Great Opportunities for Food and Agriculture Development in Lovely Area A
It has been a good year at Food Roots. We held a successful spring seed sale and swap and a plant sale in Crawford Bay. We promoted a farm business conference held in Kaslo called ‘A Growing Economy’ and had 14 East Shore food business folk attend that very informative weekend. Our coordinator, Nicole Schreiber, spoke with many local food business owners through the year, discovering a little about how they are doing and what help they might need in order to realize their dreams. We were present at the kick-off of the regional ‘Fields Forward’ initiative, held in Creston, and Nicole has joined the ‘Impact Team’ on that new initiative, which is aimed at helping food groups and projects in our region (from Riondel to Yahk) work together in order to be more efficient and have access to larger granting opportunities, as well as developing large-impact food and agriculture projects that will benefit our entire area. Recently, as part of Fields Forward, we took part in the first ‘Press Fest’ in Creston, where regional schools (including Crawford Bay School) came to help with the pressing of 10,000 lbs of donated apples, with 75 5lb boxes of the delicious juice being donated to each of the schools in our region.
We would like to take a moment here between thinking about the accomplishments of 2016 and envisioning the next year to thank RDCK Area A’s EDC for their support in this last year and their expanded support for 2017.
East Shore Food Roots volunteers met with our coordinator recently to begin envisioning projects and priorities for 2017 and beyond. Having an increased involvement with Fields Forward is a priority for the next year, as is the outreach to food/farm business owners (and potential owners) throughout Area A. We’ll be working with the EDC as well as the area’s upcoming ‘Asset Mapping’ pilot to help gather data around food and agriculture businesses that will help their projects. We are planning an expanded spring event and hope to partner with other groups (such as the Crawford Bay Artisans and the Chamber of Commerce) on this. One of our volunteers has just applied to be on the newly forming Regional Food Council. If chosen, this will be a great asset to food and agriculture development in Area A in the coming years.
Other Food News on the East Shore
Food Roots member Jaqueline Wedge has been busy over the last couple years creating the infrastructure for a community greenhouse, which is up and looking beautiful now in Crawford Bay. From what we have heard they had a successful year, giving food to the Crawford Bay School’s Hot Lunch program, and selling fresh food at pop-up sales and through a CSA program, with proceeds going back to the running of the greenhouse. She and the other Twisted Roots volunteers will continue to develop their project over the next year. We wish them the best of luck as they formalize their organization this winter and look forward to supporting them in their organizational development where we can.
The Crawford Bay School recently received a Farm to School grant, and are busy with a number of school programs and projects including the school garden and a homesteading class for the older students. Congratulations to them on the grant and we hope to support them where possible in their programs. It was great to see the younger students at the ‘Press Fest’ in Creston October 4th, packing up their juice and enjoying the day.
If you would like to help on Food Roots/Fields Forward projects in some way or find out more about what we are working on, please contact Nicole Schreiber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-227-9111. We can certainly benefit from more volunteers! Also feel free to contact Nicole if you are interested in more information about the programs at the school or the Twisted Roots Community Greenhouse. She’ll happily get you in contact with the appropriate folks. If you have a food/farm business in Area A (or are planning to start one) and would like to share a bit about what you are doing, how it is going, and what food projects your business might benefit from, we would love to hear from you and it would really help us as we determine appropriate projects for the future! If you have a big idea for food development that you want to pursue, do let us know!
We hope that your harvest was bountiful and wish you a wonderful winter!