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home grown Local food and agriculture in Powell River

Summer 2014


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2 • Powell River, BC


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• Improve your garden and your outlook

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Tree trimmings make great mulch or ground cover for your flower beds and pathways.

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 3

Interest in local food keeps growing By Isabelle Southcott, Publisher


new twist on an old saying goes like this: “Keep your friends close and your farmers closer.” First the seed is planted. You may ignore it and carry on with your busy life but that seed persists and grows. If you nourish that seed and water it frequently, it will grow into a strong healthy plant. If all is well, you will enjoy broccoli, carrots, peas or whatever you planted, a few months from now. Powell River’s local food movement and increased interest in food security is just like that seed. In the beginning, Powell River had the largest goat dairy farm in all of Canada. Almost everyone had a vegetable garden, an orchard, laying hens and depending where they lived, livestock. But times changed. We began depending on large grocery stores to supply us with food from all over the world. We could eat fruit from Chile in the middle of winter and vegetables from California whenever we wanted. We stopped growing, canning and freezing our own. We spent more time working in jobs outside the home and less time preparing our own food.

Just like fashion, which often circles back to the beginning, our interest in food is doing the same thing. Several years ago, the local food movement began picking up steam again. Now, farmers are having a hard time keeping up. Powell River prefers to eat local when possible. We know that many prefer to eat locally raised pork, berries, potatoes or prawns. People like to know who grew the items that land on their dinner plates. The pages of Home Grown are filled with stories and advertisements about our local producers. The people who farm care about their animals and their crops. They nurture them, protect them and nourish them from babies until it is time to harvest them. Like artists, farmers care; they take pride in their work and their signature is on everything they grow. From local markets to a new tannery opening in Powell River, from microgreens, to a new commercial hatchery, this issue of Powell River’s agricultural magazine shines a spotlight on farms and the people behind them. Please join us and celebrate the farmers of Powell River and support them whenever you can. It is only by supporting local food that we will be able to increase capacity.

Diversification: Food and the economy By Dave Formosa, Mayor


ack in the old days, nearly every food locals ate was grown here. Then, as the city grew and incomes boomed, farming shrunk. We became dependant on food raised far away – milk and cheese from Vancouver Island; fruit from California and Peru; mushrooms and garlic grown in China. As mayor, I have a vital interest in seeing the whole economy grow and diversify. And, I have an interest in self-sufficiency – helping Powell River rediscover the benefits of local jobs based on things we make here, by ourselves. Nowhere are those two hopes – diversification and selfsufficiency – being fulfilled so quickly or so whole-heartedly as in local food production. At the farmers markets this summer, you can see the “Coles Notes” version of this change. Brilliantly-coloured, abundant local produce is for sale, alongside meats, eggs, honey and food products such as teas, bread, pickles, salsa and candy. Away from the markets, the change is equally exciting. I’m thrilled to see that Sugartree Farm has given Powell River a ON THE COVER

Member of the

ISSN 1718-8601

The Open Air Farmer’s Market in Paradise Valley. Painting by Ursula Medley 

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the City of Powell River for helping make this publication possible.

4 • Powell River, BC

commercial chicken hatchery again. Aquaculture, such as is practiced by West Coast Fish Culture, has become a substantial employer. Large-scale farms, such as the Coast Berry Company, are thriving. Local food is healthy for our bodies and healthy for the economy. It also lets us stay ahead of the curve in tourism. “Foodie” vacationers will travel hundreds of kilometres for natural and artisan cuisine. Powell River offers this in abundance. Spot prawns and side-stripe shrimp. Fresh-off-the-beach oysters. Chantrelle and pine mushrooms. Heritage tomatoes. Salmon: pink, chinook, sockeye. Townsite beer. 32 Lakes coffee. Wild Westcoast Rainforest Products. Raincoast Kombucha. Now, finally, Powell River’s agricultural and food production businesses are growing alongside the rest of the economy — helping to diversify and enrich the foundation of this region. Congratulations to both those who produce our food, and those who choose to support local growers and manufacturers. Together, we’re learning to rely on ourselves, on each other, once again.

Publisher & Managing Editor • Isabelle Southcott Associate Publisher & Sales Manager • Sean Percy Graphic Design & Production • Pieta Woolley Sales • Suzi Wiebe

Southcott Communications 7053E Glacier St, Powell River BC V8A 5J7 • tel 604 485 0003 No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur. © 2014 Southcott Communications. We reserve the right to refuse any submission or advertisement.

• buy local • eat local • be local •

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• buy local • eat local • be local •

First Credit Union was thrilled to donate $10,000 towards the vehicle last year. Thank you to our PR Search and Rescue team for keeping our community safe!

• buy local • eat local • be local •


Perk Directory & sign-up: 604-485-6206 |

Formerly the Powell River Sustainability Stakeholders

Valley Custom Pre-built Sheds your stuff here

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 5

Consulting j Markets j Seedy Saturday j Farm Gate j Advocacy j Support j Education

Potatoes j Beets j Lettuce j Kale j Tomatoes j Shallots j Onions

Powell River Fa

Growing in the com T

Powell River Farmers Institute

 We’re always looking for new members. Join us!

6 • Powell River, BC

here’s no doubt about it: small-scale farming is on trend. From the locavore movement, to the 50 Mile Diet, to markets and artisanal products, if you want to see the 2014 face of cool, look no further than your local farmer. Those of us at the Powell River Farmers Institute couldn’t be more thrilled. For nearly 100 years, we’ve advocated for local agriculture here on the coast. For both farmers and our customers, it’s a key part of living sustainably – ensuring that what we eat is healthy for our bodies, and healthy for the planet. We’re also happy to report that new farms are opening in the region, started by young farmers – some of whom have no background in farming at all. In other words, we feel hopeful. We’re very proud to produce food for a region that so whole-heartedly embraces and supports locally-grown. It’s not just trendy. It’s not just the past. Local faming is the future for the next 100 years and beyond.

Chickens j Goats j Cattle j Pigs j Ducks j Rabbits j Turkeys

j Garlic j Herbs j Cucumbers j Pumpkins j Apples j Pears j

munity since 1915 Andtbaka Farm 2440 Lund Hwy. 604 483 9890

Simple, great food. Organic garlic, eggs, poultry; range-raised beef, pork, lamb

Home of the “Farmer’s Gate” farm store carrying local in-season produce. Meat, eggs, fruit & produce, all raised in natural surroundings with sustainable practices. We look forward to your visit.

Hodgins Farm Kathy & Roger Hodgins 7819 Valley Rd

hay* eggs * corn * pumpkins * beef * tomatoes * peppers Find our food at Ecossentials, markets, and Rainbow Valley

Free-range Eggs, Poultry, Berkshire Pork & Grass-fed Angus Beef Free of animal by-products, chemicals and antibiotics

Kathy & Alan Rebane 604.485.7737 7812 VALLEY ROAD

Lisa & Mike Daniels 604 483-3061

Certified Organic PACS #16-290 in Wildwood

Seeds  Annuals  Perennials  Shrubs  Trees  Fruit  Vegetables  Herbs  Bulbs

Eternal Seed

2309 Zilinsky Road (at Hwy 101) 604 487-1304

Hammil Hill Farm 8 3674 Padgett Road 8 8 485-7784 8

Organic free range eggs, flowers, seasonal vegetables, berries and asian pears. Lots of squash and pumpkins in the fall.

HOME GROWN 2014 • 7

Honey j Flowers j Herbs j Strawberries j Raspberries j Blueberries j Gooseberries

rmers Institute

j Sheep j Seed Bank j Manure j Seeds j Seedlings j Trees j

Microgreens M

icrogreens may be the trendiest, healthiest veggie growing yearround. Not only can they be grown inside in small spaces, but they pack a powerful punch in terms of nutrients – even more than the adult version. But what exactly are these juvenile greens? Well, they’re seedlings, but unlike sprouts, they’re grown in soil. Microgreens are any leafy green or green vegetable cut early, such as spinach, beets, broccoli, celery, basil, carrots, clover or chia. “They provide texture and colour when used as a garnish, or add amazing flavours when used in a salad,” explains Heather Claxton (left), manager of the



Small but mighty

store Mother Nature. Microgreens have up to 50 per cent more nutrients than their adult counterpart. To grow them, plant the seed indoors on a heat mat under fluorescent lighting. They only take three weeks! “The flavour is really intense,” says Heather. “Kids love growing them and eating them too.” Heather enjoys microgreens in a salad or when she sprinkles them on top of pickled beets and goat cheese. Pea microgreens are fun too. Just snip off what you need and they will regenerate. “It’s a super simple way for people to eat clean,” she says. Visit Mother Nature Facebook page where Heather has posted a short video on how to grow microgreens.

10 Reasons

To Wear A

Pollen Sweater

1. 2. 3. 4.

Taste the Experience Enjoy a delicious meal of fresh local ingredients while viewing the magnificent scenery and wildlife of our protected waters. Sightseeing lunch and dinner cruises to the Copeland Islands, Desolation Sound, and Mitlenatch Island. Special occasion, custom day cruises and extended charters also available.

No pop bottles were hurt making Pollen Sweaters. You’ll be helping sheep stay cool in summer. The pure wool stays warm even when wet. Non-itchy, and soft enough to wear next to sensitive skin. 5. Machine washable and dryable at moderate temperature. 6. We put the label on the inside, where it belongs. 7. Designed to layer smoothly under or over other garments. 8. No offshore sweatshops. Ours is here at home. 9. If it ever wears out, compost it. 10. Makes you 50% to 90% more handsome. (Results may vary)

Pollen Sweaters Sweaters, Ponchos, Socks, Books, Hats & More Made in Lund, BC

604 483-4401 Above Nancy’s Bakery • Open every day in Lund 9 – 5 all summer

Reap what we sew!

8 • Powell River, BC

To market, jiggity-jig F

armers who grow vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts and animals do it because they care where their food comes from. “They’re growing it for you,” says Juhli Jobi, manager of the Open Air Farmers’ Market. Long-running markets are booming and new markets are popping up as local food demand and supply both increase.

Open Air Farmers’ Market

The 27th season of this market runs from the end of April through September at the Exhibition Grounds in Paradise Valley. Market hours are Saturdays 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and Sundays 12:30 to 2:30 pm. With a vendor in every stall, this market offers a wide variety of local fruits and veggies, meat, eggs, bedding plants, cut-flowers, food, country baking, candy, honey, teas, kombucha, soaps, wood crafts and ceramics. The Bouncy Castle will be there on both days and on Sundays, the miniature train runs.

Lund Co-op

This north-of-town market usually runs Friday afternoons during the summer by the water taxi in Lund. There’s produce, eggs, honey and more available.

Texada Island Farmers’ Market

At the ball field in Gillies Bay, the cream of the crop is available Sundays from noon until 1:30 until Thanksgiving. Between four and eight vendors usually sell Texada-grown produce. Another dozen or more vendors sell baking, crafts, preserves, jewellery and clothes. Lunch is available.

Kelly Creek Garden Market

Now in its second season, Kelly Creek Market has moved to a new location at the Kelly Creek Community School to better serve its patrons. The market opens Friday, May 16 and runs till August 29, every Friday night from 6 to 8 pm. There’s an open mike beginning at 7 pm and local musicians are invited to share their talent. Fresh locally-grown produce, berries, starter plants, eggs, bread, crafts, snow cones, spritzers and a table with fun things for kids to do.

If you’re growing food, this is the place to go... • Feed • Organic fertilizers including bone and blood meal, worm castings and more • Fencing • Shovels and other tools • Free-range, farm-fresh local eggs • and much more...

Formerly Rainbow Valley Pet & Farm Supplies


4480 Manson Avenue (corner of Duncan & Manson)

604 485 2244 HOME GROWN 2014 • 9

“What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.” Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Gotta love garlic! Especially when you’re growing 10,000 plants

Preserving the Future of Farming Across British Columbia Nicholas Simons Your MLA Serving Powell River – Sunshine Coast Opposition Critic for Agriculture

Pier 17, Davis Bay 604 ~741~0792

10 • Powell River, BC

4675 Marine Ave., Powell River 604 ~485 ~1249

project: Agricultural Ad client: Nicholas Simons (Maggie)

docket: 14NS026 date: April 9 - 2014

By Linda Wegner

in rich soil, the product of lasagne gardening. In addition to looking hile mouth fresheners come after the gardening responsibilities, to mind when the topic of Ari imports diesel engine vehicles garlic is discussed, there and, upon request, he modifies them are growers of the Allium sativum speto operate on vegetable oil. cies of the onion genus who swear by Mike and Lisa operate an organithe benefits it offers. Some of those, cally certified farm. In contrast to according to Mike and Lisa Daniels, Ari’s garlic patch, this year the Danowners of Windfall Farm, include iels planted 9,978 plants, comprised protection from colds and flu. of eight different varieties. They “Bad breath, who cares,” he laughs. also hold a valid slaughter license, The Daniels Do Garlic “I hardly ever get sick.” enabling them to butcher and sell meat Garlic has been used as a food and medicine for more than locally and as a consequence they do not grow other produce five thousand years. It’s used raw, chopped, or pressed to for commercial purposes. flavour soups, stews and salads and other dishes. “We’re at where we like it right now. Unless we hire people There are many individuals growing garlic on their prop- this is all we can handle,” Lisa says. Both she and Mike also erty in Powell River and there are at least two sources of have off-farm employment. locally grown “stinky rose” for purchase. One grows enough Because growing garlic becomes labour intensive just a for his own family, friends and neighbours; the other, hand couple of times each year, Lisa notes that they are able to plants, harvests and sells nearly 10,000 plants. Both use balance their respective jobs with farming. When asked only organic soils and dedicated tools in order to preserve why they chose this crop when their time was so restricted, the integrity of their products. Mike responded. Ten years ago Ari Dublion and his wife Danika Reeve, “I just like garlic. There are a lot of people that grow it but originally from Texada Island, settled near Powell River. not to this extent.” Their original purchase of five garlic bulbs from a farmer’s Garlic-flavoured breath or not, growing and eating garlic market eventually grew to eight hundred plants flourishing is alive and well in Powell River.


OUT ON A LIMB FORESTRY INC. Ask us about mulch and why tree pruning and the chips produced are great for your garden! Tree Care Services

Wolfson Creek Farm local    sustainable    ethical no hormones or antibiotics pasture raised    organic grains

lamb   turkey  beef pork  duck  chicken honey  eggs  vegetables

Danger Tree Risk Assessor

LOCAL PORK, LOCAL BEEF & LOCAL EGGS & almost everything from scratch, including homemade jam from local fruit, hand-cut double-fried fries, dressing made in-house, freshground beef with no filler, homemade soups, and friendly local smiles! Why? Because it’s better that way!

Fully insured & ISA Certified Limbing, Pruning & Removal Windfirming Chipper & Clean-up Services Wood Chip & Mulch Sales Free Estimates

Opening soon beside Lang Bay Store

with farm fresh products and goodies to go!

Pat & Tera Demeester 604-487-1747

Serving Powell River for 20 years

Zhenya Lewis p: (604) 487-0796

6762 Cranberry Street

604 483-9114

HOME GROWN 2014 • 11

From lab coats to gumboots Former MD student chooses farming By Isabelle Southcott •


amantha Sherman was on her way to medical school before she became a full-time farmer. She was living in Alberta, working on a science degree, when life threw her a curve ball. So she came home to Powell River and while reassessing, her mind kept going back to a course she had taken at Vancouver Island University on global food production. Samantha started out with a few chickens but soon realized that she wanted more. She talked to her dad about her idea, researched the opportunities and together they said: “Let’s do it!” Just over a year ago, Samantha and her father, Lawrence Berge, became partners in Sugar Tree Farm. “My dad is good at building and he loves animals,” said Samantha. Sugar Tree Farm is Powell River’s only commercial hatchery operation. Besides poultry, Samantha and her father breed goats. She leans over and picks up a baby. “This one was bottle fed,” she explains. Her goats are mostly Boer crosses, Nubians and Nubian crosses. Sugar Tree Farm has dairy, meat and working goats. “They’re great for pulling plows for people who have small acreages and don’t need a tractor.” Samantha keeps busy hatching out eggs and selling poultry. “I have a wait list for adult birds and Banties.” She can hatch 384 eggs every 21 days. “We supply birds

12 • Powell River, BC

to Sechelt, Gibsons and Powell River.” Without a local hatchery, people would have to purchase their stock from Alberta, the States or elsewhere in BC. “They’d get them in and sometimes they’d be sick because they’d been in transit for a couple of days. That’s what started us in this business. We ordered birds from Alberta and we were so disappointed with what we got. We got Ameraucanas that had no beards and that is a trait of the breed. When you buy birds locally you can see your birds. You can see their parents and ask questions.” Samantha keeps meticulous records for all her livestock so she can answer questions on growth rate, family history, and laying rates. Besides a variety of chickens and Bantams, Samantha also hatches out ducks, quail, geese and pheasants. She doesn’t rely solely on the stock that exists in Powell River. “I’ve brought birds in from Idaho for new blood lines. We’re isolated here and inbreeding is an issue.” Samantha likes heritage breeds and rare breeds. She’s working on establishing her own breeding stock. “I’m learning everything I can about chickens, ducks and goats. I like to learn, I don’t think you can every have enough knowledge.” Future plans include raising turkeys and producing hops for home brewers.

Edible Events

Home & Garden Show

May 10 & 11, 2014 Recreation Complex Locally organized show featuring expertise, workshops, entertainment, sales and new products. Help with your home or business projects, renovations, landscaping or sprucing up!

Lund Shellfish Festival

May 23, 24 & 25th, 2014 Come enjoy fresh-cooked seafood, listen to local musicians, take tours, watch free cooking demonstrations, buy live shellfish, shop at the craft booths, enter contests, and sample special menu items at the restaurants.

Spot Prawn Festival

June 7

Powell River Sea Fair July 25-27, 2014 Willingdon Beach

Entertainment, vendors, fireworks and midway, plus a parade, fishing derby and treasure hunt.

tions, live music, crafts, food, and fun in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Edible Garden Tour

September 27, 2014 & various workshops during the week. The fifth Annual Salmon Festival will be held at the Club Bon Accueil. Enjoy activities for the whole family: pumpkin carving, treasure hunt, traditional salmon barbecue, and the giant Tee Pee set-up. Enter contests, and sample traditional food. Admission is free for outside activities. Supper and live music in the evening. Sunday brunch and various workshops during the week include flower arrangements, painting, spinning, and weaving.

August 3, 2014

Blackberry Festival

August 11-15, 2014 Marine Avenue One week of events leading up to a major street festival. Live music, blackberrythemed dishes.

Beer on the Pier

August 22-23, 2014 Westview Wharf Come to the Wharf at Westview to enjoy live music, beer, barbecue and the Pier!

Fall Fair and Horse Show

September 20 & 21, 2014 Exhibition Grounds, Paradise Valley Country fair with farm animal demonstra-

Salmon Festival

Pacific Salmon Foundation

October 25, 2014 Dwight Hall Tenth annual gala dinner and auction. A catered dinner includes salmon, of course, and an incredible seafood appetizer bar. Fundraiser for salmon restoration.

uck” “The Fruit Tr rover 25 years!

& operated fo Locally owned

Fresh Okanagan Fruits & Vegetables, ChilliwaCk Corn, honey & more! local organic produce from hatCh-a-Bird Farm & local berries from COast Berry Farm.

An all natural liquid fish fertilizer that is CFIA & USDA approved, and recommended for organic production. This product is locally produced at Lois Lake Fish Farm where the product is derived from Ocean Wise approved Steelhead. Available at Mother Nature, or directly from Lois Lake. Ask about delivery! Simply Fish is a great way to improve your soil structure while using an eco-friendly product. For more information contact us at

Mon – Thur • 6 am to 6 pm in the parking lot between Coast Realty & Town Centre Mall HOME GROWN 2014 • 13

Woolly wonders

of shearing Story & photo by Fran Cudworth


umankind has been using wool from sheep since at least 10,000 BC. In Great Britain during the 1400s, wool was the backbone of the economy and made up 90 per cent of Britain’s exports. Wool is truly a sustainable farm product. Sheep can produce a crop of wool each year which is humanely harvested and used in a variety of useful products. Shearing sheep is a skilled profession. Powell River has a couple of sheep shearers who visit. One is Johanna Walker. This year she sheared almost 90 sheep, and visited 17 farms from Lund to Saltery Bay. Johanna is always generous with her time, offering advice and genuinely caring for the animals’ wellbeing. As well as shearing the sheep, Johanna checks their overall condition, trims their hooves while checking for foot rot and administers a dose of de-wormer to protect against parasites. A professional shearer will help turn the wool into a potentially valuable commodity by producing an evenly sheared whole fleece. Once the wool has been removed from the sheep it undergoes several other processes before it becomes wearable. Typically it will be graded, skirted, washed, dried, carded or combed, spun, and then finally knitted or woven into beautiful natural clothing. If you would like to see more of the process, Fleece From Start To Finish is available on YouTube.

14 • Powell River, BC

HOME GROWN 2014 • 15

let ver In Road


u 101

Dinner Where Rock is food growing in Powell River?


Slow Farm Linda Bruhn & Tom Read Texada Island 604 483-1471 Lettuce, tomatoes, beans, peppers and more. Woodlot Mushrooms John Whitehead Texada Island 604 483-1680 Shiitake mushrooms, fresh, dried and log kits available at the Texada Farmers’ Market or try them at the Ravenous Raven. Welcome Harvest Farm Dave & Branka Murphy Texada Island 604 486-7619 Onions, garlic, spinach, carrots, cabbage, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, natural organic fertilizer Windfall Farm (13) Lisa & Mike Daniels 604 483-3061 Certified organic: garlic, poultry & eggs. Range reared:  pork, beef & lamb. West Coast Fish Culture & Simply Fish Lois Lake 604 483-6955 Organically raised and fed, Stillwater Steelhead make the menu on high-end national chain restaurants. Luckily you can enjoy them at local restaurants: Savoury Bight and The Shinglemill. Our product is also carried by Quality Foods and the Chopping Block. Also producing “Simply Fish” fertilizer.

16 • Powell River, BC

e Powell Lak



Andtbaka Farm (1) Pat Hanson 2440 Lund Hwy 604 483-9890 Poultry (chicks, point of lay chickens), naturally raised chicken, beef, pork, vegetables (in season year round). Coast Berry Farm (3) 604 487-9788 10084 Nassichuk Road Growing strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and vegetables. Stop by the country store for coffee and baked goods, too.

Doh 604 Hon Cre Alan 781 face Off por Em 604 Bas squ oni Ete Gar 230 (604 ede ww Fro p

Sliammon Wildwood z { 101

Historic Townsit

Wes Woodhead Farm Brad & Dawn Hughes Texada Island 604 486-7529 One of the oldest farms on Texada. Basil, parsley, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, winter squash, spinach, kale, beets, peas, potatoes, onions, lettuce, beans and Grief Point carrots. Wolfson Creek Farm (2) Patches & Tera Demeester 10445 Kelly Creek Road 604-487-1747 Meat available at the farm or at Lang Bay Plaza. Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, rabbit, eggs and seasonal vegetables.

Blubber Bay


Van Anda

Fiddlers Farm Kevin Wilson 604 483-9052 Vegetable and herb seedlings grown to order. Get exactly what you want grown without artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Glade Farm (6) Wendy Devlin 6834 Smarge Avenue 604 483-9268 Interested in raising fresh eggs, meat, milk, vegetable, fruits, seeds and herbs? Wendy offers gardening, animal husbandry, food classes for individuals and groups. Hatch-a-Bird Farm (7) Helena & Peter Bird 6603 McMahon Avenue Organic vegetables, eggs and limited meat products Honeysuckle Farm Texada Island 604 486-7686 Beef, lamb, eggs, chicken, goats, hay Little Wing Farm 604 414-0383 Heritage breed chickens, eggs, greens, honey. Haslam Lake Mayana Adar Family Farm (8) The de Villiers family Paradise Valley 604 489-0046 Organic fed, free range, soy free eggs, lacto-fermented dairy products, organic fed, free range, soy free chickens and lamb. Local chapter leaders for the Weston A Price Foundation, supporter of organic and community farms.

hlmann Enterprises 4 485-5503 ney and bee pollen eekside Farm (4) n and Kathy Rebane 12 Valley Road 604-485-7737 ffering free range eggs, broilers, Berkshire rk, beef and some produce. mmonds Beach Farm (5) 4 483 9766 sil, parsley, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, winter uash, spinach, kale, beets, peas, potatoes, ions, lettuce, beans and carrots. ernal Seed Garden Centre (14) ry & Ellen de Casmaker Inland Lake 09 Zilinsky Rd (at Hwy 101) Provincial 4) 487-1304 Park om our greenhouse nursery we offer annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and ornamental garden products in addition to plant starts grown from our own line of locally grown heirloom seed including many organic varieties.


Morrison Farms 6619 Sutherland Avenue 604 483-8939 Productive farm on a single acre in Wildwood. A focus on biodynamic farming. Don and Audrey sell at the farmer’s market all year long. Wide variety of produce, specializing in garlic, tomatoes, and carrots. Berries and seasonal fruit.

stview x |

Myrtle Point 101

} ~ Black Point

w Kelly Creek v Donkersley Palm Beach Beach Park

Mr Kristensen’s Farmgate (9) 9269 Kristensen Road 604 487-9187 Monday - Saturday 10-noon and 1:30-5 June thru November. Pumpkins, potatoes, peas, beans, beets, carrots, onions, broccoli, squash, corn, blueberries and more. Myrtle Point Heritage Farm 8679 Gaudet Road 604-487-0501 Bringing the traditional basics back to farming, with heritage breeds (pigs, chicken & goats), and heirloom produce. Free-range eggs, seasonal produce, Berkshire pork, heritage turkeys, organic goat milk soap. One Tree Farm Wilma and Matt Duggan 3527 Padgett Rd 604-485-3956 Facebook Wilma Duggan Organic fed free range eggs, pastured organic fed broiler chickens, grass fed chevon (goat meat), blueberries, long English cucumbers. Periwinkle Granary & Pasta Fran & Simon Cudworth 604 483-6516 Fresh milled organic flours and mixes, multigrain pasta, wholesome goodness, farm fresh taste including our popular best selling ravioli. NIMH Farm (10) Roly & Cindy Demeester Corner of Donkersley Rd. & Hwy 101 South 604 487-0445 Farm gate sales for organic eggs year round and organic produce in season. Limited orders for chicken, rabbit, duck and goat. Pacific Ambition Seafoods (15) Doug and Christine Mavin 3128 Padgett Rd. 604 485-3522 Local Commercial Fisherman, Doug Mavin serves up freshly caught Halibut, Ling-Cod, Snapper, Sockeye, Crab & Prawns. Watch your fish come aboard at www. Roger and Kathy Hodgins (11) 7819 Valley Road 604 485-7025 Horse and cattle hay, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins. Routes to Roots Edibles (12) 604 483-1143 Local produce, Nursery, Gardening Services. Serendipity Rabbitry (16) 6505 King Ave 604-483-9902 New Zealand Rabbits and California/ 101 crosses. Rabbit maNew Zealand nure by the bag. Live animals for pets or breeding and rabbit meat.




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HOME GROWN 2014 • 17


A philosophy to garden by Permaculture builds community


By Linda Wegner

f you step outside the kitchen door of Ron and Laura Berezan’s Townsite home, you’ll see fruit trees in full bloom; kale plants still in production, rows of garlic plants begging to be harvested and compost enriched soil making way for emerging perennials. At the very back of the property is a newly constructed greenhouse, built entirely from recycled materials. Sun beams bounce off windows, one space filled by a former decorative glass tray. Fava beans bloom in containers along two walls. Inside a huge water tank acts as storage for rain water while buckets and boxes house worm compost. “Not much to see at this time,” says Ron, who is known as the Urban Farmer. It’s April, but envisioning what is to come is easy. Soon enough food will be produced to feed their household and in exchange for compost-able materials, neighbours receive a share of the abundance. Ron is a global permaculture consultant. He has been an organic gardener for over 30 years and a permaculture practioner for more than 10 years. Permaculture is a gardening philosophy that, according to Cortez Island resident Guy Baldwin is a holistic approach to landscape design and human culture. Guy describes it as an attempt to integrate several disciplines, including biology, ecology, geography, agriculture, architecture, appropriate technology, gardening and community building. But it is community building, says Ron, that is key to permaculture. “The culture of food is one in which we are all connected so we celebrate it as community building at the same time,” he says. Being connected to the culture of local food production is an integral part of Powell River’s past. Citing a history of exporting milk and dairy products, he added: “Powell River is situated in an incredibly rich biologically diverse part of the country. There is a significant amount of land which is under-productive and that needs to change.” Ron spoke at length about the complex and highly organized system of moving food around the globe and commented on the vulnerability of that system. But he noted that there are many positive things being done right here in Powell River. For example, he said, there is active sharing of backyard space for local food production.

18 • Powell River, BC

Perma-learn Sycamore Commons, a project located beside the Anglican church in Townsite, includes multi-year courses in which students and members of the community learn skills in designing and implementing a permaculture system. For more information visit

BLUE RIBBON: Lauren Huguet shows off her award-winning school lunch.

Attention kids:

Categories just for you

Do you have these memories from Fall Fair?

Powell River Fall Fair


auren Huguet loves to cook. At last year’s Fall Fair, the ten-year-old won the Best School Lunch competition with her creative and nutritious lunch entry. Lauren used cookie cutters to cut her bread and cheese into hearts. “Then I took the ham, lettuce and cherry tomatoes and put them on a skewer with them. I put the grapes in a baggie and made a butterfly out of pipe cleaners.” At home, Lauren likes to help her mom in the kitchen. “I make soup, veggie tacos and nachos. She sometimes surprises her parents by cooking breakfast for them. And she has her own (pretend) cooking show called Best Recipes with Lauren Huguet! The Fall Fair is truly a family event that showcases Powell River’s agriculture and talent of all ages, says Janet Lyons, one of this year’s coordinators. The fair takes place September 20 and 21 at the Exhibition Grounds in Paradise Valley from noon to 5 pm each day. The theme is “Explore Your Powell River.” New this year is $1,700 in raffle prizes. As always, there’s a kid zone, a mini stage, kids games and crafts – sponsored by First Credit Union. Kids of all age are encouraged to enter the different competitions, says Janet. For the older teens, there are amazing volunteer opportunities. At the fair you’ll find displays, vendors with goods for sale, and good old fashioned family fun. Don’t miss the Ag-mazing Race. Be sure to cheer on your favourite team. The fall fair is where Powell River catches up with people they haven’t seen in a while. It’s time to slow down, and talk to old friends while local musicians keep us entertained. Pet a pig, check out the home canning and preserves, learn how to spin wood, or enter the pie-eating contest! Displays of livestock, produce, Lego creations, photography and other artwork are exciting to look at. See who won prizes this year and enjoy sampling all the sights and sounds of this community’s only agricultural fair. Entry forms will be available later this summer.

Blue ribbons; chickens cackling; fresh baked bread; banjo music; kids laughing; puff of the steam train; watching apples squished into juice; petting a lamb; seeing the biggest pumpkin; blackberry lemonade; happy flowers; grandparents reminiscing. No? Then start making memories for Fall Fair 2014!

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 19

Tanned, wild and woolly? Natural sheepskins in Powell River By Isabelle Southcott •


ebble in the Pond Environmental Society is launching “No one else is doing natural sheepskins in Western a pilot project to create a regional tannery. North America that we can find,” says Judi. Tanned, Wild and Woolly will be a sustainably-run CaroleAnn is creating logos and figuring out the best natural sheepskin tannery operating out of Powell River in way to get the product to market. “We have to design a partnership with Gunter Brothers Abattoir in Courtenay. system that is a very efficient way of getting the best qualPebble in the Pond’s CaroleAnn Leishman and Judi ity product to the market. We have a general idea of how Tyabji Wilson are excited about this new opportunity. to do it but there is no one else who is doing it that we can “Guntner Brothers is currently throwing away copy,” says Judi. about 1,500 sheepskins a year,” Judi told PowEverything they reference is pre-industrial. Ingredients ell River Living. If Pebble in the Pond is successful with this used to tan the Judi, who is also a sheep farmer, will be the pilot project, the team will apply for Agriculold-fashioned way: project manager for nine months while they tural Innovation funding. Alum salt create value-added products from sheepskin. “Then we’ll open our doors to anyone who Borax “The goal of this project is to create a business wants naturally tanned skins or hides.” Organic soap plan for a permanent expanded regional tanNot only does this promote use of the whole nery,” she said. animal (right now many small scale farmers Five people are being hired through Career Link’s job are burying hides) but it also provides other opportunities. creation partnership. “We’ll be able to divert waste, create jobs, and create Judi says she stumbled upon this void in the mar- something that is really cool,” says CaroleAnn. ketplace. “When we began sheep farming we made a commitment to use the whole sheep. We used to take the skins to BC Fur to get them tanned and then sold them.” In 2012, Judi and her husband Gordon took their skins to BC Fur to be tanned as usual. They learned that the business had been sold and the new owners weren’t tanning skins anymore. They couldn’t find anyone to tan their skins commercially but learned of a Powell River woman who could do it the old way by hand. “It was a completely different product,” said Judi. “It was much softer and more natural.” Judi says she prefers the old fashioned method of tanning to commercially-tanned hides that are done with heavy metals and toxic products. The following year, Judi had 18 hides to tan. “This was way too many for one person to do on their own so I organized a class for people to learn how to do it.” You live here. But do you LIVE here? Judi went to Facebook and said she was looking for 10 Support local businesses. Get out and people who wanted to learn how to tan sheepskins. Within 10 minutes, she’d filled all her spaces.” enjoy all that Powell River has to offer! At the same time, Judi was working with Melissa Call of Ecossentials on the Buy BC program. She set up a meeting at Guntner’s Abattoir regarding local meat. “By coinciLive local. dence, we started talking about sheepskin and he told me how many he throws away every year. “ On the ferry, Judi bumped into Lyn Adamson of Career Link and began telling her the story. “Lyn said I should go to a job creation workshop.” She did and the rest is history.

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20 • Powell River, BC

Picking made easy Coast Berry Farm now has raised growing beds both inside and outside the greenhouse. Owner Roger Duyvesteyn (right) says the raised beds, which replace the traditional beds, make for easier picking. Coast Berry Farm on Nassichuk Road has 25,000 strawberry plants, 20 acres of blueberries and four acres of raspberries. The ever-bearing strawberries are available from mid-July to late September. 2547 f-a 455 Saw_Ad Mat_FD_E.qxp_Layout 1 Mar/3/2014 7:42 AM Page 1

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 21

Sow it, grow it, eat it, love it Elementary students dig deep

By Vanessa Sparrow


hat better way to increase access to healthy, local and sustainably-produced food in Powell River than to teach our kids to grow it? Edible gardens are currently springing up in schools all over the region and creating not just opportunities for creative outdoor learning, but allowing children to directly experience the cycle of tending soil, planting seeds and growing the food they eat. There are many different kinds of food gardens that can work in schools, but a simple and effective approach is to build some boxes out of untreated cedar, fill them with quality topsoil, add compost and plant seeds or seedlings. With regular water, weeding

and some occasional feeding, it is not long before kids are ooh-ing and aahing over the lettuce, peas, radishes, kale, edible flowers and whatever else they have grown. Of course, the real triumph comes in getting to eat the harvest, but even if it never makes it to the kitchen, caretaking plants from seed to maturity is a wonderful experience for children that is its own reward. If just a few of those kids are inspired to become our growers and farmers of the future, the region’s food security will be in that much better shape. A number of schools in Powell River have either established or are developing edible gardens, including Brooks,

Côte-du-Soleil, Edgehill, Henderson, James Thomson, Texada Elementary and Kelly Creek schools. Some of the gardens are in the planning phase, some consist of a few simple raised beds, while others include green-houses, composting systems and water barrels. Some of these projects are supported by grants and donations from local businesses, but all of them are ultimately the result of the dedication and enthusiasm of teachers, parents, students and school staff, who have worked together to make an idea into reality. There are some problems to be solved of course: how to keep a garden watered over the warm summer

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22 • Powell River, BC

KALE IS COOL: Students at James Thomson Elementary in Wildwood get schooled in veggie growing.

months when school is out? Which varieties of crop should be grown so that the harvest is ready by the end of June? What about keeping the bears and the deer out? There are many ways of tackling these issues, and doing so is all part of teachers and students learning about and investing in the garden as a special place they want to maintain. For a child especially, actively caring for a school food garden can be an important step in developing an appreciation for where food comes from and, more broadly, a sense of stewardship for the land where it grows. That has got to be a good thing for the future of healthy and sustainablyproduced1 Mar/3/2014 food. 7:54 AM Page 1 2547 f-a HD 22 Mowers_Ad Mat_E.qxp_Layout

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 23

A Powell River farm

Two families farm together

Hammil Hill Farm 3674 Padgett Road, Paradise Valley. Darren, Nancy and Claude Marquis and Ros Sherrard. Ropes and caution tape flutter in the wind above the chicken yard at Hammil Hill Farm in Paradise Valley. The other day, an eagle swooped down and stole a laying hen. It’s one of the hazards of the business. Birds of prey, prey on birds that lay. The chickens at Hammil Hill lay 40 to 42 eggs a day. The eggs are sold at the gate. People drive up, leave money in the box, take their eggs and drive off. “We can’t keep up,” says Ros. Type of farming: Organic eggs, fruit, berries and produce. Length of time farming: Four years. Do you do have another job? There are several of us that work off the property doing carpentry, bookkeeping, and office work. Claude is retired and farms full time. Your background? One of us grew up on a farm in New Zealand. Have always had a garden and grown my own food. Is there anything you are particularly proud of on your farm? Anything unusual? Our faithful flock of hens and our Dexter cattle. Best thing about farming: Working outside. Worst thing about farming: The mud.

24 • Powell River, BC

Fall Fair “Explore Your Powell River” A weekend of family fun, food, exhibits & live music

Easy pickled shrimp/prawns Thanks to Aaron Lewis Reid for contributing this recipe. Ingredients 2 cups pickling vinegar 1 cup water 1 Tablespoon coarse salt 4 – 6 Tablespoons sugar (adjust to personal taste) 1 Tablespoon pickling spice Shrimp/Prawn tails Sliced onions

Instructions Enter your

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Mix the first five ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil & simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Boil shrimp or prawn tails in lightly salted water – being careful not to overcook. Peel. Layer cooked & peeled prawn/shrimp tails and onions in a clean glass jar. Pour cooled brine into jar to completely cover and place lid on jar. Let stand in the fridge for 3 days to allow brine to soak into prawns/shrimp. Enjoy! Note: Clean pasta sauce jars work great as do the Epicure spice jars, pickle jars, etc. Just run them through the dishwasher to really sterilize them before using. Or, small canning jars are also handy.

Working to enhance regional food security since 2006, through education, advocacy and action.

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October 25, 2014

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 25

THINK LOCAL: Opposition bill advocates for healthy food and healthy economy

By Nicholas Simons, MLA, Agriculture Critic


he Opposition recently tabled a Bill, the British Columbia Local Food Act. This Act, which would become law if passed, would improve food security, maximize community health, and contribute to significant economic return. Private Members’ Bills don’t usually get debated, and this one won’t either, but it’s designed to show our priorities when it comes to agriculture in BC. Our province currently lacks a strategy that ensures we are fully capitalizing on our agricultural land base in a way that supports our economy, improves our community health and promotes food security. This would benefit our local economies and make us more self-sufficient.  If our goal was to be “energy self-sufficient” I’m not sure why we don’t strive towards food self-sufficiency. Unfortunately our current government has a plan to undermine any hope for that, in the form of Bill 24. You may have heard of the campaign to “Kill Bill 24”.  It would undermine our objective to promote BC Agriculture.  Other jurisdictions are ahead of us in terms of encouraging farming and food processing.  For example, Ontario has legislation that supports increasing local food production from its land base through establishing specific targets.  Along with 33 other American states, Washington, one of our main competitors, uses government procurement policies to promote its agriculture sector. For 40 years, we’ve protected agricultural land for future generations.  We’ve re-drawn its borders, we’ve permitted non-farm use in certain circumstances, but using science

26 • Powell River, BC

The BC Local Food Act

How would it support BC farmers and food processors? • By implementing a strategy on government institutions purchasing locally-grown food (hospitals, schools, and possibly prisons – the latter is just my opinion); •By re-introducing the successful and popular Buy B.C. program; •By creating a committee of MLAs from both sides of the House to put together, in consultation with the Agriculture Minister, a plan to increase local food production, marketing and processing. The plan would be more than just a pipe dream; the legislation would set targets and implement policies to meet those targets. The public would be kept informed through the Legislature on an annual basis. and an independent tribunal, the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC). Unfortunately, Bill 24 would remove the independence of the ALC’s chair, and would allow for the permanent destruction of agricultural land in the North with fewer restrictions despite our knowledge that the north is the future of agriculture with climate change effects.  It is important that the new Minister of Agriculture hear your views on the subject.  It would not surprise me that if enough people wrote to him he would allow for consultation prior to passing any legislation like Bill 24. Please write to

How smart is seaweed? A gardening dilemma By Pieta Woolley


n her shared garden plot just north of Sliammon, Vanessa Sparrow grows 18 varieties of heritage tomatoes, alongside peppers, potatoes, onions, kale, broccoli, sui choi, Brussels sprouts, salad greens, beets, parsnips, herbs… etcetera. But even at the height of growing season, the coordinator for the Powell River Food Security Project never spends more than an hour or two a day on her garden. How does she do it? She puts the work up front, she says, amending the soil and lots of mulching to cut down on watering and weeding. In the past, seaweed was one of her favourite additions. But this year, she took a single tote off Gibson’s Beach. News about how the seaweed harvest can disturb the herring roe and other sensitive parts of the marine ecosystem has made Vanessa hesitate to gather this resource in winter. “I’m pretty new to all this, but when I’m mixing fertilizer, I do a four part thing: seaweed, compost, rotted manure and alfalfa meal – it’s like I’m preparing a meal for the soil,” says Vanessa. “Up until recently, I felt like that wasn’t taking too much out of system. And aiming for a ‘closed system’ appeals to me. But now, with the idea of protecting the fish habitat, I’m not so sure about gathering seaweed in the winter months to prepare for spring planting.” On the West Coast, where seaweed has been added and mulched for generations, contemporary gardeners face a new dilemma. Harvest and hope for the best, or buy commercial products to get the same benefits.

On the pro-side of mulching local seaweed, it’s “a veritable soup of plant-growth stimulants, vitamins, chelating agents, trace minerals, enzymes, and amino acids,” according to the US-based National Gardening Association. Plus, it’s local and seemingly-abundant — two solid principals of the sustainability and permaculture movements. On the anti-side of mulching local seaweed, the provincial government has yet to set limits for non-commercial harvesters (see sidebar). Harvesting can cause damage to herring roe at certain times of the year (generally December to March). And, commercial harvesters operate under strict guidelines. This year, Vanessa stretched her single tote of seaweed by making some of it into a tea. One shovel of seaweed, one of manure, add water, let it sit, dilute it, and use as a liquid, she advises. “It’s one way of getting the minerals without overharvesting,” she says. “Though I’m still unsure. I’m honestly unsure of what the reasonable parameters are.”

Harvesting seaweed for your garden? Most of the ocean is your supermarket. In an email exchange with the Ministry of Agriculture, the province advised the following: E There is no stipulation on the amounts that can be taken for personal use E However, all harvesting in British Columbia must comply with regulations, be it from the federal, provincial (park or protected area), regional or local governments, or a First Nation. E Only harvest seaweed that has washed up on the beach and conduct the harvest by hand. E Gather seaweed with conservation in mind.

HOME GROWN 2014 • 27

Yes, we’re infested But “SWD” doesn’t stand for “So We’re Doomed” Pieta Woolley •

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4703 Marine Avenue 28 • Powell River, BC


ast summer, Margaret Cooper suspected something bad was brewing as soon as she heard about the grubs. As president of the Powell River Garden Club, a couple of locals had emailed her about small white pupae they’d found in their cherries. Because she grew up in Australia – land of the fruit fly – she paid attention. Could this be the beginning of an infestation? More reports of grubs came in, so Margaret started marking their locations with dots on a paper map of Powell River. She wrote a story which ran in the Peak. A biologist at Washington State University saw it, and emailed her. “You might want to check out what you’re dealing with,” he said — was it the Spotted Wing Drosphila (SWD), or just the Western Cherry Fruit Fly (WCFF)? Then, a neighbour dropped off a bucket of plums. “The next day, I picked a plum out and saw the little hole and the bruising around it, and I just felt sick. It’s the SWD,” she recalls thinking. Her next step: setting sticky traps, and sending dead flies, fruit and grubs to



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Margaret Cooper’s map of suspected SWD infestations. To get updates, email her at provincial etymologists — who confirmed the species. “Anyone who is trying to grow fruit is quite alarmed.” Five years ago, the SWD arrived in California — its first North American destination – from its native Asia. Without natural predators, the tiny fly has infested soft-flesh crops across the continent, and into the fly’s native host, the wild blackberry. It’s impossible to overestimate the damage. Once the SWD infests a crop, bruising and softening the fruit and making distinctive holes in the skin, the fruit can’t be sold commercially. Another species, the Western Cherry Fruit Fly (WCFF), is also suspected of inhabiting Powell River cherries. At home, Margaret found grubs in her raspberry and blackberry bushes. A gardener in Wildwood reported

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having a friend over for tea and serving bowls of ripe red cherries on a Wednesday, and discovering the cherries were infested on the Friday. Blackberry Fest happened just days before Margaret discovered a widespread infestation of SWD in local brambles. In October, she organized a

The Boardwalk Restaurant • Lund

public meeting about the SWD. More than 70 people came. While reports of the flies are widespread — from Wildwood through south of town – there is certainly hope that they can be managed. Individual gardeners and farmers are encouraged to pick early and

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 29

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thoroughly. Soft fruit shouldn’t be left sitting out. If flies are found, destroy the fruit by freezing it, burning it, or boiling it. In fact, canners can use infested fruit for jams and jellies… just scoop out the grubs while cooking, Margaret advises. As proof that management is possible, look no further than the south-of-town acerage belonging to Coast Berry Company, where Debbie and Roger Duyvesteyn grow 20 acres of blueberries, 25,000 strawberry plants and four acres of raspberries. Though the SWD craves crops like theirs, and has been around Powell River for as many as three years –– the Coast farm is clear. No flies. “We thought we’d be lucky and it wouldn’t hit the coast,” said Debbie. “But we haven’t had an issue with it. Roger is running tests all the time.” An infestation, she knows, could ruin their business year. So, though they don’t spray pesticides, they manage through good cultural practices that respect the environment and also the beneficial insects. Raspberries are picked the day they are ripe. No ripe fruit sits out. They’ve spent two months laying cover for their blueberries, to keep pests of all kinds out. They pay attention to reports from BC’s berry councils. “We stay on top of it,” Debbie said. “We’re active but not worried.” Indeed, Margaret notes that the key to finishing off the SWD is management — and the knowledge that effective control is achievable.


Located behind the Community Resource Centre • 4752 Joyce Avenue

Do you want to start composting? Find our berries at Mitchell Brothers, Quality Foods, the Open Air Market, Coast Fitness and at the farm!

Do you need to find a system that will work for you?

1 2

Attend one of two FREE compost workshops held every month. Visit for dates, or find Let’s Talk Trash on Facebook. Inquire about workshops on Savary & Texada! Visit the Compost Education Center anytime for a self-guided tour of 7 active composters: Critter-Proof • Re-purposed Freezer • Jora Speedibin • Worm Bin • 3 Bin • Green Cone

3 on CJMP 90.1 FM to get tips on composting and more! Find great composting resources on our website, including plans to the nationally-recognized converted Freezer 4 theComposter. Have a freezer to donate? Or want a freezer to

Tune in to Let’s Talk Trash’s radio show Thursdays 5 – 6 pm

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30 • Powell River, BC

convert? Contact us at

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HOME GROWN 2014 • 31

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