The 2019 growing season is off to a great start at our Share the Harvest community garden in downtown Courtenay. On March 25, 2019, Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells, Council members and leaders at LUSH Valley Food Action Society signed a five-year ‘Share the Harvest Community Garden’ partnership agreement. The agreement ensures The City’s financial and in-kind support in exchange for LUSH Valley’s coordination and maintenance of the gardens over the next five years.
This was timely and most welcome news as our Community Garden Coordinator, Emma Hutchinson, is now back for the season. She’s ready to round up volunteers to help get the garden cleaned and prepped for planting. If you have a green thumb (or not!), some free time, and you want to grow with us, please sign up to volunteer on our website or contact Emma at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in growing in a plot in the garden. Emma will be reaching out to Community Garden volunteers in the next couple of weeks.
Meet Our Newest Staff Member
Welcome to Terri Perrin who joined our team as the new Communications & Program Manager in early March.
Terri was hired for this role after Briget Horel was lured away from us by a government organization. Briget will continue to support LUSH Valley by joining our Board of Directors in June. We thank Briget for her work with LUSH over the past few months and look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.
Terri was born in Nanaimo, which makes her a true ‘Islander’. After living in northern BC and Calgary for a number of years, she moved to the Comox Valley 10 years ago. Terri is an avid gardener, an equine enthusiast, and all ’round animal lover, and an accomplished writer. She brings to a wealth of communications, community engagement and volunteer management experience to LUSH Valley.
What is a Food Policy Council?
Food Policy Councils (FPCs) are comprised of individuals from all aspects of a local food system. A Food Policy Council is an innovative collaboration between citizens and government officials. The goal is to provide a forum for advocacy and policy development that works towards the creation of a food system that is ecologically sustainable, economically viable and socially just. The primary goal of many Food Policy Councils is to examine the operation of a local food system and provide ideas and policy recommendations for how it can be improved.
LUSH Valley has made delegations to Municipal Councils and the CVRD Board of Directors, asking for support and representation from each local government to the proposed CVFPC. There will be further discussion at the April CVRD BOD meeting and we are hoping to move this initiative ahead in summer 2019.
The CVFPC will be made up of 12-18 members from local government, charities, local growers, and other experts across the food system. With approval, one of the CVFPC priorities will be to open up the Regional Sustainability Strategy and help create a ‘scorecard’ for the region. It will also support other local government processes as well as food systems initiatives across the region.
If you have an interest in learning more about the CVFPC please contact our Executive Director, Maurita Prato at email@example.com.
What is the Vanier Soup Project?
We are excited to be starting a new partnership with Indigenous Education and SD 71. This program, previously run with Watchaiy Friendship Centre works with students across SD 71 to produce a weekly soup, and snacks for students who may otherwise come to school hungry. The students help to shop, harvest, cook and eat the soup, and hundreds of students participate each week.
So far LUSH’s involvement has worked on a collaborative evaluation of the program and creating contracts with local growers to bring more fresh local food into the program.
We have also teamed up with the Comox Valley Art Gallery’s Youth Media Project (CVAG-YMP) to showcase the Vanier Soup Program, Our goal is to introduce more local food into the Soup Program, so some of the video footage was shot at Amara Farm.
Youth Media Project Presents; IGNITE- April 12th, 2019
The public is welcome to a free screening the wide variety of films produced by the students at the Rotary Hall, Florence Filberg Centre, Courtenay on April 12th at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. Free admission, snacks and community sharing.