Dawn Deydey said the ToolShare is continuously expanding and getting new tools. (Jasper Myers / The Free Press)

Dawn Deydey said the ToolShare is continuously expanding and getting new tools. (Jasper Myers / The Free Press)

Wildsight Elk Valley ToolShare program helps residents process local food

The ToolShare program offers Elk Valley residents a chance to process their own food at home

Elk Valley residents don’t have to rush out to the store when they need a tool for one project thanks to the Wildsight Elk Valley ToolShare program.

The volunteer run program offers a variety of tools that can be rented out by residents, saving them money and space on tools they only need from time to time.

Dawn Deydey, Wildsight Elk Valley Community Program Coordinator, said the program has grown since it’s start and residents who want to use the ToolShare just pay an annual fee of 20 dollars.

“It’s a once annual access pass to access all the tools whenever you want,” said Deydey.

“You can book the tools anytime you want as often as you want.”

Deydey said the ToolShare started with apple presses before growing to include a variety of tools like ladders, dehydrators, and apple pickers for those who need these tools from time to time.

“Not everyone has the space to store these large tools,” Deydey said.

“Not everyone wants to spend the money on these tools that they use once or twice a year.”

Deydey said COVID has highlighted the local food system and how important local food is to the community.

“This helps people take action and process some of the local food that they have access to,” she said.

Prior to COVID the program saw around 130 rentals a year and saw a drop to 80 during COVID, but Deydey said it’s still a program that is heavily utilized.

“It’s something that is used by the community, and we’re hoping that we can get more people to use it,” she said.

Of all of the tools Deydey said it seems like the dehydrators and apple presses get rented out the most.

“The apple presses are a hot item,” she said.

For anyone who wants to rent something out for the first time, don’t worry about knowing how to use it.

“On the website you can go on it and it shows all the tools and it also has instructions for use, instructions for cleaning,” said Deydey.

Anyone interested in checking out the program can visit wildsight.ca/toolshare.

READ MORE: Getting to know your local producers: The buzz on honey in the Elk Valley

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