Posted by: Rabideye | June 22, 2009

50 Mile Challenge is only a start

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Garlic Chives at the Community Resource Centre's Demonstration Garden (4752 Joyce, out back)

The more I think about it, the more I see the many possible tangential benefits from the 50-mile eat local challenge that will strengthen our community, provide local economic growth, greater food security and tasty nutritious organic non-GMO food, all the while limiting the negative effects (on both the environment and on once-fresh produce itself) of excessive transportation of food-to-market.

Increases in public demand for more 50-mile food will spur businesses and kitchen gardeners to grow more local food. Additionally, value-added food-related small businesses could increase production through preserving (canning, drying, pickling, freezing, smoking) local fruit, vegetable and meats.

Heightened awareness could encourage an organic food co-op or buyers groups, new businesses like ‘spin-farming‘ and CSA’s , more local seed-saving, a much-needed increase in our working-age population (esp. 20-40 year-olds), while also increasing general sustainability, better health (both through exercise in gardening as well as much higher nutrition in local food grown organically), change in zoning laws re: chickens in the city and political will to help local farmers survive, City-run and home-based composting (thus turning organic trash into brown gold), more community and demonstration gardens… and generally a higher quality of life in a more diversified social and economic environment.

The result would be  a ‘relocalization’ where more money spent here, stays here in the community. The days of outsourcing our basic day-to-day needs are (almost) over. There is no security or future in the 2,000 mile garlic head,  no matter how cheap they may be now.

Do you garden at home now? If you would like to turn your food garden into a temporary half-day demonstration garden, there is an afternoon event planned on Aug. 9, 2009 through the Powell River Food Security Project ( where neighbourhood ‘kitchen gardeners’ will reveal their day-to-day gardens and encourage others to grow at least some food, most of the time.

Contact: David Parkinson at or by phone at 604.485.2004 for more info.

Watch for the event posters by Nicole Narbonne around town, shortly.

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