Resources

A collection of online resources to help you with food preservation, gardening, urban homesteading, and to learn about inspiring local farmers and gardeners.  This is the starting point for what we hope will grow to be a large collection of information, so if you know of a site that belongs on this page, please let us know!

Food preservation:

Food in Jars:  a blog dedicated to canning, preserving and the art of putting up.  Great recipes and inspiration!

Well Preserved:  a blog sharing the writers’ experiences of cooking, jarring, pickling and hunting for their own food.

Home Canning Using a Hot Water Bath:  Step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to easily and safely hot water bath can.

Wild Fermentation:  the home base of Sandor Ellix Katz (aka Sandorkraut), fermentation revivalist extraordinaire and author of the fantastic cookbook Wild Fermentation:  The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (find it at the library if you haven’t read it yet!).

Food Dehydration:  Lots of info on drying, fruits, vegetables, herbs, making fruit leather, and troubleshooting your dehydration dilemmas.

Building A Solar Food Dehydrator:   Helpful instructions and resources for building your own solar food dehydrator.   Plans range from large, fancy models to small, simpl dehydrators that only cost $10 to build.

How to Build a Root Cellar:  Plans ranging from simple cold storage pits to burying an old schoolbus and filling it with your winter food stores!

Root Cellars:  Good information on which fruits and veggies keep well, and how long you can expect them to stay tasty for in your root cellar.

gardening (both urban and not so urban):

Grow Sprouts at Home:  Simple, straightforward sprouting instructions.  You don’t need a backyard or even a balcony to grow fresh food at home!

Vegetable Seed Saving Handbook:  Learn how to breed your own new vegetable varieties, reproduce existing heirloom seed varieties and save vigorous, free seeds from your garden.

How to Start Seeds Indoors:  Get a jump on our already lengthy growing season by getting your seedlings started in your house.

Winter Gardening:  Whether you’re growing indoors or overwintering your garden veggies, here are some tips on preparing for year round harvest of tasty food.

From Scratch Club:  A group of women “sharing stories, recipes, DIY projects, homesteading tutorials, kitchen tips & tricks and food policy news in hopes of inspiring people to jump back into the kitchen, their gardens and communities as a daily way of life regardless of income, space & time.”


Carolyn Herriot
:  Local gardener and author, and a fantastic resource for year round gardening in Victoria.

urban homesteading:

The City Chicken:  An informative and inspiring site designed to help urban dwellers looking to plunge into keeping chickens.

Basic Beekeeping Lessons:  Interested in keeping backyard bees?  This resource is a great place to start learning!

Natural Beekeeping Network:  Dedicated to low-cost, low-impact sustainable beekeeping for everyone.

Greywater Action:  A collaborative group of educators, designers, builders, and artists who educate and empower people to build sustainable water culture and infrastructure.  Whether you’re interested in the history and politics of dams and city water systems or simply want to find out how to put together a simple home greywater system, this site will teach you lots.

Ghost Town Farm:  Novella Carpenter has a thriving urban farm in downtown Oakland.  Check out her inspiring blog, or snag a copy of her book, Farm City, from the Victoria Public Library.

Wild Harvests:  A big part of homesteading is making use of your surroundings rather than importing food and items you need.  Check out this amazing website for wild food experiments and personal foraging accounts from the Pacific Northwest centering on Southern Vancouver Island and Northwest Washington.

Plants Gone Wild:  Redefining Ethical Wildcrafting:  This brilliant zine presents a critique of wildcrafting (i.e. harvesting medicinal plants and herbs from the wild) that comes from a perspective rooted in decolonization and indigenous solidarity. It asks what ethical wildcrafting looks like for herbalists who are also settlers in North America. It presents problems with even the most strict ethical standards commonly circulated among herbalists, and it also offers some suggestions about how to get to know and care for your bioregion and stands of medicinal plants. An important part of the perspective in this zine is presented in a guest article by a Native American woman who teaches herbalism at a school in Northern California.

SPIN Farming:   SPIN farming is a system developed by a Canadian couple in Saskatoon. It uses a network of back yards, city land, and boulevards to produce food in the same city it is consumed.  The SPIN model is great for start-up farmers, since it requires minimal investment in equipment and machinery, and utilizes land that does not need to be purchased to be used.

local projects of interest:

Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre:  Besides hosting SLUGS, The Victoria Compost and Conservation Education Society promotes composting, organic gardening, conservation, local food production, and urban sustainability. This is accomplished by being an educational resource through our demonstration site, staff, volunteers, outreach, and workshops for children and adults throughout the Capital Regional District. We will also operate a retail outlet offering supplies to assist the public in more successful composting and organic gardening.

City Farm:  The City Farm is a quarter acre market farm nestled into the heart of North Park neighbourhood in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Located just three blocks from City Hall, a stone’s throw from the local fast food joint and tucked in between condos, grocery stores, and the local elementary school is a highly productive and accessible market garden. A true urban farm in every sense of the word.

OUR Ecovillage:  Located in the Cowichan Valley, OUR Ecovillage is a permaculture based, sustainable community offering organic gardening, local food, natural and green building internships, courses and events.

Salt Spring Seeds:   Heritage and heirloom seeds galore!

FarmFolkCityFolk Knowledge Pantry:   Stocked with links and knowledge to help you stock your pantry with local food and support the folks growing it.

Transition Victoria:  Local chapter of a global grassroots movement supporting citizen action toward reducing oil dependence and building local community resilience and ecological sustainability.

The Wayward School:  … a co-operative school of thoughts and actions … a series of thematically organized lectures, workshops, and gatherings in Victoria, BC … a de-centralized network of thinkers, makers, doers in Victoria and beyond … a hyphenated happenstance … what you make of it.

The People’s Apothecary:  a project that brings together a community in the process of creating a sustainable herb garden commons.  The project encompasses community mobilization, the active creation of this garden, its ongoing maintenance and development, and a diverse series of workshops, skill-shares and learning opportunities.  All herbs grown in the space will be available to use by members of the community, You!  This project is facilitated by the Green Tongue Collective on the grounds of the Vancouver Island School of Art, on unceded Lekwungen Territory, (in Quadra Village).

Interactive Food Finder Map:  Growing Solutions has created a great interactive map for local food info, including community gardens.

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