From Paris With Compost

What can we learn from 19th-century French market gardeners?  by Constance Wylie Always tend the smallest amount of land possible, but tend it exceptionally well. — unknown market gardener, Paris, 1800s HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS I grew up on a horse farm in North Saanich that produced upwards of 100 tonnes of manure each year. As a […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

A Place to Grow Home

Welcome Gardens helps newcomers find food—and community by Myles Sauer One Friday evening last November, three teams of people, each assigned a random assortment of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, were asked to create a meal from scratch in the kitchen of St. Aidan’s United Church, a short drive from the University of Victoria. The event, […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

Back to the Land Reserve

Can B.C.’s new government make the dream of food security a reality? By Sarah Hughes Farmers in British Columbia—or anyone who wants to buy farmland—still follow land-use policies written four decades ago. But times are a changin’. The newly appointed minister of agriculture, Lana Popham, plans to bring the Agricultural Land Reserve into the 21st […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

Labour Pains

Canada is failing its seasonal migrant farm workers by Stephanie Harrington A SHORT DRIVE NORTH of Kelowna, as my car rounded a bend in the highway, the purple heads of thousands of echinacea flowers shimmered in neat rows, a pulse of colour among otherwise monochromatic grain fields. The temperature had tipped into the 30s on […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

Don’t Bank On It

IT WAS THE best of times; it was the worst of times. On a mid-December morning in 2016, Styrofoam cups of Nescafé and smiling faces comforted the dozen or so people waiting in line with me at the Mustard Seed food bank. A light snow drifted to the ground as the line crept forward toward […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Feeding the Resurgence

  Around 30 of us sit in a circle on the carpet, shoeless and mostly cross-legged, like school children, waiting for the chance to speak. We have gathered in this room—somewhat dimmed, somewhat hidden—at the CRD headquarters, to take part in a “blanket exercise,” a workshop that explores the history of colonization on the Island […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

Dining with the Devil

Across Canada, 40 per cent of the food we produce for human consumption goes to waste. Let that sink in. Some grocery chains are trying to stop that squander. On an average day, each of the eleven Thrifty Foods stores on southern Vancouver Island now donates 300 pounds of fresh produce that would have otherwise […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

F/W 2015: Raw Deal

by Quinn MacDonald Do you know what a cow is? It seems like a simple question. But have you really thought about it? (If you grew up on a farm, you’re disqualified.) A cow is a bovine female that is producing milk. That means she’s had at least one calf. Before that, she’s a heifer. […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

Contain Yourself

Freight container farms are popping up in cities around the world. Are they the best bet for food security in all climates? by Quinn MacDonald ON FAIR VANCOUVER ISLE, we often brag about farming and golfing year-round. But that gloating came back to bite us this year. It was a long, hard winter on the West Coast—at […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

I Fish, You Fish

Community Supported Fisheries reconnect consumers and fishing families to rebuild a sustainable seafood industry By Sarah Hughes IF THERE’S ONE THING I feel most conflicted about eating, it’s seafood. My biggest guilty pleasure is built on one of the most unsustainable food industries on our blue planet. Scummy fish farms, excessive by-catch, destructive bottom trawls, inhumane […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

Wild Gifts

Exploring the opportunities and responsibilities of foraging on the West Coast by Jennifer Foden JUST OVER A YEAR AGO, I left Toronto and moved to B.C.’s south coast. I wanted to embrace the mountains, mild weather, and coastal vibes. I often have moments, when I’m outside in the vast, lush West Coast forest, where I […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

The Gentrification Effect

Victoria is growing up fast. Can we balance urban food production with housing? by Trina McDonald ON A CLEAR MORNING, a week before the winter solstice, slivers of light overtake trees and distant buildings, strike the frost-covered ground, and awaken microbial life in the soil from a cold slumber. It’s one of the rare mornings […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

S/S 2014: Land of the Lox

by Sarah Hughes BRITISH COLUMBIA HAS BECOME a salmon-farming power, but not everyone is proud of the aquaculture boom on the West Coast. Since the 1970s, the development of fish farms to raise Atlantic salmon in Pacific waters—now over 100 sites—has been accompanied by vigorous public and scientific debate about the environmental pros and cons. […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

S/S 2014: Bee City

As farmlands become food deserts, cities offer pollinators unexpected oases by Quinn MacDonald You head out to the store to get groceries for your family. On the way home, you start to feel strange. Dizzy and disoriented. Your step falters. You forget where you’re going, where you’ve been, where you live. Something feels different in […]

Posted in Editorial, Features | Leave a comment

F/W 2015: The Edible Intertidal

All along the coast of British Columbia, researchers and First Nations are unearthing—or rather “un-muddying”—ancient gardens. Over 2,000 years ago the Indigenous peoples of B.C. created the first marine farms with simple materials to cultivate a staple of the coastal First Nations diet: the clam. What researchers call “clam gardens” the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation,of northeastern Vancouver […]

Posted in Features | Leave a comment