for Sustainability & Resilience

September 28, 2016

October 29, 2016 – AGM, new Coordinator invited, looking forward

Greetings!  Past Members and any interested folks are warmly invited to the October 29 Annual General Meeting of the non-profit Heartwood Folk School Society.  Special Invitation:  If you become a Member at this AGM ($5 fee), you can receive free entry to the Cedar Basket Making Class that follows.  In any event, Heartwood is at a crossroads, so come help decide and create our future together!


AGM DATE:  Saturday, October 29, 2016  (please read info below & RSVP if you can)

TIME:  9:45 am (no more than an hour), before 11:00 am Cedar Basket Making Class


September 20, 2015

Class on Building Simple Greenhouses

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 11:25 pm

Heartwood Folk School is now ready to restart in the Fall, beginning with a class on “Building Simple Hoop Greenhouses” (like the one below).  See here for more!

A - GH1

Greenhouse built by Alysha Punnett


Heartwood summer break, Fall AGM & restart

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing,2. Energy,9. Community – Heartwood admin 11:16 pm

After a summer break extended by a major challenge (see farewell below), we at Heartwood Folk School are now ready to restart in the fall.  This is to continue our mission of teaching practical, joyful, Earth-caring, and community-strengthening skills – as do other wonderful organizations in our Pender community.  Up next is an October 17 Annual General Meeting, followed by a class on Building Simple Hoop Greenhouses (like the one in the picture below).

Farewell to a Key Heartwood Supporter:  Heartwood Coordinator Zorah Staar is very sad to announce the August 18 passing of her dear partner Colin McLarty, after a heroic battle with cancer.  Colin was the primary, behind-the-scenes supporter of our non-profit educational society, and an inspiration who already knew 90% of the skills that we’ve taught so far. Thanks so much to other community members who have steadfastly supported us for years.  We are also very grateful for your recent donations in Colin’s honour, to the non-profit Heartwood Folk School Society.

Oct 17 Heartwood Annual General Meeting:  We always love to hear your suggestions about exciting new classes that you’d like to attend, coordinate, or teach (email info@heartwoodfolkschool.ca).  The upcoming Heartwood Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an especially good opportunity to help guide our ship. Any interested persons are invited to attend a brief, informal AGM – at 10:30 am on Saturday, October 17 (Community Hall upstairs).  You could check out the Winter Market at the Hall before the AGM, and then stay after the AGM for our 11:00 am Greenhouse class (see below).  Your children/youth are welcome to join us.

Become a Heartwood Director, or Help Coordinate!  Our non-profit Society can have 5 to 8 Directors, and there’s room for 2 more. A lot of Directors’ business is handled by email, and then we meet every few months.  However, Zorah Staar would also love more help with the practical coordinating of Heartwood classes, which involves some compensation from grant monies. Please call Zorah ASAP at 250-629-3825 if being a Director and/or helping to coordinate interests you.


April 22, 2015

June, 2015: Food Preservation Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 12:27 am

Did you know that sometimes you’re not supposed to wash food before you preserve it?  With traditional food fermentation, you’d be washing away the living organisms that preserve the food for you (and make it even healthier too!).  See here for June, 2015 classes on canning, fermenting, and other food preservation methods.


December 5, 2014

January, 2015: Composting & Soil Building Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 8:25 am

With the CRD’s January 1, 2015 deadline for “no more kitchen scraps” in the nearest landfill, Heartwood Folk School thinks it’s a key time to offer these two January classes:  Composting Basics” (for homes and small growers) and “Soil & Soil Building – Really Important Tiny Lives”.  We have an expert visiting teacher – see here for more!

Earth Machine composter smaller

November 9, 2014

November, 2014: Beginner & Organic Food Growing Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 7:14 pm

Yes, broccoli looks, tastes, and nourishes you differently when you grow it yourself – especially if it’s purple!   Up next for Heartwood are November 15, 2014 classes on “Your First Pender Food Garden” and “Organic Food Growing – What’s Different”.  See here for more…

purple broccoli cropped smaller

September 20, 2014

November, 2014 Food Growing Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 4:33 pm

Heartwood is happy to announce upcoming sustainable food growing classes in November, 2014!  This is especially for beginners, or those who want to learn more about organic food growing.  See here for more…

food growing harvest

July 6, 2014

Heartwood AGM & Old-time Baking

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 6:10 pm

Saturday, July 26: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING for Heartwood Folk School Society (11:30 am, brief, with treats!  at Pender Community Hall upstairs)

Current Members and anyone interested is welcome to attend our upcoming AGM.  This is where we report on the past year, and talk about which classes we can do next to serve our community.  We invite all the local folks who could teach something practical, joyful, Earth-caring, or community-strengthening to just suggest a date, and then Heartwood will help it happen!  For July 26, all AGM’s should have treats, so ours will be CLASS NOTES from the June 14 Herb or Mushroom classes, plus our locally grown rhubarb raspberry cake, from a 100-year-old Mennonite recipe that we could also share.  Please RSVP to info@heartwoodfolkschool.ca with your choice of treat!

rhubarb cake smaller

May 21, 2014

June, 2014 Classes on Herbs, and Mushroom Gardens

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing,4. Nature Skills,8. Wellbeing – Heartwood admin 11:37 am

We are happy to announce that on Saturday, June 14, 2014, Master Herbalist Don Ollsin of Victoria will be coming to Pender to offer two amazing classes…  Top 20 Herbs to Wildcraft/Gather or Grow for our Health, and Creating a Fungi/Mushroom GardenWe invite you to seen these class descriptions (and now here are photos just in!).
photo - echinacea and mushrooms


March 1, 2014

We are the Heartwood Folk School!

Here’s good news…  Of all our activities to date, our practical skills-teaching has had the most powerful community impact and interest.  This is why on February 8, 2014, Members unanimously voted for our non-profit society to become the Heartwood Folk School Society!  We invite everyone to our first classes under our new name – a Knitting & Wool Learning Day on March 22, 2014.

You can see our home page for upcoming classes in various subject areas.  You can also have a peek at our new Heartwood symbol, created by Everest Lapp!a Heartwood Folk School logo 1 uneven hearts

April 13, 2013

June 1 Fruit Tree Workshop & Meeting

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 9:26 am

In a few weeks, we’re hosting two summer events.  Firstly, all interested folk are welcome to attend a Fruit Tree Workshop (see below).  This workshop and also a brief, informal Members Meeting are both on Saturday, June 1, downstairs at the Pender Community Hall.  Feel free to come by during the Farmers Market.

Fruit Tree Workshop (10:30 am): There will be a free Fruit Tree Workshop from 10:30 to about 12:30 (all welcome, including kids!). Visiting experts Bob and Verna Duncan (www.FruitTreesAndMore.com) will begin with a presentation about temperate fruit trees for our area.  Bob Duncan was instrumental in starting BC Fruit Testers, and is a super source of knowledge and actual fruit trees (of many varieties, including citrus).

After our expert’s presentation and slide show, they will go into question and answer with the Penderites who attend, and dialogue with local experts too. This can include fruit tree choices, planting, care, grafting, pruning, preserving, semi-tropical options and more.  Our goal is to increase fruit tree planting on Pender, and also to make more use of the beautiful trees we already have (e.g. more fruit juicing, like the picture below of the amazing apple press lent out by the Pender Farmland Acquisition Project).

fruit pressing smaller


December 29, 2012

Poultry Raising Workshop – January 19, 2013

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 2:51 pm
The little chicks below (click “more” if you need to) are what you get when you cross an Isa Brown hen with a Barnevelder rooster.  Come out to PCT’s January 19, 2013 Poultry Raising Skill-Building Workshop to find out more!  (SEE POSTER).  It’s on a Saturday from noon to 3 pm at the Community Hall, and then people can tour a South Pender poultry operation.  We plan to start with the theme of getting started on a small scale, raising layer chickens and/or chickens for meat, in sustainable, Earth-friendly ways.   Then one of our Pender experts will cover the big topic of protection from predators.  Next another Pender poultry expert will talk about raising heritage turkeys, and finally we’ll end with the tour.   Any interested person is welcome to attend.  The workshop is free, but we’d like people to register by contacting 250-629-3825 or info@pendercommunitytransition.ca.

It was wonderful to see over 30 Penderites at the January 19 Poultry Workshop!  Here are the Poultry & Chicken Raising Handouts and Turkey Raising Handouts that were offered (courtesy of presenters Zorah Staar and Barb Grimmer).  We also thank our other presenter Tracy Calvert, especially for the tour of her poultry operation.  Now we invite any interested person to email info@pendercommunitytransition.ca if you’re interested in joint purchasing of some automatic poultry doors (for a price saving), or an informal Pender poultry club (including kids) for ongoing info-sharing and cooperation!  See also the Fraser Valley Poultry Fanciers Association website at www.fvpfa.org for a lot of good information and a catalogue of sources.
chicks with mom smaller


September 26, 2012

Sept 29: Seed Saving & Seed Bank workshop

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 5:09 pm

Below is our next workshop to support local food growing and food security:

* Skill-building workshop on SEED SAVING & SEED BANKS (Saturday, September 29, 2012, noon to 4:00 pm, Community Hall upstairs, free event).  This is to follow-up on PCT’s Community Seed Bank initiative.  Now we know of over 30 people keen to help, but we need to learn more and organize.  Therefore, PCT is arranging this free event for all interested Penderites.  The workshop leader will be Rupert Adams of Salt Spring Seeds (Dan Jason’s second-in-command), but I’m aware that Pender food groups and growers know a lot about seed saving as well!  There are useful models from Dan Jason and others for us all to cooperate on creating a Pender Community Seed Bank, so come out on September 29 to take another step towards this.  People with no seed saving experience are also welcome.  Note: what would really help at this stage is to have people volunteer to coordinate.  See the poster and here for more info!

February 18, 2012

Hazelnut Tree Planting! (Feb 28/29)

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 10:53 am

Newsflash: In about 11 days (on February 28 and 29, 2012), 11 young hazelnut trees are coming to the Pender Islands School, and we need your help!  These little trees also need your patience, because it’ll be 8 years before they make nuts (not quite like a big box store).  This is our School Nut Tree Project, which is a local food growing initiative for a brighter future.  All interested kids and grown-ups are invited to come co-create this event, on…

* TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (between 9 am and afternoon)We need 5 more fit people at the School (5714 Canal Road) for shallow hole digging, soil moving/mounding, planting, and fencing of the first 8 hazelnut trees (plus we need a few more wheelbarrows and shovels).  Please call Zorah at 250-629-3825 ASAP if you can come out (even for part of the time);

* WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 29 (11 am)We’re having a lovely little ceremony where we need some help to plant the remaining 3 trees, and then we honour everyone to whom we are so grateful for supporting this project: the Pender Islands School, Community Farmland Project,  Nu-To-Yu, Local Trust Committees, CRD, Vancity, local Home Hardware, Braedon’s Big Digem, GreenAngels, and people like you!  For more info about where we intend to plant the 11 young hazelnut trees, see the little circles on the attached schoolground map.  We also had a February 9, 2012 learning and planning meeting with kids, teachers, and other staff at the Pender School, which was a fun and informative way to kick off this first PCT initiative for more Community Protein & Starch Growing (see www.pendercommunitytransition.ca/community-protein-and-starch-growing).  Thanks!

February 6, 2012

Food Growing – February & March activities

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 12:55 pm

Greetings!  PCT invites everyone to the School Nut Tree Meeting (Thursday, February 9, noon to 2 pm, School Community Room).  See here for more about this.

The Farmers’ Institute invites everyone to Seedy Saturday (February 25, 10 am to 2 pm, Community Hall).  See here for more about helping with a Pender Community Seed Bank.

See Current Events about the 2nd Organizational Cooperation Meeting (Saturday, March 10, 6:30 pm, Community Hall), which can include more cooperative discussion about:

*FOOD GROWING: Buying some community farmland (e.g. the Ross-Smith or Hastings land) is the #1 cooperative priority!  Email matildath@hotmail.com or come out on March 10 to help, especially re: funding research.  Email rozkempe@shaw.ca about Pender seeking resources to have more great projects like the Galiano Food Program!

December 22, 2011

First gathering of 2012!

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing,9. Community – Heartwood admin 1:31 pm

Here’s your invitation to the first Pender Community Transition gathering of the new year!

OPEN PENDER ORGANIZATION CONVERSATION  (Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 7:00 pm, Pender Community Hall):  Lately, some people from Pender groups like the Farmland Project, Moving Around Pender, Recycling, and Restorative Justice have been reaching out to each other in new ways – proposing joint action on big projects, joint funding applications, and maybe re-organizing or combining some non-profit societies.  Question: how do we weave together essential current Pender organizations (including businesses) with new community initiatives that also need to happen (including hybrid social enterprises).  How do we re-organize and re-localize, to sustainably meet more of our core needs on-island?  There are many gifted Pender people able to help us with the process of this.  There are also useful community models, e.g. the UK idea of “transition planning” on key issues like energy, food growing, economic relocalization, and more.

The various local groups seeking a new level of cooperation were interested in a joint meeting in January, so now PCT is happy to get the ball rolling by initiating an Open Pender Organization Conversation, on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 (7:00 pm, Community Hall).  Here’s who’s invited – any Pender organization, business, or person who cares about our community becoming more connected, relocalized, resilient, and Earth-friendly, and also people having meaningful and fun experiences as we reach for this!  This meeting is a chance for friendly conversation about how diverse community members and groups connect and face challenges together.  This includes practical things to do next, like joint funding requests, cooperative projects, potential social enterprises, and other new possibilities we can envision together!

Speaking of cooperative projects, there’s one PCT has initiated that can also be discussed at the January 31 meeting.  This is Community Protein & Starch Growing.  Pender farmers, gardeners, and food groups are doing their hard-working best to help us grow more than a small percentage of the vegetables and fruit we need each day.  However, for good health, less carbon emissions, and future food security, it’s equally crucial for communities to grow more of the proteins and starches that we also need.

The question is – what kinds of protein and starch (e.g. nuts, beans, wheat, cereals, potatoes, eggs, chicken, lamb, etc.) are most important and doable for Pender, and how do local growers and groups cooperate to get there?  PCT has chosen to start with acquiring 11 little hazelnut and 2 walnut trees, as part of the School Nut Tree Project.  In the new year, we’ll be inviting Pender School students, teachers, other staff, and all interested community members and groups to engage with us in a process to find the best way to plant community nut trees, on the schoolgrounds and elsewhere.  In the meantime, big thanks to the Pender School, Pender Home Hardware, and Braedon’s Big Digem for their support of this project!  (see here for more info).


November 20, 2011

2011 Energy Day, nut tree project, and DVD

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing,2. Energy – Heartwood admin 1:03 pm

renewable ebergy image

So there was a power failure, setting up a dark gym with headlamps, multiple competing events, and finally an evacuation!  Despite all this, PENDER’S FIRST ENERGY DAY on November 12, 2011 (see poster) was very well-attended and went amazingly well.  About 150 Pender adults and kids came through, and I’m sure the Kikuchi family’s deliciously-sustainable food was part of why a bunch of them stuck around for a while.

There were also expert guest speakers about do-it-yourself energy conservation projects, home energy evaluations, solar water heating, and other energy options for greater sustainability and resilience.

A super part of the Energy Action Day was the kids playing their way through the “energy question stations”, inspiring us with their energy pictures (see above), and watching with big eyes as the grown-up energy “keeners” demonstrated their cool gizmos.  Thanks so much to all the people and groups who helped and participated, and to the Pender LTC’s, Eco-Homes Network, CRD, and Vancity for helping fund this event!  As a follow-up, we’re having a SOLAR WATER HEATING INFO MEETING on November 22 (go to PCT’s Current Events and Energy References, Tips & Skills to see what’s up).