Farm Friday ~ Where Country Schools City

One of  the RGE Rd team prepares the salad course. Photo courtesy of Prairie Garden Farms
One of the RGE Rd team prepares the salad course. Photo courtesy of Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farms

“As local food loving voyeurs, we’re here at the Irvings’ farm along with 70 others for Alberta Open Farm Days. Each August, dozens of Alberta agriculturalists open their doors so we townies can check out the origins of our food.

Increasingly, outdoor farm meals like this are on offer. Restauranteurs, farmers and agricultural marketing types are latching on to this trend like a newborn calf to cow. As Canadians continue to ask questions about the provenance of their food, the popularity of farm meals en plein air grow. From Pemberton, B.C’s Araxi Long Table Dinner to Kleefeld, Manitoba’s Grazing in the Field, chefs and farmers are uniting over summer to organise unique, delectable and at times, utterly educational dinners.  Some of the folks behind this cross-Canada dining inclination shared their anecdotes and advice on the growing movement.” – March/April edition of Small Farm Canada

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Wolves in The Great Bear Rainforest: A Trip to Remember

The Great Bear Rainforest: B.C.'s temperate rainforest treasure at the end of a rainbow. Photo credit: Tom Green
The Great Bear Rainforest: B.C.’s temperate rainforest treasure at the end of a rainbow. Photo credit: Tom Green

There was a giant whoop up this week in British Columbia. After nearly 20 years of protests, meetings, market campaigns, many, many negotiations First Nations, Environmental groups, logging companies and varying levels of government – a final deal was struck to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. For visual learners, skip the jump below to watch Greenpeace Canada’s pretty succinct video. For those who like to read go here.

From 2004-2006 I worked for environmental project funded by Greenpeace, ForestEthics and the Sierra Club of B.C. Because of this job I learned so much about B.C.’s temperate coastal rainforests, a bit about coastal First Nations and the geography of this sparsely-populated-but-highly-bio-diverse part of the planet. And because of this job, I had the privilege of visiting the Great Bear Rainforest in the fall of 2004.

Looking for photos from my Bella Bella to Port Hardy sailing trip, I found an article I wrote for Lululemon‘s magazine in 2005, so voila, here it is again. Since I wrote this piece 11 years ago, millions of hectares of rainforest (3.1mil to be exact) have been protected and many many people are working hard to prove that an economy based on eco-tourism and sustainable resource harvesting could be better than trophy hunting and clear cutting.

I’m so glad this forest is protected so I can take my son there one day to hear the wolves howl and listen to the salmon swim upstream. Virtual high fives to all involved, I’m so proud of you friends.

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How did you get that f*#king awesome job Jeremy Koreski?

Jeremy Koreski goes deep.
Jeremy Koreski goes deep.

His body of work spans decades, he’s worked with a huge range of respectable brands (Patagonia, Clifbar, Adidas, Sitka to name a few) and he’s one of Canada’s eminent surf photographer and videographers. These are all accolades that could swell any head or distract any big shot from the issues that matter in their home town.

But for Tofino, B.C.-based photographer Jeremy Koreski, an experience swimming in a pool of 15,000 salmon in a river on Vancouver Island, spurred him to take on a newer, and some would argue, more important project. Enter his photo book: This is Nowhere. A gorgeous, black, hard covered photo tome replete with lush greens, brilliant blues and deep oranges, the coffee table staple is part ode to life on British Columbia’s coast and part archive of the species that millennia-old, coastal ecosystems. Like me, Jeremy loves salmon and wants to share just how they are the backbone, the canary and the focal species of coastal communities and forest webs of life.  Read more

Nostalgia and Inspiration for Cozy Cabin Time Getaways

Cabin time in the Shuswap
Cabin time in the Shuswap. Photo credit: Lindsay & her dad. 

Each Labour Day weekend for about five years a group of us  would flee Vancouver to escape to a chain of lakes called the Shuswap. The agenda: three days of low-key, fun-as-heck cabin time. The chain of warm, clean lakes were ideal for fishing/boating/ kayaking/swimming and were a major draw for vacationers from B.C. and Alberta. Unlike, say, the Okanagan, the Shuswap area hasn’t been completely developed and polished. There are still trailer parks and gas stations that also pose as liquor stores/bakeries/ andgrocery stops. The chain of tiny lakeside unincorporated towns that fringe the north shore of the Shuswap are rough around the edges: they have volunteer fire departments, dusty community halls, karaoke-filled pubs and not a time share in sight (for the most part).

One such gem of an area is Celista, where my friend Lindsay’s family owns a cute little two bedroom cabin that’s straight out of the late 1970s/early 1980s. To get there, you have to drive through some tiny towns, past must-stop bannock seller, across some salmon bearing rivers and around a few hectic narrow turns to arrive at one of the best cabins I’ve ever hung my hat(s) in.  Every Labour Day weekend, Lindsay’s family would let a gaggle of us carouse at the cabin while her and her then-partner James would play host and boat captain(s).  Read more