Mud and Salt

Mud Girls 1
the stunning meditation hut at Mud Girl Molly’s place on Salt Spring

This past weekend the Coordinating Team of Bowen in Transition made a trip to nearby Salt Spring Island to meet up with our counterparts at Transition Salt Spring, talk about our recent initiatives like the Fix-It Fair and Green Guide, learn about their many organic food programs, and learn about natural building from the Mud Girls.

I enjoyed meeting the Transition Salt Spring team, who were doing multiple duties supporting the annual Salt Spring Fall Fair on Saturday. We visited their tents at the fair, learned about their remarkable Electric Vehicle initiative, and shared Green Drinks with them at Moby’s Pub. We agreed to share the contact info of our respective project leads so that we can continue the collaboration.

Earth Candy
Earth Candy Farm greenhouse, photo from their Facebook page

We visited Earth Candy Farm, with astonishingly prolific crops growing everywhere (and sky-high in their organic greenhouses) and delectable goodies in their lovely cool domed mud yurt and fun organic cafe. We learned about the island’s Emergency Program, which is shifting from disaster preparation (earthquakes, storms, wildfires, power outages, flooding, pandemics) to longer-term programs for sustainable resilience. We learned how the island has co-organized all of its many volunteer/sharing economy activities under an umbrella Volunteer and Community Resources hub (brilliant idea).

We had our local-ingredients dinner at the awesome Rock Salt restaurant.

Mud Girls 2

For me, the highlight was Sunday’s magical tour of the natural buildings at Molly’s place (her house is pictured above). Molly is one of the Mud Girls, a small province-wide women’s natural building collective with remarkable building talents (wattle and daub, straw bale, cob and a host of other techniques) and delightful values (read their principles; the Transition Movement should adopt them as our own).

Mud Girls 3

Their craft is mixed with playfulness and artistic skill, as exemplified by the work shown above, in the laundry / shower shed. The wonderfully healthy kids are an essential part of the experience and come to many of the Mud Girls’ workshops across the province as part of their own learning journey. Here’s their playhouse-in-progress:

Mud Girls 5Here’s a great video showing a workshop and building event.

We’re planning a set of workshops next year with them to construct three funky bus shelters on Bowen Island, as part of our learning about natural building and sustainability.

Thanks to all my Bowen in Transition colleagues, especially Jessica who organized the event for us!


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