Newsletter – September 2008

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September 2008 Newsletter for Seniors on Vancouver Island

Fall is not only the most colorful season here on the Island but it also reinforces, via all our senses, what a rich and bountiful environment we live in. The sights, the smells and the feel of the fruits of the land are almost primeval in this context. Together they generate such of feeling of comfort and wellbeing. At the point of harvest the smell and feel of the earth and the abundant fruit and vegetables that it nourished; the sights, the sounds and smells in the kitchen as they are washed and prepared, and finally the sheer splendor when the table is adorned with good locally grown and prepared food. The term harvest thanksgiving means different things to different people, but thanks should always be given to those people who grow the products that so many people take for granted. We owe it to ourselves to do all that we can to support and encourage Island Farmers. We must also do all that we can to protect the land base that is needed now, and in the future, to grow as much food as possible here on the Island. In times of need sub-divisions make thin soup.

One of the most exciting agricultural developments here on the Island over the last 20 years or so is the growth of vineyards. We have vineyards that are growing and producing wines that are being acclaimed world wide. More and more local wines are winning gold medals at major international shows. Another example of local farmers doing what they do best, tilling the soil for the benefit of all of us. We should also support these farmers. When any farmer can sell his product locally, especially retail wise from the farm gate, it makes their operation more viable and therefore more likely to succeed. Healthy communities need a vibrant farming sector. The Island is one large community.

There is another big plus to having great wineries on the Island. It’s fall, so it must be ‘Winefest Time’ and we don’t have to drive to drink. No more lining up for the ferry, and paying more and more for the privilege of doing so; no more closing your eyes at the gas pumps, and to drive for the better part of a day to visit mainland wineries at the conclusion of which you can support the gas companies and BC Ferries again and drive home. Enough. Your visit to an Island winery can be as simple as a leisurely drive for lunch and many of them have great restaurants that specialize in locally grown produce. Or you could book into a local hotel and stay awhile, that way you get all the comfort and cosseting without the driving. Try it, you’ll have a great time, save money, and help the environment.

Happy Thanksgiving.