Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Community Garden Orientation and Upcoming Events

Getting the garden ready is a family affair at the Collingwood Community Gardens' year-opening work party.

The weather this weekend was gorgeous and sunny--perfect for the year-opening work party at the Collingwood Community Gardens. We're very excited about the coming year, with plans to build a new accessible shed and also to deal with our chronic flooding issues and wheelchair inaccessible pathways. This work is supported by a Vancity Community Grant which also supported the construction of the wheelchair accessible shed at Cheyenne Avenue Garden.

Cheyenne Avenue shed in progress (photo by Jason Hsieh).

Finished shed! (photo by Jason Hsieh)

Community Kitchen webinar, Community Food Systems Course, BC Food Systems Gathering

1) WEBINAR: What's Cooking? A Look at the Stop's Community Kitchen Programs

Date: Thurs, Apr 12, 9 am – 10am (PST)

Location: At your desk, on your computer!

Cost: Free

Join staff from Toronto's The Stop Community Food Centre on April 12th via the web. This webinar will explore the various types of community kitchen programs that The Stop has offered over the past 14 years, as well as issues of outreach & evaluation, tips on running a good community kitchen session, and how community kitchens relate to their larger work of creating Community Food Centres across Canada. Featuring Program Director Kathryn Scharf, Urban Agriculture Manager (and The Stop’s first ever staff to run Community Kitchens!) Rhonda Teitel-Payne, and Community Programs Manager Amanda Montgomery, please join for this informative and exciting discussion.

To register: Complete the online registration page. (note that webinar is 9-10 am for us on Pacific Standard Time. The publicity may refer to 12-1pm because they are referring to Eastern Standard Time!)

If you have any questions, please contact: elizabeth@thestop.org or ross@thestop.org.

2) SFU VANCOUVER COURSE: Community Food Systems

Simon Fraser University City Program and Sustainable Community Development Program is offering the course, Community Food Systems (Course #SUST908–VA1121), designed for mid-career professionals.

Cost: $600

Dates: Friday-Saturday, April 20-21, 2012

Time: 9am-5:30 pm,

Location: SFU Vancouver

Food isn’t just what we eat. Eating is only one part of a vast global system to grow, process, package, market and ultimately discard food. Regrettably, the industrial food system of today is failing not only our communities, but our environment and our bodies too. But there is an alternative recipe for food – a sustainable one – that promises to bring food and agriculture back into our communities so they are more vibrant, vital and healthy for all. Taught by leading food system practitioners and drawing from best practices from across North America, this practical course will explore a broad scope of community food system opportunities – from land use planning and urban design strategies, to bringing food into land and economic development efforts, to successful grassroots initiatives. An emphasis on implementation will explore topics such as how to get local decision-makers on board and using social media and other communication techniques effectively.

Presentations and panels involving a range of guest speakers will be combined with large and small group discussion and activities so course participants from diverse backgrounds can consider the role of food in their communities, organization or sustainability efforts. This is an essential course for mid-career professionals in the emerging field of community food systems – the next big 'thing' in sustainability. This is an essential course for mid-career professionals in the emerging field of community food systems – the next big 'thing' in sustainability.

View the detailed course description or download a draft course agenda. This course is an elective in the Sustainable Community Development Certificate. Registrants don't have to be formally enrolled in the certificate to take this course.

To register: call 778-782-5254

Janine de la Salle, planner, food, and agriculture systems specialist, HB Lanarc.
Erik Karlsen, past executive director of the Agricultural Land Reserve
Mark Holland, vice-president, New Monaco Enterprise Corporation
Peter Ladner, author, The Food Revolution-Changing the Way We Feed Cities
Tara McDonald, executive director, Vancouver Farmers Markets
Joaquin Karakas, urban designer, HB Lanarc
Brent Mansfield, co-chair, Vancouver Food Policy Council

Planning is now underway for the B.C. Food Systems Network Gathering that is taking place from July 5th through the 8th, 2012.

In preparation for the event, the Gathering Committee is putting out this request for:

proposals, workshops, roundtables and discussion topics
potential sources for funding
ideas for making the gathering a meaningful and enriching experience for all
The 14th Annual Gathering of the BC Food Systems Network will be located at Camp Fircom on beautiful Gambier Island. Gambier Island is in the Howe Sound, in the Traditional Territories of the Coast Salish People. The camp is on the south west side of the island and is accessible by water taxi from Horseshoe Bay, about 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver or a 90 minute ferry ride from Nanaimo. The camp has been recently renovated and offers many recreational opportunities, including beach access and hiking trails. The camp is also in the process of expanding its farm and is looking forward to collaborating with Network members to develop a multi-year plan for realizing this vision.

The theme of the Gathering is "Reclaiming our Food Systems: Policy and Practice". A food system is defined as the resources and processes that are required to feed a population. It includes producing, processing, shipping, storing, selling and consuming food, as well as the management of waste associated with all of these processes. Most of the BCFN current food policy supports the industrial food system. One of the goals of the Network is to develop and advocate policies to redesign food systems to alleviate hunger and promote sustainability - food policy that places community food security as the highest priority.

The Gathering will blend scheduled workshops, presentations and activities with unstructured time and space to encourage informal sharing, socializing or quiet contemplation. During the Gathering there will be opportunities to explore exciting initiatives that reclaim elements of the food system as well as discussions about the network’s policy priorities, including water rights and access, food labeling and GMOs, agricultural land use and urban agriculture, to name a few.

The purpose of the Gathering is to bring the Network together to share their experiences and initiatives, to build new relationships and to strengthen existing ones. The Gathering is about connecting people and drawing on the wisdom and expertise that exists within the Network. The Gathering Committee encourages all of you to share your knowledge and ideas on how to create a valuable experience for everyone.

Registration will begin in late April. If anyone would like to participate in planning for the Gathering or to volunteer during the event, contact BCFN. The Gathering Committee is especially interested in new ideas for funding sources.

For further details of the Gathering, please call the BCFN at (604) 485-7940 or visit their website http://fooddemocracy.org/.


Fresh Choice Kitchens
The Community Kitchen Program
Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society
1150 Raymur Ave
Vancouver, BC
V6A 3T2

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