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Plant Diseases, Garlic harvest, Sad Tomatoes

As this strangely cool and wet summer proceeds, thanks to the stalled jet stream, gardeners have noticed more plant diseases, fewer insects, lots of slug damage, excellent growth among the leafy greens and cabbage family, hardly any growth among the melons. At this point, it is time to take stock and ‘edit’ the garden, removing crops that aren’t going to produce well in the months remaining and replanting wherever gaps open up. When this cool weather pattern finally shifts, which it may start to do in the next week, you could see your lush vegetables wilting in the bright sun, even when it isn’t particularly hot. This is normal for plants that have been growing large, soft leaves in cooler weather as they need time to adapt to the drier, brighter weather. Check the soil moisture, of course, but if it is adequate, don’t overwater to prevent the wilting. If a heat wave shows up, be immediately on top of shading cabbage family, leafy greens, seedlings and other plants to avoid sun…
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Accessible Art: Meet Pam and Steve

In 2020, with support from the Disability Alliance British Columbia's Accessibility Project, the Salt Spring Arts Council is delivering a year-long Accessible Art Therapy project to provide access to art therapy for members of our community with disabilities. Lead by Artist Stefanie Denz and supported by Talia Peckel, we are proud to work with local organizations G.I.F.T.S., Friends and Choices, and Meadowbrook. Beyond providing individual and group tailored creative explorations, the project also aims to bring visibility to local islanders with disabilities. Project participants' work is on display as part of 'creative expressions' until August 3, in the Mahon Hall Annex Gallery. Meet Pam: Pam is 39 years old and came to Salt Spring from North Vancouver. She loves going to the pool and participates in the Special Olympics swimming. She loves playing the shaker at music circle on Mondays, and Thursday karaoke at G.I.F.T.S., where she is known for her rendition of “Mah…
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Obituary: Taryn Rose Penny

I along with my loving family are heartbroken beyond belief. Our amazing Taryn Rose Penny left this world on Friday, June 26th, 2020. I heard Taryn’s first breath on August 6th, 1992 as she came into this world with red shimmering hair. Her sister Paige Penny and I held her hands, stroked her hair and kissed her deeply as we watched her take her last breath. She looked beautiful and finally at peace. Taryn was and will remain an incredibly bright light for all those who new and loved her. Taryn was smart, witty, had a wicked sense of humour and was unforgettable. As my stepson said, it was often the “Taryn Show” and we were the captive audience. Taryn was gifted at being with anyone and making people laugh. I will miss her beautiful smile, her sharp wit, her voice, her smell, her mannerisms and everything else that made her shine so brightly. Taryn was loved deeply and will be forever missed by her mother Diane Penny Simpson (Paul), father Patrick Penny (Jeannie), sist…
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ASK Salt Spring: Cycling Infrastructure and Using Our Roads

Last Friday, 30 hardy folks braved the cool, breezy summer rains to gather at Portlock Picnic Pavilion to welcome our special guest, MLA Adam Olsen. Nine of them were avid cyclists who had just ridden from Fulford, an annual ride celebrating Kip Nash’s birthday, a former Salt Spring coach who was well supported by our community when challenged by a brain tumor. He, his family, and his friends make this celebratory fundraising ride every year to thank Salt Springers for their support during his difficult times. While many rode from Fulford to Ganges, this hearty nine continued on to Portlock Park to speak to Adam. They came with a plea for better infrastructure for cyclists. They spoke with passion of their fear of cycling on Salt Spring and their sadness that their children could not grow up as they had with the freedom to explore island roads on their bicycles. They spoke of non-existent shoulders and angry drivers unwilling to share the road with cyclists. (Adam had just d…
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Obituary: Marc Alan Mendle Satyanand Dancing Bear Suess

Marc Alan Mendle Satyanand Dancing Bear Suess, a story teller, playful man of ideas, and bringer of joy, passed away on June 22, 2020 at 4am after a rapid illness. The first day of Summer, the day after the new moon and a solar eclipse was an auspicious time for Marc to have transitioned to his next phase. He will live on in the lives and stories of his four children, Maya and Piet Suess and Maximilian and Marina Justus, as well as his partner Heather MacNeil, his childrens’ mothers Janis Suess and Lori Justus, his beloved sister Roberta Mogel and his many friends and family who would agree: he was one of a kind. He was predeceased by his sister Eileen Wortman, and his parents Amalia (Mae) and Wolf (Willie) Suess. Marc was born in Brooklyn, NY on March 30th, 1947 and moved to British Columbia in 1975, living for many years on Salt Spring Island before moving to Vancouver. In the mid 1980’s he co-founded Off Centre Stage on Salt Spring Island, and then subsequently creat…
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Supporting Local Tourism and Ten Tips for Responsible Travel

Last week, the Province announced moving into Phase 3, the biggest change is encouraging travel throughout our Province. In June, we saw an uptick in visitors, and even more so when the announcement came last week. From conversations with shop owners, visitor centre staff and volunteers as well as personal interactions, most visitors are concerned about being welcomed, about minimizing their impact while they are here, and are excited to support the local businesses. I would like to remind everyone that patience and kindness need to be at the forefront right now. Our island businesses have taken a really hard hit over the last four months in an effort to keep their staff, customers and community members safe. Our local businesses are demonstrating a high level of diligence to health & safety practices while trying to stay afloat. Island businesses also need our community to step-up and welcome visitors who were respectful and stayed in their own communities until the …
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Carrot Day, Winter Planting Schedules and Fruit Thinning

It’s nearly here! Carrot day, which in my garden, is July 1st (sadly, not being celebrated with the usual fireworks this year due to COVID-19). But long time readers will know that the first week of July is when to sow the last bed of carrots, beets and rutabagas for winter harvests. This gives the plants enough time to mature by the end of October when growth essentially stops. Of course carrots, etc. sown before this can also overwinter, but roots from an early spring sowing might be over-mature and rather woody by late fall. Also due to be planted this week or next: endives, radicchio and kohlrabi. And if you want to add more Swiss chard to your garden, do it by early July. Chard sown earlier this spring provides winter harvests too, but you will need more plants to ensure a good supply of leaves in the winter, when plants are not growing new leaves. I figure I need at least 4 times more chard plants for winter picking as I do for summer picking, This is when I also sow t…
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Watch: Gulf Islands Secondary Celebrates Safe Grad 2020 with Country Grocer

Of all the news stories done, this video is for the Grads of 2020, their parents, The Safe Grad Committee, and all of us who are so proud of these young folk. It all began with the glitch of COVID-19. The Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) Grads wanted to get together to see each other in their grad finery and bid farewell. The parents on the Safe Grad Committee were trying to organize various events but kept coming up against Covid guidelines. Then the light bulb went off. Shopping is OK, and all the precautions are in place at Country Grocer. This video is a glimpse at the evening that saw 80 GISS Grads shop for the local Food Bank. It's a Win Win. Congratulations to the Grads of 2020. https://youtu.be/peZsMdYe0PQ
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Trust Council Asks Travelers and Locals to Continue COVID-19 Measures

BC's Restart Plan has entered Phase 3, allowing people to participate in smart and safe travel within BC, including the Islands Trust Area, which includes the Gulf and Howe Sound Islands. As the Province moves into this new phase and heads into the July long weekend, the Islands Trust Council reminds visitors and island residents to continue using COVID-19 prevention measures to protect themselves and others. If you are sick, stay home. Please wash your hands often, practice physical distancing, wear masks when distancing isn’t possible, and minimize community interactions, as recommended by our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and the BC Centre for Disease Control. “Everyone needs to be respectful, safe, smart and use extra caution when they travel, including Island residents who go on and off the islands,” shared Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “Until a vaccine is available, we will continue to be cautious and safe to avoid a COVID-19 outb…
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BC Green Caucus Advocates for Rebuilding With Cleaner, Green Economy

After nearly four-months away the British Columbia Legislative Assembly will finally resume. MLA’s will sit for eight weeks through July and August. British Columbia has been widely recognized for our collective handling of the pandemic. Our public health professionals, civil service and politicians have all been focussed on addressing the emergency as best as possible. Our response and the result have been remarkable. As we begin the economic recovery there are critical choices that must be made. Are we going to rebuild the economy of the last century? Or, are we going to build a cleaner, greener, more resilient economy of the future? With this key question in mind, the BC Green Caucus has been working closely with the provincial government to encourage them to invest in the latter. We recognize the investments coming out of the pandemic will set the direction for the coming decades. B.C. has the opportunity to be a climate leader, make strategic investments and build…
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