Dare I say that spring is in the air? Many local food producers on the unceded traditional Coast Salish First Nations’ territories of Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano Islands have already been hard at work in early 2020, starting seeds, hatching chicks, amending vegetable growing beds, pruning trees and shrubs, fortifying livestock shelters and fenced areas, all in preparation for another year of feeding their neighbours and communities through the fruits of these labours!

Generously funded by the Community Works Fund (CWF), the Capital Regional District (CRD) and VanCity, GIFC is proud to support both our local food producers and eaters through a variety of projects this season:

Soil Amendment Hauling – Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna

GIFC has now started the “Compostable Materials Hauling for Soil Building” project on Pender, Mayne and Galiano, funded by the CWF.  If you are a local food grower who needs to amend your soil, please email us at info@gulfislandsfoodco-op.org to be connected to your island’s project representative, who can let you know how GIFC can pay for the cost of delivery of the amendment to your garden!

Pender Island rep, Ben Dunsmuir, has created a helpful form to use in assessing what would be ideal for your growing situation: https://forms.gle/D8mg1zME8HPDSV6q7 (Note: Some of the information in the form is Pender specific, so if you are on Mayne or Galiano, please reach out directly to the GIFC email with your requests for us to pass along to Mayne Island rep Amber Albrecht or Galiano Island rep Barry New.)

Seedy Saturday – Mayne

Mayne Island’s Seedy Saturday is this weekend at the Ag Hall—Saturday, February 15 at 11am, and GIFC will have an information table about all of our upcoming projects!  Project Co-ordinator Nancy Klein will be attending the event, so if you have any questions about, or ideas for, food-producing projects in the Gulf Islands, please come and chat!  Check out the Mayne Island Seedy Saturday Facebook Event Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/880534599028142/

Co-operative Sales Tables – Galiano

GIFC is also continuing to support local food producers that have excess produce to sell by hosting our Co-operative Sales Tables throughout the winter at various island events, funded by the CRD and VanCity.  Last weekend, GIFC hosted this project table at the first of Galiano’s Sunday Winter Markets!  Many thanks to Becky and Barry for supplying a variety of produce, including potatoes, shallots, beets, swedes, parsnips, strawberry plants, hazelnuts trees and squash! If you are a grower on Galiano with produce to sell in March, please keep your eye out for the next Sunday Winter Market, and let GIFC sell your produce on your behalf, freeing up your valuable time while still earning 100% of the sales from your produce! Check out the Galiano Market Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/GalianoSaturdayMarket/

Poultry Processing Workshop – Pender

GIFC is encouraging poultry growers on Pender Island by offering a hands-on chicken processing workshop this weekend—Sunday, February 16.  The workshop is full, but a wait list will be kept open.  Please see the poster on the GIFC website for more information at https://gulfislandsfoodco-op.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/GIFC-Feb-16-Chicken-Workshop-Poster.pdf

SquashFest – Pender

Pender Island’s Seedy Saturday is on Saturday, March 28, and GIFC will be hosting a table, announcing its support for an upcoming local food celebration called “SquashFest,” which aims to directly connect local eaters with the growers of their food. We will be giving away squash seeds and potting soil for backyard growers, donated locally by the Driftwood Centre’s Petals and Paws. And if you would like to grow a bulk quantity of squash, or if you are a locavore who would like to pre-purchase your winter squash to help support a local grower, please stop by the Seedy Saturday table for details on how GIFC can support you! Keep an eye on our GIFC Facebook page for updates at https://www.facebook.com/Gulf-Islands-Food-Co-op-GIFC-2304194109687920/

Saturna Initiatives

And if you are a food producer on Saturna Island, we want to hear from you about how to best support your efforts to bolster Saturna’s food security!  Because the needs of food producers on Saturna are so unique in comparison with your neighbours on Pender, Mayne and Galiano, GIFC is handing the planning of projects that most benefit your community to Board Member and Indigenous Outreach Director Fiona Macraild.

We currently have CWF funding for the “Compostable Materials and Soil Hauling” project (as outlined above and including funds for a Saturna project representative), as well as CRD and VanCity funding for projects under the broad categories of Education, Bulk Purchasing, and Joint Selling of Local Food.  So, if you are a livestock producer with manure to supply to local growers, a grower in need of either soil amendments or sales venue for your produce, or you have any ideas that would help support the local food system on Saturna, please contact Nancy at info@gulfislandsfoodco-op.org .

Take care, and enjoy your dreams of spring,

Nancy Klein

GIFC Project Co-ordinator

Nancy Klein, 250-629-0039, https://gulfislandsfoodco-op.org

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