Getting Ready for Summer Fun at KinPark

KinFarm Family Drop-In

In the short time we’ve been running the KinFarm Family Drop-In Centre, we’ve seen some major impacts in the individuals who have come through our doors. One of the most impactful programs the Centre has seen is the family cooking class. We’re always happy to hear feedback from family members through our classes such as this recent comment: “Wow, thanks for a fun afternoon. Delicious muffins. Always good to find some new recipes and to meet new people. I enjoyed my time and had fun with my cooking partner. I would recommend this program to others”. We know it’s really made a difference when we hear it downstream from other family practitioners or community members not directly involved with the class. When word spreads and folks talk about it far removed from the class, we can be assured that people are benefiting!

Our cooking class family expanded by one as we welcomed our first precious baby born amongst our families. We’d like to welcome Zarah, our youngest drop-in cooking class participant to date, and congratulate Natasha and James on their healthy, happy baby!!

As with growing supportive family networks in our cooking class, it only takes a small seed and a little bit of love to start a beautiful garden! Our ‘Grow One Thing’ campaign, which we kicked off on Earth Day, is off to a great start. We have high hopes of sharing our enthusiasm for growing food, by sharing that’s all it takes to start is to ‘Grow One Thing’. Come into the Garden Pantry Thrift Store for all the supplies and tips you need to ‘Grow One Thing’ and share progress on our Facebook page!

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Chillfest

In May, we collaborated with Canadian Mental Health Association, U-Fix-It Bikeworks, and Cowichan Intercultural Society for Chillfest at KinPark to celebrate Mental Health Awareness week. The day was packed with stress reducing activities including Tai Chi, laughter yoga, bike jousting, a bike rim chilldome, planting station with Mother’s Day card making, and cooking a giant pot of stone soup. It was a great day and we hope to reach out more to the community, make it bigger and better next year!

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Farmer Lisa with homeschoolers

We’re sad to say goodbye to our wonderful Homeschooler group, who has been coming for the last few months at KinPark. We are filled with gratitude for all your hard work and enthusiasm. Your eager hands and creative minds have made a huge impact at KinPark! Hope to see you next school year! Finally, our June Drop-In schedule follows much the same format as previous months. See our poster below for more details! We’d like to make a call out for volunteers especially for our hours at KinFarm: Tuesday 9am-12pm and Thursday 1pm-4:30pm. We find ourselves short on hands at the moment, with much to keep on top of in the gardens. Please feel free to call 250-748-8506 or email lisah@cowichangreencommunity.org to find out more about volunteer opportunities!

June 2015

drop-in schedule

KinPark Youth Urban Farm

portable arriving

Portable

Our biggest news for the month is that we finally got our long-awaited portable moved into KinPark! We’re still waiting on Hydro hook-up and final inspections from engineers before we are allowed to open it up to the public. In the meantime, we’re cleaning it up and filling it up with furniture, guitars, pianos, crafting supplies including a recently donated loom, and a ping-pong table that we have been storing in every spare nook and cranny at The Station. We’ve put a call out for artists to help decorate the outside of the building. We need a design to receive a permit before we can go ahead with painting, so if you have any ideas please come forward and share with us!

VIU WEST last day May 2015

Awesome VIU WEST students!

Otherwise in KinPark, we’ve been trying our best to keep on top of the gardens – seeding, transplanting, shaping beds, mulching raspberries and onions. We transplanted our sunflowers, corn, squash, cucumbers, broccoli, kohlrabi, leeks, and Brussels sprouts into the garden. You’ll also notice some flowers here and there for a bit of colour! Our garden extension “food forest” is also filling up with herbs, flowers, and veggies. The Cowichan Intercultural Society came this month with their ‘Home Away From Home’ program for a tour of the park and workparty of the park. They were super excited to jump right in and get their hands dirty! Their help is much appreciated! We have been continuing our weekly kale harvest for the Duncan Garage Café every Tuesday. We’ve been happy to include cilantro and arugula in the last few weeks’ delivery also! We continue to plan out crops to supply the Garage, and are looking for new partnerships with other restaurants. If you are a chef, and interested in our local produce, please give us a shout!! We would love to accommodate your needs as much as we can.

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Strawberries harvested May 22, a full three weeks earlier than normal!

Our awesome partnership with VIU has come to a close for the season at the end of May, coinciding with the end of their school year. We want to send out a massive thank you to our diligent, inspiring workers! They accomplished a hugely significant amount of work at KinPark and have been our main workforce over the fall, winter, and spring. Their three week absence to prepare for their spring plant sale left us realizing just how much they accomplish every Thursday morning they spend at KinPark! We look very much forward to having you back next fall and hope to see you over the summer months!

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