February 18th, 2014
Don’t miss this talk at BAA’s April 15 AGM!
Here’s some exciting news: Kent Mullinix, PhD, the director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, is going to speak at our upcoming BAA AGM on April 15 at BICS (6-8 pm).
Kent will talk about project objectives of his Southwest British Columbia Food System Design and Plan Project (briefing document attached below), plus methods, anticipated outcomes, funding, support and Bowen Island engagement.
Here’s an excerpt about the project:
Researchers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) are leading an initiative to engage communities throughout Southwest BC (SWBC) in the development of a Bio-Regional Food System Design and Plan. This design and plan will offer a vision and roadmap of prioritized steps that can be taken by farmers, entrepreneurs, consumers, governments, and Indigenous communities to create a Bio-Regional Food System that reflects aspirations for increased food security and self-reliance, and economic development.
Why a Bio-Regional Food System?
Over the last four years the ISFS team has begun to explore the potential for under-farmed ALR lands to contribute to increased food security, to job creation, and to farmland retention in BC.
Residents of Southwest B.C spend over $5.5 billion a year on their meals and yet we import a significant proportion of our foods despite being able to produce them. Our farms are being lost across Southwest BC, over 25% in the last ten years, and the local processing and distributing capacity is nearly absent. All the while imported food cost is rising.
We are losing our capacity to grow food for local consumption at a time when the market for local and organic food is on the rise. What is the potential for a revived and re-localized food system in BC; how can we respect and incorporate Indigenous harvest and hunting practices in the food system; how many jobs can we create; how much can we contribute to the regional economy; what kinds of ancillary businesses can emerge and how can this kind of food system reduce GHG emissions and address serious environmental concerns?
These are some of the questions the ISFS team is trying to answer. The team is using a bio-regional approach to design an integrated food system that respects the boundaries and leverages the opportunities of an ecological and cultural region beyond the traditional delineations of municipal and regional boundaries.
Three-year, $1.5 million project bringing together food system stakeholders and 22 researchers from five universities across multiple disciplines.
Endorsed and supported by the Agricultural Land Commission and a growing list of major municipalities and other organizations.
Focused on the potential of a low-input, sustainable food system on under-farmed land in the region to complement the existing agri-food system.
Systems thinking approach focused on the whole food system from production, through distribution marketing and consumption.
Inclusive of Indigenous priorities, perspectives, and paradigms. A fourteen – member Indigenous advisory board is reviewing the project and exploring ways that our project can support and enhance the bio-cultural heritage that exists within the Coast Salish and Urban Aboriginal communities.
Relevant, applied and community-based research
The entire briefing document is here (PDF) Kwantlen Sustainable Food Systems Project (31) We hope you can join us and Kent!
February 14th, 2014
Our BAA Annual General Meeting is coming soon:
Tues., April 15, 6-8 pm at the BICS multi-purpose room. Mark your calendars.
We will take care of all the usual annual non-profit and organizational business at hand, review the budget and year’s initiatives, plus elect board members. If you want to nominate someone for the BAA board of directors, feel free to email us.
All are welcome. Please join us!
If you have any questions, email Elle: at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 4th, 2014
Thanks to all who came out to talk agriculture and Bowen Island on Jan. 25!
BAA hosted an “Open Space”-style gathering at Bowen Island Community School (BICS), facilitated by Chris Corrigan. Passionate folks divided into groups to swap ideas and discuss topics such as pooling resources for chicken processing, community gardens, linking farmers to affordable land, biochar, beekeeping, and so on.
The notes from the gathering are available here [3.5 MB, .PDF].
BAA’s Kim Howden is coordinating a follow-up gathering to keep the momentum going scheduled for March 1st. Stay tuned!
We also hosted a seed exchange and sale featuring enthusiastic islanders swapping kale and paprika packs, plus seeds collected by students from the school garden. Here’s a recap from BAA’s Sarah Haxby:
Seeds saved by BICS students as part of the school’s garden program were one of the feature items at the third annual Seed Exchange Sale, and Trade and Agricultural Forum held at BICS on Jan 25, in partnership with the Bowen Agricultural Alliance.
With a new growing-year coming up quickly, and last year’s volunteers moving on to other projects, it is time to start planning the Spring Garden program for the new year and to connect with parents interested in participating in volunteering in the garden and in the classroom with maintaining and planting the garden, Earth Day activities, growing seedlings and micro-greens in the classroom, creating a salad day, and more!
If you are interested in joining the BICS Garden Program Volunteers please call Community School Coordinator Sarah Haxby at 604 947-0389or email email@example.com
or come to the planning meeting Thurs. Feb. 13at BICS at 1:30pm
Special thanks go to: Kim Howden, for organizing; Sarah Haxby, for organizing; Chris Corrigan, for facilitating; Tristan, for being the graphic recorder!
Here are a few photos…
BICS seed exchangers
Elle, Kim, Tristan, Chris and Sarah at BAA Open Space
Tristan's graphic recording of BAA Open SpaceTristan at workTristan at work
December 13th, 2013
Seed Exchange, Trade & Sale:
ARE YOU DREAMING OF WHAT YOU WANT TO PLANT IN THE SPRING?
BICS and BAA are co-hosting the third annual seed exchange and sale at BICS on Sat. Jan. 25, 2014, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Multi-purpose room. (Set-up for traders/sellers starts at 10:30 am.)
During the event we’ll have “discussion/comment boards” to collect feedback and talk about any current issues and interests that local growers and gardeners have, including the Farmers’ Market, what classes/workshops people are wishing for, or wish to present.
Bring extra seeds, seeds you’ve harvested, and, if you want, bring your garden plans, your favourite book, ideas and questions to share.
Members from the BICS Grow to the Market program and BAA will participate. Seeds collected and packaged by BICS students participating in the BICS Garden program will also be featured, including white pumpkin seeds, bronze fennel and more!
To reserve a table, or for more info, contact Community School Coordinator Sarah Haxby: firstname.lastname@example.org, 604 947-0389.
BAA Open Space gathering
BAA is planning an Open Space-format gathering for January. We will convene to discuss agriculture and local food production topics, future projects and possible collaborations, and exchange ideas. All are welcome! Please stay tuned for more details in early January.
Julie at Artisan Eats is interested in hosting a sausage and perogi-making workshop. Anyone feel motivated to organize this fun ‘n tasty hands-on session? Let us know:elle.glave@BowenAgAlliance.ca
2014 BowFEAST farmers’ markets
We’ve finalized the schedule for the 2014 BowFEAST community farmers’ markets. Mark your calendars!
I will be stepping down as the market manager, and Sarah Haxby will be stepping up. To all the growers and wonderful folks who’ve made the market a fun, fabulous and inclusive community event, thank you for seven wonderful years! Welcome Sarah, and many thanks!
(2nd Saturday of the month at BICS, 9:30 am-12:30 pm)
Aug. 9 + BowFEAST local eating celebration!
& Oct 12 at Applefest, in Davies Orchard
To book a table at the market, contact: Sarah Haxby, Community School Coordinator and Farmers’ Market facilitator: 604-947-0389, email@example.com.
BowFEAST is a volunteer-run project of BAA, in partnership with Bowen Island Municipality and Bowen Island Community School, made possible by a grant from the Municipality.
BAA is a registered non-profit society supporting small-scale agriculture, promoting local eating and advancing food security on Bowen.
Bowen in Transition Green Guide:
Some of the folks involved with Bowen In Transition are currently putting together a Green Guide for Bowen. Jackie Bradley is focusing on the local food resiliency section, and has gathered the following list of island growers who are selling their produce on Bowen:
Bowen Brook Farm, Bowen Island Community School, Collinsia Farm, Eau Claire, Forest Brooks Farm, Garden To Cottage, Home Farm Gardens, McDonald’s Farm, Primrose Farm, Shady Acres, Sunnyside Farm and Apiary, The Bowen Farm, The Ruddy Potato Garden, Trish Jacquet, the Van Berckels and Willowdane Farm.
If you know of any other Bowen Island growers who could be added into this section of the Bowen Green Guide, or you have any other suggestions, please contact Jackie at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renew your BAA membership for 2014!
The year is coming to a close, so please consider renewing your annual Bowen Agricultural Alliance Society (BAA) membership—or join us now if you aren’t already a member.
We are just re-confirming now, but we will likely be able to offer BAA members these benefits once again in the New Year:
* 10% discount at GardenWorks (http://www.gardenworks.ca/) in Vancouver (present your card at the cash register) — great for big ticket purchases!
* 10% discount on West Coast Seeds (http://www.westcoastseeds.com/#sthash.Vxt0aQGW.dpbs) web orders (ask for the discount in the “comments” field, then call to confirm once you’ve placed your order.
* 10% discount at Bowen’s IRLY Building Center on gardening supplies (please speak to a business manager in advance for details).
* Discounts on our general interest workshops and seminars, such as soil management, composting, beekeeping, raising chickens, pest control, veggie container gardening, canning and cheese-making.
*Also, your BAA membership supports agricultural initiatives, programs and education on Bowen, including the BowFEAST community farmers’ markets.
- Annual BAA membership cost: $10 individual; $20 family; $5 students
- To purchase your annual BAA membership, please email Nancy Leonard: email@example.com.
October 2nd, 2013
Fall is here — and the harvest! Join us for the last two BowFEAST community farmers’ markets of the 2013 season:
*Sun., Oct. 13 at the lovely Applefest event in Davies Orchard, 10 am to 2 pm (check out the poster from Bowen Heritage).
*Sat., Oct. 19 at BICS, 9 am to noon – a growers’ market and harvest celebration!
Don’t miss the last market of this year. We’ll have:
-Straw bales from the Otter Co-op for sale for your autumn composting. Pre-order and pick up at the market: $15/bale. Drop off a check made out to BAA or cash (labeled) at the BICS main office by 3 pm on Friday, Oct. 11. There will be a few extra straw bales for sale at the market: first-come, first-served.
-Produce galore: apples, pumpkins, squash, potatoes, greens, root veggies, herbs, plus pumpkin and apple pies, homemade preserves, honey and baked goodies.
-Games – a cake walk for kids (win one of Maureen Sawasy’s divine apple pies) and bobbing for apples on a rope; face painting; live music; buskers; furry and fluffy farm animals.
-Bags of manure for sale, also for your fall garden needs. BIHORA will be offering these til they sell out.
If you want to sell at the market, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone is welcome!
August 12th, 2013
BowFEAST annual local food celebration is coming this August. The highlight is a community farmers’ market Aug. 17.
The time to feast on Bowen blackberries, tomatoes, carrots, crab and kale is coming soon!
BowFEAST 2013 is Aug. 12-18, with a community farmers’ market on Sat., Aug. 17. Here’s a quick Frequently Asked Questions to get you ready. See you at the feast!
…and… there are three more markets this year:
Sept. 21 @ BICS
*Oct. 13 at Applefest in Davies Orchard – Elle to lead this market
Oct. 19 @ BICS
What is BowFEAST, anyway?
A celebration of local eating and the harvest honouring our island farmers. The highlight: do-it-yourself feasts around the island Aug. 12-18. We’re challenging islanders to make a special feast in their homes serving as much local—or regional—ingredients and libations as they can. We’re also hosting a Saturday growers’ market open to all on Aug. 17 with Bowen-grown produce, home-baked goodies, jams and jellies, pies, cookies and pastries, flowers, lavender, honey, farm-fresh eggs, tasty eats and homespun ag products. BowFEAST is a project of the Bowen Agricultural Alliance (BAA) Society.
Local retailers get into the spirit, too: the Ruddy Potato will be featuring local produce and the Bowen Beer and Wine Cellar is offering specials and tastings of BC vintages.
When is it?
You can feast all week, but the farmers’ market is Sat., Aug. 17, from 9 am to noon, in the BICS school parking lot. Show up early to get the best goodies!
What’s in it for me?
Meet your island farmers face-to-face; make plans to buy direct in future. Sell your own backyard bounty. Buy from BICS students and support the school’s garden. Celebrate the harvest. Have fun!
Why eat local?
Eating locally grown food tastes better, is better for you, preserves a diverse food supply, supports local farming families, supports a clean environment, ensures a healthy and secure food supply for future, benefits wildlife and builds community (from www.eatlocalnow.org). Why not eat local?
Who puts on BowFEAST?
The Bowen Agricultural Alliance (BAA) Society in partnership with the Bowen Island Community School and Bowen Island Community Recreation. The market is made possible by a grant from the Bowen Island Municipality.
Where can I get more info?
What if I want to sell at the farmers’ market?
Please email Elle Glave: email@example.com.
Aubin has figs
This just in from grower extraordinaire Aubin (and David) van Berckel: our figs are ripe. People can just come and buy at the garden. It may be best to just drop by, as we are often away from the phone.
609 Cates Hill Rd.
We will sell them two for a dollar or .75 for the big ones. Most are too large to fit in egg cartons without squishing.
May 22nd, 2013
Well, we held our BAA AGM for the year — on Thurs., May 9th at the BICS school library. And we were pleased with the great turn out. Thanks to all who showed up. We elected a new board of directors (pictured here). They are:
Michelle Pentz (Elle) Glave, President
Pam Matthews, VP
Kim Howden, Secretary
Leah May Walker, Treasurer
Conrad Juraschka, member at large (& BIT liaison)
Sarah Haxby, member at large
Katherine Sharp, member at large
Nancy Leonard, member at large (& memberships)
Welcome to the new board members! And thanks again to outgoing BAA board members: Stuart Cole and Brett Dowler.
Coming up BAA will be hosting the 2013 BowFEAST farmers’ markets (dates below) — the first one is Sat., June 15, plus some educational ag workshops and seminars. We will be selling BAA memberships at the first farmers’ market as well.
Stay tuned… happy spring!
BowFEAST famers’ markets 2013:
-All markets are 9 am to noon–
June 15 @ BICS
July 20 @ BICS
Aug. 17 + BowFEAST harvest celebration @ BICS
Sept. 21 @ BICS
*Oct. 13 at Applefest in Davies Orchard
Oct. 19 @ BICS
May 1st, 2013
EARTH DAY was on April 22, but it was celebrated all week at BICS (Bowen Island Community School) with activities that included:
• Permaculturalist Kim Howden, new to the BICS garden program, showed students how to make a mulch-bed with recycled cardboard
• Garden tastings of: oregano, chervil and parsley
• Weeding and cleaning up the garden
• Harvesting fresh greens for the Friday lunch program three weeks in a row, with over 10 lb s of BICS garden greens and vegetables going into the lunch program and to help Miss Hayley’s new Baking Club which also started this week!
• Planting kale, pumpkins, lavender, squash, lovage, herbs, and sunflowersin peat pots, recused plastic pots and hand-made newspaper pots. We are now in the seventh year of successfully growing and seed saving these beautiful flowers at BICS!
• A lively discussion regarding dirt versus soil and what gardens need to grow
• Foxglove Farmer and last years’ BICS Garden program facilitator Daphne Fargher and class parent volunteers helped to plant seeds in over 300 plant pots for the garden, classroom, to take home, and some may go to the BowFEAST farmers’ market if there are students
interested in volunteering at the BICS table at the farmers’ market again this year.
• Many students who planted cedar seedlings in the primary wing took them home on Earth Day.
…but as everyday is Earth Day at BICS, the eco-activities are ongoing!
—Sarah Haxby, BICS Community School Coordinator