Kindred Kitchens | Solara Goldwynn of Hatchet & Seed
Welcome to the Abeego Kindred Kitchen Series!
With an aim to forge connection through shared food experience, we take a virtual step into the kitchen of someone who inspires us to learn about their relationship with food and how it connects them to the world.
This month, we're connecting with Solara Goldywynn of Hatchet & Seed - an organization that transforms boring and under-utilized landscapes into abundant, food-producing landscapes, from backyards to farms to public parks & community spaces.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE WORLD OF FOOD? WHAT IMPACT DO YOU OR DO YOU HOPE TO MAKE?
I co-own an edible landscaping business in Victoria BC, called Hatchet & Seed, with my husband Tayler. We’ve been in business since 2011 and focus on creating food growing infrastructure (raised beds, greenhouses, orchards) for home and farm owners. We also work with community organizations and schools to create edible gardens. We have helped many people over the years develop food gardens and it’s been amazing to see how these gardens have grown and what they produce. We provide meaningful employment to our awesome crew and hope to inspire people to get their hands dirty and grow, eat and share local food. Tayler and I (with our daughter) have been converting our rented urban lot in Vic West to a garden farm over the past 4 years. We have chickens and a few greenhouses, fruit trees, veggie beds, and a small farm stand where we sell plants and produce all in a very urban part of the city. I’m currently back at school doing a Master’s in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University.
WHAT FOOD OR RECIPE PROVIDES YOU WITH A SEONSE OF NOSTALGIA, COMFORT OR OTHER FEELING?
I love the seasonality to local flavours. Right now, at the end of September, it’s apple season and a big part of our life is harvesting and processing apples (among a lot of other things – like tomatoes!). We make apple juice, hard cider, apple cider vinegar, apple sauce, apple chips and lots of apple desserts! Apple season makes me think of my grandmother and growing up in New Brunswick, her apple pies represented the true flavour of fall to me. I love going to the various apple festivals around our area and have a secret wish to learn to be a professional apple identifier. If I was a tree, it would be an apple tree, they can be completely rotted out, 150 years old and still producing food for others.
WHAT DOES 'KEEP FOOD ALIVE' MEAN TO YOU?
Keeping Food Alive means having something fresh to eat from the garden all year-round, which is very possible here in Victoria. I also love to ferment foods and having jars of delicious, fermented salsa and kraut in our pantry makes me feel resilient. We dehydrate a lot of fruit and vegetables as well, to be rehydrated in soups and oatmeal. If you’ve never tried a soup made with rehydrated zucchini and tomatoes you are very much missing out. Dehydrating food is low cost (a small electric dehydrator is an investment but will last you years and uses minimal electricity), and long lasting (can last a year or more if sealed properly, we put ours in glass jars and recycled food grade containers). Also saving seeds and sharing those around with friends and neighbors, keeping a living library of food plants is very important in this crazy world!
HOW DOES FOOD CONNECT YOU TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU?
Food has connected me with so many people, my husband for one! We met at a Permablitz (food garden work party) in 2012. When we got married, we threw a big harvest celebration with a local food potluck, 80 percent of the people who came were connected to us through food related connections, it was a super special and delicious day. Being connected to people in the community through growing food and building gardens feel very empowering, like we’re part of the resistance! Resisting lawns and heavily processed carbon intensive food, embracing compost and fresh, local produce. I am very inspired by how food creates culture, and I love meeting other like-minded folks who are passionate about local food systems.
WHO IS SOMEONE FROM THE FOOD COMMUNITY YOU'RED BY AND WHY?
I am inspired by so many people and organizations in the local food movement, there are so many here on Vancouver Island and the Gulf islands! I would have to highlight my friend Hayley Rosenberg, owner of Nourish Kitchen & Café and Charlotte and the Quail. We’ve worked together over the past 4 years, building the kitchen gardens at Nourish on Quebec St. here in Victoria. Hayley is an amazing leader and she’s taught me a lot about the alchemy that takes place when people eat lovingly made whole foods. Watching her navigate with grace and optimism the challenges of the pandemic as a restaurant owner has been really inspiring. I very much recommend a stop at either restaurant and you can taste the magic for yourself!
LEARN MORE ABOUT SOLARA'S EDIBLE LANDSCAPES
Do you know someone who would be a great Kindred Kitchen feature? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
It is with deep respect and gratitude that we create, build and operate our business in the communities of Southern Vancouver Island, which as a business we acknowledge is located within the ancestral and unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) (Esquimalt and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia'new, T’Sou-ke and W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) peoples.