Meetings Thursday

The food group had a fairly brief meeting at the NTC Child and Family Building with John hosting and Edna, Bob Collins and Bill Thompson present, my presence intended mostly as an observer. The meeting was somewhat bookended by John’s lunch hour, but everyone seemed to have other things to get to, so the break-up was reasonably swift and orderly. Bob and Bill seemed to be quite receptive to the connection between the Farmers’ Institute and Transitions and to see that we really are working toward the same ends. Their primary request was on issues of visibility, connecting consumers with farmers, and they suggested that we put up a web site that would list producers, times of markets and that the farmers preferred at his point to have customers come to them through direct contact. It was also suggested that we distribute bumper stickers with something short and sweet that would remind people of the direct link between farmers and food, something that is often lost in the traditional chain of distribution.

There was also discussion concerning the rewriting of legislation governing water, distribution and licensing and stream health. The link to the documents went out to the list, and if I read Darren’s e-mail correctly, they seem to have already closed off submissions, though they were supposed to remain open until Tuesday, April 6. I will check this out, but I’ve already done mine, so they may reject my IP address.

Bob directed us to the site for Farming in BC magazine, and said that he was going to join the Transistions group (I see that this has happened).

I suspect that Edna will have material to add and I look forward to having her perspectives.

The Housing Group met at Ruttan’s in the evening with Mike, Bonnie, Richard Gagnon and me in attendence an Jerry Swaney sending regrets. We worked through a template on a business plan to submit to Community Futures and EDC for critiquing before we start talking to CMHC, BC Hydro, City Council and other organizations whose support we would like to enlist. It appears that there may actually be funding available for the project.

The initial project is to select a house for energy upgrade, to buy it, renovate it and resell it with the proceeds going to fund the next project of a similar nature. We also wish to encourage people to get involved with low energy concepts in new construction. There are a couple of institutional examples underway (or soon to be) in the new BC Hydro building and the new ADSS, and we hope that these will open peoples’ eyes to the possibilities.

It’s great to see the Food Group firing up again, and Housing is moving along in a pretty dynaminc way. It’s great that Bob has joined the group, but we still need to move out into a broader community and enlist the time and talents of new folks, so perhaps we can wheedle and cajole a few more folks into becoming active in creating a better future for the Valley without resorting to harebrained schemes.

I’ve also spent some time intermittently this afternoon watching some of the Oh! Canada Movie about banking, debt and bubbles. What a great way to spoil a day, and I likely won’t finish it right away, but I did send them a contribution and hope they will send me a DVD so that we can all get depressed together. If you just can’t wait to get angry and depressed all at once, the URL is:

http://picasaweb.google.com/ohnocanada/OhCanadaMovie#54525437289262…

I also made hummus today and played the guitar a lot to reestablish some equilibrium…

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