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Earth Day 2010: Roberts Creek style

                                                                                                                       — Heather Conn photos

Why do these two subversives look so happy? They just heard wonderful news at Roberts Creek’s Earth Day event: farm-gate sales of produce and livestock are no longer illegal in British Columbia. Hurray! That means that B.C. farmers, livestock owners and gardeners can sell meat, produce or eggs from their land directly to customers. Previously, these were illegal acts in this province. Isn’t that outrageous? These women are two of our local Farm Food Freedom Fighters. Yes, they are wearing “Be subversive, Buy local” buttons, complete with logos of a masked chicken and cow.


Now, we can tear off those nasty masks. No more outlaw status for people selling organic wares on their farms. Nicholas Simons, our local MLA, and Donna Shugar, chair of the Sunshine Coast Regional District, made the announcement April 25 at the start of Earth Day festivities in Roberts Creek. Nicholas worked particularly hard to enact this status change in farm-gate sales. Thank you to both Nicholas and Donna for striving to reverse this ridiculous law. Nicholas is still working out the details, but the change wil be official soon.

In keeping with this upbeat news, the sun shone for the Creek’s annual funky event, which provided hours of local entertainment, eco-displays, and information tables on sustainable organizations and earth-minded products. Great Sunshine Coast food, as always, was available, from Rashmi’s popular Curry in the Creek to the fish taco stand. This year, the kids were treated to a mini petting zoo with dwarf rabbits, an adorable baby goat, pony rides, and a shaggy llama.


Dave Ryan, fondly known as “Farmer Dave” in the Creek, offered a free tour through the gardens and greenhouse he operates to supply the Gumboot Restaurant next-door with fresh organic produce year-round. Wearing a green hat with a four-leaf-clover insignia, he spent more than an hour answering questions from about 50 local home gardeners.


Dave offered many helpful tips from using shade cover over plants in hot sun to using seaweed in compost (not directly on plants). He praised mushroom compost and recommended “Dr. John” (John Paul, president of Transform Compost Systems Ltd. in Abbotsford, BC) as the top resource in the province for compost information.


Roberts Creek Earth Day offered its usual mix of practical tips and whimsy, from stilt-walkers and The Green Man storyteller to demonstrations of making cob as a sustainable method of house construction.



The Sunshine Coast Regional District created a giant tree of large green garbage bags to make local residents aware of waste management practices and how our trash impacts the earth.  Their display included a large sheet of paper on an easel where people could write down the ways in which they reduce their garbage. (Each household on the Sunshine Coast is allowed to dispose of one regular-sized can’s worth of garbage each week.)


Thank  you to everyone who helped make this year’s Earth Day a fun, viable, and educational event.

May 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm
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