Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blueberry Daze

I love to involve myself in as many 'Earth Saving' events as I can. Many of my endeavours have been self motivated, but sometimes I will partner up with other groups to create fun and educational events.

Earlier this spring, I became involved with a group called Transition London Ontario. This is a group of volunteers from my community who are actively seeking positive ways to change our society so that we become less dependant on fossil fuels. This group has divided into several focus groups who are dealing with matters concerning education, transportation, housing, industry and food. Since I love gardening and eating locally grown fruits and veggies, I joined 'The Food Group'.

The Food Group is involved in many activities, but I'm here to tell you about just one, for today!

The following is a press release prepared for an event that will be happening next weekend. I would like to encourage my London, Ontario readers to participate and help spread the word. I would like my other readers to consider creating events like this in their own communities around the world!

Blueberry Daze

Press Release

A community initiative realized by Jim Kogelheide

In partnership with

The Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre

Transition London Ontario’s ‘Food Group’

Murphy Bus Lines

The Blackshires Pub



London artist Jim Kogelheide is up to his community building projects once again. This time his goal is to connect Londoners with surrounding farmers so that more individuals will be able to provide affordable, healthy, local and in season produce for their families. “By creating the means to allow more of these efforts to continue, we will see growing trends in happiness in all the world”, smiles Kogelheide.


For close to fifteen years Jim Kogelheide has been inspired to raise awareness about and create actions towards building a healthy global environment, for all living things. “By connecting the people in our communities together, we will learn how to become more self-sufficient, thus decreasing our need for imported tomatoes from Chile. Think of all the transportation fuel and pollution that will be saved.”


Blueberry Daze is a simple idea, yet the results will benefit many London families…

One day, Jim asked his boss at Murphy Bus Lines, Rob Murphy, if he would donate a bus for a community Blueberry picking event that he was organizing. Rob immediately agreed. “Murphy Bus Lines has initiated many new ‘green’ ideals to help save money, fuel and the environment and this has allowed us to be able to support our community in new and fun ways.”


Then Jim chatted with Noelle from the Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre about organizing a busload of clients, without access to transportation, to go pick their own food. Noelle was immediately very interested in this idea.


Since then, Noelle and Jim have organized this simple yet exciting Blueberry picking experience to occur this coming Saturday, August 14, 2010. A Murphy’s bus will be picking up passengers at 150 King Edward Avenue – The Glen Cairn Community Resources Centre – at 9:00am and we should be arriving at Kustermans Blueberry Farm, just north of Delaware, around 10:00am, returning to London by noon.


We will be learning about the farm, and the berries, with ideas on how to preserve them for use during the winter. Then we’ll have fun filling our pails with Blueberries.


Jim has also been talking with Sonita Bird from The Blackshires Pub and more ideas have arisen. Sonita suggested that the Pub could host a ‘Harvest Menu’ event that could be used to raise funds for and awareness about community centres such as The Glen Cairn, as well as provide focus on the positive economic and environmental impact that conscious food purchasing and picking can create for our community. “A totally local, organic and in season menu is not something new to The Blackshires Pub.”


Now the idea has evolved into an evening dinner fundraiser for The Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre with a special menu filled with local, organic and in season vegetables, meats, daiquiris, ice creams and a local blues band! This is being scheduled for the first part of October.


Kogelheide also learned about Sonita’s ‘Food Preserving’ courses and how she teaches people, in the pub’s kitchen, how to can and preserve fruits and vegetables, making jams, pickles and relishes, as well.


Jim suggested that another bus outing would be in order, near the end of September, so that the vegetables that would be needed for the menu can be picked for the pub. Sonita told Jim that she will conduct a canning workshop on the day of his next farm picking to help to educate more people about how to do this.


At the end, Kogelheide began thinking that this entire experience should have an original painting included. Every person who purchases a ticket and attends The Blackshires Pub ‘Harvest Menu’ celebration will have an opportunity to win an original painting that is presently being crafted, by Kogelheide. “I’m dreaming in blue!”


Anyone wishing to register for this first free bus ride to Kustermans Blueberry Farm, this coming Saturday, August 14 with a 9:00am departure time from the Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre should call Noelle at 519-668-2745.


All participates would like to invite the local media to attend this first of three events, to share this positive experience with other Londoners and to inspire them to participate in the future events.


Hope to see you there!!!


Jim


1 comment:

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