Random Notes, April Calendar & Social Media Highlights
* Sooke Farmland Trust’s Mary Alice Johnson @ the April 7th Transition Café: Outstanding in so many fields over the last quarter century, Mary Alice is getting her boots muddy again as a founding board member of a new regional trust dedicated to saving farmland and leasing it out to a new generation of farmers. With ALM Farm, the Moss Street Market, Sooke Region Food CHI and Full Circle Seeds in her resume, we’re betting on Johnson and colleagues to make their mark – hopefully by securing such key pieces of the local ALR puzzle as Woodside Farm and the Helgeson Road site of last year’s Village Farm initiative. As ever, the café runs from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Reading Room Café on the first Sunday of the month. http://sookefarmlandtrust.weebly.com.
* Permablitz Update: Transition’s Stephen Hindrichs and permaculture designer Erik Bjornsen have chosen a young family’s home along the Sooke Road just west of Drennan St. as the first site for a TS permablitz project (i.e., the rapid transformation of a fallow frontyard into an organic food garden filled with perennial trees, shrubs and herbs). In the interests of resilience, food security and bountiful harvests, we figure every home should have one, and so this site will serve to demonstrate the possibilities, host occasional workshops and encourage more Sookies to raise food rather than grass and weeds on their front lawns! J Learn more about the concept here http://svipermablitz.com, and stay tuned for a call-out for volunteer labourers later this spring.
* Solar Hot Water Grants Now Available Throughout CRD: Those who’ve looked with envy at the incentives offered by Solar Colwood will be happy to know that financial incentives for solar hot water systems are now available on a first-come-first-served basis throughout the Capital Region. The incentives, announced on April 1, cover up to a third of the cost of a solar hot water system. After incentives, eligible solar systems cost $5,500 on average, or $56 per month, with financing. To be suitable for solar, a home or business needs to be in a location with little to no shade on the roof. There also has to be between two and five square metres of space available on the roof for the solar panels and space inside for a second hot water tank for solar pre-heated water. Click here to learn more and find a Registered Installer if you intend to keep pace with the Solar City revolution now well underway in T’Sou-ke.
* Admiral’s Forest: Some 150 or so nature and poetry lovers turned out for the Juan de Fuca Community Trust’s A Forest For All Seasons event on March 30. Poet Wendy Morton, who lives just down the road in the 8400 block of the West Coast Road, asked Van Isle poets to contribute appropriate odes to the forest and hung the results along a fern-lined trail beloved by the horsey set. The weather cooperated, and board members like Sid Jorna, Heather Phillips and Anne Bell are confident the campaign to purchase and transform the property into a public space is off to a good start. http://188.8.131.52/~jamesgas/jdf-land-trust/index.php?page=3%20admirals%20forest
* Streetbank Sooke: The local chapter of this global initiative continues to slowly evolve, with nine new members signing up last month and bringing the collective to 59 neighbors living within a 10km radius of one another. Join the club to connect with locals who are offering skill shares, giving away items “free to a good home” and happily lending out their garden equipment, tools, DVDs and books. http://www.streetbank.com
* Saturday, April 5 – Bluff Mountain hike with the JDF Community Trails Society, 9 a.m. Departs from the Camp Bernard parking lot at the end of Young Lake Road in Otter Point. Pack a lunch for this 8km roundtrip outing, and contact Rosemary Jorna with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Sooke Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala, 5:30 p.m. ‘til late at the Prestige. Annual big night out for members and friends of the Chamber. We’re happy to report that Transition Sooke has been nominated in the not-for-profit category this year J http://www.sookeregionchamber.com.
* Sunday, April 6 – Transition Café with the Sooke Region Farmland Trust’s Mary Alice Johnson, Reading Room Café, 2 to 4 p.m. Learn more from the (dare we say it? Yes we do!) legendary Ms. Johnson about this new society’s exciting plans to save local farmland, increase food security and encourage new farmers through affordable long-term leases. http://sookefarmlandtrust.weebly.com.
* Wednesday, April 9 – Awareness Film Night @ EMCS, 7 p.m. AFN and the Sierra Club B.C. co-present three short films on the hot-button topic of LNG fracking. The club’s campaign director Caitlin Vernon will speak following the films, and the District of Sooke will present a draft of its Community Energy Emissions Plan (which looks at energy and emissions data for the community and outlines an action plan for reducing greenhouse gases). http://awarenessfilmnight.ca.
* Saturday, April 12 – Family Arts Fair, SEAPARC, 9 a.m. to Noon. The Sooke Community Arts Council has rounded up a dozen local artists to introduce youngsters to painting, crafts, clay art, puppets, dance, yoga and more. Stick barista Garreth Morgan is the morning’s “roving pirate.” http://sookecommunityarts.com/events.
– Volunteer Non-Profit Fair @ Sooke Child, Youth & Family Centre, 2145 Townsend Rd. at CASA, Noon to 3 p.m. The Sooke Volunteer Centre present this third annual opportunity to learn more about the region’s volunteer organizations and perhaps sign up for front-line action with one or more of them. http://www.sookeregionresources.com/event/event-annual/3rd-annual-volunteernon-profit-fair.
* Mon. April 14 and 28th – District of Sooke Council meetings, 7 p.m. at the Municipal Hall. http://www.sooke.ca/EN/main/documents/public_meetings.html.
* Friday, April 18 – The art of food forestry with Richard Walker, Fernwood Community Centre in Victoria, 6:30 p.m. Permaculture BC presents an evening with this esteemed Osoyoos, BC food forester, designer, herbalist and teacher. $15 http://www.permaculturebc.com/node/168
* Friday/Saturday, April 25/26 – Creatively United for the Planet Arts & Sustainability Festival, St. Ann’s Academy, 835 Humboldt St., Victoria. Green Party leader Elizabeth May, artist Nick Bantock and former Earth Day president Jed Goldberg speak on Friday night. Saturday’s agenda includes the Earth Walk starting at Centennial Square at noon along with a keynote from artist Robert Bateman and a session on sacred economics led by Federal MP Murray Rankin and Victoria councillor Lisa Helps. http://creativelyunitedfortheplanet.org/festival.
* Saturday, April 26 – Earth Day plant sales x 2 in Sooke. Pick up this year’s plant starts along with some expert advice in the bargain at the Sooke Garden Club annual plant sale at the Evergreen Mall; and at ALM Farm’s Annual Plant Sale, both from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
* April Miscellaneous – Econews Green Calendar. Guy Dauncy’s one-stop guide to the numerous Transition-minded workshops, talks and special events happening week in, week out across the Victoria region. http://www.earthfuture.com/greendiary
Later in 2014:
* May 3 – Sooke Rotary Club Spring Fair & Auction @ SEAPARC
* June 1 – Sooke Secret Garden Tour
* June 5 – Thursday night Summer Market begins @ Sooke Region Museum
* July – StickFest #7, Stick in the Mud Coffeeshop
* July 13 – Sooke Philharmonic Fling on the Flats
* July 25 – Sooke Fine Arts Show begins
* Sept. 6/7 – 101th annual Sooke Fall Fair + Farm Tour
* Nov. 15 – Municipal election
Selections from last month’s TS social media postings
* Introducing the Sooke Commons @ the Hope Centre: https://www.facebook.com/thesookecommons
* Home stretch for InisHoge’s new farmhouse: http://rlwcf.blogspot.ca
* Incubating business, arts, high-tech and agritourism start-ups in Sooke: http://academicentrepreneur.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/sooke-incubator-and-makerspace-for-art-and-technology-proposal/
* Petition … Keep Big Oil out of B.C. parks http://action.sumofus.org/a/bc-parks-open-oil-gas-mining/?sub=homepage
* Don’t Frack the Law! Why BC’s natural gas plans will kill our climate action targets.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64yOCh4O_yo
* CBC Ideas documentary on the degrowth movement: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2013/12/10/the-degrowth-paradigm/#igImgId_83174
* One of the films screened at Transition’s Permaculture Video Night at the Little Vienna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3riW_yiCN5E&app=desktop
* Avatar Grove’s stand-alone neighbour – ‘Big Lonely Doug’: http://www.ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=753
* DeSmog Canada … “Clearing the PR pollution that clouds the public square” http://desmog.ca
* The way it was: A History of Otter Point, prepared by Arnie Campbell and Elida Peers as a preface for Otter Point’s new Official Community Plan. https://www.crd.bc.ca/docs/default-source/jdf-pdf/otter-point-history-final-feb-2014-with-cover.pdf?sfvrsn=2
* Looks like a promising design for bike commuters, though a bit pricey for now. Solves bus and storage problem! http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/chainless-electric-bike-folds-to-fit-under-desk.html …
* Know your brand propaganda 101: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YBtspm8j8M#t=48
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Happy trails, spring is sprung! (final photo courtesy of Cedona Holly)