A recap of stories from the month of June

This time of year is one of celebration. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful, and the earth seems to receive all that energy with joy. Flowers become fruit, and (especially after all this rain), the word lush seems just right.

Across many parts of North America, the first berry of the season — the beloved strawberry — is bursting with flavour. That first berry — whether discovered with glee on a grocery store shelf marked “Local!,” picked between thumb and finger from an inch-high wild plant or gathered in baskets while kneeling on scratchy straw in a hot field — it’s always a treat.

In this month of the Strawberry Moon, we recognized the power of women to tell their own stories — when it comes to beer, and beyond. On the other side of the country, we found a woman who sees herself as an environmental steward, and who has found success at the edge of town, by embracing her niche, and her community. We also learned about the power of passion and entrepreneurial spirit that continues to push a community driven gardening company forward.

For the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes, the people who have lived there so long that their culture became intrinsically linked with its rhythms, the Strawberry Moon is highly anticipated, for all the same reasons you and I love it, and a few more. Traditionally, the shape of the berry has been seen as a heart, and it carries the medicine of reconciliation. In the Mohawk tradition, the strawberry’s meaning is “I show you I care,” and is a symbol of love put into action.

No matter where you are, or how you’re recognizing this holiday weekend, whether with whipped cream or preserves, canoe trip or barbecue, urban backyard or Algonquin Park, open your heart to what the strawberry has to teach.

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Victory Gardens

We teamed up with the busy folks at Victory Gardens this month and gave away $100 towards their services through an Instagram contest. Victory Gardens is a team of urban growers for hire who help you grow food in your space, for your consumption! Founded in Vancouver by Sam Philips, Lisa Giroday and Maxim Winther, the group offers a diverse selection of backgrounds and skill-sets including farmers, master gardeners, sustainable product developers and seasoned entrepreneurs.

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Picnic Charcuterie

An artisan charcuterie isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when considering the rugged west coast town of Tofino, but one has both arrived and thrived. Picnic Charcuterie’s owner, Tina Windsor, strives to practice traditional aging and preserving techniques with a minimum of added preservatives to produce an exceptional product. There is a deep respect for land, too, gained from both education and experience.

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Society of Beer Drinking Ladies Questions + Answers

The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies curates fun, beer-centric events for women only, in Toronto. We attended the most recent Ladies-Only Beer Fest, where a diverse crowd of over 1000 ladies sipped beer samples and lined up for street food to a soundtrack of old-school hip hop and The Smiths.  We spoke with one of the society’s founders, Erica Campbell, for a Questions + Answers session.

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