Monthly Archives: September 2012


Hello everyone! My name is Devon and I will be working with SLUGS for the next few months as part of my last class at UVIC. I have been doing the social media for the past week or so on Facebook, but this is my first blog post. I am lucky to be part of a new course called Working in the Community that is attempting to change the education paradigm in Universities. It offers an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, with three instructors from different faculties that offer a range of perspectives. The class emphasizes learning through experience and requires the students to take on a project with a non-profit organization of their choice. This worked out perfect for me because I was planning on volunteering with SLUGS anyways! I am really excited about taking some of the social media responsibilities away from Clare as she has a new baby that needs all the love and attention she can give. I will be doing daily posts on Facebook and Twitter as well as a weekly post on the SLUGS blog. If anyone would like to see any posts about something that they are particularly interested in, let me know. I would love to hear about what is important to the SLUGS community. Feel free to treat this blog as a type of forum where we can talk and collaborate creatively!



Seasonal Recipe Round-up: Apples

Apple season is one of my favourite times of the year.  Right now, I’m lucky enough to live in a house with a yard full of apple trees, but even when the seasonal bounty is not quite so close to home, it’s amazing to be able to find so much free, delicious fruit around town.  Depending on how big your harvest is, you may just be able to eat all you pick, but if you’re lucky enough to have a surplus of apples, I’ve collected some rad looking recipes for drying, canning, fermenting and otherwise preserving your harvest.  If you have other recipes or techniques you’d like to recommend, please leave a comment!  Continue reading

Fall Field Trip, Sunday Oct 14th, 9 am – 3:30 pm

Eco-sense Cob House

We’ll start our day with a tour of Eco-Sense.  If you’re not familiar with this rad house, it’s North America’s first code-approved seismically engineered load bearing insulated cob house.  It features solar PV with grid tie, an option for future wind turbines, solar thermal hydronic heating, passive solar design, LED lighting, earthen floors, natural plasters, grey water re-use, composting (NO FLUSH) toilets, rainwater harvesting, and a living roof. The home is zero waste and net zero energy.  Besides all the amazing environmental features, it’s a beautifully designed and built space, and a really inspiring house to tour.

After the Eco-Sense tour we’ll have a picnic lunch.  To keep costs down, please pack a lunch for yourself, but we will supply lots of snacks to share.

Haliburton Farm: photo by Laura Lasby

After lunch, we’ll head to Haliburton Farm for the  afternoon.  Haliburton is a publicly-owned farm; they currently house 5 farm businesses, offer workshops for farmers, gardeners and and consumers, give tours to school and community groups, and have regular CSA/box programs.  They offer a really cool model of how to organize a farm to include and educate the surrounding community.  Plus, the farm itself is beautiful and includes restored wetland, resident salamanders, nesting birds and other exciting natural residents.

We’ve rented a van from the carshare for transportation, and the first five folks registered can catch a ride with us.  Other than the van, I can help facilitate vehicle sharing, so please let me know if you need a ride or have space in your vehicle to offer.

Please email to register.  If you’re under 18, let me know, as I’ll wrangle you a guaranteed seat in the van and will need to get you to have your parents sign a form.

Cost:  $15-30 sliding scale.

Herbal First Aid

Big thanks to all those who made it out to our herbal first aid workshop in August, and even bigger thanks to our wonderful facilitator, community herbalist Ali Jopp! Ali took us through the basics of identifying herbal medicines in the wild, the healing benefits of different plants, how to experiment (and when not to experiment!) with different plant concoctions, and how to make tinctures, liniments and salves. It was an amazing afternoon, and we all left with some healing concoctions as well as a ton of new knowledge. Ali has generously let me reprint part of her amazing Herbal First Aid zine, so click through for more information and some wonderful recipes for herbal healing (all text is Ali’s, unless noted otherwise).  Continue reading

Soil Building workshop, Wed September 26th, 6-8 pm

Image by rcferdin, used under Creative Commons license

A productive garden starts with healthy soil.  Learn how to build your soil naturally (and cheaply!) to increase your food yields as well as the nutrition of the veggies you’re growing.

Topics covered will include:  an overview of organic soil building strategies, physical analysis (soil types and structures), organic matter, composting basics, soil nutrients and pH, sheet mulching (aka lasagna gardening) and green manures.  The wonderful Jill Dalton of Lifecycles will be teaching, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from her, you’ll know that her workshops are packed with information but also extremely fun and encouraging/empowering.   Don’t miss this event!

Email to register

Location:  The straw bale building at the Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park St, Victoria, BC

Suggested donation:  $5-10 (no one turned away)

Seasonal Canning: Ketchup! Tuesday September 11th, 6-8 pm

Image by my_amii, used under Creative Commons license

Our last seasonal canning workshop for the 2012 season!  Gather in the garden to make and can amazingly delicious homemade ketchup, perfect for livening up your pantry and plate in the cold, rainy months ahead.

This recipe is made in a slow-cooker, which is a neat tool to add to your home canning skill set. As we can the ketchup in glass jars to preserve it, we’ll also cover the basics of modern hot-water bath canning techniques, equipment, safety issues, and resources for the home canner.

We usually limit our canning workshops to 8 people (as that’s the number of jars that can fit in a canning kettle), but we’re trying something different this time — you can choose to register to attend for $10 and take home a jar of ketchup, or you can attend for a suggested donation of $5 and leave with a handout/recipe and lots of new skills, but no ketchup.  Let me know which you would prefer!

Email to register

Location:  The straw bale building at the Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park St, Victoria, BC

Suggested donation:  $5-10 (no one turned away)

Seasonal Canning: Picklefest 2012!

Thanks to everyone who made it out to last month’s Picklefest editions of our seasonal canning workshops.  We learned the ways of hot water bath canning, as well as making a plethora of different pickles.  As always, it was great to hang out in the garden of the Compost Ed Centre at the end of a hot summer day to talk and make food together.  It feels even better to leave an evening like that with some jars of pickled beets, zucchini dill pickles and pickled blueberries to line the walls of your pantry and make you feel all stocked up for winter.  Click through for some recipes from the workshop as well as a round-up of tasty looking pickle recipes. Continue reading