Welcome to the SGI Greens June 2021 newsletter. We hope that you are all managing to keep cool enough during this unprecedented heat wave. We are very happy to report that Elizabeth - trooper extraordinaire - is recovering very well at home from knee replacement surgery and will soon be out and about in fine form.
In here you will find updates on an upcoming SGI AGM, federal Green GM, election readiness preparations, some great gardening info and more…… Read on!
As many of you will know, MP Jenica Atwin (Fredericton) has left the Green Party to sit as a member of the Liberal Party. We are very sorry to see her go, and hope that over time, the difficulties covered recently in the media will be resolved through collaboration and dialogue. Dr. Amita Kuttner recently expressed the GPC internal struggles as reflections of those in Canada as a whole, in this moving Facebook post.
Annual General Meeting, Saanich-Gulf Islands Electoral District Association (SGI-EDA)
The SGI-EDA Annual General Meeting will be held in late August or early September, so now is a great time to think about whether you might like to learn more about becoming a member of the executive. We will have a couple of vacancies this year when terms expire and people move on from helping out for a few years. If you would like to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of an executive member, please contact Dan at [email protected]. Please also consider either nominating yourself or someone that you think would be good for these important positions.
Harald Hommel, the CEO of our EDA, has had to step away from this position. Dan Kells has graciously agreed to fill in as the Interim CEO until the AGM which we will be having in late summer.
This is also an excellent time to check your membership with the Green Party of Canada (GPC) so that you will be able to vote at the SGI AGM, as well as in the upcoming virtual GPC General Meeting which will be taking place in August (more details below and again in July). Please note that donating funds does not guarantee party membership as political parties can’t automatically enroll you with a donation - you must agree to become a member. There are two ways to check your membership:
Participation and voting in GPC General Meetings, or the SGI-EDA AGM requires that you are a member in good standing at least 30 days prior to the meeting.
SGI Financial Agent
Our dedicated and tireless financial agent, Sharon Forrester, would like to take a break from her executive duties, and it is actually mandated in our constitution that board members can only serve two consecutive 3-year terms before stepping back for a bit. Do you have accounting or bookkeeping skills? Do you know someone who might like this role? Would you like to help SGI continue to thrive and grow? Sharon would love to discuss her roles and responsibilities with you and you can reach her at [email protected]. In the event that rumours of an impending federal election have you doubting this role is for you, Sharon has already agreed to act as the financial agent in the next electionDon't be intimidated by the possibility of a fall election; Sharon has already agreed to act as the financial agent in that event.
Green Party of Canada General Meeting
If you are a member in good standing, you would have received this notification by email on or about June 18th. “Federal Council has voted to hold the next Biennial General Meeting of the Green Party of Canada online on August 21st, 2021. Planning is underway, and we look forward to sharing more details with you soon.” If you think your membership is current but you did not receive this email, call 1-866-868-3447, extension 202.
Election Readiness Plans
The SGI Election Readiness Team is well on their way to developing a comprehensive and exciting campaign strategy and plan. Last winter there were rumblings about a possible spring election. Then the second and third waves of Covid-19 hit hard, and those rumours ended. Now there is further speculation about a late summer or fall election call. Justin Trudeau does not need to call an election for two more years and we firmly believe that one at this time would be unnecessary and wasteful. British Columbians are tired of elections, as are people in several other provinces.
At any rate, it is still prudent to prepare. Are you willing to volunteer to help us re-elect Elizabeth May? Please reach out and let us know your availability, even if you have volunteered previously. You can email Robyn at [email protected].
We will be contacting all previous volunteers in the coming weeks to confirm your interest and availability. At this point we are planning for everything from in-person offices, events and foot canvassing to a completely virtual campaign - all dependent upon the state of Covid-19 at the time. It makes for complicated planning, for sure!
The June Garden
OMG – it’s late June already (for reference, this article was written by Gary in early June).
The gardening season is already half over, but the best half is still to come. If your garden is anything like ours, your beds will be bursting with produce. We are on our 4th succession of greens (lettuce, mustard greens, etc.), our 4th planting of peas (if you count those in the greenhouse planted in January) and our second planting of corn. Because we have the luxury of a greenhouse, we have already started to harvest Long English Cucumbers, we are about a week or two away from ripe tomatoes, our eggplants are in flower and even our pomegranate is in flower. We think it is fair to expect that this all happens in the first week of July in most gardens. Something most gardeners have to look forward to. We have been eating peas for at least a month, had our fill of asparagus and harvested a load of broccoli today, much of which went into the freezer. We will eat from the side shoots until the next crop is ready and will get to enjoy broccoli well into the winter.
We have often been asked how many food varieties we grow on our property. We never really gave it much thought. That got us to actually measure the space we used for growing food. It is a surprisingly low number – only 850 ft2 outside and another 200 ft2 in the greenhouse. These are the areas used for growing and do not include pathways etc. The orchard is considerably larger at 4000 ft2. On this we have actually cut down to 42 vegetables with 78 varieties planted. We have a lot of fruit trees and shrubs – 76 in total consisting of 60 varieties of 25 different types of fruits and nuts. Everyone says “it must be a lot of work”. First of all, if you love it, it is not work. Secondly, if you are organized, it need not even take a lot of time. We have everything on drip irrigation so we do not need to water – a huge time (and water) saver. Since we no longer till, the most work we have to do is to make and spread compost on our beds. Both making and spreading is spaced out over time so it is not a huge job, but it is a heavy one. Although we may spend more time on some days especially during spring, typically we spend about 1 hour per day in our garden even if that is just looking at our crops and harvesting dinner. And we made sure that we created a patio in our veggie garden so we can not only take breaks to enjoy our garden, but also eat our lunch and/or dinner out where our meal typically has come from in the first place.
If you don’t have or don’t want to dedicate 1000 ft2 to a garden, don’t worry, you can grow quite a lot of food in a bed or two or even a few pots if that is all the space/time/energy you have. We have taken to growing carrots in pots because we were tired of gnarly carrots in our clay soil with the all too occasional stones (and arrowheads). You can grow almost anything in pots (even pot) and a bed topped with compost will yield an abundance of food. Just make sure it is deer-proof (and rabbit proof too if need be). June is not too late to start a garden. It is amazing how much you can still grow (and how much we have yet to plant). We are currently doing succession plantings for our summer garden, but we are also about to get started planting “starts” for our fall/winter garden – yes, it starts in June!
If your lifestyle does not include a garden, but you still want the taste and quality of good produce, just buy as much as possible directly from the farmer and put the entire amount you spend on produce into the farmers’ pockets. With local produce you will get fresher, healthier and much better tasting food. Make a point of stopping at your local farm stall, weekend market, or permanent farm market to get your fresh produce – you won’t regret it and the farmers and the environment will thank you for it. We can’t expect local agricultural land to be farmed if we do not support the farms by buying their crops.
And now, we are heading out to the garden to see what’s for dinner!
Gary and Nancy Searing
SGI Website Template
Today, we are proud to announce to our readers that the SGI team has created a template for a website that any Green EDA in Canada can utilize. Creating a website is beyond the means of most small organizations and that leaves them without the opportunity to interact with their members, and the general public, through a website. By utilizing the website created by our team, other EDAs receive a template with a basic framework in place that they can then make their own by adding photos, videos and whatever information they deem useful.
If anyone wishes to ask us about receiving this website for your EDA or you know another EDA that might like this, please contact us at: [email protected]
As we move through this heat wave, we leave you with a bit of whimsy, an attempt to provide shaded water for our feathered friends, bees and other insects using an upturned garbage can lid, rocks and bricks for insects and birds to perch on, and shaded water that is only lukewarm. Have a great start to summer!
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Saanich Gulf Islands Green Party · PO Box 20076, Beacon Ave PO, Sidney, BC V8L 5V9, Canada