time to be heard!

survey-banner

HEY PERMIES, HOMESTEADERS, CONSUMERS, FARMERS, PRODUCERS + ADVOCATES, It’s time to be heard!

At Farm Food Fork we are conducting a number of very valuable surveys around the topic of region food production, and we would really love to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to contribute to this important project. We are designing new community initiatives and our April festival and forum event around the feedback we get from these surveys. Please use this link to participate, best of all you will receive a discount code for $5 off admission to FARMFOODFORK in April! Tickets go on sale March 1st.

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Locavore feast SATURDAY!

100-mile-poster-winter-2014This is one of my favorite community events of the year! A giant pot-luck celebration of locally grown goodness! We are blessed with a huge community of great gardeners, and preservers and this mid winter reminder of all that we grow is too good to be true!  Plus the Slocan 6 minutes, is always great. Don’t miss this event.

2014 Slocan Internship Opportunity

ravine creek farm

Ravine Creek Farm is looking for an intern for the 2014 growing
season. We are a small, family-run, mixed vegetable farm located in
the South East interior, 40 mins from Nelson, BC. We sell our produce
at the Nelson Farmer’s Market and through our CSA program. Ideally we
would like to work with someone (*possibly* a couple) who has been
through a new farmer program of some kind and is seriously pursuing a
life of commercial farming for themselves.

We would like have the position filled as soon as possible, the
position starts April 2014, the accommodations can be available a
little sooner. We anticipate about 4 days/week labor. We have a 100
year old, one-room, off-grid cabin to offer, food, and some kind of
stipend.
.
The Slocan Valley is a very progressive and affirming community, as
young farmers ourselves we have been overwhelmed by the support and
enthusiasm we have been shown by our neighbors.

Check out our web page at ravinecreek.wordpress.com
Email or call to get more details about us, our farm and the position.

growing good memories

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This blog has certainly gone through an evolution from progress reports on our families transition to rural life, to being an outlet for the community projects and events I am so passionate about creating and promoting. Today I sit in a warm insulated space (for the first time in years) and look out on to our little mountain side farm and take in all of the blood sweat and tears that have got us where we are today…

Our Kootenay adventure started with a lovely piece of land and a gross moldy trailer. We started with gardens and chickens, built woodhenge, and a new road, two yurts, then a lovely outdoor shower house. We added hugelbeds and food forest systems, amazing onsite fertility programs, then came the rabbits and the bees. A cob rocket oven and a cob bench with outdoor kitchen space in the garden even a new green house. Perennial food abounds and now we are surrounded with community fresh water and love.

We couldn’t have done all that we have without the help, and love and support of our families and friends…. and our Interns. ‘Oh our interns…

Two years ago I took the advise of my friend and permaculture teacher Rob, he suggested I forgo the WWOOf’ers I was thinking about adding into the fold and look for folks who share our permaculture ethics and could really embrace and explore the techniques we are playing with here. So in 2011 I offered Permaculture Internships for the 2012 season, and for the past 21 months we have had continuous interns living with us.

Today is the first day Since Feb of 2012 that we are without interns, namely without Jordan. Jordan came here back in April of 2012 bright eyes and eager to live in the mountains and build on the solid permaculture education foundation he had. His 6 week commitment soon passed and we all decided that the energies we had as a team were worth holding on to.  All of our interns came and went for the season and Jordan was integral to their orientation and settling in.  Actually he was integral to just about everything around here, our fertility program was ramped up 10 fold as soon as we teamed up on the pitch forks! Jordan has a great ability to retain just about everything he reads (I am more of a skimmer) so having him drop facts and stats on a whim was always amazing. Jojo made all the crazy permie dreams totally doable, especially when he introduced us to his white board system of tasks and goals.  Every time I dreamed up another event or community project or planting guild idea, Jordan was there to back me up, or take on the challenge  himself and ace it. Not only is he a kind and amazing person we were thrilled to have here, he had also become my personal spell check / proof reader… you all can probably see by now how important that role is to me, as I’m a copy editors worst nightmare!  At the end of the harvest last year we took on a big project, out biggest ever and he was eager to stay through the winter and we were thrilled to have him, he was after all part of our little family by then. Together we starting creating our internship program for the coming season and soon realized, although we were overwhelmed with amazing applications and emails, we were going to build on the family we had made with Jordan. We invited his CSA team from years early to join ours and took on the lofty task of housing 3 full time – 3 season interns.

It was still snowy when Dave arrived from Victoria, and he was keen to chop wood, haul trees, wild craft and hone some carpentry skills. Jordan and Dave were living in the “Murt” together and built a really great loft space. Dave brought us music, and a good dose of laughter. Dr Kombuchy start brewing kombucha for all of us and caring for all the little critters and wee seedlings. We started our (2nd attempt) and breeding rabbits; we had a buck and 3 does and Dave took on that process entirely; from salvaging scraps of everything to assemble their new bunny palace, through the the daily care. Dave was a vegetarian when he arrived, however he was moving toward eating meat from small, local, organic and loving producers which was totally inline with the way we eat… he was in for a big surprise however when our little piggie, Bacon (raised by our friend) was ready for market shortly after Dave’s arrival. Poor guy sat nearby and watched me use every grueling nasty bit of that pig in preparation for Pig-in-a-day. Wow that was a tough 3 days for everyone; Dyl and Jojo did the killing and the skinning and scraping, and face peeling, and I boiled the heads and prepared the organs then created a workshop for 20+ folks to come and learn from our friend Ben the Butcher how to break that beast down.

By the time Isis arrived in the spring there were still remnants of pig… I think she found a hoof buried in the food forest on her first day in the soil! And of course she enjoyed the smoked bacon we were serving. Isis came along to the farm right around the time that Jordan brought home Balou, son of Odin (our golden guard dog) and soon the 3 of them; jordan Isis and Balou were all sleeping outside in the wood shed and Dave had the yurt to himself. Isis was a magic addition to our growing team. Her days were often spent tending to the garden, weeding and planting, and most importantly observing! She is a stellar observer.  Isis and I decided before her arrival that this was the time to finally take on bee keeping.. something we both so wanted to do, so together with the help of some serious queen bee guardians; Elise and Christina, we had the confidence to welcome and care for our new holistically managed bee colony. What a joy. Isis also came to be my number 1 dishwasher (feeding 6 meant for lots of dishes), and wild crafting and harvesting goto. I soon came to know that tone in her voice “…and the cucumbers” this meant I had many a basketful she was hoping to bring in and have me process in short order “the squash, the tomatoes, the grapes, the cabbage (the blue ribbon cabbage that is)…” the list goes on and on. We had our most productive and abundant year ever and this I blame heavily on Isis and her garden fairy magic.

As harvest wound down and the wood supply stacked up it was time for Dave to move on, back to the coast again with a soul-craft stop over. Dave is working with “Farmer Mike” (who I look forward to meeting someday) doing urban farming in Victoria. Maybe Dave’s most important legacy he left in the Kootenays was our daughters new interest and skills in music namely the ukulele and the songs they rocked together at open mike! Dave we raise a cup of turmeric tea to you, and wish you nothing but the best. love + gratitude to you.

Isis and Jordan are back home in the rambling foothills of Alberta now ready for a new page in their adventure together. With a heated home (novel idea) and lots of land to craft and observe, manage and care for. Our community’s loss is Black Diamond’s gain. Those two will do great things together. Jordan, Isis we love you both so much, and can’t wait to see how your future evolves. We wouldn’t be here without everything you have done to help us achieve our dreams. Thank You!

Fermenting 101

fermenting-101

This will be the most comprehensive fermentation workshop offered  this fall.
Demonstrating several methods of fermentation, Colleen will show how to create simple ferments that are not only easy to create but also delicious and family friendly. Emphasis will be on lacto-fermentation techniques using both dairy and non-dairy methods.

This dynamic workshop will cover a variety of ferments including tibicos, sodas, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, plus traditional condiments such as salsas, jams, and mustards. Find out tips on which types of vessels work best for fermenting as well as learn foolproof ways to preserve your harvest to make it more digestible and the nutrients more bio-available.

Every participant will take home samples to enjoy and inspire you to incorporate the health benefits of fermenting into your daily routines.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

Your instructor is Colleen Emery, Master Herbalist and owner of Emery Herbals and
The Apothecary in the heart of Winlaw. Colleen is a passionate proponent of traditional foods and preparation techniques as well as foundational family wellness.

To register please email vpg@rbrand.ca or call 250-226-7402

Cheese Please + Thank You

David ranks among the best instructors of all time! The feedback from our Homesteading 101 Natural Cheese making Class has been overwhelming… EVERYONE has been praising Davids workshop! Kelly Brown sent along some lovely photos from the day and I wanted to share a few of the great emails I received praising the guerrilla cheese maker. David Thanks so much for traveling inland so far to bring us not 1 but 2 amazing workshops, and for taking the time to share your experiences with the Valley Permaculture Guild at our monthly meeting (first Monday of each month @ Vallican Whole 6:30)

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“Cheese class was frickin’ phenomenal!!!!! I’m so ramping it up and inspired – can’t wait to get at er.” – Renata

“Great workshop! David was awesome, that was perfect. Thanks to you and Isis, Bryce, Kelly for your work to get it together. Cranking out the cheeses now…” -Andrew

” We had an amazing time at the cheese workshop – David is an incredible educator as well as cheese maker! ” – Liz

“Irme and I really enjoyed the Cheesemaking class with David, and are enthused to try out what we learned  on Sunday :-)” – Claire

“I have a lifetime of taking some wonderful courses, even travelling overseas for some of my training.  The Cheesemaking course with David was on my list of the top three courses that I have ever taken thus far.  The range of information received, the vast amount of cheeses that were covered and the taste testing  – Nosteemo!!  All was perfectly done!” – Judy

COMING SOON: HOMESTEADING 101

homesteading 101 workshop series

We are so excited to announce an upcoming series of HOMESTEADING 101 WORKSHOPS; These will start in August and continue through the winter. We are assembling a number of experts both from our own community and from afar to come and teach some serious homesteading skill building. The concept is to offer affordable education in rural homesteading skills.

Canning, cheese making, charcuterie, sourdough, fermenting, game butchery, on farm humane slaughter, poultry & rabbit processing just to name a few! If your an expect and would like to coordinate a workshop in this series please contact VPG (email below).

We will be kicking this off at at the end of August with a premium Artisan Cheese Workshop followed by a hot water bath canning class in September. Both of these will take place before PICKLE PALOOZA 2013, planning for that is underway too and tentatively happening late September.

If you are interested in: vending : volunteering ; or demoing at PICKLE PALOOZA please drop us a line directly at vpg (at) rbrand.ca

STAY POSTED for more details about this new skill building series!