Vic West Corn Roast!



Sunday, September 24th Noon to 4pm

Raynor Street at Craigflower Road

Come join the community celebration on Raynor Street with local music, food and fun for the whole family! The corn will be hot and the juice is as local as you can get – pressed from apples harvested by Lifecycles Fruit Tree Project. 
Build a zucchini car at home or at the event and race it down the new track. Racing all day…vrooom!
Time to show off your baking skills by entering your home-baked apple pie to win the blue ribbon. Bring your pie to the Vic West Corn Roast by 1pm, judging is at 2pm. Prizes for the top three pies.
It’s time to get your scary on…get creative and make a scarecrow at home any size or style using any material and bring it to the Vic West Corn Roast by 2pm to win prizes, judging is at 3pm
Volunteers are needed to help make the day a big success! Contact
The Corn Roast is hosted by the Victoria West Community Association, Food Security Collective.
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Thursday Weekly Work Parties

20170720_175222_resizedWeekly stewardship of the food gardens in Banfield Park is ongoing throughout September, with more volunteer help needed in Banfield Commons and the Community Orchard on Thursdays from 4-6pm. The Autumn Olive berries are going to ripen soon, and there have been many Goji berries to pick. Last week we started creating tree & shrub ID tags by reusing aluminum pop cans! Come out and learn how to steward a food producing ecosystem!

The food gardens are located just south of the Victoria West Community Centre at 521 Craigflower Road

Please bring a water bottle, work gloves and a friend

Light snacks provided for volunteers

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Watering Trees

gorge water

Coast Salish Territory … full of trees and water that need protection.

Please help any of the trees around you survive this hot, dry summer by giving them water! There are many creative ways to hydrate the landscape.

One of our weekly tasks in the Community Gardens is watering the trees and plants that in return give us fresher air, fruit, nuts, mulch, shade and beauty!

It’s been a wonderful summer – the community food forests have had some great volunteer help, forming new friendships between people and trees!

Weekly work parties on Thursday evenings will keep happening into the fall, stay tuned for more details…
Volunteers are vital to the active stewardship of Banfield Commons Food Forest & Community Orchard, thanks goes out from the Vic West Food Security Collective!

For more information, please contact the Vic West Food Security Coordinator:


Waxing the cob bench

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Happy Lughnasadh

Today is Lughnasadh or Lammas – a celebration of the early harvest.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how much food to plant to feed your family for a year. This is how it’s starting to pile up.

Here’s a look at one bed, and what I harvested today: one savoy cabbage, green and yellow bush beans, the last of the shelling peas, a bowl of basil leaves, purple top globe turnips, yellow, white and green patty pans, two cucumbers, yellow and green zucchini. And some went to the good folks who provide me with growing space.

Wishing everyone a bountiful early harvest. Ava

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How Much to Plant to Provide a Year’s Worth of Food

I recently came across an article from that listed what crops to plant and how much of each one would need  to feed their family for a whole year. As I have 3 gardens in neighbourhood back yards, I wondered how close I was to feeding myself, so I did a quick count and am amazed at how close I’ve come.

I don’t have all the same crops they do and have some they don’t and I will also have winter crops. So, just for fun, here’s their list/Ava’s. Continue reading

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Plant Sale 2017

Join us on Saturday, May 6th, from 2:00 – 6:00pm for the Vic West Food Security Collective’s Annual Plant Sale. Get your organic tomatoes, squash, basil, cucumbers and many other veggie starts. Come early for the best choice.

We’re part of Vic West Fest 2017, which runs from 2:00 until 9:00pm.  There’ll be live music, great food, art projects for kids, ice cream, displays, games, and beer for the grown-ups (ID required).

Note: new start time for this annual event is 2:00pm.

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Miners Discovered a Tasty Superfood

Miner's lettuce

Miner’s lettuce grows in cool, moist places in early spring along the west coast.

Imagine, a nutritious, yummy green that you don’t need to water or care for, that reseeds itself and is native to this area. It shows up in profusion this time of year when we are desperate for something to add to our salad bowls that hasn’t traveled a thousand miles to get here. It’s non-invasive, easy to pull when it’s done, and makes great mulch or compost. And chickens who are lucky enough to have it around produce eggs with a deep orange yolk.

It’s miner’s lettuce, also know as winter purslane, or Claytonia perfoliata. It tastes like lettuce only earthier, and has a slightly thicker leaf, more like spinach. Some call it a superfood: vitamin C, omega fatty acids and chlorophyll assist with detoxification and blood purification, but I like it because it’s green, available and tastes fresh when most other things don’t this time of year.

Miner’s lettuce got its name from the miners of the California gold rush who used it to prevent scurvy. It grows in profusion in moist, shady spots along the west coast right down into California. It doesn’t last long unless the spring is cool and moist, so grab some while you can if you see some!

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You won’t recognize the new Oceanic Market

Oceanic Market Before 2017

Oceanic Market, as we know it now.

If you’ve visited the Market Garden in the last couple of summers you’ll have seen the glorious rows of exuberant greens, the edible jungle that is the growing plot, and the greenhouse packed with neat rows of heritage tomatoes. And then there’s that airy shed stocked with racks of seeds for things both common and obscure. It was easy to miss, though, tucked away on Bella Street, in spite of the beautiful sign.

Tucked away no more, the Market Garden man has taken over the lease to the Oceanic Market on Catherine Street.

The face of the Oceanic is about to change, newly designed and introducing new dry products like flour, nuts, and edible seeds, produce and local planting seeds. You’ll be able to walk through the Oceanic to the Market Garden in the back. Plans for a community gathering hub are in the works, as is a demonstration kitchen for canning and take-away foods.

“You won’t recognize it,” says Ryan.

summer at Market Garden

Summer in the Market Garden

Ryan, who runs the market, is quietly bursting with enthusiasm for his new venture, which he’ll be sharing with long-time Oceanic employee, Ian. While his eye is on organic, local products, in practice he includes farmers who grow organically but aren’t certified. Fair trade products, like avocados from Mexico, will also stock the shelves.

But not everything will change. The Oceanic will continue to sell products the community has relied on for decades, such as cigarettes and lotto tickets. How does that fit with the program? you may ask, but it makes sense given Ryan’s sensitivity to the needs of the community. He wants to build on the success of the former owner, not destroy it, and he values the current customers.

summer bounty

More summer bounty

Food security to Ryan includes selling local Vic Westers’ produce and finding a system that’s fair to sellers, customers and him as a buyer, and is also keen to hear our ideas for products. He is open to offering vegetable waste to local chicken owners, and has agreed to sell a home-made line of soaps for a local.

Excessive waste from packaging is a gremlin Ryan is wrestling with, so we may see some colourful incentives to be spare with our bags. Selling products with returnable containers, like Avalon Dairies milk, is one solution.

As more of us appreciate what food security really means, having an (mostly) organic market in the ‘hood is great news. We can support it by letting Ryan know what we would like to see, then actually buying it if he brings it in. Don’t forget to bring your bags!

Louise Wood

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Those Weeds of the Email World

dandelionsRecently a number of the Vic West Food Security blog members received a bogus email, no subject line, encouraging them to click on a link. It was semi-convincing, from an email address that looked something like the food security email might look.
But it was spam, those invasive weeds of the tech world.
The Victoria West Food Security Collective does not send out mass emails showing everyone’s address. We use Mailchimp for newsletters, and those signed up on the blog receive new posts via email. We also send notices with actual information in them, about events, gardening tips, photos of luscious vegetables and nice composted soil. We won’t simply invite you to click a link.
With any of your incoming email, if it doesn’t look quite right, don’t open it!

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Wassail 2017

Banfield Park Community Orchard Wassail

Saturday January 14th 2:30pm

wassail-poster2017-bigWassail – Waes Hael – “be of good health” – Olde English tradition of wassailing, dating back to the 1500s, is a ceremony to wake fruit trees from their winter slumber and scare away evil spirits, ensuring a good harvest. 

A family outdoor celebration. Bring a lantern to light the orchard. 
 2:30pm – Crowning the Wassail King and Queen
3 pm – Morris Dancers 
3:30pm Wassail Ceremony – bring a mug for mulled cider
4pm – Feast – Soup and bread will be served.
Hosted by the Vic West Food Security Collective, a project of the Victoria West Community Association.


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