Greenhorns gather for gala

Awareness film night and farmers' discussion

On Wednesday April 13, Awareness Film Night and Sooke Food CHI will present their annual Gardening and Farming Gala.

The featured film will be the Canadian premiere of The Greenhorns, a film that explores the lives of young farmers, their spirit, hopes, practices and needs.  The filmmakers journeyed across the U.S. meeting with enterprising greenhorn farmers. (Greenhorn: a new entrant into agriculture.)  They found descendants of farm families, punky inner-city gardeners, homesteaders, radical Christians, anarcho-activists, ex-suburbanites, graduates with biological science degrees, ex-teachers, ex-poets, ex-cowboys, all shovel ready, shovel sharp.

“They are popping up as we reclaim human spaces in the broad lazerland of monoculture that has engulfed America,” say the filmmakers, whose hope it is “to build the case for those considering a ‘career’ in agriculture – to embolden them, to entice them and recruit them into farming.”

To further entice moviegoers and budding farmers, the evening will be buzzing with activity.  Following the film there will be a panel discussion with four Sooke and Victoria area young farmers: Marika Nagasaka from ALM Farm, Teresa Willman of Silver Cloud Farm, Ian King of Lobrunner Farm and Adam Saab of Sea Bluff Farm. They will discuss the rewards and pitfalls of establishing a farm in our area and will answer questions from the audience.

The intermission between the screening and the panel will feature Sooke’s First Annual Nettle Festival with samples of tasty nettle treats (without the sting!) made by the Edward Milne Community School Culinary Arts class, along with nettle recipes and maybe even a poem or two. There will also be a raffle for dinner for four at Marcus’ Restaurant. There will be booths with local farming information as well as local farming products for sale and a plant/seedling exchange table. Tea and goodies will be available by donation, created especially for the gala by Culinary Arts. This will be a kid-friendly evening; teens are especially encouraged to attend.

Proceeds will go to purchasing picking equipment for the Sooke Food CHI’s Fruit Tree Gleaning Project. This project kicks into action in the late summer when fruit trees in our area are laden with fruit that often goes unpicked and unused except by wasps, raccoons and bears.  A call to the Food CHI project coordinator will yield volunteer pickers with picking equipment to pick the fruit, giving some to the tree owners, keeping some for themselves and donating the rest to the food bank, the crisis center, the Senior’s Centre and any other free meal providers in Sooke.

The gala will be held at the Edward Milne Community School, 6218 Sooke Road. Doors open at 6:45; film starts at 7:15 p.m.

Admission is by donation. Bring your favourite nettle recipe and any extra seeds or plants from your garden to share.