Current BIFS initiatives include a Pesticide Working Group, Grafton Agricultural Commons, and educational programs coordinated with schools and other community institutions. We use science-based regenerative methods, rooted in Indigenous knowledge and stewardship. We value living systems both in nature and in society -- from restoring biodiversity in the soil to building community while working together.
Low Hanging Fruit Wrap-Up
by Hasan Hutchinson
Well, looking back to the sunny and warm climes of a beautiful yet dry summer and early fall, we are now wrapping up the second year of our very successful Low Hanging Fruit (LHF) project, an initiative of the Bowen Island Food Resiliency Society (BIFS). The project began two summers ago with the guidance of Meribeth Deen. This year, I took on the task as lead for the project. It was supported with generous funding from Bowen Island Community Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, Regenerative Bowen Island (RBI), and BIFS, as well as the Neighbourhood Small Grants Program for a well-needed roof rack to carry the orchard ladder.
Our New Shed
Shed construction thanks to Jamie Arnold and Brent O'Malley
The roof shingling, door and window thanks to Rob & Shelley Tompkins
Part of BIFS' big vision is to increase our ability to grow more food at Grafton. In a recent study, sponsored by THRIVE, Kwantlen Polytechnic University recommended that Grafton acquire a greenhouse to accomplish some of our goals.
Project Estimate = $25,000
In part, based on a recent quote for a
40 ' x 12 ' greenhouse produced in British Columbia and assembled at Grafton
We are looking for volunteers to help champion this project!
Grafton Agricultural Commons
The Commons is a welcoming community hub for learning about regenerative agriculture and food system resiliency. Located in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the gardens at The Commons include raised box beds and a ¾ acre demonstration garden ringed by fruit and nut trees.
To learn more about what is happening at The Commons, or to volunteer, click on the button below.
Pesticide Working Group
UPDATE: This project has resulted in the adoption by the Bowen Island Municipality of a Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 556, established Mach 14, 2022
One of BIFS’ mandates is to promote the use of regenerative agriculture. It should come as no surprise that the use of pesticides and herbicides is detrimental to the microbial life in the soil, which is the very basis of a healthy soil food web. When that web is disturbed at its most fundamental level, the health of everything and everyone further up the food chain is affected. That includes us.
In the summer of 2020, BIFS launched a pesticide survey to better understand the position and concerns of community members on this issue. In January 2021, the Pesticide Working Group published a report summarizing its research and presented its recommendations to Bowen Island Municipal Council.