We can hardly believe that we’re already at the six month mark for the KinFarm Family Drop-in! This milestone has us working hard to effectively paint a picture for our generous funders (Community Action Initiative), and for our quarter-mark evaluation. This process has made us realize how much we’ve done since the start! Up to December, we had 286 people attend the drop-in. We also were surprised at the number of new partnerships and connections we made. Just like growing a garden, it pays off to plant your seeds early, and slowly nurture relationships until they show their beautiful flowers. We’ve already seen the blossoms from some of these relationships, and expect to see much more this year!
The New Year has also brought us good fortune in terms of promotions. We conducted an interview with Shaw TV to promote the drop-in, which aired on January 19. You can now see clips of the interview online at: http://youtu.be/hWUii7HQtjI
January saw the birth of a Family Cooking Class. We had so many people interested that we are already expanding to run two classes per week so we can accommodate more families! In our talented chef/Intern Graham’s words, “the cooking class is a mega success!” 22 People enjoyed the first class, and everyone made a perfect pudding and learned the art of tempering liquids. A strong start to the year indeed. Our Coordinators became certified Parent Child Mother Goose facilitators and are looking forward to bringing Mother Goose classes to the Family Drop In Centre. Plans for a Pink Shirt Day and an Anti-bullying rally are also underway.
We have more exciting offerings in February including ‘Healthy Relationships’ and Making Cedar Roses workshops in time for Valentines Day, free, as all our offerings are. There will be workshops on: crocheting headbands, Intro to Digital Photography, Simple granola bars, Dream catchers and more as we tap into the many talents of the wonderful people working with us.
We will also have the Home schooler drop in focusing on hatching out ducklings in our incubator. We are very excited to welcome the new hatchlings.
While January has been a sleepy, slow time at the KinPark, plans are well underway for this growing season. By mid-February, we will already be in the greenhouse seeding transplants! We are very excited about our plans, and have been drooling over seed catalogues this month. The gardens will be mostly growing crops for canning, as well as fresh items for drop-in snacks and to sell in the Garden Pantry Thrift Store.
Other upcoming projects include ordering soil to cover the beds that were sheeted mulched last fall, installing raspberry trellis, and building composting drums for the community gardens. Our partnership with Vancouver Island University’s WEST (Workplace Employability Skills Training) program took a break for January but starts back this month to help us move soil and sow seeds in the greenhouse for a spring plant sale. We’re looking forward to having the students’ hard-working hands and smiling faces around again.
On the north side of the garden, where we expanded the garden around our fruit trees and installed a low cedar fence, we plan to create a mini food forest! We are excited to plant perennial herbs, and benefit from the knowledge of our co-workers who had a big part in building the food forest behind The Station. Additional projects for the spring that will make our space even funkier are potato towers, and bicycle rim trellises.
As the saying goes, planning is the key to success! We may be overly ambitious, but we know that KinPark will be a bustling hive bursting forth beautiful bounty in a few short months. Come join us in growing the love!