Island Farm & Garden Magazine Summer/Fall 2020

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farm connection csa, you say? summer recipes SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESS Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


ISLAND FARM &GARDEN Publisher: Judy Stafford, Cowichan Green Community 360 Duncan Street, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3W4 tel: 250.748.8506 fax: 250.597.1112 Editor: Eric Morten | Thanks to our "experts in the field" for sharing their wisdom


Cover photo: Lantzville Rose by Heather Haseltine


by Eric Morten, Editor 'd rather not talk about it any more. These novel times, the hope and the helping aside, have been daunting for all and sadly aren't the past yet. But let's consider the positives that I can see from my home office (read kitchen table).

People are taking their health more seriously. Aside from the masking and clean hands, more people are getting out. The number of husbands joining their wives for walks in my neighbourhood has increased by a factor of seven at least. There is a greater sense of self-sufficiency. I've witnessed young people learning to design the perfect loaf, make exotic pickles, build and plant beds, even ferment their own ginger beer. All for sharing on Instagram as well as at the table. Then there's the gardening, essentially the perfect storm of health recommendations–go outside but don't go far; get exercise; avoid stressful situations; produce and eat good food. Do all of these things and you're doing them not only for yourself, but for our society. So thank you, heroes, for doing all you've done during "these times." You've always been heroes to us. Happy gardening.

A Rosy Past...........................................................................................4 Summer Clean Up................................................................................6 Meat for Local Tables...........................................................................8 A Pandemic Garden...........................................................................10 The Farm Connection.........................................................................12 Buying Thyme....................................................................................16 Summer Savour.................................................................................18 A Home Grown Business...................................................................20 Adapt and Farm.................................................................................22 Cowichan Green Community Notes..................................................26 Knowledge is the Best Medicine.......................................................28 4-H Farm Frolics.................................................................................31 Find us at hundreds of locations on the Island, including all VIRL branches, medical centres, coffee shops and these fine establishments. SOOKE LADYSMITH COURTENAY/COMOX Island Farm & Garden Pemberton Holmes SAANICH Buckerfield's Marigold Nursery WESTSHORE Willow Wind Feed DUNCAN Cowichan Exhibition Cowichan Canine Cowichan Economic Dev. Top Shelf Feeds Equine Emporium Buckerfield's Shar-Kare Island Tractor Marigold Nurseries Royal LePage

MLA Routley Office Shar-Kare CASSIDY Riverbend Hay NANAIMO Buckerfield's Fredrich's Honey Gordon's Homes Harbour City Equipment MLA Routley Office Plecas Meats Shar-Kare PARKSVILLE Shar-Kare Buckerfield's PORT ALBERNI Arrowvale Farm Alberni Economic Dev.

Black Creek Farm & Feed CV Economic Dev. Top Shelf Feeds Westview Ford CAMPBELL RIVER Shar-Kare POWELL RIVER Top Shelf Feeds

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is available as a free digital version Subscribe and have your copy delivered hot off the press @ $20 per year. Our advertising family is growing as more and more of our 10,000 plus readers refer to the businesses who support us to meet their agricultural needs. Let our happy readers from all over the Island know about your business and enjoy our affordable rates.

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Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

2020 . . . we didn’t see this coming!

we didn’t see this


Instead of the usual Exhibition, mark your calendar for TWO live shows! We welcome your participation as an exhibitor, a visitor or both.


o, let’s get busy and see what Cowichan can do in 2020. What plan will engage people, bringing the community together while staying apart?

Inspired Pop-Up


Here is it, “UN”FAIR-20, two live shows for both exhibitors and visitors. “Inspired Pop-Up” and “Quilts 7 different categories: in 39 the classes Barn” arein perfect opportunities to show off projects completed during the COVID-19 lockdown we all had From the Garden . . . Flowers . . . Homegrownwhen Cannabis unexpected time on our hands. Included are categories for From the Kitchen . . . Photography everything grown in your veggie garden, scarecrows (wearing Arts masks), and Crafts . . . Inspired by Dr. Bonnie Henry beautiful bouquets from your flower bed, arts and crafts, photographs, cookies, home canning and cannabis, plus all those You couldquilts win 1st, 2nd or stitching. 3rd for your entry! colourful you’ve been We have added Dr. Bonnie Henry-inspired classes to honour the amazing job she is doing to keep everyone in BC safe.

2020 . . . we didn’t see this coming! Mark your calendar for TWO live shows!

Inspired Pop-Up SEPTEMBER 6 & 7 (Labour Day) Mellor Hall

Quilts in the Barn and Other Textiles SEPTEMBER 11, 12 & 13 Barns 1, 2 and 3

SEPTEMBER 6 & 7 (Labour Day) Interested in exhibiting? Register between Aug 5th and Aug. 26; there is no feeMellor to enter. Go Hall online and click on “UN”FAIR-20, or stop in at 7380 Trans Canada Hwy., Duncan.

Quilts in the Barn

Tickets to attend are $5.00 and must be pre-booked online or through the office 250-748-0822. When you leave the show, exchange that ticket for a voucher good for $5 off admission to the 2021 Cowichan Exhibition!


and Other Textiles

6 classes in 2 different categories:

Do stay tuned for details on our spectacular ‘drive in’ Laser Light Bed Quilts . . . Other Textiles Show! They’ll be available Aug 5th. Check our website for moreeach “UN”FAIR-20 People’s Choice ribbons will be awarded day!

To enter a show or pre-book a visit go to, click on “UN”FAIR-20 Entry registration opens Aug. 5 and closes Aug. 26.

Stay tuned

for details on our ‘drive in’ Laser Light Show! SEPTEMBER 11, 12 & 13

details. Also, on the site will be news about the “Buy BC” colouring contest for youth up to 12 years old. It is sponsored by BC Fairs.

SEPTEMBER 11, 12 & 13 Barns 1, 2facility andis open 3 to the public. We have The Cowichan Exhibition

two COVID-19 compliant rooms for AGMs, workshops or small get togethers. Our grounds offer plenty of outdoor spaces for Tohosting enter a next show pre-book a visitto book an your eventor safely. Call 250-748-0822 to view the click facility on or go“UN”FAIR-20 online. The Exhibition go toappointment, is offering indoor and outdoor RV, boat and Aug. vehicle26. storage Entry registration opens Aug. 5 and closes through the summer and winter, call 250-748-0822 to reserve (250) 748-0822 / your space.


7380 Trans Canada Hwy., Duncan V9L 6B1 (250) 748-0822 / PHYSICAL DISTANCING WILL BE IN EFFECT. MASKS ARE RECOMMENDED. Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


a rosy past A

Lantzville resident Barbara Samarin initiated the program of taking cuttings from the gardens of farming and mining families in the area and bringing them to the park.

Cuttings were brought over stuck in potatoes and were rooted by the time they arrived in North America.

So in 1995 the Huddlestone rose project began. Until six or seven years ago, Barbara Samarin and her husband Joe and maintained the plantings sometimes hauling buckets from home to water by hand. "Old garden roses don't need too much water," she says. The project has lost a few varieties over the years but has also added three–Albertine, Apothecary, Galica from

by Eric Morten, photos by Heather Haseltine spring walk in the park in Lantzville is surely rosy and sweet. Huddlestone Park in the village north of Nanaimo blooms with pioneer roses which were cultivated originally at the turn of the 20th century by the immigrants who brought them here from Britain and Europe.

With names like Madame Isaac Pereire (1881) and American Pillar (1910) the various varieties decorate the edges of the park property. Working with the Parks and Recreation Commission,


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

"Huddlestone was a place of interest, we were trying to figure out what to do with the chain link," says Samarin, "As a joke, someone suggested 'why not plant your roses?'"



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Quadra Island–as well as a variety called Station Rose from Coombs. The collection is now sponsored by the Mid-Island Rose Society in partnership with the District of Lantzville who have taken over the pruning and care. The society was founded in 2000 in Lantzville and now covers the larger region. They offer educational presentations, charity plant sales, open garden days as well as garden tours. Keeping a rose garden isn’t necessary for membership, merely an interest in “the queen of flowers.” According to honourary Texas Rose Rustler Samarin, the Huddlestone Park rose project probably contains more Old Garden Roses than anywhere else in BC.

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clean up H

by Mark and Ben Cullen

ere are our top mid-summer food gardening tips, to ensure you hold it together:

Prune your tomatoes to stimulate more yield. This is a lot easier than pruning trees or shrubs. Simply pinch off the suckers that grow between the main stem and lateral branch. While you are at it, stake your tomatoes if you have not already. Propping them up off the ground improves airflow and minimizes fungal disease. It will double your crop too. Apply bordo mixture every two weeks to prevent early blight. Bordo is a copperbased fungicide that is safe to use.


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

Finish sowing late season crops such as leaf lettuce, mesclun, radish, beets, broccoli, carrots, onions, and peas for harvest into the cooler weeks of fall. By sowing now, you will keep the happy harvest momentum going right into autumn. Many of these plants will grow better now than when sown early in the season. Harvest garlic scapes. Research by John Zandstra, who taught Ben while attending University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, tells us that the sooner we harvest pigtail curled garlic scapes, the better. The result is the largest possible bulb at harvest in late August. Trim the scapes soon to yield a 20-30% larger bulb. Be careful not to cut the leaves, however, as trimming a single leaf can decrease yield by 17.5%. Stop harvesting rhubarb when the stalks become thin. The remaining leaves boost the root structure for a good crop next year. Early in autumn, add a 5 to 7 cm layer of compost or rotted manure. Harvest “new potatoes” 2 to 3 weeks after the flowers have stopped. New potatoes are delicious for their tender skin and sweetness, but do not keep as well as mature potatoes. Any variety of potato can be harvested “new” or mature, it is really a matter of timing. For mature potatoes, cut the foliage off 2 to 3 weeks after it has died back, then allow 10-14 days more for their skins to toughen up before digging. Do not overwater during this period, as the crop may begin to rot or develop scab if left for too long.

right after their harvest, as these plants bear fruit on new wood next season. Strawberries need love after they have been picked over and harvested. Remove the straw or mulch that has kept the fruits off the ground and compost it. Cut off the old leaves, leaving only the new leaves and crown open to sunlight. This will allow the plant to fill out and produce more strawberries next year. Put down a generous layer of compost, 5 to 7 cm, and remove any nets are protecting the plants. Apples, pears and other fruit trees need your continued support as well. Ignore the spray program and your yield will suffer. Mark uses End-All and Garden Sulphur every two weeks as a safe method for keeping insects and fungal disease at bay. That is the middle – a remarkably busy time in the garden where you still play an active role in the arch of the growing season. Make sure to slow down, enjoy your bounty and appreciate this moment between the beginning and end.

Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author, broadcaster, tree advocate and Member of the Order of Canada. His son Ben is a fourthgeneration urban gardener and graduate of University of Guelph and Dalhousie University in Halifax. Follow them at, @ markcullengardening, and on Facebook.

Raspberries and cherries need harvesting immediately. If left on the plant they will rot and infect new, ripening fruits while minimizing your overall yield. Prune July-bearing raspberries

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Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


meat for local

tables M

ore locally raised meat will be available for restaurants and retail outlets following provincial government efforts to establish a more resilient B.C. food system. The meat will be available in the AlberniClayoquot Regional District, as well as Electoral Area D of the Regional District of Central Kootenay and Electoral Area H of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. “We have been working with ranchers, abattoir operators and regional governments since 2017 to increase the 8

amount of locally raised meat British Columbians in rural communities can enjoy, and we are starting to see the results of our collective effort,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “This change will help livestock and poultry producers in the new designated areas expand their sales in stores and restaurants in their communities, supporting a more sustainable regional food system and putting more great tasting B.C. beef, pork and poultry on plates, grills and menus in those areas.” The updated Meat Inspection Regulation now allows Class D licences in each of the three areas and encourages the growing “farm-to-fork” trend in many B.C.

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

communities. Class D licence holders are permitted to conduct on-farm slaughter of up to 25 animal units for direct sale to consumers or retail outlets like restaurants and meat shops in the region where the meat was slaughtered. “These changes will be celebrated at dinner tables, restaurants and butcher shops by people who enjoy the beef, pork and poultry raised by our neighbours in the valley,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “There continues to be growing interest and pride in the food produced and served here. It makes it easier for livestock and poultry producers to sell food in the region that they are part of, strengthening our area’s food security,

economy and community ties.” "This is good news for the regional economy," says John Jack, chair, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD). "The ability for local producers to access small-scale, on-farm slaughter facilities in the ACRD will support growth in the industry by reducing production costs and improving access to local markets, while encouraging a more accessible and secure local food supply chain. We are excited within the region for the opportunity to access meat that is safely raised, slaughtered and processed right here in the Alberni Valley and our coastal communities.” The B.C. government continues to consult with ranchers, abattoir operators, local governments and other stakeholders to review and improve the province’s rural slaughter capacity, and support more opportunities for the production and sales of locally raised meat products in B.C. Port Alberni farmer Collin Van Horne says “This is another step in the right direction for local farmers. It gives us added flexibility in providing high-quality, locally produced food.”

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a pandemic

garden “I

by Beth Walrond

t was the best of times, it was the worst of times�, so wrote Charles Dickens to open his best-selling novel A Tale of Two Cities. Gardening in a pandemic brings that phrase to mind.

In March when the gardening season was just starting,


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

so was the pandemic. We had to isolate and businesses shut down, gardening clubs and organizations to cancelled meetings and events. At first, I thought this is great, my gardening activities won’t be interrupted with meetings. I can really concentrate on planning, planting and getting the soil ready for the first crops. I could still get my arborist in for pruning the plum tree and my garden helper to work on the heavy lifting jobs. I talked

to other gardeners who were normally very involved in the similar society organizations as and they said the same thing. Happy to have more time in the garden. That was the best part.

into my garden and help out. But of course, the pandemic has stopped the flow of students to our community. I miss the fun of teaching the young visitors how to garden here.

Then some of the consequences of all these cancellations started to impact me in ways I didn’t anticipate. The garden didn’t know it should shut down. Perennials grew like mad. Normally I would divide lots of plants and donate them to garden sales, but none were happening. Time for action. I took some time to figure out how to have a garden sale in my home garden and meet safety standards. It was easy after all, enter here in the front garden, follow this path to the back yard to view the plants for sale. Exit here. There is lots of room to distance. I didn’t know how many people would show up, but over 2 days 6 people did and I raised $247.00 which was donated to our local food bank. I considered this a great success.

Another thing I miss is doing the Master Gardeners Clinics. This is when we set up a table at a public gardening event, such as a farmers’ market or at a local nursery and answer questions the public may have about gardening. I really like these events because I like talking to people. Especially about gardening and helping them solve problems or just how to get started. That is one of the cancelled events that enters the worst of times category. The learning and helping is still going on through the Milner Gardeners, Garden Advice Line. The public can phone in or email questions to Master Gardeners there.

I am very impressed with how the local nurseries also prepared to serve us during the pandemic. Great care was taken to set up social distancing, sanitizers were provided and numbers of people entering were limited. Not all were open in the early spring but enough to keep us gardeners going. Of course, buying seeds early was a must because many more people have taken up gardening during the pandemic and nurseries had trouble keeping up supplies of some items. Normally I grow a lot of food in my yard. My yard is just an ordinary city lot in the North end of Nanaimo, but I produce a fair bit which I can and freeze for the winter. This year, because of the pandemic I am doubling and tripling how much I am growing, because I’m not sure of our food supply lines. The consequences of this is where am I going to store everything. I am still working on that.

The Pandemic has created some mental and emotional challenges. There is a kind of inertia that has set upon me. A sense of being out of sync with time because of the pandemic. A feeling that I have been holding my breath since March, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for time to start again. But of course, time hasn’t stopped and every day I walk in my garden, work in my garden and am so grateful I have a garden to keep in touch with time as plants grow, vegetables need to be harvested. More crops need to be planted. That feeling of things being out of sync can be forgotten for a few hours in the beauty of the garden.

Beth Waldron: B.A. Diploma Visual Arts, M.A. Gardening. Member of Vancouver Island Master Gardener’s Association.

International travels affect me too. My husband and I have hosted international students through VIU for over 30 years. Many of the students who have shared out home in the past gardened with their grandparents at home and were only too happy to get


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story & photos by Azja Jones Martin tuart Bassett is a Vancouver Island kiwi farmer. He grew up in his family’s kiwi orchards in New Zealand. When Stuart and his young family moved to the Saanich Peninsula from New Zealand in 2018, Stuart quickly set to work on a kiwi business of his own. He searched for existing kiwi orchards on the island, finding just a few, and reached out to the landholders directly. Serendipitously, he connected with a landholder who had just recently purchased a property featuring a one-acre kiwi orchard, which the landholder had no interest in. Stuart reached out to Young Agrarians for support with a lease agreement with the landholder, and began work on restoring the overgrown jungle of a kiwi orchard. Through the B.C. Land Matching Program (BCLMP), Stuart was able to receive support in drafting a lease template that he can use and adapt for future kiwi orchard leases as well. The BCLMP connects farmers and landholders for the purposes of land sharing, and supports the negotiation and writing of lease agreements. The program aims to address a lack of affordable farmland as a significant barrier for farmers entering the agricultural industry. The BCLMP is delivered by Young Agrarians, a farmer to farmer educational resource network, and is funded by the Province of British Columbia, with support from Columbia Basin Trust, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Real Estate Foundation of B.C., Bullitt Foundation and Patagonia.

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Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


The BCLMP has made 78 matches to date on over 4,600 acres, helping dozens of new farmers like Stuart access land throughout the province. The BCLMP provides land matching and business support services to new and established farmers looking for land to start or grow their farm business, as well as landholders interested in finding someone to farm their land. The benefits of land matching are hands-on support to help new farmers and landholders evaluate opportunities, access resources, and ultimately find a land match partner. Last winter, Stuart also learned about the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship Network (BMN), and applied to be a farmer-mentee. Stuart was happy to be accepted into the BMN, which matched him with an experienced and successful farmer on the mainland, who worked with him over the winter to develop a plan to launch and grow his business, Peninsula Kiwi. Stuart reflects that he “loved working with a mentor, and having that support has really helped as the business is growing and moving forward.� Since completing the mentorship program, Stuart still keeps in touch with his mentor and is grateful to have someone to send questions to and ask for feedback as he further develops the business. 14

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

As Stuart began working on the orchard that first winter of 2018, he found that the plants were still producing a very high yield of fruit. He was able to harvest and sell the kiwis to local grocery stores and restaurants before undertaking a major prune of the orchard and reconstruction of the trellis system that spring. The 2019 season was a time of connecting with other local farmers and developing marketing partnerships, as well as working on his application for organic certification and selling the huge 10,000-pound harvest! Stuart is now also working on trialing new and different kiwi varieties, with the goal of leasing an additional parcel of land on the Saanich Peninsula to plant a new kiwi orchard of his own and expanding his quickly growing business. Aspiring farmers and farmers looking to take their business to the next level are encouraged to reach out to Young Agrarians to learn more about the BCLMP and BMN - both programs offer start up business planning support. As Stuart and many other young farmers have found, farmer-to-farmer mentorship is an important component in building sustainable farm businesses. Land matchers love being able to help farmers achieve secure access to land to start or expand their businesses, and to help farmland holders enjoy the benefits of growing food on their

land. Farmers, get in touch to start a conversation about leasing land for your operation. Landholders, reach out to the BCLMP to help a farmer access land, whether you have hundreds of acres of farmland, or a small urban plot. There are so many growers looking for spaces to produce food across the province, and your land might just be the perfect fit. Send an email to and Azja, the Vancouver Island Land Matcher, will get in touch to learn more about your needs and vision and help you get on your way to making a match. For more information about the BCLMP, please visit The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded by the Province of British Columbia, with support from Columbia Basin Trust, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Real Estate Foundation of B.C., Bullitt Foundation, and Patagonia. The Business Mentorship Network is funded by the Province of British Columbia, Vancity and Columbia Basin Trust.

Azja Jones Martin is the Young Agrarians Land Matcher for the Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island region. She farms at Little Mountain Farm. For more information about the B.C. Land Matching Program, please visit:

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thyme BC initiates more farmers market program funding


o help more lower-income British Columbians, people expecting children and seniors gain access to healthy, locally grown food, the Province has provided approximately $1.88 million in funding to the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

The funds were provided to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) to support the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program throughout the province. The program provides coupons for lower-income households to purchase fresh, healthy, local food at B.C. farmers markets. “Our government continues to support families and local farmers and producers as the demand for food programs has increased during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This coupon program helps improve the health and wellbeing of British Columbians and builds a sense of community by encouraging people to buy nutritious B.C.-grown food from local farmers and producers. “Over this year, an additional 600 households, or approximately 1,800 individuals, will benefit from the weekly coupon program during the farmers market season.”


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

In total, the coupon program is expected to benefit over 6,000 households and reach approximately 18,000 individuals in 2020. This is a 300% increase from when the program started in 2012. “Partnering with the BCAFM on this program promotes healthy eating and helps more people around the province share the amazing community atmosphere and fresh local products at farmers markets,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Increasing the customer base and involvement at the markets also supports farmers, producers and processers, each of whom are part of B.C.’s growing agricultural industry and food security. This program truly benefits everyone involved.” The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program is a healthyeating initiative that supports farmers markets and strengthens food security throughout British Columbia. This year, the coupon program runs from June 8 to Nov. 15, 2020, at participating farmers markets in approximately 79 B.C. communities. Families and individuals will be able to use the coupons to make online purchases at 64 farmers markets.

“The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program has been a powerful food security tool over the years,” said Vickey Brown, president, BCAFM. “This year, the impacts of this program will be even more important. Both farmers and consumers are struggling through COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. Weekly access to healthy food via farmers markets will be a big help in getting healthy local food to the vulnerable folks in our communities. Farmers who are suffering the impacts of market disruptions because of COVID-19 will benefit from the reliable income that the nutrition coupons provide. We are always grateful to the ministries for their support of the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program, and that appreciation has grown during this challenging time.”

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Parksville Qualicum Beach-


February 21, 2017 - full colour


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DREAM. GROW. THRIVE. Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


summer savour Two of Monika's delicious new favourite recipes story & photo by Monika Vert Designs

Easy Vegan Berry Shortcakes with Coconut Filling BISCUITS 1 ¼ cup plain soy milk (or any milk substitute) 1 Tbsp vinegar (white, or apple cider, or, lemon juice) 3 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free substitute of choice) 1/3 cup sugar 1 ½ Tbsp baking powder ¾ tsp fine salt ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp Vegan butter cold (I use Earth Balance) COCONUT WHIP 2 cans coconut milk, chilled overnight and liquid separated 1/3 – 1/2 cup vegan powdered sugar 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking tray with parchment paper. Begin by adding the vinegar to the soy milk and set aside. The milk will thicken and act like “buttermilk” in this recipe. Substitute any neutral milk (unsweetened and unflavoured). Even homemade will work! Mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl with either a pastry blender, two forks, or your hands. The mixture will be very dry and crumbly. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Turn the wet, sticky dough onto a non-stick surface (lightly floured if necessary) and gently push it together to form a ball. Flatten into a disk that is about half an inch thick. Cut into 18

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

circles. I use a mason jar lid but you could use a glass or a biscuit cutter. Place circles onto parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes until the biscuits start showing a hint of developing a golden brown top. This is where knowing your oven is helpful... I have to take mine out sooner. Allow to cool completely prior to assembling. To make the filling, open the chilled cans of coconut milk and separate the hardened coconut cream from the liquid (reserve liquid for another use). In a large bowl, beat with a mixer for approximately 1 minute until creamy. Add the pure vanilla now, or omit it for a whiter cream. Stir in the powdered sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Feel free not to use the entire amount suggested, a less-sweet filling is just as good. It really depends on your sweetness preference. Transfer to fridge if not using immediately. You want this mixture cold or it will “melt” at room temperature. The filling can also be made ahead of time. Assemble the shortcakes just prior to serving. To assemble, cut the biscuits in half and fill with a dollop of the cream. Serve with any berry you have on hand. You may also chop or blend your fruit and incorporate it into the filling prior to assembling.


his is a fun dessert to make with kids. Be sure to not over-mix the biscuit dough when shaping. Another tip to ensure the recipe remains completely vegan is to check that your powdered sugar is labeled “vegan.” Most conventional sugar is not processed in a vegan way. The coconut filling is meant to be a non-fussy, tasty filling. The results can sometimes be hit-and-miss and success relies heavily on the coconut milk being as full-fat and cold as possible. You may choose to YouTube this subject as there are a few good recipes and methods out there. Sometimes different brands can yield different results because of the thickeners they add -- you have to find what works best for you.

Fresh Pea Soup


elicious served hot or cold, this vibrant green soup is filling yet light – great for hot summer days.

Not to be confused with the “split pea” version, this is a truly refreshing and simple soup. The mint gives it a light, energizing taste. If you don’t care much for mint, replace half or entirely with flat-leaf parsley. I usually make more than I need, eat it hot the first time and then enjoy the leftover portions cold. It serves as a time-saver on the days I’m on the go, or, on days spent entirely outside. Try it – it may just become your new favourite!

INGREDIENTS: 1-2 Tbsp pure olive oil 1 small white onion (finely chopped) 6 cups hot vegetable broth – divided 8 cups (approx) frozen peas (rinsed) or freshly shelled 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (washed and stripped from stems) Kosher salt to taste Quickly sauté the onion with the oil in a large pot over medium heat until just transparent (do not brown). Add 3 cups of broth and turn the heat to high. Once the broth comes to a boil, add the frozen peas. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the water boils again. Turn heat down as further cooking the peas will dull their beautiful spring green colour. Add the mint. At this point use an immersion blender to thoroughly puree the ingredients, or transfer to your blender (whatever your usual method).Once blended, add the remaining broth, salt to taste and stir it all together to incorporate the extra broth. The soup should have a medium-thick consistency which can be adjusted simply by adding water if you think it is too thick. Serve with a sprig of mint. Monika is a local freelance floral designer whose passion is to create luxurious custom arrangements for all occasions, whether personal or corporate with a vision to be a green as possible. Monika can be reached at: .


Personal Real Estate Corp REALTOR ®


story & photo by Monika Vert Designs

Heritage and reputation mean everything to Rocky Creek Winery. They have lovingly created a winery that can be passed on for generations to come. Since their start in 2005, they have won 100+ medals with their estate-grown wine. With quality, consistency, and excellence through all harvest conditions, resulting in the most awarded winemaker in the valley! Eco-friendly winery operations along with a healthy ecosystem designed vineyard co-existing with the natural ecosystem as much as possible. A buffer zone was left around two spring-fed ponds, with the existing trees and shrubs left to allow a haven for birds, animals, and insects in the middle of our vineyard. OFFERED AT $2,300,000


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


home grown business One farm family's journey from garden to CSA


story & photos by Rupert Koyote any of us can relate to having enacted, re-enacted, and come to live by the “new measures” of the “new normal,” and, meanwhile, turning to getting our hands dirty in unprecedented number. On March 15, normal for me had become showing up at a job-site at 8:30 to apply ‘siding’ at height. I returned on the 16th of March to finish the day and pick up my tools. You see, I’m 48–no longer a spring chicken. Pinching Hardi-plank while holding fast to the rung of a ladder at 20 ft. through the winter months, I’d developed extensor tendonitis in both my elbows that kept me awake at night. I was game to carry on (albeit painfully), but as I share my life with a fair size packet of kids, three of them school age, and a partner who works on the front-lines of health care as a Registered Midwife (no putting off birth events as elective), it fell to me to be the stay-home-steady.


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

Twist my sore arm. And that’s what I did. New Normal? I found myself with a mob of kids without their regular social and extra-curricular connections, and not only was I freed from the perennial obligations of the parental taxi service, I had a crew of energetic and (initially) willing assistants to undertake the garden expansions I’d been planning for a decade or so. Enter the CSA. “Ok, but what is a CSA?” CSA is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a simple concept, generally subscription based, in which consumers trade their hard-earned cash up-front for the equivalent of a membership or “Share” in the production of a commercial vegetable venture–at least, that’s the simplest form, and the most common. There are also CSFs (Community Supported Fisheries) and other farm produce related examples (on our farm we provide options that include roasting chickens, pork, etc.) but the simplest and most common CSAs include vegetables, typically six-10 surprise selections from the fields, in season.

Vancouver Island is imported) and a growing level of commitment to changing that. Local food is “trending.” As a result of some of the early challenges and uncertainties around the possibility that farmer’s markets might close, and sales channels may dry up, more than ever before many established growers moved to the direct sales model of a CSA to diversify and ensure some baseline sales. Based on established community relationships, these growers secured early sales dollars, easing the anxiety of planting for an unknown market. There were literally audible intakes of breath when the announcement became public that farmer’s markets were going to close, and shortly thereafter, audible sighs of relief when the Province mandated they remain open as essential services. In any case, these represent some of COVID’s co-benefits. Approaching the initially apparent marketing problem with an attitude of adaptation, growers pivoted to accommodate the changes in sales and the surge in local, community interest.

For example, this last week (mid-July) our CSA ‘baskets” Even as it is true that many “home-bound” community members included, broccoli, basil, carrots and/or turnips, cilantro, garlic turned their energies to growing their own food, growers had scapes, kale or chard, lettuces, new potatoes, raspberries, and (in their garlic crops in last fall, a sufficient size garden area for rowsome cases) summer squash and beets. hungry crops like potatoes and broccoli, and the wherewithal to supply steady staples to cover the shortfalls of your backyard “SOLD!” patch, so that even if you’ve got your own veggies in, you might consider the possibility of joining a CSA to fill the gaps in Truly, if you haven’t subscribed before, this is a great year to check out a CSA. If you don’t already have a connection to a local supply, or extend the season of eating fresh local produce. CSAs are offered for a specific length of time, typically available in 2 farmer, this is your opportunity to create one, contribute to your stretches. If you find yourself drowning under the burden of local economy, and to build that community. zucchinis, for instance, one option might be to consider joining Here’s why: a CSA come September: our CSA begins a whole new 15 week fall season running from the vernal Equinox into the darkness – CSAs provide the freshest food options available from a source ending up at the Winter Solstice. that you can look in the eye. That equals the opportunity for trust. For now, enjoy these long days. CSAs support local food security. Not only do you benefit by getting beautiful fresh food, you support your local grower, who Happy Summer! . may be struggling as part of their market for fresh food has been eaten away by a reduction from previous years in specialty restaurant sales, or farmer’s market traffic, etc. That being said, in my community here in the Cowichan Valley, the farmer’s market is still flourishing despite lineups and the “shop don’t stop” directive, the Cowichan Green Community’s “Cow-Op” co-operative sales funnel is experiencing record sales—demonstrating a growing awareness of the fragility of our food supply chain (over 95% of food on

Father, Farmer, Farrier, and Filosopher, Rupert Koyote resides at Shawl Farm, on ridge land located centrally in Quw’utsun Territory, several heroic stone’s throws from the River of the same name, along its North bank. Reach out to Rupert on Facebook for CSA info. Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


New plan helps Island farmers adapt to climate change

adapt & farm


armers on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands will have more support to adapt to climate change following the development of the Vancouver Island Adaptation Strategies plan. The plan identifies 11 strategies for increasing the resilience of producers in the region. The governments of Canada and B.C. will provide $300,000 in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects that achieve those strategies. The projects will help farmers respond to four priority impact areas affecting the islands: • warmer and drier summer conditions; • changing pests and beneficial insects; • increasing variability and shifting suitability; and • increasing precipitation and extreme precipitation events. “Our farmers are on the front line of climate change, and we should all be very proud of the hard work they are undertaking to adapt to changes in conditions,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and


Agri-Food. “By taking a region-specific approach, we are in the best position to support them with solutions customized to the unique challenges they face. At the end of the day, this is all about keeping our farmers’ operations strong and putting more locally grown food on our kitchen tables.” The Vancouver Island adaptation strategies planning process, managed by the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI), began in summer 2019. Through a series of focus groups, the process brought together 90 farmers to work with six Vancouver Island regional districts, as well as provincial and federal agencies, to identify priorities and actions for agricultural adaptation. The plan builds on the work of a 2013 pilot project, the Cowichan Adaptation Strategies plan. “B.C. farmers are resilient by nature and experience challenges daily on their farms,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture. “We’re helping farmers plan and develop to respond to the challenges of a changing climate and how that affects their livelihood. These

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

strategies, specifically designed for farmers on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, will help them adapt so they can continue contributing to our economy and providing the fresh local food our communities depend on.” A working group with up to 20 representatives from the agricultural sector and regional and provincial governments will oversee the development of priority projects. CAI will manage project implementation. “Farmers on Vancouver Island have long known that water availability is a critical factor for their production. Being part of the planning process was helpful for understanding the impact that climate change will have on water resources," says Arzeena Hamir, owner of Amara Farm and vice-chair of the Comox Valley Regional District Board of Directors. "This information is vitally important to support our current production systems as well as the future of the agriculture sector in our region.”

Vancouver Island Farming Facts The total amount of land farmed on Vancouver Island in 2016 was over 50,000 hectares. The region employed over 7,500 people in the agricultural sector (both farm operators and employees) in 2016. Agriculture in the region is diverse. It includes beef cattle, dairy and other livestock (sheep, goats and hogs), poultry and egg production, horticultural crops (vegetables, tree fruit, berries, greenhouse and nursery production) and apiculture. Regional adaptation strategies build localized adaptation capacity for decision-makers and the sector to promote and take action for agricultural climate change adaptation. The Vancouver Island Adaptation Strategies plan will pave the way for collaborative projects that address the four priority impact areas and 11 related strategies.


AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT NEW RULES ARE NOW IN EFFECT! The previous Agricultural Waste Control Regulation has been replaced by the Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM Code).

WHAT DOES THE NEW REGULATION MEAN FOR VANCOUVER ISLAND FARMERS? 1. Records of farm activities must be kept for 5 years to show you are meeting the new requirements. 2. Soil testing for post-harvest nitrate and phosphorus is required if your farm is 2 ha or more and nutrients are applied to your land (e.g. manure, fertilizer, compost). 3. Minimum setbacks are required from property boundaries, drinking water sources and watercourses. 4. Additional protective measures are required on Vancouver Island, such as covering temporary fieldstored piles from October 1 to April 1; and nutrient application is prohibited during the winter season (November 1 to January 31), with a risk assessment required before application in the shoulder season. 5. Nutrient Management Plans for the Cobble Hill Vulnerable Aquifer Recharge Area will be required in 2021, if your farm is 5 ha or more, with 5 or more animal units, and your soil test results exceed minimum thresholds. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: BC Agriculture Council is assisting the Province of BC with communicating the key changes related to the AEM Code. Please look for more information on our website or contact your producer association.

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


so good, island


W by Diana Jolly

more-so in our current economy.”

hen COVID first appeared on Vancouver Island it was evident the need for local goods and a strong supply chain was greater than ever. Our local businesses were remarkable in their ability to respond quickly, adapt and pivot to continue to provide us goods in a safe manner.

Nanoose Edibles Organic Farm admits it has been a challenging and enjoyable year on the farm. “Thankfully we were declared an Essential Service and were able to carry on farming and marketing at our farm produce stand. With the promotion we had received from Island Good and a number of other producer organizations in the region, our sales held steady and customers were delighted to come to shop at the farm, following the guidelines provided to us from the health authorities.”

The support for Island Good has been amazing and consumers are enjoying the selection of food, beverage and goods Island businesses are providing. Recently Island Good, Tilly’s Galley shared the news they are now in all the Quality Foods stores. “Our sincere appreciation goes out to all who advocate for our brand! Thank you to the Island Good team for your continued work to promote local brands both to the retailers and consumers. Having a medium for local suppliers to connect to local retailers is critical in the best of times but even 24

What also became clear during this time was the value of supporting local businesses. As Island Good businesses were adapting to continue to provide us goods and keep afloat, they were also taking the time to give back. We saw Island Good, Wayward Distillery in the Comox Valley, ramp up production of hand sanitizer and spray sanitizer to distribute to people and organizations in need for free. Victoria-based Level

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

Ground launched a “Buy One, Give One” campaign for the month of April and every time someone bought a bag of coffee from their online store, Level Ground gave a bag of coffee to a food bank in the Greater Victoria area. Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood BC donated the equivalent of 86,000 cans of fresh Atlantic salmon to food banks, which were processed and canned at Island Good, St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse in Nanaimo. Fawcett Mattress in Victoria offered up high-quality quilted material from off-cuts of their mattress borders and ticking to any mask makers in the Victoria area. Salt Spring Kitchen Co. collaborated with Fatso to launch the Safety Sandwich Program, which delivered 300 peanut-butter-and-jam sandwiches a week to marginalized populations in Victoria, and the list goes on. Fundamentally, supporting Island Good ensures a vital and sustainable Island economy. An easy way to identify local goods is to look for the Island Good

Meet our Agriculture Services Meet our Agriculture Services Specialist Specialist Meet our Agriculture Services We are committed to building a long-term relationship with you, Meet our Services Specialist We are committed to building a long-term relationship withfarmers. you, your business, and the nextAgriculture generation of proud Canadian your business, and the next generation of proud Canadian farmers. Specialist We are committed to building a long-term relationship with you, your business, and the next generation of proud Canadian farmers. We are committed to building a long-term relationship with you, your business, and the next generation of proud Canadian farmers.

brand. The Island Good brand, trademarked and licensed by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA), is a place brand to help shoppers easily identify local products (Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands). The Island Good brand is available for any Vancouver Island product from potatoes to airplane parts. Recently the communities of Campbell River and Cowichan have partnered with VIEA to offer local businesses access to free Island Good licensing for 2020. Barry O’Riordan, Manager of Economic Development Cowichan stated, “Awareness of the need to support Cowichan and Vancouver Island businesses has come into sharp focus, but identifying Island produced or grown products is no easy task. Economic Development Cowichan is delighted to support Cowichan businesses leverage the Island Good branding to boost sales and support economic recovery in the region.” “Local businesses do an amazing job of serving our community and enriching our quality of life. Shopping local means circulating dollars many times between businesses, strengthening our local economy,” says economic development officer Rose Klukas. “Island Good is good for Campbell River. It’s good for the economy, good for jobs and better for the environment.”

Meet our Agriculture Services Specialist Michelle Curcio

MichelleManager Curcio Account Account Manager Vancouver Island a long-term relationship with you, We are committed to building Vancouver Island 250-246-0859 your business, and Michelle the next generation of proud Canadian farmers. 250-246-0859 Curcio Account Manager 1-351Vancouver Tran Canada Highway, Duncan Michelle Curcio Island 1-351Account Tran Canada Highway, Duncan Manager 250-246-0859 Vancouver Island 250-246-0859 Brian1-351 Gordon Tran Canada Highway, Duncan BrianManager Gordon Area Michelle Curcio Area Manager Business Banking Victoria Highway, Duncan 1-351 Tran Canada Account Banking ManagerVictoria Business 250-507-0088 BrianIsland Gordon Vancouver 250-507-0088 Area Manager 250-246-0859 1070 Business Douglas Street, Floor, Victoria Brian Gordon Banking4th Victoria 1070 Area Douglas Street, 4th Floor, Victoria Manager 250-507-0088 1-351Business Tran Canada Highway, Banking VictoriaDuncan 250-507-0088 1070 Douglas Street, 4th Floor, Victoria Brian1070 Gordon Douglas Street, 4th Floor, Victoria Area Manager Business Banking Victoria 250-507-0088 ® The TD logo and trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ®

1070 Douglas Street, 4th Floor, Victoria


Already Discovery Foods, French Creek Collective, Stone House Teas and Fresh Fetch in Campbell River and A & S Microgreens and Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Cowichan have signed on as Island Good licensees, with more to come.

The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

M05334 (0415) M05334 (0415)


The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

M05334 (0415)


The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

M05334 (0415)

The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

M05334 (0415)

Now as we move into phase 3 in British Columbia it is exciting to see more Island Good businesses welcome people into their establishments. We encourage Islanders and visitors to continue to shop and buy local and look for the Island Good Brand. Choosing local products helps the security and sustainability of our Island and Gulf Island economy. For a list of all the Island Good retailers and goods producers visit

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


cowichan green

community notes


by Judy Stafford, Publisher f anyone would have said to me last year at this time, or even five months ago, that I would be writing a piece like this for our magazine, I would have said they’re nuts! At the risk of sounding redundant, CGC’s team certainly didn’t see any of this coming, and it certainly wasn’t in our plans to cancel a previous issue and delay this one. As with many other people, canceling the late Spring publication was a tough, but sound, call to make – but it wasn’t easy. We’re definitely hoping this issue brings some light and hope into your lives and somewhere amongst the


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

weeds of this chaos, you’ve be able to find the joy gardening, farming, cooking, or any food-related activity that gets you outside and absorbing much-needed vitamin D, expands your happiness and well-being. Here at CGC, the last few months have been extraordinarily busy for all of us. We were quick to react way back in March, divvying up the staff into teams – those who could work from home, those who could work at the farms, those who could work in the office, and those who could keep our essential meal programs and grocery store going full steam. We have such amazing people working here, no-one missed any work, or a pay cheque, and almost all of programming except in-person cooking classes, continued, and in fact, many of them ramped up. We kicked into triage mode, setting up an Emergency Food Access Task Force, with over 20 other organizations and we mobilized supporting community members when the food bank closed temporarily, set up emergency food hampers, revamped school meal and food programs, wrote grants and more grants and more grants. We have been supporting each other as some services have shifted, expanded, and stabilized, but every week has brought new challenges and new opportunities we’ve faced together. We’ve worked closely with the School District 79, they lent CGC a bus driver and school bus to ensure the recovered food program pick-ups and delivers didn’t miss a beat and we’re so grateful for their support.

including Victoria Foundation. Community Food Centres Canada, Island Savings and First West Savings, Vancouver Foundation, and Food Banks of BC. We’ve had people sponsor individuals’ Meals on Wheels, shaved their heads as a fundraiser, open their wallets, donated their time and plastic bags, bottled water, and gloves, masks, and sanitizers – yah Ampersand! Groups have made and delivered homemade muffins, the Cobble Hill Farmer’s Institute made delicious shepherd pies, turkey dinners, and pot pies to donate to the temporary housing shelters. On any given day, trays of baked goodies will show up from the Somonos Women’s Institute! We’ve had people cry in our store, grateful for $25 of free groceries, free bread donated from Portofinos, and through the chaos, we worked with groups from Malahat Nation, Halalt, Penelakut, and House of Friendship to pack hundreds of food hampers. I’m proud of all the CGC staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers who have pulled together in these unprecedented times. I’m proud of the inspiring members of the Task Force, those who helped set up and run the emergency housing shelters, and even to everyone who has reached out for help, have been held up by this community, and who are living with hope in spite of it all. Huge gratitude to everyone who is coping, helping, and being kind. We send you all good wishes and lots of virtual hugs. We can’t wait to see you all in person again soon!

Through these tough times, we’ve also been incredibly inspired by all the generous donations from the community and beyond

HAVE YOU COMPLETED AN ENVIRONMENTAL FARM PLAN? No cost. Confidential. No obligation. To book an on-farm appointment, call toll free at 1-866-522-3447 or visit for program information.

Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


knowledge is the best



Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

by Marilyn Zink With so much happening these days with this pandemic, I think we all understand the importance of staying healthy. The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon and many people have died from this very contagious virus all over the world. But you don’t have to live in fear. It’s important to be aware about what you can do, what you should know. That’s why this awareness of how we can look after our own health naturally is even more important than ever before. We hear about inflammation, gut health, immune health, foods to eat or avoid, how much exercise or sleep to get, herbs or supplements to use. That’s just getting started. It can be confusing, can’t it? We need to do all of it or feel we should do all of it. Attempting to do it well can be a challenge. We don’t know where this virus is going, when it’s going to end or how. We don’t know if or when we will get the virus and how our body will react. But there is one thing we can control, one thing we can do to tip the odds in our favor. That one thing is getting solid information on how to improve our health with herbs and natural remedies. Actually, the second thing is more important. It’s acting on that information, because the information provided is carefully sourced and curate from experts in their field – naturopaths, herbalists, aromatherapists, Ayurvedic practitioners, homeopaths and more. It’s all provided in the Herbal Collective online, a monthly magazine with a specific theme for each month. It might be on digestive health, immune health, better sleep, skin care and much more. Rather than be confused, you’ll feel enlightened on the information you get. There’s a difference between random bits of information and information that is properly curated to guide you. So take action on that information. To get started, sign up to the Herbal Collective email newsletter at www.herbalcollective. news/join. Right away you’ll get our guide on the Top 6 Herbs to Better Health.

Do You Love Lavender? If you love growing lavender, want to learn more about it and ways to use it, then read more about this luscious purple herb. Discover: ~ many types of lavender ~ �ps on growing lavender ~ how to harvest and dry it ~ lavender cra�s to a�e ~ recipes to try .....and more

Marilyn Zink is the publisher of online magazine Herbal Collective, writer, internet marketer, network marketer, blogger and mom.

Sign up at the link below to get 2 free recipes with lavender Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


HUNGRY FARM ANIMALS? Portofino Bakery is happy to donate our day-old loaves as a healthy and hearty supplement for your hungry livestock. Please contact our office at (250) 475-6099 to arrange for free pick-ups.

Bread is one of the oldest, most basic and familiar of foods. That is why portofino european bakery tries to make bread as it was intended – a simple, natural staple of life that everyone can afford and enjoy.

360 Duncan Street, Duncan


Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020

6828 Kirkpatrick Crescent, Victoria, BC


HEAD, HEART HANDS & HEALTH 4-H is an organization dedicated to young people. The purpose of the 4-H program is to prepare girls and boys for their future as adult citizens. 4-H stands for head, heart, hands and health. 4-H British Columbia inspires and educates, builds awareness of agriculture and food production, and develop skills to help youth reach their full potential. It’s easy to become a part of 4-H by joining one of the existing clubs on the Island or by starting your own club; you can be a member or a leader of 4-H wherever you live. Members are between the ages of 6 and 21 and leaders are 22 years or older. For a list of chapters visit: Island Farm & Garden - Summer/Fall 2020


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