Blogs

Highlights from Jessica Margett's Internship at CGC

January 21, 2014 - 11:41am | posted by: vanessa

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

During my last semester as an Anthropology major at Vancouver Island University I was told of an internship opportunity with the Cowichan Green Community (CGC).  I wanted to gain some real world research experience before I graduated, so with the encouragement of Dr. Imogene Lim and Dr. Helene Demers I applied.

I was extremely excited about the opportunity I was presented with, and worked with CGC from October to December of 2013.  In collaboration with Vanessa Goodall and other CGC staff members I worked on a two-fold project, the Community Impact Assessment Project.  The first aspect of this project was to create a historical timeline of CGC's projects and events.  This timeline was a compilation of the many events and projects conducted by CGC into a visual representation.  This visual was created in the hope that it would provide clarity for the larger community concerning the work of CGC.

The latter part of my internship involved conducting research concerning a tool for evaluating CGC's projects and events in regards to how they are or are not achieving CGC's mandate of alleviating food insecurity within the Cowichan area.


BC is one step closer to banning GE crops, thanks to grassroots community action!

September 19, 2013 - 4:28pm | posted by: vanessa

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

BC is one step closer to banning GE crops!
 
In an unprecedented step, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), at their Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, passed a resolution requesting “that UBCM ask the British Columbia government to legislate the prohibition of importing, exporting and growing plants and seeds containing genetically engineered DNA, and raising GE animals within BC, and to declare, through legislation, that BC is a GE Free area in respect to all plant and animal species."  
 
Already 14 municipalities in BC have declared themselves GE Free Zones, and 10 Official Community Plans of Regional Districts (including the Cowichan Valley Regional District South Cowichan Official Community Plan for Electoral Areas “A”. “B” and “C”), have come out against GE crops, as communities across the province mobilized for a ban on GE crops.  Collecting over 7000 signatures in support of this campaign, momentum continues to grow as this topic gains the attention of consumers and politicians.  
 
Inspired to create a change within our local food system, supporters of this campaign - which includes the Cowichan Green Community (CGC) - have and continue to ask our local representatives to formally and openly discuss citizen concerns on GE foods.

Anna Romanova Reflects on her Experience Working with CGC

June 13, 2013 - 5:57pm | posted by: vanessa

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

I came from the Ukraine to study in Nanaimo, where I am a graduate student in Sustainable Leisure Management Program at VIU. Completing an internship is an essential part of my studies and I was very lucky to have worked for this organization for five weeks.
 
During this time, I completed a study of Virtual Market Places for the agricultural sector - which was a key recommendation that emerged from CGC’s project Growing Connections. In conducting a feasibility study, I analyzed different models that are already successfully used in other communities in Canada and the USA. Based upon the information obtained, I made a public presentation with the intention of sharing this information with interested farmers and purchasers, and to get their feedback. I was very pleased about the richness of the discussion we had after my presentation and the feedback that CGC will take into further exploration.
 
During my internship I was lucky to be introduced to other projects CGC is currently involved in. I helped with the planting of a garden for Alexander Elementary School, planting and watering of the Phoenix garden, distributing the 2013 Buy Local! Buy Fresh!

Growing Connections Project Launch!

May 18, 2013 - 5:50pm | posted by: vanessa

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

The Cowichan Green Community (CGC) officially launched their new handbook, Growing Connections: a handbook for purchasers and farmers in the Cowichan Region, at a hugely successful networking event on May 1st.  A "Meet-Your-Maker" styled evening, held at the beautiful Alderlea Farm and Cafe in Glenora, allowed local chefs, business owners, and grocery purchasers to network with Cowichan Region farmers.  

A panel discussion set the networking off to a boisterous start, with Michael Mockler, produce director of Thrifty Foods, sharing some enlightening and entertaining stories.  Next was Susan Tiche of ShareOrganics, who spoke of the benefits of farmers participating in box programs, which was followed by an energizing discussion by Bradford of Amuse who explained the true value of knowing the person who grows what you eat.  Finally, Rick Juliusson, proprietor of Free Range Consulting, invigorated the crowd with the latest news on the creation of a Food Hub in the Cowichan.


VIU students come help at Cowichan Green Community

February 19, 2013 - 12:22pm | posted by: heather

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

Our class at VIU just started a program at Cowichan green community

Second year students work there Tuesday’s and Thursdays first year students Only go Thursdays. And we will be growing plants and fruits and vegetables

And we will be building a greenhouse and starting an urban farm. And we will be put into teams. our teams are called the garden team ,theres the greenhouse team ,and  theres a media team.

My name is Gregory Norris. The first year students are Emily, Rachel, Marika, Sarah, Rory, Navron, Logan, Chris ,.And the second year students are me Gregory ,Nick ,Brendon ,and Tonia and we will be working  toghether at kinsmen park during the weeks

And our program is an employability course,we started in Febuary to the end  of June.I would like to learn alot from this program.

from gregory norris

 

week of febuary 19


We want your input!

February 5, 2013 - 2:22pm | posted by: Niki

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

Right now the Cowichan Agricultural Market Project has an online survey for farmers, purchasers (including chefs, grocers and wholesalers), as well as consumers.  We’re asking you how you buy or sell local food and what can be done to help increase local food sales. The aim of this project is to stimulate connections between farmers and purchasers in the Cowichan Region, increasing market opportunities for farmers, and ultimately strengthening our local food economy.  
 
If you fall into any of the above categories (and we’re all consumers!), please fill out our survey at: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/CGCMarketSurvey/
 
The results of this survey, combined with information gathered from interviews with farmers and purchaser, will be compiled in a handbook with tips and information to help connect Cowichan Region farmers, purchasers, and consumers.  Look for the handbook in mid April, but for now please share your thoughts and input with us by filling out our survey!
 

Update! Cowichan Agricultural Market Research Project

January 14, 2013 - 4:07pm | posted by: audra

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

Vanessa, Tessa, Nikki, and Audra were immersed in secondary research over the month of December for the Cowichan Agricultural Market Research Project (CAMP).  Secondary research is the collection of data that already exists, from census, news, surveys, etc., and like a toddler with wrapping paper on Christmas morning, we were buried in it.  As this stage of research comes to a close, we have learned some very interesting facts regarding agricultural production in the Cowichan Region, but as we waded through the literature we also learned some interesting stuff from all over Canada, North America, and the world…


Kin Park Urban Farm

January 8, 2013 - 10:31pm | posted by: heather

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

Walk through Kinsmen Park these days and it's hard to imagine that much is happening there while the community gardens sleep for the winter and the recently retrofit pool building is locked up awaiting summer programming.

But behind the scenes, a hard-working team of six Cowichan Valley Youth (Clark, Hebecca, Kurtis, Lara, Kendall and Anthony) is carefully putting together the site and marketing plans for a small-scale urban farm and greenhouse that will be implemented over the coming months. Based on the principles of permaculture, the Kin Park Urban Farm will grow veggies and herbs for market while facilitating social, environmental, economic and educational benefits for the downtown community.

Some of the questions on the team's mind these days include "glass versus poly?", "till or no till?", and succession planning and organizational structure for after the official Skills Link project wraps up in April. With several donations of tempered greenhouse glass in the wings, and a soil sample sent off to Salt Spring's Agrichem Analytical, things are really starting to take root. Presentations for final approval of the farm design will be made to the City of Duncan and Municipality of North Cowichan at the end of this month.


Providing Food For People in Need

January 4, 2013 - 2:17pm | posted by: amanda

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

What does the term ‘food security’ mean when you don’t even have a house to call home? What is a home when you pay all the bills, and then there isn’t enough money left over to feed your family? Although we all struggle with the cost of living in British Columbia, there is an alarming number of individuals and families who have no idea what food security means, or even how they can access enough food to put on the table. This is where Anne Balding, Chuck McCandless and the Cowichan Green Community are trying to bridge the gap between empty tables and hungry bellies with a program called Meals on the Ground.

Meals on the Ground is a grassroots and community (volunteer) driven program that provides food for people who are in need of greater food security in their lives. From the homeless to people on fixed-incomes and minimum-wage workers (who can’t make ends meet), to single moms with children and even seniors on below poverty-line pensions, these meals are helping fill a huge need in our community for greater food security in the Cowichan Valley. According to Balding and McCandless, what initially started out with twenty-people showing up for a free meal has now grown to over seventy-people, and those numbers are rising every week as the news of this program spreads.


VIU Student Experience with CGC -by Katie Jones & Abigail Neal

November 22, 2012 - 3:22pm | posted by: alyssa

The CGC Blog

Here at CGC we like to talk about what is going on. A quick look at the blog posts will show you that we have not shortage of things on the go. Feel free to leave comments and talk to us.

Having lived in the Cowichan Valley for 25 years, it may seem impossible that I had never heard of the Cowichan Green Community before. Believe it or not, this is true, and if it had not been for the involvement in my Vancouver Island University sociology class this semester, I would not have become involved in this amazing community organization. Of course I had heard of the Kinsmen Community Gardens, but did not realize the other incredible projects that the CGC were involved with, such as the FruitSave program, the Community Environmental Education programs, the Garden Pantry Thrift Store, and their many initiatives to provide a sustainable future for the Cowichan Valley. The staff seem to be perfectly aligned with the mission, vision, and values of the organization and they have such a contagious passion for what the organization stands for. It has been a great experience for me to learn about this organization and to be able to work with the staff who have been so accommodating to me and my classmates. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to learn more about this organization and to have been involved with them, although it was only for a short time. I hope that I can continue to be involved with and support the CGC in the future.          

-Katie Jones, VIU Student