Thursday, May 26, 2011

For the Love of Farms and Local Food, Right Here in British Columbia

I don't need to get into all the reasons why it's better to eat locally because that's a simple Google away.  While I'll admit we don't eat as much local food as we probably should, we do give it a serious effort.  It doesn't take much more than a trip to the grocery store to lead someone into believing that it's virtually impossible to eat locally, after all, it certainly seems like all of our produce comes from somewhere far away.  Last weekend we took a trip to the Van Dusen Botanical Garden and on our way out I spotted a complimentary copy of the Fraser Valley Farm Fresh Reference Guide and I'm super happy I did.  This guide lists off many local farms in the area, what products are produced, and contact information for all the farms.  What really struck me from reading the guide was how many awesome products come from right here in British Columbia!  In case you are wondering what products are produced locally in British Columbia, here's a list of just some of them!

Apples Apricots Artichokes
Beans Beef Beeswax
Beets Blackberries Blueberries
Boysenberries Bread Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts Butter Cabbage
Cauliflower Carrots Celery
Cheese Cherries Chestnuts
Chicken Cider Corn
Cranberries Cucumbers Currants
Dairy Eggplant Eggs
Flour Fruit Pies Garlic
Goat Milk Gourds Grapes
Hay Hazelnuts Holly
Honey Kale Lamb
Leeks Lettuce Melons
Onions Parsnips Peaches
Pears Peas Peppers
Plums Pork Potatoes
Pumpkins Radicchio Radishes
Raspberries Rhubarb Salad Greens
Sauerkraut Shallots Spinach
Squash Strawberries Sunflowers
Swiss Chard Tomatoes Tomatillos
Trout Turkey Vinegar
Walnuts Yogurt Zucchini

I'm fairly certain I could eat pretty well even if I ate only the foods listed above, and it doesn't even cover everything produced in our area.  This guide is pretty amazing, but it's not comprehensive by any means because it only lists the farms that are a part of the Fraser Valley Farm Direct Marketing Association.  Even so, there are over 100 farms in the guide, and many more that aren't even listed.  Right off the top of my head I can tell it's left out many farms I love in Richmond, including Richmond Country Farms which is my all time favorite.  It also leaves out Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver (which by the way, is having a festival this Sunday May 29th).  It's kind of a bummer that these farms are left out, but mostly good news because it means we have tons and tons of farms in our area. 

This summer it's one of our goals to take Aias berry picking; no one eats berries like our two foot tall bottomless berry pit.  I strongly encourage locals to get out and do the same, whether you have a kid or not.  As Maplewood Farm says, farms are only for kids from 0 to 110.   If you can't make it to the farm, head over to one of the Vancouver Farmer's Markets that appear at various locations throughout the city over the course of the summer. Even better, sign up to volunteer!  No matter what you do, make sure you try some local food, somehow, someway!  You won't regret it.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Monika! Returning your stalk visit. Thanks for the follow. I am happily following you now!

    You are absolutely right about shopping locally -- we haven't done as well as we should but we are recommitting this summer. Trying to use Farmer's Markets and even working a garden. Keep spreading the word!



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