A Chance at a Better Season

By Kaitlyn Berry, WLFPC Food Action Coordinator –

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb
on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
“The Sensitive Plant”
~ by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Spring is such a welcome season after the prolonged northern winter and the hibernation that accompanies it. As the seasonal cycle turns toward warmth, melt, and growth, we are roused into activity, and begin anew the projects stalled by winter’s hand. Our energies having been renewed, we are not easily taxed by the duties of early spring but seem to fly at them incautiously (to our body’s dismay days after the fact).

Spring: A season of renewal and rejuvenation. Photo: LeRae Haynes

Spring gives us a kind of youthfulness that carries us through these full days. It is no accident that rejuvenation (literally, to make young again) is a word used in connection with the season. Rejuvenation is an especially important concept this year, given the wildfires of last. Many of us had to leave our homes and gardens behind last summer, and most of us did not get the kind of harvest we were expecting. For this reason, this spring is a chance at a better growing season for all. Although there is little we can do to prevent the fires from starting again, we can act in the possibility that they will not and defy the fear that threatens to dampen our rejuvenation and renewal.

Around us, in our forests, rejuvenation is already underway. Though we most typically connect wildfires with destruction (for good reason) their regenerative attributes should not be forgotten. Once a wildfire has been through an area, the possibilities for an open seedbed, new habitats, and diverse and healthy ecosystems are generally increased. With the underbrush gone, the seedbed is open to vegetation that didn’t stand a chance before. Invasive species are largely wiped out, giving native species an opportunity to move back in and gain the advantage. Diseases and destructive insects established in the area are eliminated. Wildflowers (especially fireweed, which makes incredible honey) populate the area, attracting the all-important honey bee, the butterflies, and other integral species.

Suffice it to say, spring deserves heightened recognition this year, and the Williams Lake Food Policy Council (WLFPC) intends to deliver. The WLFPC celebrates spring with Seedy Saturday, the first local food event of the season, and this year we intend to do so with a special focus on the potential for rebirth in store for the season in our forests, our gardens, and ourselves. This year also marks Seedy Saturday’s 10th anniversary. Everyone is welcome to join us in celebrating spring and the WLFPC this year on May 5, in Boitanio Park from 10-2. There will be vendors, food, and kids’ activities. To contact us, visit our Facebook page (Williams Lake Food Policy Council) or contact us by email at foodpolicycouncil@hotmail.com. Watch our page or local media for upcoming workshops, meetings, work-bees, programs, and new developments.

The goals of the WLFPC are to promote opportunities for skill development and increased self-sufficiency around food; increase production, consumption, and access to locally grown and produced foods; encourage practices and policies that promote healthy eating, active lifestyle, and sustainable communities; and grow a viable local food economy. The goals of the WLFPC are furthered through relationships with The City of Williams Lake, the Cariboo Regional District, the First Nations Health Authority, Interior Health, School District #27, the Child Development Centre under whose board we operate, the First Nations communities with whom we are in partnership, Cariboo Growers, local producers, and all previous and current volunteers and members of the community garden.

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