In these troubled times of climate change and economic uncertainty, food security and local food sustainability come up again and again as people look to assert some control over their lives in a very unpredictable world.
As of late, low fuel prices have been a welcome change, but other factors beyond our control, like the increase in hydro rates as of April 1st, foreign ships causing oil spills on our coast and unethical corporate practices, can often leave a person feeling helpless. Getting back to the basics through gardening not only connects an individual to their food source, but can actually have a positive effect on their wallet and the environment as well.
As Wendy Booth mentions in her Regional Rundown column (Area F director discusses Columbia Basin Trust), a summary of a Columbia Basin Trust workshop held in the Columbia Valley in January is available online. According to the summary, the topic of “Agriculture, Healthy Food and Food Security” was among the top three themes mentioned most often by the 100-plus residents who participated (the other two being Economic Development and Arts and Culture).
Under the food security topic, what people want to see is an enhanced agricultual industry in the Basin, more local food processing, plus more backyward gardening, greenhouses and community gardens.
Not only that, but Columbia Valley participants told the Trust that by 2030, they’d like to see the Basin importing just 20 per cent of its food with the rest grown locally!
A lofty aspiration to be sure, but as Radium’s Rotary club president and garden project organizer Dale Shudra asserts, local interest in community gardening is very real — if 40 raised garden beds getting snapped up before the project is even completed is any indication.
Another way to help achieve these community ideals is to support the valley’s local producers — farmers’ market season is just around the corner — and the Invermere Community Greenhouse, which has numerous events coming up. Visit groundswellnetwork.ca to find out more and register.