check out our blog with posts from our ambassadors and guest bloggers!
Here you will find stories from kind deeds to the community to adventures and tips & tricks.
Hello kind krafters!
My name is Steph, and I’ve had the privilege of being able to work with kind krafts this summer as their Krafting Kamp and Membership Coordinator. I am responsible for hosting a krafternoon kamp at the Keshen Goodman public library once a week - which I’ll write about another time! I have also been keeping busy with my other responsibility, which I am realllllly excited to write about… our KIND KLUB MEMBERSHIP! :)
In September, we plan to launch our brand new membership program called the kind klub!!! This is a phenomenal chance for you to support kind krafts, our partnered locations, our art-based workshops, and our cause of the season! This summer I have been going around shops and restaurants of Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Lower Sackville, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, and have been in contact with local makers/crafters, creating a partnership that we hope will help kind krafts grow!
Cool, right?! kind krafts has been reaching out to potential partnered locations that share our same values and daily operations such as community, sustainability, art, and wellness, as well as spaces that are ethical, transparent, and safe. Businesses have been given options of different ways that they can support us...
So, what does this mean for you? DISCOUNTS! Purchases that give back to kind krafts! Going through and supporting our check-list of amazing partnered locations! Supporting our HRM community and kind kraft values! :) What does mean for us? This will be the first time that kind krafts will have actual, sustainable, reliable funding. With more funding, we can increase our programming which means hosting more art-based workshops, creating space for leadership skill development, creating more krafts, renewing our insurance (which allows us to run these programs), pay for room rentals and community spaces, and ultimately give more to our cause of the season with increased craft sales. We can GROW!
Have I hooked you?? The plan is to have our partnered locations sign a one-year contract with us, running September-September, with the option to renew. Our kind klub members will be able to purchase a kard that will last for one-year after purchase. They can be purchased on our website primarily, or at our tablings/special locations that will be posted online. Our kard prices are:
We are all so excited about this new venture. This membership program will contribute to the overall sustainability of our Halifax community by bringing folks together through art, relationships, and through raising awareness about many social and environmental injustices. We hope to be able to exchange values with our partnered locations and our kind klub, support local businesses through collaboration and promotion, and have reliable funding so that we may grow our grassroots organization!
I invite you take this journey with us! Our soft-launch lasts until August 31st and you can pre-register right now on our website! We even have a sneak peak of our list of partnered locations. When we officially launch on September 1st, you will be the first to support us, our partnered locations, and our community.
Also, let me know what you think! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or comment and tag businesses or local crafters/makers that you would want us to partner with, and kindly, spread the word!! :)
Our Featured Businesses Include:
The Dartmouth North Community Food Centre (DNCFC) is a bustling hub of activity all week long, and a core element of many community members’ routines. Programs offered at the Food Centre include major meal programs, food skills workshops, a massive urban garden, drop-in programs, a walking group, community conversations, big events, and many more. Everything offered at the DNCFC is free, and folks are regularly encouraged to take a seat with their neighbours and share a meal.
DNCFC’s annual fundraising event: the Garden Party. Over 300 folks came out this year to support our cause.
We are so grateful for kind krafts’ contribution to our organization, and had a great time sharing ideas with them over the craft session last Monday morning. The Food Centre hosts a crafting session each week on Mondays from 10:00am to 12:00pm, graciously facilitated by Cheryl MacDonald. Cheryl focuses on reusing and upcycling found materials in the artwork.
Paint drizzled over small stones.
It will be great to have the kind krafts team up at the Food Centre to help out in the farm, and we look forward to welcoming all that come. Trips by Transit will also be attending, as will many of our regular community volunteers.
We are really grateful to announce that kind krafts is the recipient of the Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office Intersectional Engagement Award!
We were presented with this award at the Green Gala on Thursday!
The Intersectional Engagement Award goes to a group that recognizes sustainability as truly intersectional and works effectively for sustainability in the fullest sense of the term. We are thankful to DSUSO for recognizing us!
Hello kind krafters!
My name is Patrick Bondy, and this is a guest blog post from the organization I’m representing, Trips By Transit—hereafter TBT. kind krafts and us are closing out 2017 with a collaboration, and so this is a chance for you to get to know us a bit. My hope is that after reading this post you’ll know what TBT does and some of the qualities that I think make us interesting.
Backlands Series Finale. PC: Trips By Transit.
But first, I ought to say what TBT does. We work towards a world where there are no barriers preventing us from connecting with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. We do this principally through organizing outdoor trips using public transit to access a variety of places in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). We partner with many other great organizations to accomplish our mission statement, including the friendly folks here at kind krafts. We’ve been operating for just under two years now.
Essentially, then, TBT goes on outdoor trips using Halifax Transit to get there. Although that may sound simplistic, there are three ways in which I think TBT’s work is thought-provoking. First, we’ve intentionally chosen to limit our adventures to areas accessible via Halifax Transit. Limits and constraints get a bad rap today, but for us it’s helped us stay focused and connected to the ethics of what we do. None of our trips are putting more cars on the road; I think that’s an achievement worth celebrating.
Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. PC: Trips By Transit.
Second, when we go on outdoor adventures we try to relate to the natural spaces in specific, positive ways. We use it as an opportunity for people to slow down, clear their minds, meet new friends, or just pay attention to trees again. Life can be so fast that it leaves us disoriented. TBT Trips are a way to slow life down. Whenever I hear the wind chase itself through trees overhead, I remember why we do what we do.
Third, our trips attempt to undo the dichotomous relationship between the city and nature. Every trip we go to woods, lakes, coasts, trails, parks, wetlands, and boulder outcroppings that are within our city limits. They are part of the fabric of urban life, not outside of it. Though it is often not so in contemporary Nova Scotia, we believe humans can have a mutually beneficial relationship with Nature. We aim for such a relationship at TBT. Through practicing Leave No Trace, participating in cleanups, and campaigning for the preservation of natural gems in HRM, we recognize that nature is here and alive in HRM. The wellbeing of our species need not be at the detriment of others.
Meditation in the Woods. Admiral Cove Park. PC: Trips By Transit.
Anyways, those are a few thoughts from Patrick over at Trips By Transit. If you’d like to find out more about us, click here for a link to our Facebook page and here for a link to our website. And finally, shout-out to Kind Krafts for supporting us and letting me be a guest on their blog!
Thank you bunches,
Patrick and the TBT Team
"I’m an organic farmer. I practice beekeeping without the use of chemicals or antibiotics. I do this for a variety of reasons which I will leave aside for now. This is about the prospects for sustainable beekeeping from the point of view of an organic bee farmer.
There’s an argument to be made that beekeeping as currently practised isn’t sustainable. Doubtless the purveyors of standard beekeeping which employ all these chemical stratagems would insist that theirs is the best way -- that when each chemical loses its effectiveness there will be new generations of better chemicals to employ – better living through technology. Aside from getting into the nitty-gritty of disagreement, let’s just suggest that the costs of chemicals and antibiotics turns out to be too great (costs both financial and in health), and that it’s better to practice beekeeping without them. Given that, what does sustainable beekeeping look like?
One thing’s sure (in my experience) - beekeeping without chemicals and antibiotics is more labour intensive. Look at the case of the virulent disease American Foul Brood. The usual method of dealing with this is to give the bees antibiotics as a prophylactic treatment. This doesn’t get rid of the disease but keeps it in check – though not perfectly, as this method does, as you might expect, lead to resistant cases of the bacterium, which will lead to further problems for beekeeping in the future. Hence the sustainability question.
I don’t use antibiotics in my operation. What I do is similar to what is done in New Zealand, where antibiotic use is not permitted. The first practice is careful inspection of the brood in every hive, to ensure early detection of the disease. Once an instance of foul brood occurs, drastic steps must be taken. The Ontario ministry of agriculture guidelines call for destroying the colony, bees and everything. An alternative that saves the adult bees (and thus the colony) is to remove them from the hive and put them on to new equipment. The equipment and all the wax and brood must be burnt. Done properly, the American Foul Brood doesn’t recur. But as I said, the inspection regimen is more time-consuming.
The story with other aspects of beekeeping is similar. The introduction of chemicals to deal with varroa infestation, and the viruses which accompany it, makes it quicker to go through a hive. Many of the chemicals can be damaging to bees and questionable for human consumption if they get in the honey. Some of the chemicals used are regarded as acceptable for organic farming. These are organic acids, and their use as become very common in beekeeping. They are however not without problems, and their use presents risk to the queen and the possibility that residues may persist in the comb and honey and have long term consequences for bee health which remain undetermined.
In my experience, beekeeping without chemicals is possible, though not (as yet) very profitable. Because beekeepers must make a living the question of sustainability must be posed with that of profitability. If it turns out that the only way of beekeeping is at the small scale of individual beekeepers, or small groups of beekeepers handling a few hundred hives, then the cost of beekeeping products and services (honey, pollen and pollination, beeswax etc) will need to rise. Obviously no one wants the cost of food to rise. The means of producing a sufficient amount of healthy food to feed our world is something that will probably take ingenuity and effort to arrive at.
There are other aspects of sustainable beekeeping that need to be looked at. We need to think about the chemicals used on crops and the effects this has on bees, and we need to have a hard look at the reduction of wild forage areas for bees. First then, let’s consider neonicotinoids. This class of chemicals has an effect on insect nervous systems. It is said that their main advantage is that they are a targeted chemical, in that they only affect the insect which is a pest of the crop they are put on. It turns out this isn’t exactly true. But how far from true has yet to be established. It can’t even be said that these chemicals have no effect on humans and other animals. This is unknown. All that can be said is that they have no obvious effect.
No one denies that they are harmful to bees. They will, at only a small dose, kill a bee by affecting its nervous system. Used properly, the amount of neonicotinoid that a bee might find in a flower and take back to the hive should never be sufficient to kill that bee or any larva. The current controversy over them is whether the minute presence in the bee and in the hive is sufficient to cause sub-lethal effects which may lead to early death which in turn may lead to colony collapse. This is what the present limitation of use of neonics in Ontario should determine.
Neonicinoids are in any case an improvement on the previously widely used class of chemicals, the organo-phosphates, which did have clear effects on not only mammals but widespread effects on the entire range of life anywhere near the fields where they were sprayed. Not only did beekeepers witness the deaths of colonies that had been too near a sprayed field, but it was this class of chemicals that led to the development of the ‘silent spring’ - the extreme reduction of bird life which so devastated the sensibility of Rachel Carson, who wrote the book of that name which proved so important to the development of the ecological movement.
Finally we have the matter of forage areas. We need to do something about the way we farm generally if we are to maintain healthy bees and other native pollinators. The reduction of hedgerows, and the increase of urban mowed areas (to go along with the vast areas of lawn in urban areas) has seriously impacted the life of native solitary bees and other pollinators. Put briefly, we need to fall out of love with our lawns, and in love with wild untended areas.
Taken together, these steps should lead us toward some sort of sustainable future not just for beekeeping, but also for agriculture and for wildlife generally."
Stephen also sells his honey at markets!
On Saturday, from 9 - 1 at the Backyard Farm and Market on the north-east corner of Eglinton and Erin Mills Parkway (across the street from Credit Valley Hospital).
On Sundays, from 9 - 2, at Many Feathers Market at Lisgar Go Station (10th line and Argentia).
He also has workshops at 10 Arch Road if these markets aren't convenient.
Sampling is available. Prices are $10 for 500 grams, $19 for a kilo.