Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Midweek Crumbs

Firstly, a few midweek tidbits to pass on:

-A reminder for all you green thumbs who can’t wait to start on this year’s backyard bounty, the 5th annual Qualicum Beach Seedy Saturday in Qualicum's beautiful Civic Centre on Saturday, February 3rd from 10am to 3pm. Admission by donation. -- Keith & Joy Smith, 2503 Island Highway West. Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1G5 250 752 8135

-Chopped and glued from my comments box for all you spinners: Distaff Day is on Saturday, February 3, in Duncan. It's a day for spinners hosted by the Tzouhalem Spinners & Weavers Guild and will be held in St. John's Church Hall (corner of First and Jubilee) from 10 til 3. Last year's event attracted 80-plus spinners from up and down the Island and from Salt Spring! Bring your wheel and something for show & tell (you've got some fabulous knitted projects). Pot luck lunch, $3 charge to help pay the rent. For more info give coordinator Barbara Dowd a call at (250) 743-4116.
Thanks Alison for passing on the info!

-From my email box: The Green Store at the Port Place Mall in downtown Nanaimo has just brought in a huge shipment of organic products. They have everything from freezer/cooler food products to beauty supplies. Many of the items have to go quick!


Secondly, I want to share a couple of recent local food finds. I found these at my local supermarket this week:

Yep, B.C. Kiwifruit. I don’t know where in B.C. they’re from but since almost all B.C. kiwi fruits are grown here on Vancouver Island, I’m going to assume they fall within my 100 mile diet radius. YIPPEEE!!! They’re a tad smaller than the ones that are shipped all the way from New Zealand but I got a whole big bag of them for $2.50! They’re also not as fuzzy and don’t need to be peeled. So not only do they take way less fuel to get here, there’s also less waste in the end.

In a recent trip to Piper’s Meats, I found canned smoked Vancouver Island salmon:

So good to see more local products in the stores. Piper’s Meats has always made an effort to bring in locally raised products from meats to eggs and now they’re bringing fish! Double yippee!!!

So today I’m making Chinese potstickers with locally raised pork and veggies in anticipation of Chinese New Year. It’s only fitting since it is the Year of the Pig ;)

Instead of one huge Chinese New Year feast, I’m going to host a few smaller 100 mile diet dinners through February. Chinese New Year officially begins February 18th but I can’t wait so tonight, I’m hosting a pre-Chinese New Year dinner. We’re going to dig into some of those potstickers. I also have some locally grown gai lan (chinese broccoli) that I’m going to stir-fry up with moose sausage in a black bean sauce. Along with all that, I’m planning a 100 mile hot and sour soup with loads of local mushrooms, root veggies, local pork and chicken stock. I’ll post photos tomorrow.

For dessert, I’ve got homemade raspberry & rhubarb biscotti:

I know, they’re not very Chinese but the fruit adds a touch of festive red which is the main colour for Chinese celebrations.

Gotta get going on my one woman dumpling sweat factory. Have a great day everyone!

Happy Eating!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Frosted foggy flaky morning

I woke up to the ferry horns calling out through the fog. I love fog, especially in the mornings. It makes waking up so much more gentler when you only have to be aware of what’s right in front of you. The rest of the world is cloaked in an ephemeral white of amnesia and your only world is what’s right before you eyes. Makes it lighter work for my brain to pretend that the rest of the world doesn’t exist and the only thing I have to figure out is how much coffee to put into my French press.

Behind all that fog is a sunny, brilliant day. I’m just not quite ready for it yet. My brain is a tad fried from this weekend. We drove down the Rusty Coast to celebrate DH’s brother’s recent nuptials. The newly-minted married couple tied the knot in Vegas over the Christmas holidays and we were gathering together for an reception at DH's parents place. It was so great to see all the family and meet our new in-laws. We even had the latest addition to the family make his premiere appearance.

I managed to get the MIL sweater steeked, seamed and finished by the time we drove up to my in-law’s house Saturday afternoon. I was cutting it close, literally and figuratively. I didn’t get to steeking it until Friday afternoon. For those that aren’t knitgeeks, steeking means binding off and cutting into a knitted piece. In this case, I had to steek armholes into the body of the sweater. I chose to use a crochet steek since the Noro Silk Garden is a pretty ‘sticky’ yarn and would felt and hold together on its own.

Here it is in pieces, pre-steeking:

(the sleeves)

I measured, re-measured, and measured a few more times. I had a cup of tea. Wished I had something stronger like a gin & tonic. Realized that if I had a gin & tonic that I would really be in trouble. Finished up my tea and returned to the butchering of the MIL sweater. Can you tell that I was nervous about steeking? Actually, I can steek anything without batting an eye if it’s for me. It’s the fact that I’m steeking a sweater for my lovely MIL that had me a bit nervous. A sweater made of gorgeous Noro Silk Garden yarn. Yarn that I only have half a ball left of and probably is completely sold out on this island so if I do make a horrible mess of it, I’m don’t have a stash to dip into.

Here it goes:

snip snip snip

Yes, I should be using smaller scissors but all I had were these large general purpose scissors. Talk about living dangerously ;)

(The steeked edge of an armhole)

Phew! The hard part is done. NOT!

I seamed the first sleeve in and I don’t know what I did wrong, maybe I picked up the wrong stitches or something but the sleeve fell short of the opening by 2 inches!!!

I ripped the seam out, took a deep breath and prayed to the knitting gods to please find it in their hearts to not completely screw me over. I compared the sleeves to the sleeve opening and they matched. I allowed myself a half a sigh of relief and tried seaming the sleeve on again.

I managed to get both sleeves seamed on without much more drama. I decided to leave the shoulder seams and the turtleneck for the next morning. By this time it was a quarter to 9 and I hadn’t even thought about dinner. My stomach was too busy clenching and doing flips for the last few hours and wasn’t really in the mood for food. DH, however, was making hungry puppy sounds, so I whipped up a bison chili. Nothing fancy, just some ground bison meat from Island Bison, local mushrooms, carrots and onions all browned up. I used the leftover pizza sauce and a batch of frozen tomatoes and a couple glugs of leftover Philip’s Double Chocolate Porter for the base. With a big pinch of ancho chili and chipolte chili powder and a not so bit pinch of cayenne powder, I stirred it up and let it simmer for 15 minutes. By the time the chili perfumed the house, I was hungry.

Saturday morning I bounced out of bed, set on finishing the sweater before we headed down to see the in-laws. Due to my sleep-sticky brain and parade of unexpected friends knocking on our door and phone calls, I only managed to get the shoulders seamed up and had to do up the turtleneck during the drive down. I’m not a car knitter. Partly because I’m much too uptight about having sharp pointy things flying around the car. Partly because the knitting gods always choose for the most critical and complicated part of the pattern to throw a huge pothole, suicidal raccoon or erratic driver in front of the car, causing the driver to swerve and me to drop several important stitches. It’s fine to car knit if all you’re doing is stockinette or garter but heaven help you if you pull out a cabling hook. Mostly I don’t car knit because I get car sick really easily. As long as I have my eyes on the road, I’m fine. Luckily, the turtleneck was a simple 2x’s rib and I could do it without looking at my hands. I managed to get the turtleneck done by the time we hit the Malahat and arrived at his folks place with every loose end woven in and no more car sick than usual :o

Here’s my lovely MIL in her new sweater:

I'm so glad that she likes it!

BTW, here’s what I wore to the reception. My favorite shawl with my grey wool skirl and jersey knit shirt 'uniform' (gotta love those grey wool skirts).

I’ve deemed it the “Flight of Fuschia” from series of bird inspired shawls I did last year. I gave most of them away as gifts but this one I made especially for moi. I wanted a dramatic piece I could throw over myself for special events. I find that most big shawls swallowed me up and made me look short and stubby. That’s fine if you’re a beer bottle, not so good if you’re wanting to be chic maven. I wanted something light and airy that would deliver a punch of colour. So, I decided to knit a wing. It has the drama of a larger shawl but it’s asymmetrical shape wouldn’t cut me in half. I also made it a closed shawl so I wouldn’t haven’t to be forever fussing with it or needing to hold it around me.

Have a great week everybody!


Thursday, January 25, 2007

100 Mile Diet Pizza

Last weekend I made a passing comment to DH that I was thinking about make pizza this week. Since then, Mr. Selective Hearing & Memory has been bugging me for some homemade 'za.

Yesterday, I decided that I wasn't going to get my pizza lovin' monkey off my back until I made some 'za. I whipped up a basic pizza dough with some True Grains Red Fife whole wheat. From the freezer I pulled out some pesto and local tomatoes for sauce. My veggie toppings included local mushrooms and onions. Meat toppings ran the gambit from local striped shrimp to Hertel's smoked bacon to bison pepperoni from Island Bison. Instead of plain ole mozzarella, I went for Little Qualicum's Raclette cheese & some of their feta. I also had a chunk of goat feta from Hilary's Cheese and and some of their camembert. It pretty much was a cleaning out of bits and pieces of fridge offerings. Pizza is a great use for leftovers, drips and chunks of this 'n that.

While one of the batches of pizza was baking up, I also tossed in some squash and other veggies to roast up for side dishes. Might as well maximize the use of the oven while it's chugging out all that heat.

Along with a half a dozen thin crust pizzas, I also made a batch of calzones. Pretty much just small stuffed pizzas. They're great for lunches. Both the pizza and calzones freeze well and just need a quick heat up in the oven.

We enjoyed a fun 'za night and that pizza lovin' monkey is too full to bug me for a few more weeks. Luckily, I have a couple batches of frozen pizza and calzones to throw at him when he starts jonesing again.

Today, I did an interview with Allison Cross, a reporter from the Nanaimo Daily News, about the 100 Mile Diet. I invited her over for lunch since I figured it only makes sense to enjoy a 100 mile diet meal while chatting about local food issues. I blended up some of the butternut squash into a smooth soup and threw in some curry powder and a touch of chipolte pepper. Along with that, I warmed up some slices of 100 mile diet pizza and we had ourselves a lovely lunch. Of course, I rambled and ranted endlessly. I don't even remember half the things I said. It's so hard for me to stay on track. There's so much to talk about in relation to the 100 Mile Diet. Well, Allison was a smart and able interviewer and I'm sure be able to unravel my rambling and find something coherent admists my verbal rat's nest.

Tuesday night's talk with MP Jean Crowder in Cedar went spendidly well. At least, once I figured out which church I was supposed to go to, the evening went well. I really have to learn to actually write down my destinations and not just trust my gut. I got to meet a load of really cool people and had the oppurtunity to chat with folks about the diet and their concerns and questions. I even talked to a local restauranteur who was interested in bringing in local produce into his restaurant. Kudos and I hope it happens. Then I'll have somewhere to eat other than Chez Jen's.

One of the big issues that looms in the minds of local farmers around the world is the commercialization of the Terminator seed by Monsanto. Basically, it's a seed that has been genetically engineered to be sterile after the first use. This means that the practice of seed-saving that has been done since the beginning of agriculture, is not possible with the use of this technology. It means another step towards industrial monopolization of our food supply and the end of food soveriegnty. Canada, once a supporter of a ban on Terminator seeds has recently switched sides and is now leading the campaign to lift the moratorium on the commercialization of this product. This even when the chief of Strategic Policy Development for Agriculture Canada admitted that the government has no way of assessing the impact of this technology on the public's health, the economy and Canadian farmers. The government will let the marketplace make the assessment. This is completely ass backwards. Talk about letting the fox guard the henhouse. So while local farmers are trying to survive under an avalanche of ridiculous and unneccesary regulations, Monsanto gets to unleash it's untest, unassessed products onto the Canadian public with the federal government's blessing. GRRRRR.

For more information, check out the Ban Terminator site.
If you're interested in hearing more about this issue, Kate Green from USC Canada will be speaking about the Terminator seed at Knox United Church in Parksville on Valentine's Day from 7 to 9pm.

Last, but not least, the Nanaimo 100 Mile Diet is back up! YIPPEE!!!! There are still a few quirks that I've gotta work out but for the most part it's back up. Check out the 100 Mile Diet Nanaimo site regularly as I'm going to be updating it with local food news and events for Vancouver Island.

I'm off to finish the 2nd sleeve of the MIL sweater. Tomorrow I shall steek (EEEK!!). Wish me luck. I'm a bit naseous just thinking about it.

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Powering up for Jean Crowder talk tonight

Just a reminder that Jean Crowder, MP for Nananimo-Cowichan , will be speaking on the issues surrounding our Canadian food supply system tonight at 7:30pm at St Phillips Cedar Anglican Church (1797 Cedar Road). I'll be there with a table for the Nanaimo 100 Mile Diet. Come out and support local farmers.

Yesterday, after wrestling with the website for a few hours, I was in need of some baking therapy. I made up a batch of my power cookies. These were originally concocted for our multiday paddling trips. They pack and travel well. What does end up crumbling works well as granola fodder. I needed a snack that would deliver energy without much fuss but wouldn't lead to a sugar crash. These are fairly low in added sugar, instead they depend on dried fruit for sweetness. The seeds, whole wheat flour and coconut also provide a more sustained energy source. They also can double as a breakfast cookie. They freeze well and are easy to make. I made this batch withl local eggs, local wildflower honey and local fruits that I dehydrated over the summer. I used Red Fife flour from True Grains bakery.

Here's the recipe for my Fast & Dirty Power Cookies:

Wet ingredients:
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey or brown or cane sugar

Dry ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup whole rolled oats or any othey rolled grain

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup coconut

1 1/2 cup of seeds - flax, sesame, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups of any dried fruits - chopped if needed.
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1- Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat sheet.
2- Beat wet ingredients together until smooth
3- Measure and dump dry ingredients in the wet mixture.
4- Mix until just incorporated.
5- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll until fairly round. Arrange onto lined pan with at 2 inches between cookies. Press dough ball with fingers or palms. You don't want them too smooshed. More like pucks.
6- Bake for 10-12 mins or until edges are golden.
7- Let cool on rack.
8- Enjoy!

Since this week is pretty busy, I figured I'd make a big batch of stew last night to see us through these next few days. I excavated a package of local beef stew meat, beef stock and tomatoes from the freezer. With some local mushrooms, carrots, onions, parsnips and the last of our local garlic, I made a beef stew. After quickly browning the meat and veggies on the stove, I let th
e stew finish cooking up nice and slow in the oven, along with some roasted local Russet potatoes.


I even found some parsley in the veggie garden that miraculously survived this last spell of epic weather. I love it when potatoes roast up all brown and crusty like that. I also excavated a loaf
of multigrain seed bread from the freezer that I served with some roasted garlic that I threw in with the roasted potatoes. So yummy!

I gotta go back to fixing the 100 Mile Diet N
anaimo website. Can someone please pass me the sledgehammer?

Happy Eating!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Good Morning Starshine

gliddy glub gloopy nibby nabby

la la la - lo lo

sabba sibbi sabba nooby aba

lee lee - lo lo

tooby ooby wala

nooby aba

Early morning singing song...

I’m counting down the days before I see my loveliest of lovely friends, Abby. She’s taking moi to see Serena Ryder in Vancouver. SR does a great version ‘Good Morning Starshine’ that’ll shake the chill off of these winter mornings. I downloaded her newest CD “If you memory serves you well’ from iTunes and it’s on high rotation over here.

I heart Serena Ryder. Definitely one of my big girl crushes. She’s even wearing a crush worthy blue wool coat on her new website. Her new CD is a collection of covers. She takes an eclectic range of songs from Lenny’s “Sisters of Mercy” to Paul Anka’s “It doesn’t matter anymore”, twists them, punches them up, slows them down and caresses them until they fall down onto their knees and then rise to the rafters. I can’t wait for the concert!!!

As usual, my plans for the weekend for a simple few days of knitting and spinning and chilling didn’t quite work out that way. Saturday was a rush to meet work deadlines and messing with the 100 Mile Diet Nanaimo website. I might have to trash the site and start from scratch again. Oh well. It wasn’t all work. I managed to grab a few hours of sunshine that blessed our Rusty Coast while I did my errands on foot. With my Vitamin D tank full, I scurried back to my corner and began reassembling the website. Hopefully it’ll be up again soon. I have a bunch of 100 Mile Diet and local food issue events coming up soon.

After an aggressive treatment of mold pills, fistfuls of raw garlic, Cold-FX, Chinese satan spit and non-stop video game playing, DH is slowly rising from his mucus-lined state. He was feeling well enough to join and our friend Dave for a day of ice climbing a Mt. Arrowsmith on Sunday. The ice is definitely fattening up nicely. There was even ice gestating in areas that don’t normally see anything more than verglas.

Yes, that's me up there. You're just going to have to take my word for it ;)

So pretty!

Back at home, we let the day of climbing sink its good aching into our bodies. I managed to get the second sleeve of my MIL’s sweater started. I eventually pried myself out of my knitting chair and made us dinner:

Chorizo from Quist farms, local veggies and homemade grubs (a.k.a. gnocchi) made with russet potatoes from Saanich and flour from True Grain bakeries. The pesto is from a batch I made in the summer from Nanoose Edible’s basil and have squirreled away in the freezer. A respectable 100 mile diet post-climb dinner if I may say so myself. For dessert, I enjoyed a small glass of blackberry wine from Cowichan’s Cherry Point vineyard. Bursting with blackberry’s deep sweetness, it was like sipping summer.

All in all, it was a well played weekend.

Happy Eating!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Stinking Rose Therapy

Now that the subzero temperatures and the snow has pretty much subsided, people are now complaining about the rain like it's something new here on the Rusty Coast.

I’m one of the sick puppies that actually likes the rain. Good thing I live here. Too bad, so many others here have WWW Syndrome, (Wicked Witch of the West syndrome) and act like it’s going to melt them. Hopefully, acid rain won’t get to that point. Considering that we’re a Gortex nation out here on the Rusty Coast there wouldn’t be so much bellyaching about the rain. Mind you, I’m learning that those that complain about the rain seem to celebrate the sunny weather by heading to the malls. Very odd, very odd indeed.

Unfortunately, all this damp and cold is not helping DH’s war against phlegm. Poor dear is battling a month-long bronchial infection. Yesterday, he downed 2 heads of garlic by way of nachos. Let’s just say that vampires won’t be bothering him anytime soon. He took a bath this morning and I swear, you could have used the bath water as soup base. Not that I would but I could.

On top of his deadly garlic therapy, he’s also taking penicillin, Cold-FX, ginger tea by the barrel, mega-vitamins and Chinese herbal medicine (Ho Yan Har cha). Probably a bit over the top and I’m wondering if maybe the mix of mold pills and the herbal stuff may simply be confusing his body. He’s been on a vigilant fight to get healthy so we can go bang on some ice this weekend. So far I think the score is Cooties:57, Kevin:2.

Oh well, the avalanche reports are heading up to ‘considerable’ and ‘high’ danger ratings for the backcountry.. Maybe it’s better that we stick around home for the weekend and watch endless hours of CSI, knit and spin up a storm, simmer up a big pot of soup and let the cooties run their course.

Here’s what I have worked up on the wheel right now. It’s a Romney-merino blend. Super soft and luxurious and totally over the top for a beginner’s spinning wool but it’s what I’ve got. I've also have a couple balls of Briggs & Little's Country Roving for practicing my treadling and simply getting some mileage under my belt. I've been experimenting lots and my little head is trying to process all this new information. I'm still overtwisting the yarn like most beginners but not as badly as I when I first started.

Here’s some more photos from our Winter Adventure trip. They’re of the Columbia Basin’s Banks Lake area in Washington State. There’s some amazing ice that forms up there and there’s little avalanche hazard. We’re hoping to get back down there in the coming months. Until then, we have the joy of subjecting all of our friends to an endless slideshow of the gzillion photos we took on our trip.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 18, 2007

A drippy week

It’s been a crazy week filled with a drippy faucet, a phlegmy husband and sweaters that never end! Thanks to the plumbing prowess of a good friend, the faucet has been replaced, the husband is slowly drying out thanks to more medication (I guess my ginger tea voodoo wasn’t strong enough), and one never-ending sweater actually found an end!

Of course, with all this silliness happening, I was in a mad swirl of baking. It calms me and anyways, a happy working oven makes the chilly winter days cozy and lovely. All my goodies were made with locally milled organic Red Fife wheat flour from True Grains bakery in Cowichan Bay, organic fair trade cane sugar from Level Ground, local fruits, nuts, milk and eggs.

I started with a rhubarb-blueberry-plum jam oat bars I made with jam I canned over the summer. When you're elbow deep in canning, wondering why you're going through all this trouble in final sweltering days of summer and you're thinking to yourself, "I'm never to going to use all of this up." Middle of January seems like a long way away but it eventually does creep up and man, it's like Christmas when you start digging into these fruity jewels.

I also whipped up a batch of cranberry hazelnut muffins with local cranberries excavated from my freezer and local hazelnuts from Footes farm. It was made with my usual muffin recipe.

Finally, I whipped up some bagels for DH who is a bagel fanatic. I used the Montreal bagel recipe in
Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid 's "Homebaking: The artful mix of flour and tradition around the world". They weren't much more work than making regular bread. The bagels were so good that DH did the cutest little happy bagel dance in the middle of the kitchen. Oh, I guess I shouldn't have told you all that ;)

Now onto other things (warning! Knitting rant ahead!)
Remember this twinkle in my eye:

Well, it’s finally done!

It took 2 months but I did manage to finish it with a few balls of yarn leftover for a small shawl or a couple pairs of mitts or socks. BTW, the next time I pick a pair of 2.75mm needles and say, ‘I think I’m going to knit a sweater with these’, just smack me upside the head. It will cause me less brain damage than all the noggin against the wall action that occurred when I was in the middle of umpteeth day of working the second sleeve. The torso looks long but it shrinks up when I put it on. I’ll have DH take a photo of me in it as soon as he wakes up from his mucous-lined sleep.

As mentioned before, the construction was inspired by this simple design for

Of course, I took one look at that wonderfully, simple and elegant design and said, ‘Oh, that doesn’t look stressful enough. No, let’s throw in a cabled back panel and I must use absurdly, thin yarn with a very loose ply. Let' s have the sleeves narrow off smoothly and end in a leaf point that sits exactly over the top of my wrist. Yes and I’ll wait until the very end to decide on how I’m going to finish it all off so I can have the masochistic pleasure of frogging and reknitting through the same 3 inches seven times before I decide to finish off with the simplest and most obvious edge for the bottom of the sweater. Yes, that ought to drive me sufficiently batty for a few months.”

That said, I love it. I absolutely, positively love it! It's much warmer than I though it would be. I dubbed it the "Midsummer Night's Dream" sweater. Ironically, summer would probably be the only season I won't be able to wear it because it's so snuggly warm. Oh well, I will wear it during the rest of the year and have a puckish forest wrapped around me.

That’s one never-ending sweater done. I’m now feverishly working to finish up my MIL’s sweater. I even brought it with me on our Winter Adventure trip. Here’s a pic of me working on it. It was taken inside a picnic shelter turned winter cabin at Waterton Lake National Park. It was quite luxurious compared to our usual winter climbing accommodations. It even had a wood fired stove. I was feeling very Little House on the Prairie working my knitting by the light of a gas lantern with the winds howling about outside and a wood fire smoking us out inside.

Here’s how the wonderful winter world looked the next day:

Here's DH and I on my Happy Birthday climb!

That's it for now.

Happy Eating!


What do you mean there’s nothing to do???

I'm just loving these winter sunrises.

Enough hibernating, it's time to get back out there and do stuff!

Here’s some cool local shindigs to go to.

-On January 23rd, Jean Crowder, MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, will speak on the issues surrounding our Canadian food supply system. This event begins at 7:30pm and is being held at the St. Philips-Cedar Anglican Church Hall on 1797 Cedar Road.

-Qualicum Bay/Parksville’s Seedy Saturday is being help on the first Saturday of February at the Convention Centre in QB.

-Knox United Church in Parksville is hosting an all-day event featuring Kate Green from USC Canada to talk about the Terminator Seed. There will also be events around local food sustainability and environmental issues. This will be an all-day event planned for February 14th.

-For those looking to lounge and chill, there’s 'Green Drinks Nanaimo', a non-partisan gathering with no set agenda or formality other than mutual respect and common courtesy.

Simply… it's a chance to meet regularly to informally chat, debate, socialize & connect with others passionate about our environment and sustainability.

They meet at Lighthouse Bistro Pub on the 4th Wednesday of each month from 5-7 p.m.


I just got emailed a note from Lynn Wytenbroek, Chair of the Malaspina Faculty Association Human Rights Committee:

Below is a notice about an up-coming panel of politicians discussing solutions to global warming, from the international to municipal levels. It would be good to get as many people out as possible so that there can be a really productive discussion at the end and so that we can see how engaged our politicians really are with this issue. Groups that wish to set up an information table about what they are doing on environmental issues should contact me. We want to include ANYONE doing anything for the environment in the mid-Island region--from organic farmers to green builders to alternative energy to bio-diesel to conservationists to groups working to educate about environmental issues. So please spread the word and let me know if you or others want a table for information (or even half a table).


Lynn Wytenbroek

Chair, Malaspina Faculty Association Human Rights Committee


Solutions to global warming that are being or could be implemented from the

international to the municipal sphere will be the topic of a panel discussion at 7pm on

Thursday, 25 January, at the Silver Bridge Inn in Duncan. The Honourable David Anderson,

ex-Federal Minister for the Environment, will address the international response to global

warming while Jean Crowder, MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, will discuss the Federal response.

Matt Price, Chair of the provincial group Conservation Voters, will look at the provincial

response while Jon LeFebure, Mayor of North Cowichan, will talk about what is happening

municipally. Bring your questions, ideas and friends to this energetic and stimulating dialogue on

how we all can help protect ourselves, our planet and our future. Entry is by donation.

For more information contact Lynn Wytenbroek, 753 3245 loc 2111 (Nanaimo) or 743 1847 (Cowichan)


Finally, the Harvest Bounty Festival is looking for volunteers:


The Harvest Bounty Festival Society for the past six years has produced a festival of food and the arts for food lovers of this area. These events which have been greatly enjoyed by the community have featured wonderful food from the producers of the region creatively prepared by our best chefs. All produce, food preparation and staffing is provided free of charge. The event is intended to showcase local producers and restaurants that are committed to growing and serving local food.

The Harvest Bounty Festival Society also has a mandate to promote local agricultural and food endeavours by printing a bookmark early in the produce year listing dates and locations of food related events; publishing the Oceanside Produce Guide viewable on our website; organizing
agricultural tours in the region and supporting the great work being done by the Societies of the
Foodshare Centre, Nanaimo.

However times are changing and there is definitely a feeling in the air that as a society we all ought to be doing more. The Harvest Bounty Festival Society wishes to work together with all the other food-related organizations to lead the way to food self-sufficiency for the region.

In order to do this, we are seeking volunteers who have a strong interest in food self-sufficiency, to join our board and working committees. We also wish to include individuals with experience in websites, events promotion and photography.

Because of the importance of this initiative, we are proposing a two
possible dates for a meeting. They are: Monday, January 22nd at 6:00 pm and
Monday, February 5th at 6:00 pm. There is a possibility of a morning meeting on a weekday. Please let us know when best would suit you to attend.
Location and agenda will be set when we have heard from respondents.

If you are interested in becoming involved we want to hear from you! Please
pass this invitation along to others who may be interested.


Barbara Ebell,

Lea Philpott,
Committee Members


Thanks Kathy, Betty, Beth, Lea and all my peeps for keeping in the loop!

Happy Eating!


Monday, January 15, 2007

The Return of the Queen

(Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta)

I'm back!
We're sufficiently recovered from our whirlwind winter adventure. We started out in BC and barrelled through to Alberta, made a detour and said a 'how do ya do' to Montana, with passing glance through Idaho we ended up with a dizzying few days in Washington State. We have reignited our zest and obsession for ice-climbing and have found some new and exciting ice climbing areas to play in.
I'll be back soon to post up more pics.

I missed you all and hope you had a great winter holiday. I hope you're all managing to keep warm and dry as winter reminds us who is still boss.

I'll leave you with this,

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr.