MAY/JUNE 2019 Archive HOME > MAY/JUNE 2019

Unfortunately, the loss of grasslands, diseases with nonnative bee species and climate change are dramatically impacting both the abundance of bees and the geographic range our bees need to survives.

About 42 of the more than 850 species of bees in Canada are bumblebees. Recently, a team of researchers at York University found that the American bumblebee, in particular, was under extreme distress. Over the past 10 years, its territory has drastically declined by about 70 per cent. Their numbers fell by 89 per cent compared to historical data collected from 1907 to 2006. The species is in very real danger of “imminent extinction” from Canada.

We need our bees. Without them, how will our crops, fruits and vegetables—not to mention our trees, shrubs and flowers—get pollinated? Left unchecked, the problem is huge, with far reaching consequences for our planet. Yet, this is one problem that we absolutely can do something about in very practical ways.

Ellen Connor, owner of the Sooke Boxing Club, sees boxing as a fitness opportunity for anyone, whatever their age. Despite the stereotype of boxing as an aggressive sport, Connor sees more women choosing boxing as a workout regime because of its many health benefits.

“Women have for their own reasons for taking up this sport,” says Connor. “For some, it’s a form of therapy or a safe way to refocus stress and frustrations. It’s a way for women to believe in themselves in a way that they hadn’t before.”

Connor feels that the competitive side to female boxing is growing super popular, too. “There are several women fighting this weekend for whom this is a bucket-list type of occasion—like when you turn 40 and decide to run a marathon.”

Let’s face it, we’ve all done it! We get a gift from someone and then, after a period of time, wrap it up and give it to someone else. But what about if you are the giver and your gift says something you never intended?

Such is the case whenever you offer flowers as a gift. Whatever the occasion, the following list may provide you with some support through the perils of gifting a hidden floral message you never intended.

Winter is behind us and the sun is starting to warm the soil in our gardens in preparation for the glorious days of summer just around the corner.

At this time of the year, one of the first shoots of the season is asparagus, a local vegetable that screams springtime to me. The local season is relatively short and while we can buy asparagus all year round from across the globe, locally grown always tastes that much better.

Asparagus and butter go together like peanut butter and jelly, Fred and Ginger, SpongeBob and Crabby cakes. The asparagus recipe in this issue has everything to make those delicate spears of green goodness pop.

Even though I’m a long-time West Shore resident, it never fails to delight me when I uncover something new and exciting about our community. Such is the case with the Bear Mountain Resort.

As I settled into a conversation with Shannon Drew, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Community Initiatives and Ruthanne Doyle, Director of Real Estate Sales and Marketing (Ecoasis Developments LLP), I was prepared for a discussion about what makes Bear Mountain Resort such an incredible place to live: namely, the distinctive advantages of its lifestyle and amenities afforded to real estate purchasers and the
community at large.

What was surprising, however, was just how significant and numerous those amenities were!

To start with, Bear Mountain Resort is an urban resort community.

“There may be lots of resort communities in North America,” Doyle explains, “but very few of them are only a 20-minute drive to a major city.”

There is something about spring that’s so lovable. What’s not to love about getting outdoors—in the longer-lasting, sunny days of spring—without having to suit up. Life in the spring lane means I notice things more—or maybe there is just more to notice—like the sounds of returning birds and happy pond frogs or quick sightings of baby bunnies, ducklings, and frolicking squirrels.

And the colour of spring! Is there anything more hopeful than the singular spring colours in the leaves and grass and fields? My spirits rise when flowers start to bloom. Without a really fixed plan to do so, I find myself echoing the bright aura of their colour pallet, shedding my taupe, black, brown and greys for vibrant reds, yellows, purples and sky-blues.

I know for sure that I get more done in the spring. It’s easier for me to revitalize my exercise regimen when I use nature as my outdoor gymnasium. Spring is the time to live in the sunshine, eat outside and drink in the air.

If ever there were a time for urban gardeners to plant a big vegetable garden, it’s this year—especially with produce prices forecast to rise dramatically and recent concerns about how climate change will be affecting agricultural supply systems.

Wherever you live, there is always a way to accommodate grow spaces where you can plant vegetables, like the front yard, back yard, laneways, pots on balconies, in nearby unused areas or allotment spaces. Concentrate on high-value crops that are pricey to buy, but easy to grow.

We hope these 7 Reasons Reasons to Grow Your Own Food will motivate more people to become Urban Gardeners!

Ever been to a summer solstice celebration? Well, you’re in for a treat—Sooke style! Gwen Fisher, owner of the Artisan’s Garden & Pure Elements, has assembled a cast of exciting entertainments to make it an evening you are sure to enjoy, with music, food and a fashion show on June 21st.

One thing I’ve learned about Gwen is that she is a diligent collaborator and advocate for local artists and businesses in Sooke. Her upcoming ‘Summer Solstice Ladies Night’ is a good example of how she ‘works’ with others in her community whenever she holds a special event.

In our Mar/Apr 2019 issue, we showcased how Belmont’s new Rental Rewards Program could assist prospective home owners save for a new home at Belmont Residences, while renting at The Crossing. The program applies 25% of monthly rent towards the purchase of a Belmont Residences home—up to a maximum of 5% of the home’s value. If you were intrigued about how this new rent-to-own tool could help you, things just got better.

The City of Langford recently announced that it will be supporting this program with a rebate of up to $5,000 to reduce your deposit payment even further! Following an initial three-month trial period, the City will consider amending its affordable housing policy to enable similar initiatives on a wider basis across Langford.

As you get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day with your mom on May 12 this year, it may interest you to know that the day is being celebrated in a way never intended by its founder, Anna Jarvis. In fact, if she were alive today, and knew you were taking your mom out for brunch, buying her flowers, jewelry and a box of chocolates, she would be—as she was in her lifetime—enraged!

Jarvis was a tenacious and fiercely independent woman who remained single and childless at a time when women were expected to do the exact opposite. Yet she dedicated her entire life and financial resources to the obsessive pursuit of a national, commerce-free holiday for mothers. Why?

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