Summer 2015 was a very "fruitful" season for Lush Valley's Fruit Tree Program! We weren't sure what to expect with hotter than normal temperatures providing a strange growing season, but it seems it was a very good year for apples and pears.
This year we picked 24,000 pounds of fresh food from the backyards, orchards and farms in the community!
Volunteers took 1/3rd of the share, homeowners took the other 1/3rd while LUSH Valley focused on directly redistributing their share of food to local organizations and community schools. Here's the breakdown below:
2015 LUSH Valley Fruit Tree Program Distribution to Local Organizations
Comox Valley Food Bank
St. George’s United Church
Wachaiy Friendship Centre
LILLI House (Transition Society)
Upper Island Women of Native Ancestry (incl. Walking with our Sisters)
We'd like to thank everyone who was involved with the Fruit Tree Program. We couldn't have reached this milestone without your support!!
Next year our goal is to increase our total poundage of food picked to 40,000 lbs! We are currently planning out this expansion and can't wait to involve more volunteers, more homeowners, farms and orchards and to share this bounty with you all. Stay tuned over the next few months for information on volunteering, workshops and exciting new projects!
Just a reminder that Lush Valley is no longer operating out of the 1126 Piercy Ave facility.
We are still running the majority of our programs and you can find us out in the community working together with other community organizations in the Valley.
If you'd like to get a hold of us you can call us at 250-331-0152, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment to chat in person. If you haven't already, follow us on Facebook for our most up-to-date news and events. We post there daily, so it is a great way to stay in touch!
As the season turns to Fall we are reflecting inward and beginning to plan and re-imagine for a fresh new season at LUSH. If you have any ideas or suggestions, we would be very happy to hear them.
Also, please note our Fruit Tree Program is still in full operation. For the remainder of the season we will be distributing fruit directly to community partners such as the Comox Valley Food Bank, The Transition Society and many other organizations who can benefit from a very fresh delivery of fruit! Contact us if you still have fruit trees that need to be gleaned and we'd be happy to help!
In the meantime, please check out the following 3 promotional videos that were made for us by the amazing folks at the Comox Valley Art Gallery's Youth Media Project. For 7 weeks Ashley, Gabriel and Kayla poured their heart and soul into making these fine films for us and we couldn't be more proud.
LUSH Valley Food Action Society will be closing the facility at 1126 Piercy Avenue in Courtenay on September 30, 2015.
Dear LUSH & community members,
It is with sadness that we announce the closing of our facility at 1126 Piercy Avenue. We recognize that many volunteers have donated time, energy, and materials to make this facility a social centre and meeting place for individuals and community groups, and we are grateful for those contributions. We realize this move may cause some inconveniences. It was not a decision that was made lightly.
Unfortunately, persistent problems with our facility have been disrupting our programs and creating uncertainty for our clients. In the last year we have been repeatedly closed by the Health Authority and forced to devote limited resources to addressing multiple problems. Resolving these issues requires significant time and capital investment far beyond our capacity. We feel it is better to direct our resources toward outreach, programs, education, and advocacy.
In spite of making the difficult decision to close the facility and become a ‘virtual office,’ LUSH will still offer most of our programs. We will now have a wider presence in our community and reach more people in more locations. This delivery model will enable us to allocate more resources to our programs to ensure:
· Individuals, groups and organizations have greater access to food- related programs throughout the region
· Food security is integrated into civic planning
· There is increased support for community gardens and backyard food production
· There is growth and development of local food production & local agriculture
What does this mean for our current programming?
Fruit Tree Program
The Fruit Tree Program will continue to operate at full scale this season and in the future. This year we have already exceeded our picking and redistribution targets, and the season is only half way through. When the facility closes at the end of September, produce harvested through the Fruit Tree Program will be distributed directly to local organizations instead of being stored at the LUSH Valley building.
Food Programs, including Young Cooks and Community Kitchens
We have a lot planned for 2015-16. With the support of our partners, LUSH will continue to provide food skills and food literacy activities. Beginning September 29, LUSH will offer its first Young Cooks afterschool program in partnership with Lake Trail Neighborhood Connections. LUSH Valley is also collaborating with the City of Courtenay and the LINC to offer food skills workshops and to support the LINC’s Free Food Frenzy. Look for program descriptions in the Comox Valley Winter Recreation Reporter. LUSH is also planning community kitchen workshops in community throughout the region this fall and winter.
Unfortunately, the incubator kitchen at 1126 Piercy Avenue will be closing on September 18th, 2015. This was a very difficult decision because there is great need in the Comox Valley for a kitchen that supports small-scale food processors as they grow and develop. Retail and wholesale food businesses are a vital part of our local economy and contribute to the diversity of the Comox Valley. Aiding their growth remains a priority at LUSH Valley, and we are actively searching for partners to develop this facility and capacity. Please contact us with ideas to advance this vision.
Share the Harvest Community Garden
The management and operation of the community garden on 6th St. and Harmston will not be affected. This year we have seen tremendous community support at the garden with the construction of an accessible gardening space. Stay tuned for upcoming fall and spring programming.
Sharing the Seeds of Knowledge Workshops
Sharing the Seeds of Knowledge is a new series of workshops led by local Elders to preserve and pass on traditional/local food knowledge through story telling, sharing meals, cooking, nature walks/foraging, and other food-related activities for youth, while strengthening inter-generational bonds within the community. These workshops will be held at differing locations in the community throughout the fall.
LUSH will continue to act as a food security leader in the Comox Valley. We remain an Island Health Food Security Hub and a Good Food Organization. There are many other new and exciting ideas in the works to grow our activities. As always we welcome suggestions and volunteers!
How can we be contacted?
Until further notice, LUSH Valley administrative operations will be conducted remotely. We will be present at community gathering spots, community events, the Share the Harvest Community Garden, and online. We can be contacted by these means:
Thank you to everyone in the Comox Valley for all of your support! We know this transition will keep LUSH viable and healthy so we can work toward a just food system for all.
Do you have a passion for making good food, and a keen interest in working with the community? If so, LUSH Valley Food Action Society wants to hear from you. We are seeking a personable, dynamic and organized individual to work as our Food Programs Coordinator. Successful applicants will be experienced cooks who are knowledgeable about food and food security issues and passionate about sharing their skills with others.
The Food Programs Coordinator will:
Qualifications and requirements:
To apply, please send your resume to email@example.com. We thank all applicants for their interest in this position. We regret that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
LUSH Valley is committed to social justice and employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply.
Check out our most recent newsletter here: http://us11.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b2d15f517d785f5ba36e9507d&id=9bd8f063fb
We are currently looking for local Elders to share their food wisdom with youth through a series of workshops to be held in August.
These 2 hour workshops are meant to encourage young folks to engage with local, traditional food wisdom and are an amazing opportunity to directly engage with, inspire and mentor local youth! An honorarium is available for workshop leaders.
Workshops topics could include, but are not limited to, seasonal foods, harvesting, foraging, planting, seed saving, food preservation, cooking or sharing meals. The workshops can be taught through traditional stories, song, hands on experience or simply the sharing of food.
If you are interested, or know an Elder who would be, please contact us ASAP!
firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-331-0152
LUSH Valley’s ever popular Fruit Tree Program is gearing up for another abundant season!
Since 2002, Lush Valley has operated this program which sends volunteers to fruit tree owners’ homes and harvests the fruit, leaving 1/3 to the owner, bringing 1/3 to Lush Valley for redistribution in the community and taking 1/3 home with them to enjoy. In the past 10 years we harvested over 35,000 pounds of fruit!
If you want to dedicate some time to being involved in an important food security tradition in the Comox Valley as well as have fun and take home some fruit, please join us for a Volunteer Orientation meeting at LUSH Valley Monday, July 20th at 7pm.
***If you have volunteered as a Fruit Tree Pick Leader in the past and are interested in doing so again we ask that you join us a bit earlier for a special brainstorming session and meet & greet at 6pm***
If you cannot attend the meeting, but you would still like to volunteer please email email@example.com or call us at 250-331-0152
We are also always looking for homeowners who would like to share the bounty of their fruit trees with us! If you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 250-331-0152 and we can arrange a time to have your trees gleaned.
Join Lush Valley Food Action Society &
Lake Trail Neighborhood Connections to celebrate Earth Week!
On Friday April 24th, we will gather for a community potluck feast and
entertainment at Lake Trail Middle School. Doors open at 5:30 pm,
dinner at 6:00 pm, networking and celebration until 8.30 pm.
We invite the community, friends and colleagues in food security &
sustainability to rejoice in the bounty of nature and the joy of
growing & sharing. Enjoy local food, entertainment and networking with
families & new friends. We'll have some food fresh from the garden and
neighboring forests & other yummy main dishes- you're welcome to bring
a dish to share. Call Sheila at 250-897-1892 to help with cooking or set up.
Come join in the spirit of abundance!
Saturday, March 28
at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Lush Valley Food Action Society
1126F Piercy Ave, Courtenay
Local crafters and harvesters are welcome to an afternoon of trading goods!
We all have our own unique gifts and honed talents to share with our community. Bring your teas, mushrooms, starts and seeds, knitted scarves, smoked salmon, carvings and whatever else you have to share.
Do note that we would like you to register for this event and let us know what you will be bringing!
This is also an OPEN MIC so please bring your instruments, poems and funny stories!
Snacks will be on site by donation to Lush Valley programs.
Let’s build our trading networks!
For further information please contact our office at 250-331-0152 or email@example.com
Mailing List Signup!
MON TO THURS
OR BY APPOINTMENT