Random Notes, May Calendar & Social Media Highlights
* Councillor Kevin Pearson @ the May 4th Transition Café: Our guest at the last café of the 2013/14 season is this fourth-generation Sookie, a life-long local, senior manager at Canada Post, District of Sooke councillor and chair of the Land Use and Environment Committee. An All-Sooke Days kinda guy too, with roots as deep in this town as anyone. We’ve asked him to invite his own friends & contacts, so maybe we’ll pack the place (smile). (The various streams of mainstream life in this town need to mingle and meet more often, yes?)
We’ve invited Mr. Pearson after a chat at Seedy Saturday during which he spoke knowledgeably about the importance of local food security given the drought that has devastated the California farm belt. We’re also curious about Kevin’s thoughts on downtown development, density regulations, sustainable forest management (he began his career as a millwright at the former Sooke Forest Products sawmill) and the upcoming election campaign. Please join us Sunday afternoon at the Reading Room Café, 2 to 4 p.m. as usual.
* Permablitz Update: Plans continue to unfold for Transition’s makeover of a fallow Sooke front yard into a model permaculture garden packed with perennial edibles. The idea now is to help the homeowners erect a fence around their yard, then seed with a clover or vetch cover crop that will help build fertility. Over the summer Transition’s Stephen Hindrichs and permaculture designer Erik Bjornsen intend to start collecting perennials for the garden, and these are optimally planted in the fall. Question from Stephen: “Does anyone know of a rototiller we could borrow?” If you can help, please let him know at email@example.com.
* Value Your Farmer Forum, April 25 at EMCS: After an inspiring presentation by a pair of progressive Comox Valley farmers, the third of Sooke Region Food CHI’s town-hall meetings really took flight as the three-dozen attendees (including three of us from Transition Sooke) wildminded ideas about what’s needed to invigorate the local farm scene. Among the two-score and twenty (at least) ideas: a permanent farmer’s market; more community gardens; incubator farms (i.e., long-term, affordable leaseholds for new farmers); an abattoir; innovative cooperative marketing programs; affordable/available water supplies; political lobbying at the municipal level (i.e. for a bylaw allowing so-called “farm villages”); farm tax incentives; a “Meet Your Farmer” festival; mentorship and reskilling programs; micro-lending support from financial institutions; more farm box programs; composting and bulk-buying cooperatives; and, said one jester to much laughter, a pie-eating contest at the Fall Fair. Attendees were invited to prioritize the suggestions through a “dotmocracy” process, and Food CHI will be releasing the results later this month. PS For more about farm villages, an idea backed strongly by the Sooke Farmland Trust Society, check out Guy Dauncy’s power-point presentation on the subject (slide #26 onwards): http://www.slideshare.net/GuyDauncey/farm-villages.
* Random Gripe: When will the District’s Climate Action Change Committee meet again? The last two scheduled sessions have been cancelled, and the committee last convened for less than an hour in early December. Good news: The District is now equipped with a Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) that calls for fast-tracking environmentally friendly development applications and outlines actions that will help reduce the $16 million that Sookies currently spend annually at the gas pump. Kudos once more to the District’s Laura Hooper for guiding CEEP through its draft stages and showing up at last month’s Awareness Film Night to outline the content. After a little hunting and pecking, we found the CEEP report on the District’s website: http://www.sooke.ca/EN/main/government/devservices/environment/documents/CEEPQSReportSookeDRAFT09Jan14.pdf
* Who the “we” are in this newsletter: ‘We’ is not used in the royal sense here but as an acknowledgement that Transition Sooke is led by a consensus-oriented “core team” of volunteers (AKA board of directors in the formal language required by the BC Society Act). Our team this year is comprised of TS founders Michael Tacon and Andrew Moore along with Jeff Bateman (president/bulletin basher-outer), treasurer Yvonne Court and core team members (alpha order) Darren Alexander, Blake Barton, Yves Bourdeau, Sofie Hagens (in absentia, home soon-ish!), Stephen Hindrichs and Tony St. Pierre. If you’re receiving this newsletter, you’re one of the 240 or so individuals who’ve signed up for our email list. The core team welcomes new Transition-minded recruits with ideas, skills, expertise and energy who can attend monthly meetings and join or lead working groups. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250.642.2056 for a more detailed pitch.
* Friday, May 2 – Cohousing 101 hosted by Fernwood Urban Village Cohousing, Harbourside Senior Cohousing and Cascadia Ecovillage. 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Fairfield Community Centre’s Garry Oak Room, 1335 Thurlow Rd. in Victoria. By donation.
– Crossing the Unknown Sea: A talk by author and poet David Whyte. 7:30 p.m. at Royal Roads University. http://cstudies.royalroads.ca/courses/VEVI3110-Y13.htm
* Saturday, May 3 – Sooke Rotary Club Auction and Spring Fair, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at SEAPARC. Purchase plants and bikes, tour the business expo, take a free dip in the pool, and place bids on more than $50,000 worth of donated items and services. http://www.clubrunner.ca/Data/5020/693/HTML/124225//auctionflyer2014.pdf
* Sunday, May 4 – Transition Sooke Café with the District of Sooke’s Land Use & Environment chair Kevin Pearson. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Reading Room Café.
– Habitat Acquisition Trust’s Native Planet Garden Tour, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with ten stops in the Victoria area. http://www.hat.bc.ca/index.php/i-want-to/news/337-native-plant-garden-tour-may-4
* Thursday, May 8 – Natural Beauty: What’s In Your Personal Care Products, 7 to 9 p.m. at EMCS. Workshop with loads of free takeaway samples presented by Registered Herbalist Hillary Childs and Registered Nutritional Consultant Jo Phillips. $28. Register by phoning Reta or Anne at the EMCS Society Program Office. 250.642.6371.
* Saturday, May 10 – Sooke Country Market official 2014 season opening. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Eustace and Otter Point Rd. in downtown Sooke.
– Plant Propogation Workshop, 1 to 4 p.m. at ALM Oganic Farm. $45. email@example.com. Learn how to get vegetables, herbs and flowers started from seed, cuttings and divisions … and go home with cuttings and newly seeded plants.
– Spoken In Spirit: Practices for strengthening honest communication, communion, and community, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ahimsa Yoga, 6653 Sooke Rd. $29. A workshop on right speech led by Sadra Saffari. http://www.ahimsasooke.com/spoken-in-spirit/
– Defend Our Climate: March for an Oil-Free Coast, Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. Sierra Club of BC and the Wilderness Committee are coordinating a National Day of Action march from the Beacon Hill bandshell (1:45 p.m.) and rally at the B.C. Legislature (2:30 p.m.).https://www.facebook.com/events/301544789999960/
– Compost Education Centre’s Spring Organic Plant Sale, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1216 North Park St. in Victoria. http://compost.bc.ca/ai1ec_event/spring-organic-plant-sale/?instance_id=
* Wednesday, May 14 – Awareness Film Night presents A (Video) Evening with Charles Eisenstein, 7 p.m. at EMCS. AFN’s 2013/14 season finale focuses on the influential author of Sacred Economics. As Jo Phillips notes: “Lest we lose ourselves in a sense of futility at working for and making what can seem like insignificant changes, Charles encourages us to remember that we are all connected and that our actions (or inactions) always have more impact than we may realize.”
* Friday, May 16 – An Open Evening About the Findhorn Community, 7 p.m. at Harbourside Cohousing, 6669 Horne Rd. Limited seating, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Approaches to Meditation with Dr. Hilary Rodrigues, Swanwick Centre in Metchosin. Weekend retreat led by a University of Lethbridge professor of Eastern Religious traditions. http://www.krishnamurti-canada.ca/retreats/approaches-meditation
* Sunday, May 18 – Peaceful Disobedience: A talk by Betty Krawczyk, 10:30 a.m. at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria, 5575 West Saanich Rd. http://www.victoriaunitarian.ca.
* Saturday, May 24 – March Against Monsanto #3. Gather in front of the BC Legislative Building at 12:30, march begins at 1 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/events/1442757745950588
– Introduction to Cob Building with Beth Cruise, founder of the Canadian Earth Institute. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Royal Roads University. $95. http://cstudies.royalroads.ca/courses/GLNA3328-Y13.htm
* Wednesday, May 28 – The T’Sou-ke Wasabi Project: A Talk by Andrew Moore, presented by the Sooke Garden Club. 7:30 p.m., St. Rose of Lima Church, 2191 Townsend Rd.
* Saturday, May 31 – Yoga and the 10 Vital Winds: An Introduction with Amy Rubidge, Ahima Yoga, time TBA. $30.http://www.ahimsasooke.com/vayus-amy-yoga/
– Vancouver Island Trails Network Conference, near Courtenay. Inaugural gathering for new organization dedicated to carving out a 700km non-motorized trail from Victoria to Cape Scott. http://letsbuild.vanisletrails.org/
Later in 2014:
* June 1 – Sooke Secret Garden Tour http://www.sookesecretgardens.com/
* June 5 – Thursday night Summer Market begins @ Sooke Region Museum
* July – StickFest #7, Stick in the Mud
* July 13 – Sooke Philharmonic Fling on the Flats
* July 25 – Sooke Fine Arts Show begins
* Sept. 6/7 – 101th annual Sooke Fall Fair
* Nov. 15 – Municipal election
* Grow an (extra) row for the Sooke Food Bank this year – http://www.timescolonist.com/islander/an-extra-row-of-vegetables-can-help-neighbours-in-need-1.1004088
* Great guide as to why Transition Town philosophy is rooted in permaculture principles – http://permacultureprinciples.com/principles/
* One best source for CRD demographic trends and statistics is the Victoria Foundation’s annual Vital Signs report – http://www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/Vital_signs/2013_VitalSigns_FINAL_7MB.pdf
* From the good-news desk: http://plasticbank.org
* Perspective check: “A growing number of scientists now say we are living in a new geological epoch — the Anthropocene.” http://www.anthropocene.info/en/home
* RRU’s Rural Opportunities Network – http://ruralnetwork.ca
* “The unicorn dream of “carbon neutral” won’t save us.” – http://truth-out.org/news/item/22885-the-perp-in-the-greatest-mass-extinction-on-earth-methane
* Check out the just-launched East Sooke Neighbourhoods website for the view behind the forested curtain – http://www.eastsookeneighbourhoods.ca
* Recommended Reading: Vancouver author/journalist Charles Montgomery’s Happy Cities – http://thehappycity.com/the-happy-city
Transition Town Sooke