Passions Magazine - Spring 2019

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passions ISSUE 7 | SPRING 2019










15 7


OVERNIGHTERS Taking to the Water





26 CONSTRUCTION UPDATE YOUR CALENDAR 27 FOR Upcoming Events & Activities UPDATE 27 RDN Environmental Stewardship Action Plan

COVER Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla) also known as the Pacific Chorus Frog, photo by Kevin Martin.


Harlequin Duck, photo by Peter Massas.


OUTWARD BOUND After a bit of a slow start, spring has finally sprung on Vancouver Island, and hopefully, this issue finds you happily enjoying the green and growing season with all those activities that took a back seat during the winter months. The longer days and warmer weather bring a refreshing promise of new growth, and as so many of us do, I find myself charging into the season with some well-intentioned goals. To eat healthier, get more exercise, spend more time outdoors and start making my day-to-day life a little greener. From gardening and food production to transportation and vintage home decor, we’re using the season of renewal as an opportunity to look at the world through green-tinted lenses. One good way to start? Shopping local and organic when possible. For this issue, we went on a road trip to visit some of our fabulous local food producers. You’ll also find some excellent tips on riding the road less traveled on a cycling holiday; inspiration for fresh and healthy eating with a seasonal salad recipe from our Fairwinds Executive Sous-Chef, and a collection of stories to help fuel that passion. Spring is the perfect time to commit to making positive changes for ourselves and our planet... so how will you green things up this spring? We’d love to know! I hope you enjoy this spring issue and I would love to hear from you about topics you’d like us to cover in future issues. As always, we welcome your feedback at

Julie Jaworski, PASSIONS Editor




Original Couples by Kait Burgan photos by Rae-Anne LaPlante

There is a lot of brain power residing in Fairwinds; people with remarkable careers who have chosen to call this seaside community surrounding a beautiful golf course, home. Sometimes when that brain-power meets grace and a mischievous sense of humour, it becomes clear why Fairwinds is a pretty good place to land, especially since this community also boasts a marina, wellness club, hiking trails, ocean views and easy access to urban life. “I don’t like any of that,” Ron quips. Ron Smith and his wife, Pat, are each sitting in an armchair in front of a feature window across from the couch where I’m sitting. I’m in their living room. There’s a gleam in Ron’s eye as he says this, and his face softens as Pat reveals a small grin. Ron’s joking of course. He’s seeing if I’m going to play along. I only met them a few minutes ago, and they’ve welcomed me into their home. It’s their fourth property in Fairwinds. They remember Fairwinds before it was Fairwinds, back when it was 750 acres of undeveloped tree-filled land. They saw the first house go up, and the second one too. They’re original members of the Fairwinds Golf Club, moving here in 2008 from lower Lantzville. To say that Ron and Pat are accomplished in international literary circles would be an understatement. I’m already feeling out of my element because I usually do these interviews over the phone, capturing the conversation typing on my laptop. I’m meeting Ron and Pat in person though, and I’m out-of-sorts trying to write things down the old-fashioned way, with pencil to paper. I’m doing my best to pretend I belong in the role of a writer in the presence of these two successful ones. When Ron suggests that if I like writing, I must be good with words, I mumble something about liking the ‘meet-and-greet’ part. Thankfully, their humour and grace over-power my feelings of inferiority and I find myself comfortable and relaxed in their presence, if not focused. Ron founded Oolichan Books in 1974. He’s published four books of poetry, an illustrated children’s book, a play, a collection of fiction called What Men Know About Women and a biography called Kid Dynamite, The Gerry James Story. Gerry James played for both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Maple Leafs and is hailed as one of the greatest Canadian athletes of all time. He lives in Fairwinds too, and they met on the golf course. Ron’s most recent publication, The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke, is featured in Readers Digest International and is


The root of it all is story. That’s how we understand ourselves, through culture and story.

RON SMITH Writer, Teacher, Publisher, Stroke Survivor, Fairwinds Resident

based on his experiences as a stroke survivor. Ron taught English and Creative Writing from 1971 to 1998 at Malaspina University College ― now Vancouver Island University. His list of acknowledgements is long enough to fill this page. In summary, Ron Smith is credited with playing “an essential role in the growth of literary, historical and public policy publishing.” While Ron was destined and determined to write, Pat never imagined herself as a writer. She has an MA in Political Science and Comparative Religions from the University of British Columbia and in supporting Ron during his first four years at Mal U-C, she attended 52 literary events which Ron organized. One of the many highlights from this time was seeing Michael Ondaatje sitting on their living room floor in his pyjamas. Today, Pat is a writer with three books to her credit: A Song For My Daughter, a novel about transformation and healing; Double Bind, a novella weaving elements of classical mythology with contemporary storytelling and, first, The Golf Widow’s Revenge, about a woman married to a demented golfer named Don. Pat plays nine holes of golf once a week. For Ron, golf was his passion until his stroke. He started playing in his early 30s and was captain of the Nanaimo Golf Club for a time. He no longer plays but notes, “the pool at the Fairwinds fitness club is great for rehab. It’s the main attraction now,” he says. “The most that could happen to me is that I drown.” Ron’s kidding of course. He needn’t worry, Pat was a lifeguard in her youth, and swimming has always been a big part of her life. Ron and Pat Smith are celebrating 50 years of marriage this year. “I tease her incessantly,” Ron says. “She has a sick sense of humour, whereas mine is gentle and kind.” It’s sarcasm at its most beautiful, and it’s easy to see they are playing with each other. There is caring and history between them, admiration and a lot of laughter. On this particular occasion, there is also a motorized window blind between them, and the mechanism needs replacing. It seems to have developed a mind of its own, randomly going up and down, interrupting our conversation. Somehow assuming a sort of fourth voice, contributing as the motor starts up, and the blind begins to rise, and then fall. We watch to see how far it will go and when or if it will stop. We laugh at the simple entertainment of the malfunctioning technology. Ron and Pat are each working on new books. The working title for Ron’s is Improbable Journeys: Crossing the Himalayas to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, co-authored with Dr. Bernie Binns. Pat is working on the title, The Caregiver’s Companion. “The root of it all is story,” Ron says. “That’s how we understand ourselves, through culture and story.”






and: •Enjoy unlimited facility access including the pool and sauna •Receive a complete facility tour and orientation •Receive a complimentary pass to one of our regularly scheduled classes *User cannot be a current member, cannot be combined with other discounts, offer expires July 1, 2019 all purchases are subject to applicable taxes, visit Fairwinds Wellness Club for details



Holidaying on Two Two Wheels

by John Whistler


y husband and I love going on bicycle holidays. It is a great way to explore and sightsee in an intimate and relaxed fashion. Taking active holidays also allows us to eat whatever we like! People often say how adventuresome we are and they could never do it. In fact, bicycle touring can be easy and there are a number of myths that need to be busted.


Château de Chambord, Loire Valley

The key is to be comfortable on your bike and to ensure it has been sized correctly. Then it is doing some practice rides, working up to 50 -60 km. We typically average 15 km/hr when touring loaded, plus adding time for scenic breaks and a lunch. These rides will sort out any sizing issues and will build up the stamina needed for a tour.


While we intend our tours to be holidays and not races, we still have to plan them in terms of distance and time and target to average 50 km a day. For us, a 1,000 km tour would take 20 days. We also plan for extra days if passing through a city that we want to spend more time in.

Myth 2 IT IS ALL CYCLING ALONG HIGHWAYS AND CAMPING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. There are many different styles of bicycle touring. Some people may prefer organized guided tours that manage accommodations and meals and include support services that carry your luggage, or yourself if you need a day off. An organized tour is a good introduction to bicycle touring.


FROM TOP L to R Dinner on road. Crossing the Danube on one of the many local ferries. Central Station Bike Parking in Copenhagen. Returning to Vienna on a hydrofoil ferry. Local and regional way-finding signage for cyclists, Berlin. Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Starting out, packed and waiting for a taxi. Getting on the train in Austria. Crossing a stream on a hand-powered cable barge. Steering clear of the livestock, Loire Valley. Lunch stop. Countryside route.



We prefer to stay in hotels or B&Bs and eat at restaurants because we enjoy the luxury. Others may be happy to camp, however that will more than double the amount of luggage that must be carried. We prefer routes that are paved and segregated from traffic; others may be fine to ride on highways or off-road. British Columbia is noted for off-road facilities with the Kettle Valley Railway being popular and suitable for a first time tour.

Myth 3


YOU WILL BE LOADED DOWN. Travelling light is critical unless you book an organized tour with luggage support services. We call our style ‘credit card touring,’ manage with only two panniers each: one is for clothes and the other is for everything else. It does mean just one cycling outfit and only a few pairs of socks and underwear, which are hand washed regularly. Our kit includes rain gear, casual wear and a dress outfit so we can go to an event or nice restaurant, and a notebook computer to keep us connected.

Myth 4 PLANNING IS TOO COMPLEX. Planning is essential for a successful bicycle tour, and it is helpful to go in the direction of the prevailing winds. This would be managed for an organized tour though we find planning by ourselves is part of the fun. The new smart phone apps now make route planning much easier and you no longer need to carry paper maps. Our starting point for planning is to find routes that are popular with other cycling tourists, are paved, mostly segregated from traffic and with a high level of services. Our tours have typically been in Quebec, where they have developed La Route Verte with more than 5,000 km designated for cycling touring, or in Europe whose Eurovelo routes connect 42 countries. We generally do not reserve accommodations except in large cities, in our arrival and departure cities, or if we come across a must-have gastronomic delight. We like this flexibility and typically find fivestar experiences, both in accommodation and food. Yes, sometimes we book into a Fawlty Towers and then that becomes something to remember and laugh about.

Myth 5 IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO TRANSPORT MY BIKE. We like to bring our own bikes because we are comfortable on them and they have the right accessories. Renting is an option for shorter or supported tours, however it may not be as comfortable. Regardless of what you do, think multi-modal for your trip and your world opens up to new experiences. We have taken our bikes in cars, on planes, on trains, on buses, on ferries and over roads that have been closed because of flooding or otherwise closed to vehicles. Sometimes a little research is needed but it is quite manageable to pack your bike for planes, trains or buses.

Myth 6 YOU HAVE TO BE A BIKE MECHANIC. We rely on finding a bike mechanic on the road if we have problems. We do have very basic skills which include fixing a flat tire, oiling the chain, boxing and reassembling the bikes for transport. This can all

On Vancouver Island, cycling trails are plentiful, the views are spectacular, forests lush, the ocean is always near, and access is often quite simple. As our trail network grows and evolves, one can ride off-road while enjoying many kilometres of interconnected paved or hard packed trails within and between communities. For off-road, multi-use (horseback riding, cycling, walking) trails that you can ride on most bikes, here are a few suggestions: South of the Malahat, Lochside Regional Trail, Galloping Goose Regional Trail, and East Sooke Regional Park offer a wide range of cycling experiences within the Capital Regional District. The Cowichan Valley has a wonderful network of trails, aptly named Cowichan Valley Trails, that is part of The Great Trail, (formerly known as Trans Canada Trail) and takes riders through, past, and across farms, vineyards, forests, and the historic Kinsol Trestle. With over 60 km of hard-packed trail, Cowichan Valley Trails can easily be a one or multi-day cycling experience. Nanaimo Parkway Trail in Nanaimo is paved and runs parallel to Highway 19–Nanaimo Parkway so it serves as a commuter/ active transportation route and is a great way to access various neighbourhoods in the city via connecting roads and trails. This trail is rolling (read hilly), so be prepared to pedal. One Spot Trail in the Comox Valley is mostly hard-packed gravel, fairly flat and takes you through some of the valley’s idyllic agricultural lands. One Spot Trail is a good one if you’re into visiting some of the area’s farm stands, u-pick fields, and commercial wineries. Further up Island, Beaver Lodge Forest Lands in Campbell River is part of the larger 25 km Greenways Loop around the city. As the name suggests, this trail system is located in the forest. Riding it is a lovely way to soak in the coastal rainforest and to take shelter from rain or the heat of the sun depending on the season. While I’m definitely in favour of exploring new areas by bike, seeking out information on sanctioned trails before getting out there is always a good idea. That information can be found on a variety of online and mobile app platforms (e.g. Tourism Vancouver Island, TrailForks, Trails BC) and in person at local bike stores, visitor or information centres, and municipal offices. Whether you’re new to a trail or have been riding it for years, I highly encourage you to connect with other cyclists by smiling or saying hello. This is a simple way to promote cycling while actively engaging in the local community. Happy riding! Laurel Sliskovic loves riding bikes! She rides a mountain bike on trails and a commuter bike on hard-packed paths and roads up and down Vancouver Island. For Laurel, riding a bike brings euphoric feelings of freedom and adventure - even on the challenging rides, you'll see her smiling, laughing, and often singing joyfully.

continued next page 9 PASSIONS | SPRING 2019

Favourite Tours

photo courtesy Andy Telfer

be managed with a tune-up before the trip, carrying a small tool kit, a little practice and worst case, a cell phone and taxi.

QUESNEL TO BELLA COOLA This Supernatural BC off-road and camping tour was one of my favourites, complete with the sighting of a grizzly bear feasting on spawning salmon. Then it was BC Ferries to Port Hardy and south on Vancouver Island with stops along the way to visit friends.

MONTREAL TO QUEBEC CITY This 250 km ride follows the Chemin du Roy (Kings Road) that was built in the late 1600s. The ride winds through quaint historical towns and farming villages that are now bypassed by twentieth century highways.

Opened in July 2017, Sooke Hills Wilderness Park is part of the south Vancouver Island leg of The Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail). The trail is open for hiking and cycling, and in some sections, horseback riding—

LAC ST. JEAN, QUEBEC The 250 km Véloroute des Bleuets around Lac St. Jean is a wonderful stand alone tour or alternatively this could be a 1,200 km trip that starts in Montréal, along the Chemin du Roy, then through the spectacular Saguenay Fjord, making the loop around Lac St. Jean and then taking a Via Rail train back to Montréal. Lac St. Jean is known for its unique Quebecois accent, tourtiére pies and of course, blueberries.

DANUBE The Danube is one of the most popular routes for bicycle touring and it attracts families of all ages and abilities. This is a magical vineyard and monastery tour with quaint medieval villages in between mustsee Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. This ride is flat and completely segregated from traffic on the historical tow paths used for barges. We flew into Vienna, then took the local train to Passau, Germany and rode 1,200 km to Budapest. We then returned to Vienna via hydrofoil ferry, though there is an option to continue another 1,200 km to the Black Sea.

LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE The Loire Valley is the vineyard and castle tour, flat and similar to the Danube but with a French flavour. For this ride we flew into Paris and spent a week exploring the city by bicycle – Paris has recently invested significantly in their bicycle infrastructure. We then took the local train to Orléans and rode the Loire Valley west to the Atlantic (approximately 600 km). We flew home from Nantes, though another option would be to follow the Atlantic coast north through Brittany and head over to England or into Belgium and then Holland. John Whistler has been active promoting transportation oriented cycling in Vancouver for the last 30 years, including serving on the City of Vancouver Bicycle Advisory Committee and the board of Pedal Society. John is happily retired, guesses he has put over 100,000 km on his bike and likes to holiday by bicycle with his husband.


...... vis

At press time, The Island Coastal Economic Trust announced it is investing $385,000 into cycling infrastructure that will connect Tofino to the Pacific Rim National Park, completing the last 2.8 of 40 km of uninterrupted pathway.... another example of green infrastructure that will enhance the quality of life for Vancouver Island visitors and residents.

FABRIC TECH by Sandy Robson


pring weather on the west coast can be unpredictable with temperature, humidity, cloud cover and wind speed changing hour-to-hour. If you are out working in your garden, kayaking in the bay, hiking a forested trail or biking to work, “what to wear” can sometimes be a struggle. Thankfully fabric and apparel has benefited from new and greener technology with products such as Runderwear (seamless, chaffe-less, moisture-wicking undies), quick-dry compression yoga leggings, and even Dagsejan sleepwear that assists with body temperature control, appearing in the marketplace. Wool, cotton, and silk still have their place but even these traditional materials have been updated making them lighter, warmer (or cooler), softer and more flexible. And there are the man-made materials we know from decades past. Gore-Tex became the standard bearer for protection from the rain in 1969, and Polar Fleece made partially from recycled plastic bottles took over the market in 1979 as the lightweight fabric of choice for keeping us warm. The latest fabrics have pushed that envelope with the creation of exciting synthetic blends, and new production techniques. Products such as Polartec’s Power Air (a fabric not a jet aircraft) utilizes an innovative knitting technique to increase thermal efficiency and reduce microfiber shedding. Primaloft is a microfiber insulate used in jackets, gloves and even footwear that dries much more quickly than down. And its latest incarnation, due to be available in 2020, is made from 100% recycled fibers and engineered to be biodegradable as well… a far more, eco-friendly option than most other synthetics. Made with fitness events in mind (think Foam Fest taking

place at Arbutus Meadows in Nanoose on June 8, 2019) high-tech fabrics including UnderArmour’s Microthread Tech don’t cling to the body when wet and dry faster than their predecessors. Threads embedded with silver salts are being used in close-tothe-body activewear for their antimicrobial properties that lessen the whiffy odour in the locker room. With so many options available, and bright labels that compete for your attention on activewear, what is the best approach for finding the right gear for you? I suggest deciding what you need the clothing to do for you… do you need to be warm (or cool), waterproof or windproof? Is softness and flexibility key, or does it need to be durable, and stand up to the elements? Is antimicrobial action and odour control a consideration? At this stage in the game, it’s likely you’ll find a piece of clothing, in a tech-enhanced fabric, that will fit you to a tee.





Mistaken Island

Cottam Point

Dorcas Point


Northwest Bay Nuttal Bay

PHOTO Snapped by Level II Kayak Guide, Sarah Spencer with her iPhone - near Mistaken Island, Summer 2018

Moorecroft Regional Park

Wall Beach

OPPOSITE FROM TOP L to R Putting in at Brickyard Bay, photo by Wendy Sears. Harlequin Duck, photo by Peter Massas. Bald Eagle, photo by Brad Powell 12 PASSIONS | SPRING 2019

One of the best ways to get out and explore the east

Douglas Island

coast of Vancouver Island is to take to the water, and one of the Yeo Islands

most rewarding ways to do that is to

Amelia Island

learn to paddle in a kayak. Not only is it great exercise, but kayaking can take you to places that conventional transport simply cannot reach. Luckily, the marina at Schooner Cove Winchelsea Islands

is one of few remaining access points for paddlers to embark from, which makes it a great area for exploring SCHOONER COVE Dolphin Bay

water sports.

Ada Islands

Ruth Island

Southey Island Brickyard Bay Ainsley Beach

by Noah Faust-Robinson

Wallis Island


Before embarking on an adventure on the water, it is important to be well prepared. Any trips starting from Fairwinds Marina are not for true beginners and require the supervision of a minimum level two guide. Start with some lessons, do your research, and consult local area professionals regarding the risks of being out on the water. Make use of resources on boating and navigation offered by the likes of the Sea Kayakers Guides Alliance of BC, Paddle Canada, and the Power and Sail Squadron in Nanoose. Also, pay a visit to One Tree Paddles in Fairwinds Marina for tours, guides, rentals and equipment.

A day on the water in the marine area surrounding Fairwinds is a great opportunity for paddlers to improve on their skills and get more comfortable navigating. A four-hour return trip south along the coastline keeps paddlers protected within the Ballenas-Winchelsea archipelago and sheltered from the open ocean. Here, paddlers are never far from shore and therefore never far from help should the need arise. These conditions are perfect for anyone seeking more experience in a kayak. Just south of the Schooner Cove breakwater is Dolphin Bay, which contains structures ideal for exploring tidal life. Take the opportunity to see the vast assortment of marine invertebrates and birds that call the Salish Sea home. Further to the south, you will encounter Brickyard Bay, which also acts as a secondary and gentler access point for kayakers.

The area off the coast of Brickyard Community Park is well protected, and the distances between the islands and islets is shortest, which means that at low tide it is perfect for learning some basics of island hopping. These islands provide the opportunity to take a break and further explore the marine and plant life on display in the Ballenas Channel. Be sure to steer clear of Nanoose Bay proper to the south as it is the site of a naval base. A day trip such as this in the waters off of Fairwinds is a great way to

Looking back towards Brickyard Bay from Southey Island, photo courtesy Wendy Sears.

improve on novice kayaking skills with the hope of eventually taking longer more advanced journeys.

For a weekend-long experience, an overnight trip to nearby Gerald Island is a great opportunity to advance existing paddling abilities. The four-hour return trip heads north from the Schooner Cove breakwater into the Ballenas-Winchelsea archipelago, passing by the smaller Amelia and Douglas Islands en route to Gerald Island itself. The beach access on the south side of the island is the ideal location for overnight camping and serves as a home base for exploring the twelve hectares of provincial park that was officially allocated in 2013. The island is rocky and lightly forested, and home to various bird and marine species, including eagles and visiting California sea lions. Visitors to the island will have unrivalled views back towards the coast of Vancouver Island and Moorecroft Regional Park. A trip to Gerald Island is not only a great paddling exercise, but a unique opportunity to explore the biodiversity that makes living on the Salish Sea so special. NFR

Brickyard Bay at sunrise, photo courtesy Brad Powell


Supporting the Land that Feeds Us


“The longer the distance from farm to table, the more preservatives are required and produce loses more and more of its nutritional value as each travel day passes.” Taylor Whitelock, Executive Sous-Chef Fairwinds Bar & Grill

by Amanda Wilson

“We’re going on a local farm road trip!” Julie’s voice conveys her excitement as she tells me about their plans. The Marketing and Communications Manager for Fairwinds was planning to accompany Executive SousChef, Taylor Whitelock on a tour of the farms who supply Fairwinds Bar & Grill: Nanoose Edibles, Springford Farms and Northwest Bay Ranch. I’m not surprised she’s excited. There’s something magical about farm life for urban folk; a sense of getting back in touch with the earth and nature, the joy of being close to what sustains us. It’s a magic that Barb and Lorne Ebell, owners of Nanoose Edibles, encourage with their U-Pick program. The long-time farmers are dedicated to growing certified organic produce and educating people on the benefits of eating local. “People come and bring their baskets and pick whatever produce they want, and it’s becoming more popular with our customers. I think it’s great for a whole family to come to the farm and understand there is an alternate way of life. It’s an opportunity for discussion about where their food comes from.” That discussion is important because we’re becoming ever more aware of how vital good food is for our mental and physical wellbeing. Says Whitelock, “the longer

the distance from farm to table, the more preservatives are required and produce loses more and more of its nutritional value as each travel day passes. That’s why we work with local suppliers as often as we can, not only to support the community but to receive the best product possible. Locally grown and organic products are typically harvested and brought to us the same day with no added preservatives. Freshest ingredient equals freshest flavour!” Barb Ebell bemoans the fact that the Island gets less than 10% of its food source from its farms. “We’re 30 years behind the times. There were lots of things we needed to do decades ago to develop our agricultural industry. My generation and the one following became addicted to shopping, and the idea of going into a mall was what you did, just like taking your kids to school, and it just became embedded in the culture. We spent all of our time running in and out of supermarkets that got 97% of their food from a truck every day.” When the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance became aware of that statistic, and the fact that our Island food supply in supermarkets and warehouses could carry us for only three days worth of normal consumption in the event of a natural

disaster, they knew they had to act. In 2018 they launched ‘Island Good’ in response to an identified need for increased food security on Vancouver Island through more support of agriculture in the region.

“When Islanders buy local,” says VIEA President George Hanson, “we know increased demand will lead to increased production, more jobs and more production capacity as shopping dollars stay on Vancouver Island to support Island growers, producers and grocers.” The program has proved immensely successful. It’s a simple concept: Island Good labels are placed on shelves and on products signalling the food is local. “When we show them, people buy,” says Hanson, “and participating retailers have noticed a huge difference in sales, in one FROM TOP L to R The Island Good logo developed by Vancouver Island Economic Alliance to identify Island food products. Nanoose Edibles veggie patch and greenhouse. The cheerful Springford Farm sign.



In a Natural Hue Nanoose Edibles

case a 400% lift for one product.” I asked Dave Hubscher, Meat Operations Manager at Island Good founding member Country Grocer, what drives their ongoing choice to include local suppliers. “The consumer focus on local and sustainable is definitely on the rise,” he says, “so doing what we can helps everyone. Farmers are great, I always give them full kudos. It’s not easy work, that’s for sure.” Over at Nanoose Edibles, you’ll find Barb and Lorne hard at work six days a week at the farm. Lorne looks after the bees and chickens and Barb’s the expert on seeds and growing and will often be the person you see when you drop in to U-Pick. Barb says as consumers we have the power to grow our local agriculture industry. “Don’t be afraid to demand more local. Don’t stop at the produce manager – go to the store manager, go to the buyer and the distributor. It’s the buyer that has the power, and they’re going to have to get their commitment to local to the point where they’re prepared to not buy product shipped in from outside if it’s possible to grow it on Vancouver Island.” Don Florence, Director of Operations for 49th Parallel Grocery (another Island Good member), tells me what they look for when sourcing local growers and producers. It’s not a simple process. “We want a good quality product, a consistent supply, a workable delivery schedule and a price that the product will sell at. Local suppliers must be able to offer a product that isn’t already on our shelves and have a universal product code.” Working with local farmers has proved inspirational for Taylor Whitelock. “I can let the seasons dictate the menus and dishes, and that creates new ideas every month. By getting to know the farmers and suppliers who cultivate and love their products, it becomes my reward to showcase and share them with the community.” AW


1 2 With spring comes the hypnotic song of PACIFIC TREE FROGS who inhabit the meadows and wetlands of the west coast. Pseudacris regilla, also known as the Pacific Chorus Frog, sports a bright green colour that blends in well with the local surroundings. This one, captured by Kevin Martin, was sitting on a sunflower leaf stem in Nanoose.

KERMIT may have felt that it’s not easy being green, but as spring arrives on Vancouver Island it’s certainly not difficult to see. Green is the colour of nature... and frogs! It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. It has a strong emotional resonance with feelings of safety and security, and is understood to be the most restful and relaxing colour for the human eye to view. So let’s celebrate all things green…

3 Looking for a LUXE FABRIC to update your décor? How about a little something in green velvet which is on trend for 2019. We like it on a sofa, armchair, ottoman… or perhaps some throw cushions to start.

4 It doesn't take long to spot FERNS when you are out and about on Vancouver Island. Sword (Polystichum munitum), Licorice (Polypodium glycyrrhiza) and Lady (Athyrium filix-femina) ferns abound, and while graceful looking, they are tough and well adapted to our woodlands and weather. Ferns flourish in the wild but can also fit nicely into a coastal garden scheme, ideally in a moist, shady spot.


PAINT COLOURS… 50 shades of green— from olive to emerald and chartreuse. See the local paint experts at Benjamin Moore, Cloverdale Paint, Albertson’s and Home Hardware to find the shade that’s right for you.


ASPARAGUS… One of the first of the green spring vegetables is asparagus, emerging sentinel-like from the garden. The spears grow from rooted crowns and once they peek out from the soil you can almost watch them grow inch-by-inch over the space of an afternoon! This tasty perennial vegetable also rewards the gardener with tall, delicate fronds that wave in the breeze at the end of the growing season.


GOLF… and we know some of your favourite greens are right here at Fairwinds Golf Club! Book a tee-time online, check course conditions, and sign up for our newsletter to get the latest news and updates for Fairwinds Golf Club sent right to your inbox!

8 GREEN SMOOTHIE Turn over a new green leaf, with a delicious smoothie to start your day. Add 2 cups fresh spinach, or another leafy green, and 1 cup of water, or dairy free beverage such as almond milk to a blender. Blend well until all leafy bits are gone. Toss in a combination of fruit: frozen mango, blueberries, pineapple, banana. Also include a heaping tablespoon of a healthy fat like coconut oil, almond butter, or a ¼ cup diced avocado. Blend again until creamy and enjoy!

10 TREE FROG GREEN–SPRING HARVEST TEA consists of thousands of carefully selected tender leaves and buds from the seven-year old tea plants of Westholme Tea Company in the Cowichan Valley. The first two leaves and a bud are handplucked and then quickly steamed, rolled, wokfired and baked to make this fragrant green tea with subtle notes of citrus.


AND THE OSCAR GOES TO… Green Book, winner of the 2019 Academy Award for Best Picture. 17 PASSIONS | SPRING 2019

by Taylor Whitelock photos by Sean Fenzl

Did you know that the first Canadian food guide, Canada’s Official Food Rules, came out in 1942 as a response to wartime food shortages? Since then, our healthy-eating rulebook has gone through eight revisions and name changes, including the most recent one in January 2019: it’s now called Canada’s Food Guide.




Actually, it is easy being green




gu ood-


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Many people see this as a radical overhaul: a new way of eating. The four food groups that most of us grew up with are gone, along with their recommended serving sizes. Instead, we’re encouraged to eat fresh food, ideally unprocessed, and divide each meal plate in

a proportional way, with half allocated to vegetables and fruits, and about a quarter-plate each for protein and whole-grain foods. Dairy no longer gets its own category – it’s now rolled into the protein section – and there’s an emphasis on replacing meat with plant-based proteins like legumes. Green activists applaud this move, citing studies that have shown that greenhouse gases, deforestation, and water consumption will decrease, and more land will be preserved if the world reduces its demand for meat. For chefs like me, it makes an exciting challenge, because many people are used to having meat as the centrepiece of a meal, whether at home or when dining out. But letting the seasons dictate the menu and using the local produce that’s available is actually fun. And of course, going for the vegetables is better for the environment and better for us, too! Not incidentally, the new eating guidelines can also be extremely delicious. I highly recommend you branch out from your old standbys and try new foods and ways of cooking (my favourite way to apply heat to vegetables is roasting, but stir-frying, baking, and steaming are also winners). You’ll discover new flavours and textures that are highly satisfying and will become new favourites in your repertoire. In winter, the pickings can be slim for fresh local produce, but at Nanoose Edibles just down the road from Fairwinds, you can always get a huge variety of greenhouse-grown, organic greens. Packed with nutrients and flavour, these make an excellent base for whatever you want to throw on top. A colourful range of vegetables is a great way to start, and then you can power up the protein and texture by adding nuts, berries, and cheese or another protein source. Although the food guide suggests you make water your main beverage, my main-dish salad would go great with a glass of prosecco. And something ridiculously decadent, like an over-the-top crème brulée for dessert – bonus points if you make it with lavender from the farm! However you feel about putting down your steak knife, there’s one principle of the Guide I know you can get behind, and that’s the recommendation to share meals with family and friends. Taste, enjoy, connect, and take your time. TW


This is Taylor’s first appearance in Passions. He previously worked with Executive Chef Shawn Sannes in Vancouver and has been part of the Fairwinds team since June 2018.

Taylor’s Warm Spring Salad Serves 6

Salad 1 lb local greens 12 oz heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved 3 oz radishes, very thinly sliced 12 oz fennel, trimmed and very thinly sliced 12 oz asparagus, chopped into 2" pieces olive oil zest of one lemon 3 oz hazelnuts, crushed - from Wade’s Hazelnut Farm in Chemainus 6 oz dried cranberries 6 oz feta - The product from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks is outstanding! Fresh mint chiffonade (thin slices)


Add a tablespoon of oil to a skillet on medium heat. When oil is hot enough to shimmer, add fennel and asparagus to the skillet, sprinkle with zest of one lemon, and cook 6 to 7 minutes (or roast them in a pan in a 400° oven for 15 minutes) until slightly caramelized.

Champagne Vinaigrette

For vinaigrette, combine first four ingredients in a bowl, then slowly add olive oil, whisking steadily so the mixture emulsifies, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

¼ cup Champagne vinegar 2 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp honey 1 tbsp parsley ½ cup olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the greens in the dressing just until coated, then place in individual bowls, arrange the tomatoes and radishes on top, followed by the warm vegetables. Top with crushed hazelnuts, cranberries, feta, and mint chiffonade.

Oak Leaf Lettuce

Mustard Greens Parsley

Leaf Lettuce


Baby Butter Lettuce


Brussel Sprout


Red Leaf Lettuce

Fava Bean Leaf

Chard Brussel Sprout

Sorrel Corn Mash

Kale Frisee


Dill Fennel


the Second R ON THE HUNT FOR VINTAGE GREEN by Sandy Robson

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… the three R’s that guide a greener approach to our lives. The third R is fairly easy to track and current RDN recycling programs have managed

to divert almost 70% of our recyclable waste materials, from aluminum cans to food waste, away from landfill sites. The other two R’s are harder to quantify and depend on each of us making greener choices when it comes to the items we use and purchase. While it’s true that we live in an increasingly disposable world—how often have you heard someone say they don’t make things like they used to— one of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to reuse is by shopping for vintage and antique items, or by upcycling and refurbishing the things we already own. Antique stores, specialty auction houses, vintage boutiques, second-hand stores and thrift shops abound, so when you are looking for some new-to-you wine glasses, an oak armoire, a glass citrus reamer, a 1950s formica table for your themed she-shed, a second-hand tv for the man cave, or a copy of Company’s Coming—Preserves cookbook (like the one I just found at the mother of all second-hand stores in the area, the SOS Thrift Store—see store listings p. 27), the fascinating and browse worthy shops of Vancouver Island will entice you to explore. Antiques are once again gaining in popularity, and rather than turning away from the past, designers are boldly mixing old and new… achieving a perfect balance of modern sensibilities with antiques and vintage finds and finding beauty in older objects and the craftsmanship of days gone by. This trend may also be attributed to a growing awareness of the effect over-consumption, single-use items, and goods with alarmingly short life spans has on the changing climate and other aspects of our environment. Part detective work, part historical research and part romance, shopping for antique and vintage wares calls for an inquisitive, patient nature and is not to be rushed. While upcycling takes a bit of imagination and a willingness to see things in a new light… think lamps made from cast off industrial pieces and coffee tables from barn doors, one must take time to pause and consider, ponder and examine, to fully experience the thrill of the hunt, the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of making something old, new. And if you already have (or have found) a piece of furniture that has great bones but is a little worse for wear, you can give it new life by refinishing, reupholstering and otherwise renewing it. You can undertake the project yourself or have someone like Christie Carter-Tokairin from Revived Vintage in Qualicum Beach do it for you. Using eco-friendly milk paint products, Christie works her magic creating one-of-a-kind pieces for you to cherish. The solid pine dining table that had been with me for over 30 years, went from tired country classic to chic modern farmhouse style under her skillful touch. Island Upholstery has been restoring sofas, couches and dining chairs in Parksville for over 40 years. And Hartmann & Company in Nanaimo, does hand finishing using old world finishes and techniques, as well as modern spray finishes to bring those table surfaces back to their original lustre. If you can look at the world with fresh eyes and perhaps re-imagine a piece or two, not only will you be helping the planet, you may also save yourself some money (for perhaps another vintage piece) and will certainly discover that the second R can be a lot of fun in the process.




1950s formica table from Fab Finds, Victoria. Ornate frames ready to be re-imagined. New upholstery and refinished woodwork saved this armchair from the landfill— Hartmann & Company, Nanaimo. THIS PAGE TOP L to R

Snapshot of the ever-changing shop floor at Romantic Ruins, Nanaimo. Glass citrus reamer, ETSY. Danish Mid Century Modern armchair. BEFORE and AFTER the author’s pine dining table was refinished in dark gray milk paint by Revived Vintage, Qualicum Beach. A surprising Derby lazy Susan plate stand. NEXT PAGE

Vintage glassware, pottery and cookware at Very Vintage Upcycled Chic, Nanaimo.


A FEW FAVOURITES TO EXPLORE… Local Cheshire Cat Antiques & Thrift Store (on Facebook) Demxx Deconstruction (Two locations - Island Upholstery ( Mildred’s Memorabilia Antiques (furniture and appraisals - SOS Thrift Shop ( Sylvie’s Gently Used Furniture (on Facebook) Things & Stuff Furniture, Bowser AND the 26th Annual Father’s Day (Classic Car) Show’n Shine weekend June 14-16, Qualicum Beach ( Mid-Island to the Malahat Hartmann & Co, Nanaimo (for antiques, refinishing and upholstery, Romantic Ruins, Nanaimo (on Facebook) Very Vintage Upcycled Chic, Nanaimo (on Facebook & Instagram) Antique Addict, Ladysmith (, also Facebook & Instagram) Antiques Post Office Mall, Ladysmith ( and on Facebook) Belongings, Duncan (on Facebook) Union 22 & Union Made, Cobble Hill (on Facebook & Instagram) Victoria Charmaine’s Past and Present (; also Facebook & Instagram) General Salvage Ltd. (on Facebook) Kay’s Korner (on Facebook) Surroundings ( The Fabulous Find (Mid-century furnishings, Trig Vintage ( and on Facebook) Vanity Fair Antiques Mall (

Parsing out the

PERFECT PLANTER by Jen Groundwater

Done right, planters add interest, colour and vibrancy to your home and garden but you won’t get good results by just stuffing a bunch of bedding plants into a basket and hoping for the best. (Trust me. I’ve tried.) This year, I’m going to up my planter game with this beta on building beautiful baskets from Fairwinds’ head gardener, Tanya Bryan.

A well-designed planter has three elements.

In the middle or back of the pot goes the thriller: something that gets nice and big. (Tanya likes fountain grass, canna lily, papyrus, or a banana.) In the middle goes the filler, which should be something that blooms like crazy (maybe petunias or heliotrope). The spiller trails out the front: potato vine, verbena, lobelia, or calibrachoa are all nice choices. Use plants with differing heights and textures for more interest. Even more importantly, select plants that like the same amount of sun or shade so you don’t frizzle or freeze any outliers. For good advice, Tanya says to shop at a reputable garden centre, where “they know all the ins and outs.” Six or seven plants are probably enough for a 12-inch basket (adjust upward as needed). “You don’t want to overstuff them because then they choke one another out.”

With hot summers and water restrictions

becoming the new normal, stay away from having lots of smaller baskets, which struggle to retain moisture because they tend to fill up fast with roots. Since bigger containers hold more soil, they retain nutrients and water much better. After you’ve put your plants in, cut off the blossoms. Yes, really! This makes the plant bushier quicker, says Tanya. Water and fertilize with regular 20-20-20. After the space has filled in, you can stop cutting and enjoy the flowers. Obviously, watering regularly is crucial, and even one or two lapses can doom your planter. “Once plants dry out, it’s really hard to get them to come back.” To save on both water and time, you might want to check out self-watering containers which have a reservoir at the bottom from which water wicks up into the soil.


Tanya’s number one secret for keeping planters

looking nice is simple but emphatic: “Deadheading, deadheading, deadheading.” Trim off spent flowers every day to help your containers look their best. Here’s to a summer of beautiful blooms!







Planters and pots at Fairwinds start out in an unheated greenhouse so they’re planted later in the season but Tanya’s plantings quickly catch up, putting on a colourful show throughout the summer and into early fall. Ipomoea grows so vigorously that by August, it needs frequent cutting back to keep it from taking over the decks.


To learn about outdoor water conservation, landscaping, plant selection and placement, irrigation, the use of rain barrels and more, visit: And to check in on RDN watering restrictions as drier weather approaches, go to: The RDN also offers rebates and incentives for homeowners. To find out if you’re eligible for funding to help make your property more environmentally friendly, visit:

Depending on weather and plant choice, filling the Dot TruDrop SelfWatering Planter is needed only every two to six weeks.



springing into action... The change in season has brought longer, brighter days and increased production times for our construction crews.

THE LANDING... Things are moving along nicely with the building renovation. Exterior wall curbs are now complete and ready for glazing installation on the lower level. Electrical transformers have also been delivered and are ready for installation. The building’s exterior walls, entrance ramps and stairs are nearing completion and a new gutter system has been installed on the building’s roof.


SEASCAPE Experience Seascape. Fairwind’s soon-to-be new restaurant, lounge, cafe and store will offer an upscale, casual, west coast dining experience overlooking the sea. Opening early 2020 at the Landing, Seascape will showcase fresh seafood and local fare from around Vancouver Island.


Get the latest news on this project as it becomes available. Register at for updates and stay informed!



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THE WESTERLY... The second floor suspended slab is now complete and the wiring and plumbing work has begun on the lower levels. Crews are working on backfilling the building’s foundation and soon construction vehicles will be able to drive directly into the underground parkade.

for your calendar...


WEEKLY MEETUPS AND ACTIVITIES SPRING 2019 MONDAYS Alternating between Bocce Ball and Croquet 2 – 4 pm | Wellness Club activity lawn

TUESDAYS Pooch Pack (dog walking group) 9 – 10 am | Meet in front of the Wellness Club.

WEDNESDAYS Alternating between Cards & Coffee and Board Games 1 – 3 pm | Wellness Club - Neil Scott Room Walking Group 1 – 2 pm | Meet in front of the Wellness Club.

In early 2019, through a series of workshops, the RDN Board identified various challenges and opportunities facing the region. The Board then outlined a series of objectives (grouped by themes) and associated action items designed to achieve those objectives. Environmental Stewardship has been identified as one of eight Key Strategic Areas within the Regional District’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. Goal To protect and enhance the natural environment for future generations. Actions Timeline • Protect and acquire lands for environmental preservation and parkland – 2019 • Update the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program Action Plan – 2019 • Achieve 90% waste diversion target as per the Solid Waste Management Plan – 2032 • Continue to improve the quality of treated wastewater in the Region – Ongoing Water The Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water System was established in 2005 by amalgamating the water service areas locally known as Madrona, Wall Beach, Driftwood, Nanoose (Beachcomber), Fairwinds, Arbutus Park, and West Bay. The water supply comes from a series of groundwater wells located in the Nanoose Bay Peninsula, and is supplemented seasonally (as required) with water from the Englishman River. The water is chlorinated and stored in several reservoirs throughout Nanoose Bay. A water treatment plant designed to remove iron, manganese, ammonia and sulphur from the well water was constructed in 2012. By the end of Nov. 2012, Nanoose Bay Peninsula water customers were receiving a muchimproved combination of filtered and unfiltered drinking water. Waste Wastewater from approximately 1,400 residential and commercial users in the Fairwinds area of Nanoose is treated at the Nanoose Bay Pollution Control Centre (NBPCC). Wastewater is gravity fed and pumped to NBPCC from nine pump stations. The NBPCC uses chemically-enhanced primary treatment to remove up to 70% of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and up to 80% Total Suspended Solids (TSS). Sludge from NBPCC is trucked to the French Creek Pollution Control Centre where it undergoes further treatment to become Biosolids. Effluent is discharged via an outfall into the Strait of Georgia 450 m offshore at a depth of 39 m. The RDN has tracked its solid waste disposal since the 1980s. Since then, residents have reduced, recycled, diverted and composted more than 68% of their waste that was otherwise destined for the landfill. In 2002, the RDN adopted “zero” as its waste diversion target, meaning the region will continuously strive to reduce the amount of waste requiring disposal. Residents are now throwing away about one-third of what they were in the 1980s: 347 kg/capita per year in 2014 compared to 1,084 kg/capita per year from 1980s disposal estimates. The amended Plan is targeting a diversion rate of 90%, meaning per person disposal would be about 109 kg per year by 2027. The RDN website provides a wealth of information on how resources are managed in our region including studies on aquifers, sensitive eco-systems, water testing, waste diversion, farmland protection and information on current projects. 27 PASSIONS | SPRING 2019

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