“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka,
The One Straw Society was founded in 1995 by Robin Wheeler. Robin was known as a leader, activist, teacher, homesteader and so much more. Robin envisioned and created One Straw from the ground up in hopes to create a platform to help people with different skills and resources come together to support one another.
The name One Straw was inspired by The One Straw Revolution, by Masanobu Fukuoka who believed in the power of a single straw, and in how and in how it could start a revolution.
The organization started with one and grew to 50 within a few months. The first zucchini festival was organized, a simple country fair boasting all things sustainable, with a children’s’ fiddle contest, zucchini toss and plant sales.
The organization grew and One Straw arranged a community seed exchange event (Seedy Saturday), a digital bulletin board was created to share farm goods, and the live and Learn and Sustainable Living Arts certificate programs were established, all bringing a wealth of resources and knowledge into the community. Meetings were sometimes also potlucks, complete with kids and dogs.
And the years passed…
Many initiatives have been created including the Ocean Vegetables Community Garden, Fruit Tree Project, Grow Your Own Dinner Program, Edible Garden Tour and so much more. We have grown to over 200 members including many devoted lifetime members who volunteer and support our community to grow and thrive. Many community partnerships have been created that help support the diverse populations on the Sunshine Coast including the Sechelt Nation, Gibsons Youth Centre, Sunshine Coast Alternative School, Chatelech Secondary School, Sunshine Coast in Transition, Sunshine Coast Seed Collective and many more.
Although other leaders and official Society status came over time, Robin remained the visionary behind One Straw until her passing in 2012. The loss of a founder who had devoted her life and time to the mission proved to be a challenge for the Society to overcome, however, the board, staff and members of One Straw are clearly devoted to the vision. In 2017, the board recognized the need to diversify and rebuild to meet the changing demographics, economy, and needs of the Sunshine Coast, which led to a refocused, creative and broader planning process for the future.
One Straw started out as a seed that has grown into a flower and re- seeded itself over again. It continues to evolve to provide education, advocacy and community connections, empowering people to access and engage in a local, resilient, and sustainable food system.
To view our strategic plan please click here.