Friday - Feb. 9, 2024 - Mushrooms are people too

🌤️ High 7C

Good morning!

I used to really hate mushrooms. But then I made some vegan friends who took me to some vegan restaurants. It was in the booths of their favourite cool, tahini-scented, mildly hippy-ish diners I learned that I actually love mushrooms—but only when they’re battered and fried and pretending to be chicken. Get an inside look into how gourmet mushrooms grow—and how to grow your own—in today’s newsletter.

– Grace

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Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.


Making mushrooms-in-a-box

Kyle Born grows mushrooms on an Abbotsford farm. 📷️ Circular Economy / Instagram

Several varieties of mysterious fungi can take up residence in an old chicken barn. Gourmet blue oyster mushrooms are not usually one of them. But Kyle Born’s mushrooms and chicken barns are a bit different.

Born’s mushrooms—oysters in pink and blue, puffy white lion's mane, and golden brown chestnut, all carefully cultivated in a renovated barn on his family’s farm—won’t be sold in farmers markets or grocery stores. Instead, their spores will go into mushroom-growing kits for people to grow at home.

Born, the co-founder of Circular Harvest and one of the minds behind the mushroom kits, said they can demonstrate an important ecological lesson. 

“We came across gourmet mushrooms and realized that they tell the story of the circular economy really, really well,” he said. 

Like the Abbotsford barns they’re growing in, the mushroom kits are part of an effort to get value from reusing waste—or form a circular economy. It’s a lesson that Born, armed with boxes and boxes of little shippable mycelium networks, wants to share.


Need to Know

🎥 Mission will be one of the first BC RCMP detachments to use body-worn cameras [Mission Record]

❄️ Drought concerns are on the rise with BC’s snowpack at 40% of normal [Prince George Citizen]

🍷 An Abbotsford winery won a national award with its raspberry dessert wine [Abbotsford News]

🌷 The rebranded Botanica Tulip Festival is coming to Chilliwack [The Georgia Strait]

🏅 Two Langley students are finalists for a major national scholarship [Langley Advance Times]

🏆️ A Chilliwack artist received a Juno nomination for his design of a rap album’s cover [Chilliwack Progress]

👉️ More than 200 grams of meth, along with other contraband, was seized at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford [Abbotsford News]

🎒 Langley School Board trustees are getting a 3.4% raise [Langley Advance Times]

➡️ The Conservative Party of BC has nominated a realtor to run in Abbotsford-Mission [Fraser Valley Today]

💰️ The fifth annual fundraising gala for the Langley Hospital surpassed its fundraising goal [Langley Advance Times]

The Agenda

Abbotsford International Airport’s janitors have voted to strike. 📷️ SEIU Local 2

Abbotsford airport faces possible janitor strike

Janitors at Abbotsford International Airport have voted to strike, but pickets haven’t yet gone up and it’s unclear what impact job action could have on flights.

The workers, who are members of Service Employees International Union Local 2, are employed by the airport’s cleaning contractor, Dexterra Group. The airport janitors, along with Dexterra janitors at five other prominent Metro Vancouver locations approved the potential job action.

The union says the workers haven’t had a raise since last January and most are paid between $17.42 and $18.20 an hour. Their contract expired last year. 

In an email, union representative Jorge Villatoro wrote that a strike date has not yet been set and that “to avoid disruptions all Dexterra needs to do is offer fair wage increases.”

If a deal isn’t forthcoming, a strike date will be set. Villatoro wrote that the public would have 72 hours notice, and that picket locations would be shared at that time.

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💾 Flashback Friday

Firefighters demonstrate their new equipment in Fort Langley. 📷️ BC Archives

In the early 1900s, Langley residents were responsible for putting out fires near their properties. But after several major blazes, a group of locals gathered to establish an early volunteer fire brigade that could be summoned to a fire in town by telephone.

By 1928, the Hilton brothers had chopped the back off a sedan, added a pump and ladders, and crafted the town’s first firetruck. In the 1930s, formal volunteer fire departments were created to serve the different Langley neighbourhoods. This photo, taken on a Monday evening in August, 1943, shows Fort Langley’s volunteer firefighters demonstrating their pumping equipment on the occasion of some visiting businessmen.

🗓 Things to do

🎆 Lunar New Year: The Chilliwack Cultural Centre is holding a Lunar New Year festival with dances, performances, and a festival market on Friday, Feb. 9. Find details online.

🐃 Farm tour: Academy Farms in Langley is running tours of its buffalo and bison farming operations on Saturday, Feb. 10. Details online 

💃 Flamenco dancing: Flamenco dancer and singer Tamar Ilana will perform at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Saturday, Feb. 10. Details online.

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Catch up

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Grace Giesbrecht

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