Cathy Whalen is in her first season with her tower garden. She has already enjoyed a feed of green beans. (Contributed photo)

Cathy Whalen is in her first season with her tower garden. She has already enjoyed a feed of green beans. (Contributed photo)

Tower gardens, the Dohler Flats grizzly and community roll call

Sonja pays tribute to community members recently lost

Photo: Cathy Whalen is in her first season with her tower garden. She has already enjoyed a feed of green beans.

Cathy Whalen had a little over 100 plants in her home and they were a lot of work. She turned her attention to indoor trees but wasn’t able to eat from them so she turned her energy to “something that feeds me.”

Tower gardens, already brought in by the schools, caught her attention as they run a salad bar off of them. Cathy and Dudley Goalder have had a feed of green beans as well as fresh lettuce for the picking.

I sampled the lettuce and basil straight off of the tower: fresh and tender eaten within moments of being picked. At present she has zucchini, watermelon, spinach, Swiss chard, cucumber, beans, kale, basil, cilantro, lettuce and tomatoes.

LAST WEEK: Neighbours helping out seniors

It’s areoponics, a combination of air and water sharing space under a grow light. She feeds them vitamins. The link is

There has been a very large, extremely dark silvertip grizzly wandering the Dohler Flats/Ebenezer Flats area. Andrew Creyke first posted it on Facebook and Lisa Huxtable has also seen him. Lisa is concerned because he is covering such a large area of farmland and could be a threat to livestock. Apparently the conservations officers have a live trap up, which the bear may be too large for so they have also set up snares to trap and tranquilize him. His size has been compared to the grizzly at the Tourist Information site in Houston.

Phil Bulmer released his first single, April Rain, on Oct. 25. It is an enjoyable and easy-to-find digital track. He sings the lyrics in his gravelly voice and the chorus opens with “April rain in the night brings the spring to melt the snow. There is a note on his song site: “Phil’s approach to create music banishes weary clocks and refocuses time.”

Good luck Phil.

Our valley is going to be a sadder and lonelier with the passing of Bill Lopaschuk, Doris Bramsleven, Dale Chartrand, Andy Howard and Margaret Goodacre.

Condolences to the families. They will be missed by so many in our community.

This is our community column and my heart couldn’t let me continue without doing a roll call of people that have been a special part of so many of our lives.

Call Sonja Lester at 250-847-4414 or my cell at 250-643-9749 to contribute. My e-mail is

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