Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of Canada's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain. A total of 180 members and one business from the communities of Nelson and Creston, British Columbia, are blazing a trail towards a local grain economy.
Kootenay Harvest Revival I On this Part IV of the series, we explore the first in a two-part series of recordings from the Kootenay Harvest Revival - an event hosted by Deconstructing Dinner, the Nelson-Creston Grain CSA and All Seasons Café. The two-day event was held to celebrate the CSA's monumental harvest of grain and to use the success of the project as a "catalyst for a local food revolution."
Day 1 of the event heard from a series of speakers who shared the history of food production in the Kootenay regions of British Columbia. By exploring what was once possible to grow and produce in the area, it was hoped that the event would inspire visions of what the soil is currently able to provide both now and into the future. Certainly the Grain CSA is one of those projects unearthing the potential of the region.
On this Part I of the Revival recordings, we pay respect to the original inhabitants of the region - the Sinixt people, who, while not agriculturalists, understood the bounty of the land more than any other human population who has inhabited the area. Also to explore are one of the first groups of white settlers to inhabit the region; the Doukhobors - a spiritual Christian sect who also holds a rich history of living off the land.
The event acts as an exciting model for other communities wishing to inspire a more localized food system.
GE-Free Zones IV Acting as a pinnacle to our GE-Free Zones series, on November 3, 2008, the City of Nelson, B.C., officially became Canada's third GE-Free zone. In a unanimous decision by the City Council, a resolution was adopted that expresses opposition to the "cultivation of GE plants and trees". Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record the monumental decision.
Eileen Delehanty-Pearkes, Author, The Geography of Memory (Nelson, BC) - A fifth-generation Californian, Eileen Delehanty Pearkes has been a resident of Canada since 1985. She has lived in Nelson, B.C., since 1994. She has published numerous essays and articles exploring the connection between nature and the human imagination, as well as The Geography of Memory, her first book.
JJ Verigin, Executive Director, Union of Spritual Communities of Christ (Doukhobors) (Grand Forks, BC) - The Doukhobor movement emerged in 18th century Russia as a Christian peasant reaction to the excessive opulence and ritualistic authority of the Orthodox Church. In the early 20th century, a large number of them arrived in the interior of British Columbia where a large population still reside.
Russell Precious, Board of Directors, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Sunshine Bay, BC) - After graduating with a BA in Asian History at UBC and UC Berkeley, Russell studied organic farming with pioneer organic farmer and teacher, John Harrison. Subsequently he co-founded the Naam vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver (still running after 35 years); an organic fruit stand & wholesale fruit operation; Quadra Foods Market on Quadra Island and Capers natural foods stores in Vancouver. In 1993 he was finalist for both the regional Entrepreneur of the Year and Vancity's Ethics in Action awards. In 1999 he was one of three first recipients of the B.C. Organic Pioneers Award. He most recently joined the Board of Directors at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative.
Kim Charlesworth, Steering Committee, GE-Free Kootenays (Nelson, BC) - Kim is a founding member of GE-Free Kootenays. She sits on the Board of Directors for the West Kootenay EcoSociety and is currently running for Nelson City Council in the 2008 municipal elections.
Gord McAdams, Municipal Councillor, City of Nelson (Nelson, BC) Gord has worked as an Ecologist for BC's Ministry of Water, Air and Land Protection. In 2005, he was fired for bringing confidential government documents to the BC Supreme Court in support of a court action brought by the West Kootenay EcoSociety. On December 11, the Campaign for Open Government and the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association presented Gord with the Whistleblower Award for 2007. Gord is running for Mayor of Nelson in the 2008 municipal elections.
Bessie Wapp, Musician/Performer (Nelson, BC) - Since 1995, Bessie Wapp has been busy performing and recording with Eastern European music ensemble Zeellia. Bessie Wapp is a two-time Jessie nominated musician, actor, designer, and stilt dancer who studied visual art and music before becoming a Co-Director of stilt-dance theatre company Mortal Coil in 1993. Bessie Wapp has worked with The Electric Company, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Caravan Theatre, and the Vancouver Moving Theatre among others.