Islands’ Food update

  • Mar. 20, 2009 12:00 p.m.

Submitted article–Has anyone planted anything yet? Somehow it seems bizarre given the temperatures we’ve been enjoying, but the days are fast growing longer, we’ve actually had some sun and some of us have dared start seeds indoors. And there’s been lots of seaweed hauling opportunity for soil supplementation with the recent tides.Islands’ Food began at two general meetings in Queen Charlotte and Tlell in October and November, when islanders were invited to come and share their concerns about food security on these islands and to discuss what we might do about it. Over 50 attended, all bursting with concerns and ideas. Clearly there were big concerns around our food. Islands’ Food was born.The meetings’ organizers found themselves reeling: so many good ideas presented. But half a dozen folk volunteered to go to work and some order has been attained. Membership has kept growing, mostly by word of mouth. Now there are well over 100 names on our mailing list – from all our islands’ communities. An upcoming initial meeting will be held in Massett on March 21, so great has been the response from the north. Aspiring green thumbs and the experienced ones who live there, please mark that date. And watch the Observer’s Coming Events column.There’s cause for celebration. Much has spun off from those many ideas, more are in the works and some are being saved till we find people to help. A bulk seed order has been sent out and partially received. Good savings for those who participated. Growing Food on Haida Gwaii was an excellent seminar given by Bill MacKay, and attended by more than 60 people.We’ve started community gardens in Queen Charlotte, we’ve had growing land offered in Tlell for the use of people there, we’ve found a number of folk who are willing to mentor new gardeners (Remi Gauthier has been captured by the QC community garden group). We have folk who grow things in pots (Sergius deBucy is the King!), folk who are backyard gardeners, an active farm group that is working hard to get land near Charlotte designated for farm initiatives and those who are already farming. The film, The Greening of Cuba, donated to IF by Fran Fowler, was shown last week in collaboration with the HG Film Festival and Sustainable Living Fair.Someone has suggested a spud competition – anyone interested in fostering and developing that idea? And we’re drawing up plans for the fall fair.It also became clear we need to organize more formally. To that end John Farrell donated his time and facilitated a visioning session for about twelve who responded to a call to the membership for interested people. Big success and we’re en route to forming a society.Islands’ Food mission statement reads: Enabling Islanders to provide themselves with local, sustainable food.A small group has drawn up constitution, purposes and bylaws, but we’ll need directors. If you’re energetic, passionate and responsible and care about our food security, please let us know. On March 28, in Tlell, there’ll be a general meeting of the membership. In the morning farm tours. In the afternoon, election of directors and other business matters. Details to the membership list by email, phone or letter. If you’d like to become a member of the burgeoning Islands’ Food Society, please let me know: sara@haidagwaii.neet or 250-559-7713. Meantime, happy digging!