We produce so little food on Vancouver Island that if the transport of food to the island were disrupted, we would only have enough food to last 72 hours. That means that after three days the shelves in all the grocery stores and the kitchens in all the restaurants would be bare. What can we do to make sure that our farms and farmland are actively producing food?
On March 12 Awareness Film Night and Sooke Region Food CHI will present their annual Farming and Gardening Gala, and this year’s theme is “Protecting our Farmland.”
The evening will include three short films: Hands Off the ALR Townhall meeting, Growing Farmers and Hands in the Dirt. The post-screening discussion will be with Kimi and Kareno, featured in Hands in the Dirt, members of the Sooke Region Farmland Trust and Nathalie Chambers from the Farmland Protection Coalition.
Kimi and Kareno grew up on Vancouver Island and were a part of Saanich Organics growers. They now farm on Sweetdigz Farm on the banks of the Fraser River and are farmland activists with Farm Watch. They are young and energetic and will share their passion for urban farming and farmland stewardship.
The Sooke Region Farmland Trust was created in the summerof 2013 to save local farmland from development and return it to productive use while also advancing community awareness, local resilience and participation in food security. Mary Alice Johnson, one of the trust’s founding board members, had this to say about farmland trusts, “No farmer wants to see his or her land on the auction block as we grow too old to farm. Instead, we want to keep our farms active to their full potential… (and) see more of our priceless agricultural land returned to productive use as we, as a society, learn again how to feed ourselves and our communities locally. More farmland trusts could be the solution.”
The Farmland Protection Coalition is a grassroots organization of groups and individuals committed to protecting farmland and supporting farmers and food systems in the Capital Region and across B.C. They organized the recent “Rally to Save the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve)” in Victoria.
The gala will also include booths in the theatre foyer featuring gardening and farming information for all ages, booths with local produce and products for sale as well as tea and gourmet cookies made with some locally harvested ingredients by the Edward Milne community school Culinary Arts students (by donation). There will be door prizes of garden products. The Gala will go from 7-9:30 at EMCS. Admission is by donation.
Info at www.awarenessfilmnight.ca