Farming and Gardening Gala March 12
Co-presented with Sooke Food CHI
The evening will feature 3 short films: “Hands Off the ALR Townhall Meeting” held in Sidney in November, “Growing Farmers” and “Hands in the Dirt”.
Post screening discussion with Kimi and Kareno, featured in “Hands in the Dirt”, Javier Ojer of Dandy Shots Productions, filmmaker, who co-produced “Hands in the Dirt”, Nathalie Chambers of the Farmland Protection Coalition and Mary Coll and Mary Alice Johnson of the newly formed Sooke Region Farmland Trust.
Kimi and Kareno have been a part of the Saanich Organics growers, Richmond Sharing Farm and Kwantlen University Farm School. They are now residents of Finn’s Slough on the banks of the Fraser where they grow organic veggies for Richmond and Vancouver on Sweetdigz Farm. Kimi and Kareno are young and energetic and are farmland activists with “Farm Watch”. They will share with us their passion of “urban farming” and farmland stewardship.
The Farmland Protection Coalition is a grassroots organization of groups and individuals committed to protecting farmland and supporting farmers and food systems in the Capital Region and across B.C. They recently organized a rally on Family Day in Victoria attended by 1500 people in support of maintaining the Agricultural Land Reserve as it is rather than stripping it of its jurisdiction and teeth as is being tossed about by the B.C. government.
The Sooke Region Farmland Trust has been created to assist in acquiring and preserving land for farmers to work who cannot afford to buy farming acreages in our area and to advance community awareness, local resilience and participation in food security. “High land values, vanishing ALR land and the loss of processing and distribution infrastructure have undermined local food systems. The trust’s objective is to enrich Sooke as a place to live, work, raise families and share organic, GE-free food”, says Mary Coll of InishOge Farm in Sooke and one of the trust’s founding board members. Founded in the summer of 2013, this is the area’s first farmland trust. Find out about what this means and how you can be a part of it.
The evening will also include:
* Tables in the foyer with a variety of information on farming and gardening for all ages plus local produce and products made from locally grown ingredients for sale.
* Tea and gourmet cookies featuring local ingredients made by the Culinary Arts students at EMCS. Bring a mug.
* Door prizes of garden gift baskets.
(Don’t forget to bring some cash for the cookies and the locally grown produce and products….supporting our local economy!)
The Farming and Gardening Gala was…..well…………..a gala.
The gardening enthusiasm was palpable. There were great farming/gardening products to buy and learn about and most yummy lavender, mint and nettle cookies and herb tea to refresh us. We heard some informed, passionate and eloquent speakers voicing concern about vanishing farmland and farmers here in Sooke and on the Island and, in fact, all over the world. We were encouraged to approach elected officials on all levels of government about the absolute necessity of not only preserving farmland but also of creating avenues for purchasing farmland when it comes onto the market in order to stem the hemorrhaging of arable land that has been going on for the past decades, especially notable in Sooke according to provincial stats.
The short films “Hands Off the ALR Townhall Meeting on Farmland Protection” and “Growing Farmers” are available to watch on the internet. “Hands in the Dirt” will be making the rounds of film festivals so keep an eye peeled if you missed it at the film night (one of its premier screenings).
For anyone wanting more information on Farm Watch BC, the organization that panelists Kimi and Kareno are involved with, go to www.farmwatchbc.blogspot.ca and the Farmland Protection Coalition that panelist Nathalie Chambers was representing can be found at www.farmlandprotection.ca. The Sooke Region Farmland Trust can be reached at their website www.sookefarmlandtrust.weebly.com or on facebook.