Kits Community Potluck and Seed Saver

By Madison Dennis

On October 17th I had the privilege of participating in the Kits Neighborhood House Monthly Community Potluck. Additionally we heard from Ross Moster, on behalf of Village Vancouver, who introduced seed saving to us and provided steps to get involved. The potluck was extremely welcoming and open to all. With name tags and group introductions it helped everyone to feel included and part of the community. The food spread provided a connection to each member of the community contributing, sharing culture and experience through food and eating together, at no cost!  Community member Sheila Kirby helped introduce me to the community and the activities the community house presents.

“I found the community potluck because there was something in the community for seniors, and something for kids, but this was an opportunity for community involvement for all people and ages.”

Our food transcended into a diverse mixture of cultures and backgrounds, with dishes such as Lebanese Tabbouleh salad, Thai curried stir fry, and American mac-n-cheese. Through the potluck framework, everyone could bring their own culturally appropriate cuisine while also dabbling in the flavors of distant parts of the world. The open communication afterwords allowed people to inquire about cooking and preparation, and recipe origin, allowing us to diversify our pallets and experiences.  

Daniel Bissonnette, a community member and potluck participant stated:

“I am thankful for experiences like this that allow me to meet and interact with people from all walks of life over food.”

As we celebrated food and culture, we were also able to meet our neighbors and find a place and community we could use to stimulate, support, and excite us! Through collaboration and community engagement, we could discuss community issues and initiatives, working to better build and improve our community, and our individual experiences. Along with the delicious food!

Following the Potluck, Ross Moster spoke on behalf of Vancouver Village. Vancouver Village engages individuals, neighbourhoods & organizations to take actions that build sustainable communities while having fun. During the event he presented the seed library, part of the Village Vancouver Seed Saver initiative, the Kits Neighborhouse now supports. This Seed Saver initiative includes 26 seed libraries, providing free seeds around Vancouver. They provide workshops, seed saving clubs, and kits to get you started or advance your home garden. He introduced how you could set up your own home gardens with free seeds, and how you could help support and become involved in the program. With home gardens, you can ensure organic, local, and delicious food, increase seed and food sovereignty, plus all the joys of gardening. The Kits House and Village Vancouver provide a group to support your gardening passion, or ignite a new one!

This event provided a valuable experience to connect with community members, share food and culture, and introduce fresh, homegrown produce to the community. We can expand the influence of these events by connecting with your local community houses, inviting your friends, donating to your local community house, and creating an open and accepting environment that is welcoming to all. With more initiatives like this, we can create an inclusive, culture-rich, and sustainable Vancouver food system!