See what our EcoSociety staff are enjoying about home life

Grey days and social isolation can leave us bored with the same old routine and crafts every night. We decided to create a list of our favourite crafts, meals and places to explore in the Kootenays to give you some inspiration for how to mix it up in the coming weeks. I know I will certainly be trying Matt’s textile prints and baking Alyssa’s ‘easy’ bread. Enjoy!

Laura

Community Giving Coordinator

A relaxing craft to practice is: Embroidery. I use old scrap material between the embroidery hoops. I draw a funky design on the material and have hours of fun filling in the drawing with coloured thread. I am saving up my embroidery to give as gifts to friends and family or to sell at a later date maybe.

A skill you are learning is: How to make sourdough! I am on day 6 of my sourdough starter, it didn’t look bubbly enough yesterday so I gave it another feed. Hopefully tomorrow I can start baking. Looking forward to making some focaccia. 

An instrument you play is: The Ukelele. I have been a complete beginner for about 4 years now, I never give it enough time. This week I have practiced 3 times which is a huge improvement. Currently learning Hotel California, we will see how it goes. 

Favourite place to take a walk is: White Water ski hill, with my ski touring equipment, up the cat track on very moderate terrain whilst the hospitals are at full capacity. 

A great family activity is: Fishing. It is fun to take a picnic out to a quiet spot on Kootenay Lake and try to catch dinner. 

To make a walk more exciting, you should: look for mushrooms on the floor of the forest. Chaga and Lion’s Mane are out and about right now!

A meal you enjoyed cooking recently is: Jamaican jerk rice and peas with curried prawns.

An easy baking recipe is: Homemade Perogies. I usually follow Konrad (my boyfriend’s) babcia’s recipe, but this one looks pretty similar. Eat with fried onions and sauerkraut. 

A great way to start the day is to: Light a candle, eat breakfast whilst reading a book about getting ‘back to the land’. This book compiles short stories of families around the states who have left the city and built unusual homesteads, farms and lives for themselves which revolve around being immersed in nature. 

A home workout to try is: Practicing for climbing season on our hangboard. 

A project I want to work on is: Developing my garden and hanging up bird feeders. 

 

Matt Murray

Energy Planning Director 

A relaxing craft to practice is: making linoleum-cut prints. It’s really cheap and easy to get into it. (see picture above)

A skill you are learning is: Growing plants. Despite all those ecology classes, I usually can’t keep a plant alive for long…fingers crossed for my garden starters, and the house plants I’ve kept from turning yellow for the last 6 months (this is a wild success).

An instrument you play is: Guitar.

Favourite place to take a walk is: Rail trail! 

To make a walk more exciting, you should: Maintain social distancing, and sing.

A meal you enjoyed cooking recently is: Veggie tacos! Homemade corn tortillas make this especially good. 

A great way to start the day is to: put in a couple of hours doing chores, exercising, working or doing something else challenging before breakfast. It makes the rest of the day feel like you’ve already gotten a lot done 

A home workout to try is: Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube – lots of good, free classes.

A project I want to work on is: most of the projects on http://www.homemade-modern.com/ – just not the ones using lots of cement – so much filthy carbon pollution!

 

Montana Burgess

Executive Director 

Montana learning to ignore the laundry and toys to get exercise and relaxation

A relaxing craft to practice is: Darning wool socks is something I do while watching a show or listening to a podcast. It’s super easy to do — you need a needle that wool can fit through, wool, and I use a tennis ball. There’s lots of videos online on how to do it. 

A skill you are learning is: To not be cleaning the house all the time. I have a toddler at home so things being out and everywhere is constant. I’m really trying to play more with my kiddo and clean up less so I don’t miss out. 

Favourite place to take a walk is: Slocan Pools beach and trails. Turn at the Dam Inn and follow the road down to the parking area outside of the Fortis compound. The beach is rocky and great for tossing stones in the river. This property is some sort of old estate, so there are some old buildings and gardens to look at too. There’s a nice forest trail with plenty of room on the sides for at least the first 500m or so to stand off to the side 2m apart if someone is walking past you.

To make a walk more exciting, you should: Walk in Krestova, there are dogs running around everywhere. It’s “exciting” to learn which are the friendly ones…

A meal you enjoyed cooking recently is: My husband does pretty much all of the cooking because often I’m working right up until dinner. But he made a great roasted chicken, roasted carrots and mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner this week.

An easy baking recipe is: My two year old and I made my husband a birthday cake last week using this gluten-free recipe. I used maple syrup instead of sugar and frosted the cake with coconut whipped cream (I added maple syrup here too cuz I’m Canadian, right?) and berries. 

A great way to start the day is to: Sleep in as late as your kids let you.

A home workout to try is: doyogawithme.com lets you pick your class length and style of yoga, some classes are free and they are offering 2 months free right now because of COVID-19.

A project I want to work on is: Once the snow melts, raking all the leaves in my yard to mulch my garden is the must do project. When it rains it pours, or the opposite really, I’m expecting this summer to be really hot and dry so I need to get our garden as water efficient as possible. Free leaf mulch is my solution this year.

 

Craig 

Markets Coordinator

A relaxing craft to practice is: I collect music, and every so often i’ll take a few hours to program a one hour mix of similar tunes and record them.

A skill you are learning is: Recently opened a tax free savings account at my bank and am learning to trade stocks. I wake up every morning now and sip my coffee while I learn about different companies and how to make money trading. 

An instrument you play is: I play the turntable more than any instrument, but i’ve been wanting to find a drum kit and play the drums again. 

Favourite place to take a walk is: Kokanee park.

To make a walk more exciting, you should: Bring your favourite music and some headphones.

A meal you enjoyed cooking recently is: Beef stew in my instapot.

An easy baking recipe is: The easiest are chocolate chip cookies. Classic

A great way to start the day is to: Walk outside in your underwear to feel the fresh air.

A home workout to try is: 10 reps of anything. 

A project I want to work on is: Growing a garden in my backyard.

 

Natasha

Organizing Director

A relaxing craft to practice is: A few simple knot sequences and boom you have a macrame plant hanger! I’ll make them while watching or a show or listening to music. Next is to make a macrame wall hang! 

A skill you are learning is: How to productively work at home with comprehending what is going on in the world right now, and with housemates and nice weather…

An instrument you play is: The Ukulele! I’ve been playing off and on for a few years now and it seems inevitable every winter I put it down when I pick up my skis. Now that ski season is over, and I can comfortably sit out in the sunshine, I am picking up my Uke again! My easy favourite is Hallelujah. 

Favourite place to take a walk is: The other weekend I walked along the Slocan rail trail in hopes of seeing the swans, starting in Slocan towards Lemon creek. The swans have already migrated but the mountain views and sandy shores are beautiful! Plus there is a GIANT wooden bench along the way that you can chill and snack out on. 

To make a walk more exciting, you should: Check out all the plants and trees starting to bud and come back to life – take a sniff of a cottonwood bud, it is so intoxicating. Also, play some rock rock.. safely! I throw a rock, and you throw a rock to try to hit my rock! 

A meal you enjoyed cooking recently is: My friend taught me how to make a dish over facetime on Saturday and it was delish and so fun! Sweet potato, peanut butter stew with paprika, chilli powder, cayenne and cinnamon. A nice, warm meal for these rainy days. 

An easy baking recipe is: Energy balls! They are so easy to make, eat and pack up for the day! Roll together some oats, peanut butter, honey, cocoa, cranberries, coconut, almonds and coconut oil and voila you’ll be a ball of energy! 

A great way to start the day is to: I’ve been trying not to look at my phone for the first 30min of the day (it’s silly hard sometimes). I’m starting my day rolling out of bed, stretching, and meditating. Every weekday morning at 9am I’ve been joining Yael’s online meditation’s. It’s been the most peaceful and connecting way to start my day. You can join too! 

A home workout to try is: Decorating a room with your housemates, setting up your computer and speakers with some sweet tunes, and having a dance party. 

A project I want to work on is: So many! I’m excited to pick up seeds this week to start my veg garden, and I want to build a spice rack. It seems to be about twice a year that I feel inspired to take on a woodworking project. If you saw the dismay of my cupboard you’d understand why I’m feeling inspired to build a spice rack right now! 

Dan 

Communications Coordinator

A relaxing craft to practice is: tying flies for fly fishing. It takes all your concentration which makes it a great distraction from everything else. And they make great gifts, a small box of some homemade flies.

A skill you are learning is: fly casting. Yes, I’ve been doing it for decades, yet it’s one of those things you’re always learning and never perfecting.

Favourite place to take a walk is: in the woods. Doesn’t matter where, as long as it is in the woods or along the water.

To make a walk more exciting, you should: be screen free and enjoy the place you’re walking.

A meal you enjoyed cooking recently is: went snowshoeing with the family then reheated some slow cooker wild grouse stew on the camp stove for a hot lunch at the top of the trail.

An easy baking recipe is: sweet bread dough, then use to make raisin cinnamon bread for breakfast, or cinnamon buns, or frying the way you would bannock

A great way to start the day is to: get enough sleep

A home workout to try is: overhead press with our overweight cat, though it doesn’t do much to get him in shape

A project I want to work on is: cleaning out, cleaning up the shed

 

Alyssa 

Trail Outreach Coordinator

A relaxing craft to practice is: Colouring sheets! Lots of free ones online. It’s fun to colour when watching tv or listening to a podcast. 

A skill you are learning is: I am learning to knit. It keeps my hands busy during long zoom classes. 

Favourite place to take a walk is: On the Slocan rails to Trails. I grew up right beside the trails and have walked from the trailhead at the junction to Slocan multiple times. Plus some sections are almost clear enough to bike on! The best part about it is flat and takes little physical effort. 

To make a walk more exciting, you should: Fill out one of the EcoSociety nature scavenger hunts. You can download for free here: https://www.ecosociety.ca/news/find-fresh-air-activity-with-our-outdoor-scavenger-hunt/ 

A meal you enjoyed cooking recently is: My sister and I tried to recreate a meal my grandmother used to make for us as kids. We both had different memories of it which made the cooking part complicated but the end result was a pretty yummy plate of cabbage tomato and rice. 

An easy baking recipe is: Bread! Until last year I had no idea how easy it is to make bread. All you need is flour, water and yeast. 

A great way to start the day is to: Sip coffee and read something uplifting. I like positive.news https://www.positive.news/ 

A home workout to try is: Mhhh I should probably try doing a home workout. That’s a good idea… 

A project I want to work on isSewing masks for health care workers.