Britannia School Garden Bees Have Arrived

Our new Britannia School Garden bees have arrived and will provide tremendous new learning opportunities as well as ecological benefits to the garden.  With the help of English teacher and professional bee keeper, Ashley McLeod, our new honey bees have become a reality. Most exciting is that Ashley has developed an interesting 3 semester English curriculum titled Focused Literary Studies: Environmental Studies and Beekeeping This focused literary study will generate opportunities in place based and experiential learning while fulfilling the learning learning outcomes for her students in Communications 12. The approaches to learning include the study and production of a variety of environmental texts (novels, poetry, research papers, journalism, folklore and instructional texts) as well as a field study of bees, beekeeping, the culture of the apiary and sustainable systems in our community. Through hands on experience working with bees, students will deepen their understanding of themselves and others in relation to the environment, locally and globally. Furthermore, students will study traditional Indigenous texts that emphasize the importance of connection to the land and the environment from a First People’s perspective and participate in a variety of workshops lead by Aboriginal educators and community members. The goals of the course are geared towards increasing environmental stewardship amongst youth while increasing literacy, communication skills and fostering a deepened understanding of themselves and others locally and globally. The course also provides a plethora of opportunities for cross curricular integration in subjects such as: biology, woodworking, foods, earth sciences and business.

Celebrating the Stone Soup Festival

Another great Stone Soup Festival with glorious weather to top it off. This is our 23rd year of bringing community together in celebration of community, food, and the environment. More than ever, people are aware of the issues of food security, food justice, the benefits of sharing resources and eating sustainably. As always, Stone Soup celebrates our love of heathy food and its importance to the ‘culture’ and well-being of our community.

A big thanks to Wil D. Salmon: Jay Peachy and Amy Lubik, V’ni Dansi Metis dancers, Earthhand Gleaners, the Carnival Band, Rio Samaya, Environmental Youth Alliance, Wild Salmon Caravan, and many others for making it another successful festival.

Summer Has Arrived In The School Garden

The weather suddenly turned summer this past week with temperatures into the 20s. Plants blossomed, seeds sprouted, and the soil again started drying out, meaning, I was already wishing for rain to return (yes watering gardens sucks).

But for the students, the sun and emerging garden bring a wonderful diversion from the stuffy classroom and traditional teaching structures. The week started with an email from one of the teachers asking if there was anything for the kids to do in the garden since it was such a beautiful day and it made sense to get her student outside. I jumped on the opportunity (not like I did not have a ton of other work though), and found a few garden tasks. Some of the kids jumped at the opportunity to do some physical work, while others were very happy to lounge in the sun, which was of course totally fine. Either way they were soaking up some nature.

Mid week, Lori Snyder, our Metis herbalist joined us for some teaching about plant medicines and Indigenous cultural plant use.  Lori shared her amazing stories and knowledge about plants and our connection to them along with the many health and spiritual benefits. Students were able to sample dandelion tincture, aromatic honey infused with fir needles, and wonderful Saskatoon berry jam. The students, many of whom are Indigenous soaked it all up. It was an amazing learning experience.

And then there is always work in the garden. It never ends. We worked on the new bee hive enclosure, spread some wood chips around the paths, planted turnip, lettuce, radish, and other spring greens, and watered the garden beds.

What a great week it was.

Britannia School Garden Summer Job Opportunity

The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is pleased to team up with Farm to School and Fresh Roots in the hiring of a summer student to work at 5 schools within a close cluster over the summer period. This innovative position will help support school gardens over the summer when teachers and students are not around to maintain the gardens, including watering, weeding and general maintenance. This position will support the following schools – Strathcona, AR Lord, Templeton, Britannia, and Laura Secord.

Please share this job opportunity

Ban Open Net Fish Farms

The B.C. government will keep a moratorium on new salmon farm tenures in place while it gets feedback from the public and First Nations on recommendations made by the Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Council on Finfish Aquaculture.
The advisory council was set up in 2016 to advise the provincial government on salmon farming, the goal being to determine if the industry is socially and ecologically sustainable and to address the potential threat they pose to wild salmon stocks.
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham briefly addressed the report in a Thursday April 5 press conference.  She had little to say about the recommendations made by the advisory council, and said her government will be seeking feedback from the public on the report.
First Nations and their allies are in full support of the following recommendation:
“Acknowledge and incorporate First Nations’ rights, title and stewardship responsibilities in all aspects of fish farm governance, including tenuring, licensing, management and monitoring in a manner consistent with the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).”
Please circulate this to your networks and send in your support for this recommendation in particular as the NDP must keep its commitments to UNDRIP, and to make meaningful progress on Reconciliation with Indigenous people.  The Musgamagw, Namgis and Mamalilikulla people have a right to properly steward their resources, water and lands and have never given their free, prior and informed consent to have open net pen fish farms in their territory.  They have been making every effort to gain the collaboration of the NDP government not to renew fish farm tenures in their territorial waters, and your support would greatly assist the NDP government to make this decision.  This would not interfere with other areas where Marine Harvest and Cermaq have agreements with other First Nations.
You can send your message to: lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca, by simply copying and pasting the following:
We fully support the Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Council on Finfish Aquaculture recommendations, in particular the following recommendation:
“Acknowledge and incorporate First Nations’ rights, title and stewardship responsibilities in all aspects of fish farm governance, including tenuring, licensing, management and monitoring in a manner consistent with the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).”
We join thousands of British Columbians from all backgrounds who support your governments commitments to UNDRIP and to reconciliation with Indigenous people.
Your time and attention to this would be greatly appreciated given the fish farm tenures are up for renewal this coming June 2018.
On another matter, closed pen, land based fish farms now exist. While we need to make every effort possible to help support the recovery of wild fish stocks, we do currently rely on fish farms to supply the growing demand for fish. Check out this video describing a land based fish farm:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/152005238″>Sustainable Blue</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/jivephotographic”>Jive Photographic Productions</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Landed Learning Program Looses Funding and in Need of Community Support

Dear Friends of Landed Learning,

June 2018 will mark the end of the 15th year of Landed Learning and my 12th year with the project. We have accomplished many things together over the years, and I’m very proud of the community we have grown together and the great care, wonder, and beauty you bring, not only to Landed Learning but to the world.

So it is with both sadness and hope that I write to let you know that Landed Learning will not be continuing this September, what would have been our 16th year. As many of you know, Landed Learning is completely self funded; hence we rely on grants to support our staff, food and garden supplies, and all other expenses related to the the project. Our applications to grants that would have ensured our continuation in the fall have not been successful. While we have not exhausted all funding possibilities at this point (and we are continuing to write grant proposals), we likely will not know if we have enough funds to run a program again until early 2019. So this fall, we will regroup and re-imagine our direction forward.

Due to our present funding shortage, we may need to modify our current program to conclude the 2017-2018 school year.

We know that Landed Learning is important to you, and you have given your hearts, minds, hands, sweat (and, yes, sometimes tears) to keep us strong and successful. Over the years, many of you have donated kitchen and garden supplies for the children and have also made generous financial donations. We are so grateful for every contribution. We are inspired to hear that many of you benefit from your time at Landed Learning as much as the children benefit from your time with them.

We are not giving up! Can you help us meet our goal to cultivate intergenerational land-based learning now and into the future? Now is the time to act!

Donate: We have set up a crowd funding site at http://crowdfundraising.ubc.ca/projects/intergenerational-landed-learning/. From today until May 25, you can help us reach our goal of $20,000 by making a tax-deductible donation right on the site. Donations of any size will help us reach our goal!

If you prefer to send a donation by cheque: Please make cheques out to University of British Columbia and include a note that you wish your gift be directed to the: Intergenerational Landed Learning Project (ILLP) at the UBC Faculty of Education.

Cheques can be mailed to:

Attn: Corinna Lougheed
Faculty of Education | Development Office
The University of British Columbia 
2601 – 2125 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z4

Share your time and creativity: More than money will be needed to ensure the Landed Learning programs continue and grow.  Please share your ideas…How can we make Landed Learning sustainable? What ideas do you have? Is there something you’re inspired to see happen? A role you see yourself taking on? We’re open to all ideas, big and small…They are all welcome and needed! We may schedule a brainstorming/planning meeting in the future, so if you don’t have ideas now, but would like to be involved in seeing Landed Learning survive, please reply to let me know.

Share forward our request: If you believe in what Landed Learning creates in the world, one way you can help it grow is by telling your story to others. How has Landed Learning impacted you personally? We asked this question to children, parents, teachers, and FFs and are creating a video with their responses. You can your own impact story on our website or with your community, and share forward ours.

With gratitude. We are all connected,

Stacy, Program Manager l Intergenerational Landed Learning Project 

 

Stacy Friedman, MA

Program Manager l Intergenerational Landed Learning Project