UPDATE! Here is the schedule of organizations speaking at Eat Here Now on Sunday:
11am: Wayward School and the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society
12 noon: Dogwood
1:00: OUR Ecovillage
1:30pm Slow Food (featuring me!)
2:00pm Mustard Seed Food Bank
2:30pm Transition Victoria
Education is the big theme this week, with so many students and teachers going back to school. We tend to think of education in terms of institutions and classrooms and tuition costs for some students. However, this weekend in Victoria, there is an educational opportunity that is not only free, but comes along with great food.
Your fun educational opportunity this weekend takes place at the Third Annual Eat Here Now Harvest Festival. It takes place this Sunday between 11am and 3pm in the Inner Courtyard of Market Square…chock full of farmers and chefs and booths offering you a ‘taste for a toonie’. (this is a fundraiser for the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society) While that in itself is educational and tasty, the really meaty stuff is going to take place in something called the FoodShed, put together by an organization called The Wayward School.
The Wayward School is the 2-year-old invention of Victoria residents Heather Cosidetto and Stefan Morales. They have held a series of lectures and discussions in whatever kind of donated space they can find, in a really informal way. Stefan told me that the Wayward School is kind of a way to bring university to the streets, a different way to share popular knowledge: “But it’s not just about bringing university to the street level, it’s all about informal experts within the community and giving them a platform where they can talk about what they’re fascinated in or passionate about, so it could even be somebody talking about the proper way to do canning, for example.”
So on Sunday Wayward School is bringing together eaters, growers and gatherers to talk about food. The Food Shed is part of a Town Council series which will eventually feature discussions on issues like transportation and money. Sunday’s conversation is meant to go beyond our traditional viewpoints on food and farms, and on to looking at Stefan’s concept of a Food Shed, kind of like the geographical entity we call a watershed. But while a watershed is confined to a drainage area of a set of waterways leading to a lake or ocean, many of our current food sheds are global in nature since we import so many of the foods we eat on Vancouver Island.
I’m speaking in the Food Shed on Sunday and my topic is the meroir of BC. What is it about our ocean and what’s in it and how we use the food that makes it very specific to BC? So I’ll go back in history a bit and talk about what characteristics of the ocean made it so important to our beginnings and then take it forward to what we have now. If you don’t want to listen to me, one of the other speakers on tap is Linda Geggie, of Capital Region Food and Agriculture will be speaking about alternatives to the industrial food system and how various food agencies in the area can collaborate on their efforts.
I think she’s talking about a common problem here, especially with food agencies. Lots of good people doing lots of good work, but could probably do so much more by learning what everyone else is doing and perhaps starting to work together more.
I hope to see lots of people at Eat Here Now on Sunday!