One of the many ways to define Permaculture is by describing its three ethics: Care of the Earth, Care of People, and Fair Share. I’d like to tell you about how OUR ECOVILLAGE follows the ethic of People Care. One of these ways is by creating a culture of food safety.

The first day I arrived here as a volunteer, I joined an all-day training to get my provincial Foodsafe training taught by Lee Reidl, a member of OUR community who knows our kitchen personally. I learned a lot in completing my Foodsafe Level 1 certificate. As the Kitchen Coordinator here, I have been practicing what I learned ever since.

This week, you are receiving some frozen tomatoes in your box. These tomatoes can be a great way for everyone in your family to learn about food safety. Here are some inquiries that young learners can follow as your family learns about food safety:

Kindergarten to Grade 2: What surfaces are dangerous even though they might not look dangerous? Stoves and knives can be used safely by adults, but must never be touched without their permission. What foods can I eat by myself without an adult’s help? Tomatoes, albeit not the frozen kind, are fun to munch on after they’ve been sliced. A salt shaker with a good lid is a great way to flavour your snack.

Grades 5-8: As middle school students get a basic understanding of bacteria, they can learn more about best practices for managing pathogens. According to the BC Provincial Foodsafe guidelines, “most bacteria will not grow in frozen foods, but they will begin to multiply again when food is thawed and left in the danger zone.” By ‘danger zone’, they mean a temperature range between 4 and 60 degrees Celsius. Frozen tomatoes will keep for ages in the freezer. The ones we are giving you this week are from last year’s harvest!

By Elliot Billingsley

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Land acknowledgment

OUR ECOVILLAGE is situated on unceded Indigenous lands. The Coast Salish Peoples are the guardians of these lands and waters where we live, work, pray, and play. Quw’utsun (Cowichan) is a historical place of gathering and Na’tsa’ maht Shqwaluwun/”one-heart one-mind” for many Indigenous peoples.

OUR ECOVILLAGE is committed to regenerate land and all ecosystems while acknowledging and respecting Indigenous knowledge that ensures thriving for all beings; we call this Permaculture.

OUR ECOVILLAGE is dedicated to continuously educating ourselves and our communities about the history and peoples of OUR bio-region, to assist in decolonization and re-villaging as a path towards peacemaking, from local to global.