> Your description of the Cowichan Valley makes it sound idyllic. Where is the Sahtlam area? From your description it sounds like it may be forested. Is it?
Sahtlam lies to the West of downtown Duncan. It is forested in places but there are lots of farms around here so many open fields, etc. It's a rural area but close enough to town to be very convenient. We are on 4 acres but only 15 minutes from downtown.
Our LLL group is new, just started up in October. But already we've got a core group of people attending and have 3 interested in becoming Leader Applicants. I lead with my co-leader, Lisa Wilson. We're starting to make connections with the local birthing and health communities so excited about future prospects.
Most of the homelearning activities are organized and posted on the Yahoo group. Some are formal classes and others are just get-togethers. Right now the message page is dominated by a big discussion around getting a Self Design Learning Centre set up in Duncan.
There are literally dozens of farms in the immediate Duncan area that sell their fresh produce and free-range, unmedicated meats. Only a handful are at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays but many have on-site sales. You will find that you can get any kind of ethical meat here as well as local produce, honey, tea, cheese, stone-ground flours, lovely ciders and cider vinegars (check out Merridale Ciderworks), etc. They just released a map this year that was distributed all around the community showing all the places to buy such foods (check out this web site for more info).
I've also recently been researching cob buildings and permaculture and discovered a thriving community here for such things. Check out O.U.R. Ecovillage.
I know I'm positively gushing but when we moved here I really had no idea what to expect and was worried about finding like-minded mamas, so I have been wonderfully surprised and pleased with what the Cowichan has to offer.
(another nice thing about being in Duncan is it's close to Nanaimo with its two ferry terminals so you have more than one choice of route to the mainland).