Light Clay Day!


What is “Light Clay” construction?

Come to our building party and find out! You’ll see how we built a wood framed structure which we will be insulating with a mixture of a clay slurry and wood chips. We mix the slip and chips together in a big machine that looks like Dr. Seuss must have invented it and place the muddy mixture into the walls, creating a vapor permeable insulation layer ready to receive clay plasters. The end result is a healthy, modern home for conscious people to live in! Continue reading

farmer mixer : crowford bay


Ready to gather, share, learn, dream and mix it up Kootenay farm style? 

Kootenay’s first ever Young Agrarians Farmer Mixer & Sleepover!

Before the days get too long, the weather too warm, and all our lives way too busy… it’s time to gather and network with farm folk!!!  We’re bringing together as many young(ish) ecological farmers as we can for two-days of skills sharing, workshops and connection making.

Young Agrarians has officially come to the Kootenays!  We have regional coordinators on the ground and modest funding to start supporting local young farmers and the farm-curious.  The Mixer will also be a chance to plant the seeds for meaningful projects and gatherings for 2014 and beyond.



Bring food to share, seeds to swap, preserves to trade, travel-able tool(s) to show off, the best farm book(s) you’ve ever read that everyone else should know about, your innovative farm-ideas and more…


Your input will help to shape our time together.  Participants will receive an info package with details by email before the Mixer.


We’ll be gathering in the community of Crawford Bay on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake.  The Mixer will be hosted by the Crawford Bay School –  We will get a taste (literally!) of the school’s awesome garden and lunch program.  We will also have the chance to visit the nearby Yasodhara Ashram, a yoga and retreat space with an inspiring “food flow” program that includes extensive gardens and a super local farm network –


We have great accommodations available at the Kokanee Chalets –  Shared accommodation for Saturday will be organised as part of your event registration.  We will be sleeping four to a chalet; although a limited number of private two person rooms are available, first come first served. If you require a place to stay on Friday and/or Sunday nights, let us know and we will point you to good options.


We would love to have as much food locally sourced as possible from participants. The registration process will give you a chance to tell us how you might help to make this happen!

POTLUCK DINNER SATURDAY NIGHT – Please bring a dish to share… and invite friends!  We would like this part of the weekend to include as many Kootenay farmers, food lovers, and friends as possible.  *Folks coming to just the potluck do not need to register here.”

There are kitchen facilities available on-site, as well as in each chalet at the Kokanee Chalets.


Info on getting to Crawford Bay will be included in the package we email participants.

We recommend using Kootenay Rideshare and the Facebook Event Page for the Mixer to connect with others and plan shared journeys.

We want you with us!  A very limited number of travel subsidies are available.

*If you will not be able to join us without this support, please contact :


The event is being held by donation.  We are asking each adult to donate between $35 and $75.  Smaller contributions for participating children would be very much appreciated.  Monies raised will be directed into future Young Agrarians activities that will benefit us here in the Kootenays.

*Too steep?  We need some volunteers – contact for work trade opportunities!

Crawfor Bay

We can’t wait to see you on March 15 & 16!


Huge thanks to Columbia Basin Trust, Kootenay Co-op, Kokanee Chalets and the East Shore community for making this event possible!



This is what is keeping me busy these days. FARMFOODFORK.COM


Malin & I along with the help of an AMAZING support team, have been working hard to bring our region some local food projects, Here is an overview of what we are planning:


Farm Food Fork is a food-focused gathering for hundreds of West Kootenay stakeholders: farmers, producers, retailers, chefs, consumers, advocates, food groups, policy makers, butchers, ranchers and beekeepers.

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op is undertaking a four-part project focused on strengthening and

supporting the local food movement. We are examining food issues specific to our region and creating events that encourage growth of West Kootenay food economies. We will be celebrating all of the work that has brought us to where we are now. This is a “call for action,” honoring the requests of countless agricultural reports and their authors.

Part 1| We are taking the pulse of our region’s food needs! Multiple FOOD HUB events are planned for the West Kootenay region over the next few months, hosted by various food-related groups. During a grand two-day event in Nelson in early April, speakers, workshops, and sessions will be customized to meet all the needs identified during this information gathering process. The Slocan Valley FOOD HUB DAY will be on February 23 from 11-2 @ the Vallican Whole.

Part 2| In April, FESTIVAL + FEAST will feature: the Lexicon of Sustainability art show, food films, education, local producers sampling Kootenay-made foods, speakers, workshops and a local seasonal feast in recognition of our food shed.

A true celebration of our local food system!

Part 3| FORUM + FEAST is our stakeholders’ event on the following day. This will be a solutions based, action-driven facilitated workshop. It will wrap up with a cash bursary, democratically awarded to various “ready for action” projects that address the needs of our community. All of the profits from the public event will go directly back into this bursary fund.

Part 4| In April, we are launching, an online directory of the West Kootenay food shed. This will be a user-friendly, visually appealing web resource that will put people in touch with food, inputs, events, workshops and the many groups working so hard to secure our region’s food futures. will give recognition to our farmers and producers. Those listed in the directory will find it easy to login, update, expand, and customize their own listing details, keeping fresh.

We value your experience, opinions, and ideas, which is why we have created an engaging way for you to share them with your community. Your participation in our events will help ensure that Farm Food Fork will best serve our community and will direct our future actions towards what is needed for the successful growth of the West Kootenay food system.

We will feed you excellent local food. We will engage you. We will inspire you. In return, we ask for a small contribution of your time and unique energy. We are looking for stakeholder participants, speakers, net-workers, and folks to help spread the word. The hope is that others within the community will be motivated to participate in our online surveys and celebrate local food with us.

Let’s build a resilient community together!

Herbal Medicine Making 101

Just in time for to prepare for Wild-Crafting season, Valley Permaculture Guild presents Herbal Medicine Making.
This dynamic, hands-on class offers the basic skill set necessary to take the bulk of your harvest and turn it into storage ready medicines. Covering all aspects of Medicine Making including Infusions, Syrups, Tinctures, Creams and Elixirs, you will leave with 10 herbal medicines ready to start your own herbal medicine cabinet at home.

Our instructor for this workshop is Colleen Emery, Master Herbalist and owner
of Emery Herbals in Winlaw. Colleen is passionate about offering access to information that enables individuals and families to be self-sufficient and in charge of their personal wellness.

To register please email vpg


Back by popular demand! Another adventure in pig butchery!

This 5 hour workshop will include hands on instruction from our local butcher
in how to break down a whole hog. Basic and advance cuts, sausage making
and bacon curing along with traditional preserving techniques. At the end of the
day you will leave with the fundamental knowledge  to break down your own pigs,
along with new tool & knife skills.

Your Instructor Ben Carson is the new co-owner of Legendary Meats in Slocan
Park, along with his wife Victoria. Ben has spent the past 12 years in the meat
industry; working in all aspects of butcher and management. His real passion lies
in whole beast butchery, trying to minimize waste in a very commercially wasteful
industry. Plus he is insanely entertaining + knowledgeable.

to register please email vpg

the Root Cellaring Expierence


Homesteading 101 – Root Cellaring Workshop. Participation is limited in this 2 part Root Cellaring Experience Workshop.

Day 1 (Sunday Nov 24 am) We will tour a number of cellars in the local area observing and recording data… DRESS WARM! There will be a small research – homework project participants will undertake before the second part.

Day 2 (Sunday Dec 1 pm) We will come together as a group and share knowledge, data, and ideas about storing food effectively and in affordable ways in our region.  Info will be compiled and used for community groups considering community root cellar options.

Register ASAP as class size is limited: or call 250-226-7402

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 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

canning & preserving 101


Workshop #2 of our Homesteading 101 series… An introduction to Canning and Preserving, using hot water bath techniques. In this class you will learn how to make: Jam, Chutney and pickles and best of all you’ll take the preserves you made home with you, and all of the produce will be organic and local.

Participants will be limited in this hands on class, so register ASAP to make sure you get a spot!

Register by emailing vpg (at) rbrand (dot) ca or by calling 250-226-7402