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Sooke community shows up for food sustainability

Sooke Seedy Saturday drew a crowd

Tuesday March 28, 2023 | SOOKE, BC [Updated 11:15 am]

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends

With the doors wide open, the local Sooke community welcomed the opportunity to revisit the Sooke Seedy Saturday experience at Sooke Community Hall.

That early spring experience had been missed during the pandemic (no event in 2020 or 2021, and held outdoors at the local museum in 2022). This year about 2,000 people attended over the course of the five-hour event that was organized by Sooke Food CHI.

Some who attended were just curious or tagging along, though many were home gardeners or small-plot farmers, and others were experts in various aspects of seed development and food growing.

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Sooke Seedy Saturday at Sooke Community Hall drew a crowd, March 25, 2023. [Island Social Trends]

Gathered in the hall, 32 vendors offered a range of products and services but also an opportunity for conversations about food growing, farming, and overall sustainability. There were six non-profits including Sooke Food CHI. That of course starts with seeds, for which there were 18 vendors with seeds for sale.

Many people were locals, but some were from other parts of Vancouver Island, and a few from Alberta and beyond.

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One of several seed vendors at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023. [Island Social Trends]

Island Social Trends had an information booth about food security [See Island Social Trends Food Security Archive] to meet folks around ideas about sustainability of food supply on Vancouver Island. People are concerned of course about grocery retail prices but many are growing their own food or supporting those that do. Federal legislation opportunity (e.g. soil quality) and provincial funding (e.g. for supporting food production in BC) were discussed. [Click here for Island Social Trends Premium Subscriber Prize Draw Winners – link to come]

island social trends, food security, booth, sooke
Information about food security news coverage by Island Social Trends: booth at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023 in Sooke.

Other booths offered starter plants, food-growing equipment and planter pots.

The Sooke Food CHI booth provided information about their ongoing work around food sustainability in the Sooke region. Event organizers Ellen Lewers and Teresa Sahlstrom were joined by a team of Sooke Food CHI volunteers who welcomed the public and supported the vendors throughout the day.

ellen lewers, sooke
Sooke Food CHI President Ellen Lewers at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023. [Island Social Trends]

The Transition Sooke organization had an information booth, one day in advance of their full-day discussion event about food sustainability. Held at the hall on March 26, the Transition Sooke discussion featured a keynote speech by District of Highlands Councillor Gord Baird who also chairs the CRD Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Commission.

transition sooke
Transition Sooke booth at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023. [Island Social Trends]

The Capital Regional District (CRD) had an information table for the day, with a range of materials including Garden Aware, Grow Me Instead, Controlling Invasive Plants, weed management, gardening with native plants, and more. | See CRD Food & Agriculture webpage

crd, soil, water, info
CRD information booth at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023. [Island Social Trends]

A sense of positive hospitality filled the hall, including options for a hot lunch in the downstairs dining room. A few people wore masks over concern for possible COVID or flu exposure but organizers were attentive to ventilation with open doors and adequate room for spacious movement through the hall.

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Plants for sale at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023. [Island Social Trends]
children, club, gardens
Sooke Children’s Garden Club had a booth at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023.
plants, for sale
Plants for sale at Sooke Seedy Saturday. [Island Social Trends]
seed vendors, sooke
Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023 [Island Social Trends]
metchosin farms, seeds
Seeds for sale by Metchosin Farms, at Sooke Seedy Saturday, March 25, 2023. [Island Social Trends]

Things left behind:

A couple of cedar planter boxes were left behind at Saturday’s event. Sooke Food CHI Says they were apparently purchased by two separate ladies, carried to the top of the steps where they said to leave them and they would be back, but no one returned. There have been a couple of social media posts to try and find the owners. If you know who bought those cedar planter boxes, they can contact info@sookefoodchi.ca.

ist, food security
Island Social Trends – Food Security Section

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mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends is a long-standing publication in the west shore of South Vancouver Island (fourth in a series that began with MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, and West Shore Voice News 2014-2020, which then emerged as Island Social Trends in mid-2020).

Island Social Trends editor is Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR. She is a long-time journalist, delivering news through a socioeconomic lens.

Island Social Trends continues to build the Island Social Trends Food Security Archive with articles about current developments around food sustainability in BC.

IslandSocialTrends.ca covers news of the Greater Victoria area and south Vancouver Island, with insights on BC and national issues.

Ms Brooke has consistently covered progressive politics on Vancouver Island including a focus on food security for the South Vancouver Island region. She has presented detailed coverage of the SD62 School Board and its committees since 2014.