Verb to please or delight, British slang
Noun Cedar Hill Urban Food Farmers. A community of experienced and wanna-be backyard food growers, sharing skills and experience while contributing to climate solutions.
Adjective She was chuffed to share her homegrown broccoli with her neighbours
CHUFF sprouted April 2022 as an initiative of our community association’s Climate Action group. The goal? To help reduce Saanich’s carbon and ecological footprint by encouraging neighbours to grow and consume more local food, year round. Why? Because our food system is responsible for 30% of carbon emissions, globally. And, lucky us, with a backyard plot or a number of pots, in Quadra Cedar Hill we can grow good food year round. What we eat, where it’s sourced, and reduced food waste does make a difference!
In its first year 20 growers gathered one Sunday morning a month in members’ gardens to share skills and experience. We swapped plant starts, held Taste Testings, learned best composting practices, and oohed and aahed over each other’s summer tomatoes and spring sprouting broccoli.
As CHUFF’S second year now winds down, membership has doubled with an increasing number of first-time food growers. Here is some of what CHUFF accomplished in 2023.
January / February Eat Local – Winter Salad Recipe Contest
CHUFF challenged QCH-area residents to submit winter salad recipes containing 75% home- or locally-grown ingredients . Times-Colonist food columnist Eric Akis featured the contest in an article on winter produce available in our region. By random draw three contest entrants won a selection of Full Circle seeds, and a Root Cellar gift certificate. Thank you sponsors!
Find 25 inspiring Eat Local Winter Salad recipes at https://qchca.org/winter-salad-contest-recipes/
February Fruit tree pruning demonstration hosted by Lifecycles at Welland Community Orchard.
April Building Organic Soil with speaker Christina Cook, Gaia College & Pacific Horticulture College.
April Special Event Two CHUFF members opened their food growing gardens to the public as part of QCH Climate Action group’s Climate Friendly Solutions Homes & Gardens tour.
May CHUFF member Garden Tour and demonstration: choosing & installing a programmable irrigation system.
June Member tour of Capital City Allotment Gardens.
June CHUFF members seed winter vegetables for a public plant giveaway, slated for mid-August.
July CHUFF member Garden Tour. Theme: growing citrus.
July Special Neighbourhood Event Garden Tour & Tea by invitation to non-CHUFF neighbours.
August CHUFF member Garden Tour. Theme: growing teas. 2nd annual Taste Testing the Best from our Gardens.
August Special Public Event Grow Your Own Winter Veg Plant Giveaway.
Invited QCHCA residents to take hundreds of free brussels sprout, spring broccoli and kale seedlings, fertilizer, containers as needed, and in-depth growing instructions (posted QCHCA CHUFF website). 30 neighbours participated. 17 are growing their own, for the first time!
September Member tour Victoria Compost Education Centre.
October Member Garden Tour & 2nd Annual CHUFF Harvest Potluck.
November New grower check-in. CHUFF invites those growers who benefited from August’s Winter Veg Plant Giveaway to send in questions and photos. Are your veg thriving? Only surviving? Experienced grower responds with advice via CHUFF FB and email.
Next in November CHUFF’s 2nd annual Member Survey to inform programming for 2024.
When members are asked why you choose to grow food:
91% of CHUFF survey respondents say “home-grown is better quality” and “to counter climate change.”
For 73% benefits include “it gets me active / outdoors” and contributes to my “food self-sufficiency.”
65% said they grow their own food to “save money.”
I can grow things that are often hard to find in the stores, or are exorbitantly expensive.
It’s my meditation and exercise. To nurture something and watch it grow is exciting!
If you live in the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association catchment area, grow your own or would like to start, and are interested in joining friendly neighbourhood CHUFF, email: firstname.lastname@example.org