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 II On this Part V of the series, we explore the second in a three-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 II of the Revival recordings, we hear from author and farmer Luanne Armstrong who spoke on finding one's sense of self through place. "In this day in age, we need to think about where we live, not only where we live and how we connect to it but how we look after it so it can look after us," says Luanne. She also described what the word "farmer" means to her. Also on this broadcast; CSA farmer Keith Huscroft, actor/writer/historian Richard Rowberry and the music of Bessie Wapp.
Luanne Armstrong, Author, Blue Valley: An Ecological Memoir (Boswell, BC) - Luanne Armstrong is a novelist, freelance writer, editor, and publisher. She is deeply interested in writing about place and nature. Her recent book, Blue Valley, An Ecological Memoir, is about growing up in the Kootenay region of B.C. and was published in 2007 by Maa Press. Luanne has taught Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Langara College, and in venues across Canada. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from UBC and a Ph.D in Education from UBC. She presently lives on her organic heritage farm on the east shore of Kootenay Lake.
Keith Huscroft, Farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC) - Keith is a fourth-generation farmer. His great-grandparents were the first white settlers in the Creston Valley and his farm has been in operation for about 100 years. Keith takes all measures to ensure no inputs are required on his farm. He uses mixed farming practices and fertilizes using only animal and green manures. He is one of a shrinking number of farmers farming with horses instead of fossil-fuel dependent technologies.
Richard Rowberry, Actor, The Nelson Theatre Company (TNT) (Nelson, BC) - Richard Rowberry is the Artistic Director of The Nelson Theatre Company (TNT). He trained "eons" ago at The National Theatre School of Canada and has worked as an arts administrator, actor, writer, and director throughout his life. He has written five plays based on local history, including Frank And The Elephants, which won the Sybil Cooke Award (Play for Young Audiences) at the 2004 Canadian One Act Play Competition.
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 Van Citys 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.
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.