Thursday, 1 February 2018

Growing North Cariboo Communities - One Activity at a Time

An article on the Empowering Family Health Project - Phase 2 was in the January 31st, 2018 issue of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer.  Thank you to Editor Ken Alexander for printing it.  To read a copy of it as a pdf, please click HERE.


Sunday, 28 January 2018

Winding up Phase 2 of the Empowering Family Health Project

The Partners for Healthier Communities: North Cariboo committee is winding up Phase 2 of the Empowering Family Health Project   This includes completing the final Evaluation, finalizing the budget, and ensuring all commitments have been completed and met.

The group just ordered the following 3 books for each of the five communities that received Food Processing and Preservation Kits under Phase 1.  This includes Barlow Creek, Bouchie Lake, Kersley, Ten Mile Lake / Moose Heights, and Wells.  These books will be gifted to each of the communities upon receipt.  Thank you to everyone for your support and participation throughout the project.  We look forward to 2018.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

YOU ARE INVITED... Potluck on January 13, 2018, 4:30 pm

We are excited to invite all Empowering Family Health Workshop Participants to join us for a Potluck at the Parkland Community Centre on January 13th at 4:30 pm.  This will be a great way to get together and share what we have all learnt about preserving foods and foraging for wild foods.  Thank you to the Parkland Community Association for opening up their hall and hosting the potluck.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

More Places to Come Together - Thank you Barlow Creek!

The tagline for all Partners for Healthier Community Committees across the authority of Northern Health is "More places to come together, More space to grow food, and more ways to be active".  The final Pressure Canning Workshop under Phase 2 held at Barlow Creek Hall certainly met this mandate. Residents from across the North Cariboo met and enjoyed laughter, learning, friendship.  Thank you to Susie Myles for leading these classes and Barlow Creek Recreation for hosting them.  


HOME CANNING SAFELY - High vs. Low Acid Foods

With the renewed interest in food security, we are seeing a desire for people right across the North Cariboo looking to home canning, including pressure canning, as a way of preserving food for later use.  

The Government of Canada has some good information online that reviews some of the things one should consider before home canning.  To begin with, foods are classified into 2 types: high-acid foods and low-acid foods.  Each type needs to be prepared differently to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Before you start canning, you need to determine the acid level of the food.

  • High-acid foods (require a boiling water canner)
    High-acid foods have a pH (acidity level) of less than 4.6. A boiling water canner heats food to 100°C (212°F) at sea level. The natural acid in the food will prevent botulism bacteria from growing and the heating will kill most yeasts, moulds and bacteria that could be present.

  • Low-acid foods (require a pressure canner)
    Low-acid foods have a pH (acidity level) of more than 4.6. Tomatoes are a borderline high-acid food and need an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to be added for safer canning. Mixtures of low and high acid foods, such as spaghetti sauce with meat, vegetables and tomatoes, are considered low-acid foods. The level of temperature needed to kill botulism bacteria for low-acid foods can only be reached by using a pressure canner.
Examples of High vs. Low Acid Foods
High Acid FoodsLow Acid Foods
FruitMost fresh vegetables except tomatoes
Jams, jellies, marmaladesMeat, and poultry
Fruit buttersSeafood - fish and shellfish
Pickles and sauerkrautSoup and milk
Tomatoes with added lemon juice or vinegarSpaghetti sauce with meat, vegetables and tomatoes
Check out this site for additional safety information.

Saturday, 11 November 2017


On November 4th, the P4HC:NC, in partnership with Parkland Recreation, hosted the 1st Fermented Food Workshop lead by Esther Mann.

Considered to be “live food", fermented foods have a natural tart flavour because the sugars and carbohydrates have been broken down and used up during fermentation.” In the case of vegetables, they’re more digestible than raw ones. And, because they contain “living bacteria,” they help digest other foods in the digestive tract.

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid.  
 This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.Many vegetables are excellent candidates for fermentation including cabbage, daikon radishes, turnips, parsnips, cucumbers, okra, string beans and green tomatoes.

Esther also shared with the participants how to make Kombucha tea using a "Scoby" (an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). Scooby is a culture, generally associated with kombucha production wherein anaerobic ethanol fermentation (by yeast), anaerobic organic acid fermentation (by bacteria), and aerobic ethanol oxidation to acetate (by bacteria) all take place concurrently along an oxygen gradient. A gelatinous, cellulose-based biofilm forms at the air-liquid interface and is also sometimes referred to as a SCOBY.  A scoby is used to begin fermentation in Kombucha Tea.

Scoby is similar to Mother of Vinegar ("Mother" or "MOV") in Apple Cider Vinegar which is is essentially a fermenting bacteria culture used to make vinegar — an acetobacter that develops in fermenting alcohol and converts the ethanol into acetic acid (what gives vinegar its sour taste) in the presence of oxygen. 

Our next Fermentation Workshop is scheduled for Sunday, November 12th at Barlow Creek Hall.

Sunday, 5 November 2017


The Partners for Healthier Communities:North Cariboo / P4HC:NC is now accepting Request for Proposals from local community groups, schools, and /or organizations so Phase 3 of the Empowering Family Health Project can be planned and implemented for 2018.  Deadline for the RPF is December 6, 2017

The intention of the RFP is to encourage organisations / groups / clubs / schools that have an idea or a project that supports the vision of the P4HC:NC to become a partner and submit a proposal to the P2HC:NC so funding can be allocated to their project in 2018.

The project or idea must:
(i) meet the criteria and conditions of P4HC grants as specified by Northern Health and
(ii) meet the vision of the Empowering Family Health Project of “Growing North Cariboo Food & Communities”.

To receive funds under this RPF, all applicants must be based in the “North Cariboo” of the Cariboo Regional District (the geographic area of Electoral Area A, B, C and I, the District of Wells and the City of Quesnel) and area of the Northern Health Authority.  

To learn more about this process, please click on the following two documents:

Please contact or for additional information.