COVID + OUR FOOD SHED (March 2020 newsletter)

The West Kootenay Permaculture Coop wants to reach out to our community during this challenging time.  We’ve spent the last couple weeks adapting and watching in disbelief as the impacts of Covid-19 have unfolded.  This is having unprecedented impacts beyond everyone’s comprehension, and we may just be at the beginning.  From Countries to communities, everyone is feeling the impact.

 

Beyond the health concerns and risks associated with the virus, our thoughts are focused on the months that lie ahead.  We have no idea where this will lead, economists and governments are in unprecedented territory and their measures, while hopefully successful at flattening the curve, may not prove sufficient at avoiding serious secondary impacts such as global recession and impacts to supply chains.

 

While speculating is futile, food security and community services have always been about resiliency during difficult times.  In that spirit we’re taking a deep look at our networks, our resources and our sphere of influence and reaching out to community members to coordinate and work together in the times ahead.  Our objective is not to simply withstand what’s coming, but to grow stronger through this; not just to hold on, but to recreate and revitalize.  This is the viewpoint of antifragility or the concept of a regenerative system.  But we can only do this with our community working together.

 

For the past several years the West Kootenay Permaculture Coop has been running Kootenay Food, a food resilience project aimed at accumulating resources in food skills, equipment and funds to invest in feeding our community local and nutrient dense food. In the midst of this global crisis, the way we do food resilience needs to adapt.

 

Thank goodness for our local farmers.  Many of them have CSA’s and are taking orders now.  If you haven’t already you can go to centralkootenayfood.ca  to find a farmer near you.  Your support today will help local farmers buffer the uncertain times ahead.

 

Even with a CSA subscription in hand we still think you should grow some of your own food. More than ever before!  We’ve noticed seeds flying off the shelves rather early this year.  This is great!  We’re asking everyone and anyone to grow food, especially storage and calorie crops – even if you’ve never gardened before.  To support this cause we’re undertaking a seed sharing initiative, acquiring and distributing heirloom and open-pollinated seeds across the region.  If you need seeds or want to “grow a row” for the community, let us know.

Or maybe you want to help us save seed and begin to build a local seed bank. To support new growers we will be offering online tips on planting and seed saving. As the season progresses we will be pursuing ways to offer harvest help and processing equipment and instruction as circumstances permit.

 

To grow a garden is to believe in tomorrow! 

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This is just the beginning for us, in the months ahead we’re looking at ways to support our community in processing the abundance of food from their gardens and fruit trees and scale up our offerings.  We’re working hard to find a space for our equipment and we’ll be building a team for processing and storing as much as we can.  Our hope is to not only help you stock your pantry, but to also build a food secure resource for our community.  All this will build upon our initiatives from the past few years.

 

We are developing a plan to implement a meal delivery system to those in need.  This will be a pay what you can service, building over the next few weeks.  We realize those that are most in need may not have social media, and we are asking you to spread the word to your neighbors and check if someone you know may need this service.  Perhaps you can serve as an advocate for them.  We are presently assessing community needs and some specifics relevant to a meal delivery program which you can contribute to here: https://kootenayfood.com/2020/03/24/meal-service-program/

 

The West Kootenay Permaculture Coop wants to call on all of you to work together to build a resilient community.  While this time is challenging, we may as well do what we can to make a difference for tomorrow… plant seeds, grow a garden, and take care of each other.

 

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us,  if you’d like to get involved further in any of the projects above or to learn more, reach out & follow us on instagram or facebook.