HEARTWOOD FOLK SCHOOL for Sustainability & Resilience
(formerly PCT)

March 1, 2014

We’re now the Heartwood Folk School!

Here’s good news!  On February 8, our Members officially voted for PCT to become the non-profit Heartwood Folk School for Sustainability & Resilience.  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 PCT AGM and Fruit Tree Workshop

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

In a few weeks, PCT is hosting the first two events of our fourth year!  All interested folk are welcome to attend the PCT AGM and/or a free Fruit Tree Workshop (see further below).  These are both on Saturday, June 1, downstairs at the Pender Community Hall.  Feel free to come by during the Market.  You can also check back here for updated information.

PCT Annual General Meeting (9:30 am): We’ll have a brief, informal AGM from 9:30 am to 10:30, to review PCT’s past year of activities, and the exciting possibilities for the year ahead.  You can officially vote at the meeting, if you pay $2 to become a member of the Pender Community Transition Society.  PCT intends to continue our focus on community sustainability and resilience, especially regarding the key issues of energy, local food, economic relocalization, and community spirit & artsPlease RSVP for the 9:30 am AGM (email).  All community members are welcome!

Fruit Tree Workshop (10:30 am): Then 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 was instrumental in starting BC Fruit Testers, and is a super source of knowledge and actual fruit trees (of many varieties, including citrus). After a presentation and slide show, our guests 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 juicing, like the pictures below of the Pender Farmland Acquisition Project’s amazing press that they lend out).  Please pre-register by emailing info@pendercommunitytransition.caYou can also just stick your head in the Hall doors, to see what’s up.

fruit pressing smaller


December 29, 2012

Poultry Raising Workshop – January 19, 2013

Category: * General Posts,1. Food – PCT 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.
Note:  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 – PCT admin 5:09 pm

Below is the next PCT event to support local food growing and food security/sovereignity:

* 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 Salts 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 www.pendercommunitytransition.ca/pender-community-seed-bank for more info!

August 27, 2012

Upcoming energy & seed saving education

Category: * General Posts,1. Food,2. Energy – PCT admin 8:45 am

At the August inter-island gathering (see Aug 17 general post), the Gabriola energy group told us how they saved up to $3,000/unit on air source heat pumps, by becoming a non-profit “dealer” for a good system and then cooperatively helping each other install it.  Now here’s a related newflash about solar water heating systems.  I’ve just been emailed by the Victoria supplier who offered our island a bulk-buying discount last year, and who’s designed a simpler, flow-through, solar water heating system for seasonal use, at about half the cost of other systems.  Without the rebate regulations, a do-it-yourself install could be more feasible, and there are even some Penderites who’ve expressed interest in helping each other figure this out.  Please email info@pendercommunitytransition.ca to find out more and express interest in cooperating on either solar water heating or air source heat pumps.

Now moving to the key issue of local food growing, we’re following up with our Community Seed Bank initiative.  We already know of 15 people keen to help, but we need to learn more and organize.  Therefore, PCT is arranging a free Skill-Building Workshop on Seed Saving & Seed Banks, on Saturday, September 29 (noon to 4:00 pm, upper Community Hall).  One workshop leader will be either Dan Jason of Saltspring Seeds or his second-in-command Rupert Adams, 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 really welcome.  See www.pendercommunitytransition.ca/pender-community-seed-bank for more info.

Going back to energy, PCT plans to have a second Energy Action Day on Saturday, November 24 (School Gym).  This is another day of fun and informative displays, expert and inspiring speakers, cool videos, and lively networking (including our kids!).  It’s about energy conservation (i.e. many ways to need less energy), and energy transition (i.e. shifting to low-carbon, renewable, sustainable sources).  We’re still waiting to hear about some grant applications, but we really hope a School Solar Photovoltaic Demo Project will be involved.  The above are only some of the PCT initiatives planned for the coming year.  Stay tuned!

March 1, 2012

March 10 Organizational Cooperation Meeting & Film

Category: * General Posts,1. Food,9. Community – PCT admin 1:16 pm
Following up on the January 31 meeting (see minutes), this Saturday is the next chance for a bunch of Pender organizational reps, business reps, and other interested folk to talk about some big cooperative projects (now including the Community Seed Bank initiative, see below).  PCT is hosting this 2nd ORGANIZATIONAL COOPERATION MEETING on Saturday, March 10, 2012 (6:30 to 7:30 pm, Community Hall).  That’s the the same night we’re showing the entertaining “Growthbusters” film at 7:30 pm (about busting out of our culture’s obsession with endless economic growth, see www.growthbusters.org).  All are invited to come earlier (at 6:30 pm) for small-group and/or full-group conversations on these cooperative initiatives:

a. an “umbrella” non-profit society – more specific discussion about how we create and fund this “umbrella” to help some existing Pender non-profits with similar purposes, e.g. with some centralized administration, more joint projects, joint grant applications, and possibly one Board, AGM, financial statements, website, etc. (note: this is being discussed between groups like Pender Community Transition, Community Farmland Acquisition, Moving Around Pender, Restorative Justice, Recyling, Ptarmigan, and others).


February 18, 2012

Come Plant Hazelnut Trees! (Feb 28/29)

Category: * General Posts,1. Food – PCT 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 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 – PCT 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 PCT gathering of 2012!

Category: * General Posts,1. Food,9. Community – PCT 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

Energy Action Day, nut tree offsets, and the movie biz’

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

 (windmill drawing by Sitka, photo by Joanne Green)

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 ACTION 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.

After guest speakers about do-it-yourself energy conservation projects, home energy evaluations, and solar water heating options, Guy Dauncey blew our minds with compelling roadmaps to a more sustainable and resilient future.  Just as Guy had completed the main part of his talk and showed how we need to “sound the alarm” and change how we live, the fire alarm did in fact go off, so the conversation had to continue outside in the rain.  This was while the fire trucks rolled up and eventually verified a sprinkler electricity malfunction.  Now Guy Dauncey has suggested using Skype for additional ideas specifically about our island, so stay tuned for when Pender Community Transition might arrange this.


July 16, 2011

Community Transition Projects

Category: * General Posts,1. Food,2. Energy,9. Community – PCT admin 3:21 pm

The Pender Community Transition Coordinator (and many PCT supporters!) are busy with summer food growing.  However, here’s our 7 community transition projects for resumed action starting in September.  These projects are on the key issues of energy and emissions, food growing, and economic relocalization.

We’re grateful to confirm project grants from the Islands Trust (our Local Trust Committees) and the Capital Regional District.  Now we expect to hear the results of our Vancity funding application by late summer, as well another local possibility.  PCT will be active regardless, so contact info@pendercommunitytransition.ca if any of the proposed projects interest you.  We are also an incorporated non-profity society, so feel free to send a donation our way!

Further on energy, here’s what the inspiring Transition Totnes in the UK (the first of 400 transition initiatives worldwide) is currently doing to create significant renewable energy projects, while they resolve conflicts and strengthen community from the ground up:  Hard work + Vision= Kilowatts: A story about the Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC)

The Totnes energy solutions don’t necessarily fit for Pender, which is why we initiated a PCT Energy Research Project  and the Pender Energy Group which will be resuming activity in the fall (see Energy References, Tips & Skills for more).  We invite you to contact info@pendercommunitytransition.ca if you have a particular interest in energy issues,  and to have a great summer in the meantime. (more…)

June 8, 2011

June 16 PCT AGM, Film, and Food Discussion

Category: * General Posts,1. Food – PCT admin 10:13 am

All are invited to the next Pender Community Transition event on THURSDAY, JUNE 16 (7:00 pm, Community Hall Lounge). After a very brief Annual General Meeting, you can either see the inspiring 49-minute “In Transition” film (straight from the UK), or discuss potential cooperation for this summer on a Community Seed BankGarden/Compost Sharing, or Community Protein & Starch Growing.  See this event notice for more.  Hope you’re having a great growing summer (finally)!