On Wednesday we traveled off campus to Fernwood to help out at the Springridge Commons permaculture project. We were met by several local activists; Chris Norseth, Aaren Topley, and Chris Hildrith, all of whom are involved in VIctoria's local food system. Aaren introduced the ideas of food security, food sovereignty and food literacy, which he and CR-Fair, the organization he represents, are trying to improve in Victoria. He also mentioned that the organization was trying to make Fernwood into a food hub, which he defined as an area which has food literacy, local food access, and local food economy. We learned a bit about how they were trying to increase food literacy through efforts with the high school, and trying to help kids to be able to understand a garden as well as they might understand a book. As mostly non-gardeners ourselves, the idea of food literacy hit pretty hard. Most of us were not able to name any of the local plants being cultivated in the garden. The Commons used to be a parking lot, and is currently school board property being managed by the Fernwood NRG. The garden's topsoil has been painstakingly built out of salvaged cardboard and compost, with huge amounts of volunteer effort putting together and maintaining the wood chip paths and beautiful hand painted signs.
Victoria, BC v8h1v1Canada