Hello, Dear Reader:
It’s getting rather late in the day, but we didn’t want to let a Sunday pass without including something in the ‘He Says, She Says…‘ section of our blog. As it happened we invested much of our day today at the ‘Organic Islands Festival and Sustainability Expo‘, billed as Canada’s Largest Outdoor Green Festival. The festival was held this weekend at Glendale Gardens & Woodland, itself a beautiful collection of gardens at Victoria’s north end. In a way our being there today was a coming together of things for us, and we wanted to take a moment or two to mention some of them.
The ‘green’ lifestyle was very prevalent at this show, and revealed itself in a myriad of ways – from green cleaning products to organic foods, from a new ‘green community’ being planned up island, to several groups of people who are involved in an eco-village, a therapeutic community and an organic retreat. There were fresh vegetables and there were indoor composting units, there were alternative energy systems, alternative building construction techniques and there were a number of different health products. There were demonstrations and there was music – from two very young (and quite good) violinists to several different bands. There was even a ‘hands-on’ children’s area, and everyone knows little people see with their fingers. It was wonderful to see so many people – both vendors and guests alike – who continue to dedicate themselves to ‘being green‘ in many different ways. There was even someone in the middle of the field with a ‘Free Hugs‘ poster! Of course we had to oblige, and we gave out several of our Hug Certificates as well.
As mentioned, all of this took place on the grounds of Glendale Gardens, and if you find yourself in the area this is one site not to miss. At 103 acres in size, the property includes 93 acres of conservation woodland and 9 acres of gardens. There are nearly 20 different gardens to stroll, from a herb garden to a native plant garden, from a Japanese garden to a lily garden. The site is open year-round and also includes a restaurant where they serve food grown onsite. In addition, Glendale Gardens offers a number of workshops and courses, up to and including a Master Gardener course.
We titled this post ‘Synthesis’, and we’ve mentioned some of the displays and activities that drew us to this festival. Layered on top of that was the beautiful surroundings, from the various plants gardens and the woodlands to the variety of wildlife we encountered – damselflies and dragonflies, swallowtail butterflies, Spotted Towhee songbirds, Turkey Vultures, and two deer. That’s not to mention the patch of ripe thimbleberries we discovered (and sampled), or the delicious yellow plum, fresh from the tree. But there was one thing more, running through the rest of it like a silver thread. In coming here to Victoria we feel like we’ve come ‘home’. One person we met today described her ‘soul-home’, and to us Victoria is our ‘soul-home’. We’ve both been traveling for our entire lives, and the very thought of being rooted in one place – free to travel but with a home when we return – still feels rather strange to both of us. Still, it’s an idea that, if you’ll pardon the pun, is rather ‘growing’ on us.
Have a great week!