Wednesday, January 5, 2011

News and Resources

Poetic graffiti on the Native Berry Trail mural.

Happy New Year! I hope you're as excited as we are about the coming year.

In 2010, world food prices rose at an alarming rate, resulting in increased food insecurity. "Soaring prices of sugar, grain and oilseed drove world food prices to a record in December, surpassing the levels of 2008 when the cost of food sparked riots around the world, and prompting warnings of prices being in 'danger territory.'" You can read more here.

But the news isn't all bad. Lots of people are doing important policy- and neighbourhood-based work to strengthen food security in communities around the globe. Here are some workshops, learning resources, and job/volunteer opportunities that you can get involved with right in Vancouver. Be sure to check in to our blog for monthly event calenders for activities in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood.

Aboriginal Food Facts

Here is an illustrated guide to traditional Aboriginal foods in BC. The guide was produced by the First Nations Health Council. Here also is the FNHC's First Nation Community Nutrition Needs and Assets Survey.

Growing out of Hunger

Featuring Will Allen, CEO, Growing Power Community Food Centre, Milwaukee & Chicago. Find out how Will Allen, urban farmer and community activist, is dedicated to supporting low income and small family farmers and bringing healthy, affordable food to urban areas. Will has over fifty years experience in farming, marketing and distributing food and has shared this knowledge with youth, adults, community groups, immigrants, farmers and consumers.

Where: Croatian Cultural Centre
3250 Commercial Drive (and 14th)

When: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 7-9pm
This lecture is free, however pre-registration is required.

Britannia Community Centre Food Workshops

All workshops at Britannia Community Centre, Pre-teen Centre (604-718-5800)

Eightfold Eats: Gluten & Sugar-Free Baking

Eightfold Eats presents dual workshops with curriculum aimed at educating and informing on important health related topics. Join Mike Robinson, holistic nutritionist, Life Coach and culinary chef for these informative, fun, and affordable workshops. Each workshoop will provide information, tips on cooking and handouts. Including Baking Demo, How to Bake Gluten & Sugar-Free & make diabetic safe. learn about macrobiotics and the truth about all alternative sweeteners, body cleanses and supplements.

When: Feb 6, 1:30 - 3:30pm
Cost: $20

Sauerkraut Fermentation

We will learn how to make your own tasty and nutritious sauerkraut. It's easy and fun. This workshop is open to all and no experience is necessary.

When: Sat. Feb 26, 2 - 4:30pm
Cost: $12

Canning for Beginners

The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project in partnership with the Grandview Woodland Food Connection present this workshop. We will cover the basic canning methods for fruits and vegetables, equipment, and food safety. This is a hands-on workshop and you will take home a canned treat.

When: March 5, 2 - 5pm.
Cost: By Donation

All About Sprouts

Come learn about the amazing benefits of living sprouts and how to incorporate them into your daily diet for just pennies a day. This workshop will cover the health benefits of sprouting, methods and recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cost includes one sprout starter kit, sample snacks and lots of fun.

When: Wed, March 16, 6 - 9pm
Cost: $15

Strathcona Community Centre Food Security Workshops

To register for any workshop: 604-713-1838.
Please visit Village Vancouver or Strathcona Community Centre for more info.
Where: Strathcona Community Centre
601 Keefer St
Subsidy available with Leisure Access Card.

Garden Planning and Preparation with Grant Watson

This course will get you started in thinking about how to start a food garden, and taking the first important step of getting the beds ready for planting. A sound garden plan that takes all the key factors into consideration has a better chance of producing and winning your enthusiasm. Includes two hours of class time and a one hour practical activity. Grant Watson is a former organic farmer,community organizer and local food advocate.

When: Jan 9 Sun 1:30-4:30 and Jan 23 Sun 1:30-4:30pm.

Two Block Diet with Kate Sutherland and Julia Hilton

The idea is simple: invite everyone from both sides of two city blocks to come to a meeting about helping each other grow more food. Some people have tools, others have knowledge of starting plants from seed, others are experts in garden bed preparation, and with many hands, the work is fun.

When: Jan 11 Tue 7-8:30.

Village Vancouver Meetup and Potluck

Meet other community minded people, find out more about Village Vancouver and Transition Towns, discussions on community sustainability and resiliency.

When: Jan 24 Mon 6:30-9:30pm.
Free - donations accepted.

Backyard Chickens 101 with Duncan Martin

In this interactive session, you will learn the simple basics of proper care and keeping of small flocks of hens, and meet neighbours who share your interest.

When: Jan 25 Tues 7-9pm.

Sustainable Food Systems: Issues and Implications

An opportunity to explore some of the most pressing issues of our time, this course will offer a range of compelling topics. Read and discuss popular and scholarly writings on food policy and food choices and their impact on environment, health, and community. The course will take a global overview of the paradox of world hunger alongside widespread obesity, of controversial biotechnologies such as genetically modified foods, and of the challenges for ecology and health of large-scale livestock production. Examine some of the many local food initiatives in our city and elsewhere. This course is part of the Sustainability Management program at UBC Continuing Studies, but is open to anyone and everyone. Instructor: Eleanor Boyle. She'll be teaching the course, drawing from her background in food policy and behavioural sciences, as outlined at her website. Please feel free to email her with questions.

Click here for course details.

Community Kitchen Coordinator Job Posting: Urban Aboriginal Community Kitchen Garden Project

The Urban Aboriginal Community Kitchen Garden Project is seeking candidates to fill the position of Community Kitchen Coordinator. This position facilitates community kitchen and smokehouse sessions with Aboriginal groups and programs from Vancouver's East side in a fun, culturally appropriate, safe, informative and skill-building atmosphere at the Urban Aboriginal Community Kitchen Garden at UBC Farm in Vancouver BC.

Click here for more information on the position & how to apply.
Application deadline: January 7, 2011

Farm Intern Job Posting (Part-time), Fresh Roots Urban Farm

Fresh Roots Urban Farm is an organization committed to creating access to local, healthy, organically grown food in Vancouver through urban farming and community engagement. By utilizing neighborhood backyards and schoolyards, we nurture future farmers to sow the seeds of a sustainable urban food system.

This is an internship position where you will have the opportunity to further your urban farming knowledge and small-scale community engagement business skills.This position is part-time, minimum 24hrs/week from mid-March through October. It offers you the opportunity to experience a full growing season as well as work in East Vancouver neighborhoods building reliable community food systems.

Activities for all interns may include, but are not limited to:

Seedling production, bed preparation, cultivation/weeding, transplanting, pest management, drip irrigation installation and maintenance, harvesting, application of soil amendments, safe use of equipment, compost and worm compost maintenance, working with volunteers, help planning and facilitating farm workshops and events, maintenance and cleaning of tools, attending CSA pick-up locations, working in neighborhood schoolyards and backyards, consistently engaging with the local community, food community, VSB community.

To apply, please e-mail your resume, brief cover letter explaining why you wish to be an intern at Fresh Roots Urban Farm, what skills and experiences you bring with you, and explain your future farming plans and ideals to:
Ilana Labow:
no later than January 20, 2011.
For more information check out

The Food 2 U Program (Volunteer Posting)

The Food 2 U program is a partnership between the Vancouver Food Bank and Vancouver Coastal Health. The program delivers food to seniors or persons with a disability most Friday mornings and is looking for volunteer drivers (with their own car) and passengers. Mileage will be reimbursed for those usingtheir vehicles. Volunteers must be able to work well with people and be physically able to lift 20-25 lb grocery bags. Familiarity with the downtown area is an asset. For further information, please contact Carrah Boumeat 604-215-3931

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