Leading up to the program was a bit of a whirlwind. A lot had to be organized in a short amount of time - hiring, housing, and coordinating between various individuals. However, the process was made much easier due to the generosity and support of the community. Furthermore, I feel we lucked out with this group! Introducing: Aislinn, Connor, Lara, and Alex. They are kind, enthusiastic, and eager to learn. Above all, they work well as a team, which is so critical for this type of endeavour.
On one of the first days, digging away in the communal garden at Jollity, I got to sneakily gauge how everyone was getting on. Laughter and talk filled the air, and there was a clear cohesion between group members, including the current WWOOFers - Rachel and Ben, and, also important, they were productive! Who said that work can't be fun?!
Apart from digging, mulching, mucking, and harvesting, the group has been engaging with the community in various ways. We have been working on the trails, clearing invasive species, and are planning to repair spots on the trail that require a little TLC. Starting this week, we will be meeting with diverse members from the community to gain a deeper insight into myriad topics - from water systems and soils, to intertidal ecology, goat dressage, and herbal knowledge! This will build our repertoire of the island and knowledge/skills useful to food security. We also will be investigating and enacting ways to support seniors in the community in relation to food security - so keep posted! Lastly, we will be working on a collaborative food mapping project. Our hope here is that it will provide Thetis Islanders with a tool to network and ultimately increase food resiliency on the island.
To share our learning journey with the community, team members will post bi-weekly blogs (or vlogs, podcasts, photo journals, essays, etc - anything that tickles their fancy).