Elk Valley grows local

Even with a green thumb, it can be a challenge to grow food in the cold climate of the Kootenays.

Even with a green thumb, it can be a challenge to grow food in the cold climate of the Kootenays.

Wildsight Elk Valley wants to help, and will be providing the necessary knowledge for ambitious local horticulturalists through their Keeping Food Real project.

The group successfully applied to the B.C. government’s Grow Local Program for $25,000 to fund the two-year initiative, which aims to support the citizens of the Elk Valley in growing their own food.

In April, the Keeping Food Real project will be providing online cold climate educational resources and hands-on practical workshops that support gardeners of every kind.

“The Grow Local program will further strengthen the value of the local agricultural sector among British Columbians,” said Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick in a statement. “This pilot project will create a better understanding of how food crops are produced in our province and assist people in learning how best to grow their own food.”

The Wildsight Elk Valley Branch will be working with the College of the Rockies, Spruce Spring Stream Farms, the District of Sparwood, the Elkford Community Garden and the City of Fernie on the project.

Keeping Food Real development team member Dawn Deydey is passionate about growing local. She’s run the Fernie Mountain Market and started the Wildsight Community EcoGarden, “so I’ve been very involved in local food production in Fernie,” she said.

“How do we, in the Elk Valley, create thriving gardens in this cold climate?” she asked. “A lot of the garden books you get are not for our region so hopefully this [project] will help address that.”

Deydey said there are vegetables that thrive in a cold climate which are easy to grow. Among them are staple foods like peas, kale, potatoes, garlic and onions.

“There’s many, that’s just a start,” said Deydey. “But there are also crops that might need some special techniques to grow and the workshops will be addressing that.”

The Keeping Food Real project is a small part of a province-wide $250,000 Grow Local program, which is funding projects in 10 B.C. communities.

The Grow Local program is itself a small part of the province’s Agrifoods and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan, which has a goal of growing the province’s agrifoods industry to a $15-billion-dollar-a-year sector by 2020.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDEK encourages Elk Valley residents to prepare for flood season

With spring melt comes rising water levels and an increased flood risk throughout the region

Planting your very own victory garden

The Free Press publisher and gardening expert, Madi Bragg, gives tips for planting

IDES and Salvation Army join forces to create meal program for families in need

Every Tuesday, IDES delivers baskets full of produce and household products to local residents

Angel Flight takes to the skies once more

Angel Flight East Kootenay is once again offering free flights to Kelowna for medical appointments

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in ong-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Most Read