Farm Fresh

It started by picking up the “complimentary” Farm Fresh reference guide. This is a gem of information. Fresh BC grown farm products indexed by city, listing each provider and a little bio along with all other contact details you would need. I have been wanting to create a list like this. Here it is done for me, 80 businesses strong. One of my goals for this year – done.

Does it really matter that much to buy local? (You might ask). Inside this handy guide was an article by “Get Local“, which is a public program to educate consumers about the benefits of eating locally, where to find local food, and how to adopt a diet consisting of more local food products.

I thought it was interesting to note that in 1947, BC grew 97% of its food. Yet in the past 65 years, farmland has decreased and more food is imported. In the next 5 years, the majority of BC farmers will be at or near retirement age. If you buy local, not only are you supporting our BC farmers, but your food is not “soaked” in the petroleum that would otherwise be required to transport it to you. (Think about grapes from Peru!)

Get local creates a handy seasonal chart to remind us, (what our parents and grandparents knew instinctively), which foods are in season here in South Western BC. If you live here, use this handy guide. If not, find one for your area. Mine is being printed now and is going on the fridge.

Not only does it make logical sense to eat food when it is in season, but it tastes so much better. When I tasted a peach, picked from the tree at the height of freshness, so juicy you needed a bib to protect your clothes from the juice that spills forth, it was heaven. Up to that point, at 30 years of age, I thought I didn’t like peaches. Can you imagine?

Tonight I stopped in to pick up my wine of the month. (Only a one bottle commitment, but I like to fill my reusable bag that holds 6). This is a club I joined at my local “Swirl” wine store that sells only BC VQA wine. Can you imagine that there would be enough to choose from to warrant an entire store? In fact they showcase over 90 different wineries that total over 600 different wines. That is not even all BC has to offer, just the participants in the VQA program.

With my bottle every month, there is a sheet of information explaining more about the wine, tasting notes, etc. This month there was an extra treat – Summer 2012 of Edible Vancouver. I am only a few pages in and already so inspired. Unlike most publications, I have to turn off my ability to scan over advertising. I want to read every line on every page.

There on page 1 was an advertisement for “Whole Foods Market”. That is an interesting coincidence. There are several locations in Vancouver, but nothing out here where I live, (in the country, near the farms). My Father had just sent me an email on the weekend from Scottsdale, where he had discovered this store. He was impressed enough to send me the note that it might become his new favourite.

Maybe it is the time of year, new growth, warmer temperatures, restless kids, but it seems like connecting to the local food scene is a good thing. (As Martha Stewart likes to say). Maybe the universe conspires to help you when you turn your attention to something. (Paraphrase from “The Alchemist”). Whatever the reason, supporting the local farmers in their business to provide fresh products, feels great. Maybe someone controlling the weather can turn up the heat and down the rain, just a bit.

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