How close are we to having a regenerative, just and sovereign food system in Kamloops?

 

Please join us at our virtual network meeting on Wednesday June 10th from 5:30pm-7:00pm when Emily Pletsch will be presenting her research results on an Assessment of the Kamloops Food System. Following, we will pose discussion questions and have an opportunity to provide feedback on the research.
You can preview the research results we will be discussing during the meeting here.

You can register for the meeting here. The meeting will be recorded for the purpose of gathering and analyzing your feedback. We look forward to seeing you!

In response to Kamloops Mayor Christian’s Task Force on Economic Recovery and Renewal, the Kamloops Food Policy Council has submitted recommendations carefully aimed at leading Kamloops and area towards a sustainable and just local food system that will also become an economic driver for the region. Recommendations include actions that support emergency food providers and short term relief for local food insecure populations, and measures that can help increase community capacity for food production. Our submission also contains recommendations intended to boost the long term economic viability of agriculture in our region. You can read the full submission here:

KFPC Mayor’s Task Force Submission June 5, 2020

The Covid 19 Pandemic has created a lot of stress and uncertainty for everyone, but has triggered a renewed interest in growing food and cultivating a regenerative food system.

The KFPC is launching a “Resiliency Gardening” Campaign to get behind this movement. It’s all about encouraging people to share and work together to grow more food locally. It’s also meant to be fun and full of healing for body and spirit in these stressful times. Some of the initiatives we’re working on are:

1) Butler Urban Farm – A community farm on Clapperton Road across from the food bank. The KFPC has hired a garden manager and applied for funding through Canada Summer Jobs to hire one or more assistants. We want to grow as much food there as we can and we’re looking for people who are interested either in helping out in exchange for a share of the produce, or taking over a small section to work on their own. Contact sandra@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com if you’re interested in either of those options.

2) Online Gardening Classes – These classes are sponsored by the Kamloops Naturalist Club’s Next Generation program and will be offered first to Butler Urban Farm volunteers. If space is available they will be open to any KFPC members as well as the general public. to find out more contact Jesse Ritcey at jesse@naturekamloops.ca .

3) Garden Sharing – The Young Agrarians have launched a free online gardensharing platform. It’s easy to use and already has one Kamloops listing. If you have garden space to share or you’re looking for garden space, check it out here.

4) Revamped GAP – Mariana Guerra is back again this year as our Gleaning Abundance Program Coordinator, and will be exploring ways to revise the GAP model to adhere to evolving social distancing requirements and at the same time, make it more neighbourhood-based and less reliant on coordinator time. To register a tree or garden, or join our gleaning crews, go to our GAP webpage.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the BC Seed Gathering at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in Richmond, BC. This bi-annual gathering brings together members of the BC EcoSeed Co-op, Seedy Saturday/Sunday and community seed library organizers, as well as  students from KPU’s Sustainable Agriculture Program to network, learn more about growing and saving seed, and get inspired from each other’s work.

 

And inspiring it was! From the opening address by our Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham, to the carrot-tasting and judging, there was plenty of passion and cause for celebration. Ms. Popham told us she would like to rename her Ministry the “Ministry of Agriculture, Fish, and Food Systems” – which sends a clear message that she understands and values the interconnectedness of ecosystems. It is also reassuring to learn that she co-founded the first certified organic vineyard on Vancouver Island and has been a longtime advocate for vineyard workers and food producers.

Other sources of inspiration were the many organic growers who can talk for hours about different kinds of beans or squash, and the energetic instructors from KPU’s Sustainable Ag program, who gave us a tour of their teaching farm near the KPU campus, including moveable “high tunnel” greenhouses, a geodesic dome, and their mobile seed-cleaning trailer, which just happened to be getting prepared for a trip to the Shuswap to help clean a massive amount of industrial hemp seed for Green Future Industries in Chase.

 

 

 

 

As the organizer of the Kamloops Community Seed Library, I was excited to meet other seed library organizers and chat about how they operate. The Kwantlen Seed Library is housed in several “antique” card catalogue boxes, which the organizer was lucky enough to find at an estate sale. They are ideal for storing and displaying seed collections and we at the KFPC would love to get our hands on something similar. If anyone ever comes across old card catalogue boxes or cabinets, please let us know!

 

The vision of the Kamloops Food Policy Council is a food system that is regenerative, sovereign, and just, and it is reassuring to know that so many knowledgeable, committed people in our province are working towards that same goal. I look forward to the next gathering in 2021, to reconnect, and see what new innovations have developed in the world of seed.

 

Kwantlen Polytechnic’s Geodesic Dome

 

 

 

 

Half a Million People Experience Food Insecurity in British Columbia, Says New Report 
Northern British Columbia Especially Vulnerable

TORONTO, August 31, 2016 — Almost half a million British Columbians experienced some level of household food insecurity in 2011-2012, according to a new report from PROOF, a research group based at the University of Toronto.

Drawing on data from Statistic Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey, the report finds over one in ten B.C. households struggling to put food on the table in 2011-12. Families with children under the age of 18 were at an even greater risk of food insecurity, with one in six B.C. children living in a food insecure household.

Click here to read the rest of the story and full report!

Victoria residents could soon benefit from the fruits — and vegetables — of their labour.

City council is considering letting residents sell backyard fruit and veggies at urban roadside stands to improve local food security.

Here is the link to the CBC article:

 

 

The Kamloops Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is intended to guide the planning and implementation of transportation improvements over the next 10 to 20 years. Between now and 2035, our population is expected to grow from a population of 86,000 to 120,000. At the same time, the City has committed to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has set transportation related sustainability targets.

Public input is essential to ensure the final Transportation Master Plan is created and supported by community members and is adopted by Council.

Survey Length: 15 minutes

Take the survey here!

So much of the work in advancing local food policy is about relationships, partnerships, and collaborations across multiple sectors. A critical first step is to begin to reach out to people and develop relationships. Is there a community dietitian in your local health authority who can help connect you? Is there a food policy council you can get involved in? Find your entry point. That work can feel long and slow but it is building the foundation of relationships which is what this work ultimately comes down to.

-Brent Mansfield, Director, BC Food Systems Network

“Downtown at the Market” Feasibility Study Public Open House

Kamloops and the surrounding region have a long history of ranching, agriculture, and indigenous

food systems, as well as developing innovative approaches for food and agriculture in urban and

rural areas. One such idea is an all year round indoor food market called “Downtown at the Market”.

WHEN

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM (PST)

WHERE

Terra Restaurant, 326 Victoria St., Kamloops.

The next stage of the City’s Food and Urban Agriculture Plan will involve public input. Head out to one of the two events to make your voice heard! For more information, visit the city’s website.

Open House Information:

Tues May 26, 4:30pm to 7pm, Northills Mall

Sat May 30, 11am to 2pm, Interior Savings Centre – Parkside Lounge Read more