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General News · 4th March 2010
Friends of Cortes Island
Friends of Cortes Island Society’s Sustainability Education focus in 2010 is on local resilience.

We aim to promote activities that will help the community to refresh lost skills that can serve us as we transition to a reduced fossil fuel dependent society.

Do you know about wild edible and medicinal plants? How to put together a composting toilet? How to make soil? How to build a winter greenhouse? Do you want to learn how to build a pedal-powered blender?

The idea behind the Skill Sharing program is to help the community with remembering, re-learning and sharing skills that are helpful to live a low impact lifestyle.

This program will help with:
- Bringing the community together, in a relaxed and fun atmosphere
- Building networks
- Giving a practical sense of "can do"
- Creating continuity and links between old and new generations

This FOCI program will include skills around food, alternative energy, transportation, efficient buildings and more. Our aim is to choose topics that respond to island concerns, take a hands-on approach and appeal to a wide audience.

The cornerstone for success for the Skill Sharing program will be community participation, by telling what our interests are; by sharing what we know and what we have and by working together in building a resilient community.

A concise description of the activities that we are planning to offer are:

1. Friday Farmers Market. Every second Friday FOCI may host conversations on a variety of topics during the time of the Farmers Market and each Friday will focus on a different topic.

2. Presentations and demos. Local people willing to share specific skills and things they have done in their homes, via short presentations or demonstrations.

3. Home and Farm tours. There is a possibility of visiting a few model homes and farms that are already samples of energy-efficiency, water conservation, waste recycling, growing all sorts of food, and more. We are looking into the best way of doing these visits without causing too much of a problem to the owners.

4. A broad scope in topics. There are endless possibilities of topics, some broad in scope and some very specific. Ideas we have heard include: leather working, tanning deer hides, medicinal plants on Cortes, raising milk goats, making cheese, bicycle repair and maintenance, natural bee keeping, raising chickens for meat, putting a garden to bed for winter, how to build soil on Cortes, Living off-grid through the changing seasons, oyster and clam harvesting, home canning, drying meat, tapping big leaf maple trees, food storage techniques for those without fridge or freezer, boat maintenance, cordwood building, cob building, root cellaring, mushroom picking, growing grain, making vinegar, growing nut trees, winter gardening, spinning wool and many more!

The first workshop on the Skill Sharing program will take place on Saturday, March 20, from 2:30 to 4:30 PM at Mansons Hall with Bruce Hipkin’s Muddling Towards Frugality.

Bruce will share with us what he has done in his own place, these are his words:

Two years of changes at home have resulted in a two-thirds reduction in energy consumption. This workshop is about how we reduced our energy footprint and why and, in a brain-storming session, asks: What else can be done that would allow us all to live comfortably in a future of scarcer resources?

Join us for a very interesting afternoon with lots of practical ideas and things we can do to reduce our footprint, save some money, live simpler and build local resilience.

Skill Sharing Program
Comment by Claudia Raaen on 4th March 2010
Thank you for this brilliant program! I am excited to learn what other people in the community are putting into action and how we can help one another to learn to live more sustainably. I am also happy to see a program that will bring the community together in such a possitive way.