Because Food Matters.
The Alberni Valley Transition Town Food Group strives to build capacity and awareness about food, food lands, food skills, and food systems through collaborative effort to strengthen Food Security in the Alberni-Clayoquot Region.
When all people, at all times, have access to nutritious, safe, personally acceptable and culturally appropriate foods, produced in ways that are environmentally sound and socially just.
The Alberni Valley Transition Town Society (AVTTS) is a developing Food Hub in conjunction with Island Heath. As a developing food hub, AVTTS is working to create partnerships and strengthen inter-agency collaboration to support initiatives and action towards greater food security in the Alberni-Clayoquot Region. Core functions of the hub are to build community awareness and knowledge about food and food systems, develop partnerships in the community and across the island and build capacity to increase food security.
In 2012, AVTTS developed a Community Food Assessment which serves as an inventory of where we are at with Food Security in the Valley.
Presently looking at developing a Regional Food Action Roundtable, in April 2015, AVTTS organized an AVTTS food security workshop report april 2015 which brought together groups and organizations from across the region to discuss what a food secure Alberni Valley looks like and how we are going to get there.
Seed Distribution and Education
Each year at the Canada Day Parade on July 1st the Alberni Valley Transition Town Society has a float in the parade and distributes seeds to parade-goers. Then again at the Annual Fall Fair the first weekend in September, Transition Town Food Group members are out with information, gardening tips, farm materials, activities for children, and more.
Need some seed? The Port Alberni Public Library now boasts a seed library thanks to a partnership between the Port Alberni branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library and Alberni Valley Transition Towns Society.
Borrow some seed, grow some vegetables, collect some seed, and return some seed – that is the premise of the new seed lending library. With a goal of maintaining local seed lines the library also ensures that everyone has access to seeds to start a pot or backyard plot. Thanks to the generous support of S alt Spring Island Seeds, West Coast Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and localgardeners/farmers for donating seed the library is established with a variety of seeds from beets, to lettuce, peas and marigolds.
West Coast Growers Guide
Building off of previous work developing a Farm Directory, Alberni Valley Transition Town Society partnered with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and the Alberni Valley Times to create the first ever West Coast Growers’ Guide. The guide provides a listing of local farms, markets, and agricultural businesses as well as giving gardening tips, water saving tactics, a planting calendar, and a map to help you get around.
Some other projects that the Alberni Valley Transition Town Society has helped with and supported include:
Alberni Valley Gleaning Program
Organized by Eden Tree Farm. The Gleaning Project is a volunteer based program that picks excess fruit from around the community. A third of the fruit goes to the home owner, one third to the volunteers, and one third to community organizations and the food bank. Coastal Community Credit Union, Bear Smart, and the Coop are additional sponsors for this community project.
Current project to garner official school board endorsement of school gardens throughout SD 70 in order to develop a more comprehensive school garden strategy for the region and hopefully build some more school gardens in the future!
Family Farms Day
Coordinated by Parks and Recreation and now the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, Family Farms Day is an opportunity for people of all ages to get out and visit some of the local farms. Many farms host activities for children, farm gate sales, and farm tours throughout the day. Stay tuned for the date of the annual event. Generally held in September.
To learn more or get involved in the food group please contact Edna Cox at daveandedna(at)shaw(dot)ca.