Spotlight on farmers: where does your food come from?
Can you fill your plate with locally produced food? Find out more about where your food comes from and try our community-sourced recipes.
Where does your food come from? In BC, a lot of the food you enjoy is grown or raised surprisingly close by, thanks to local farmers. About 98% of BC’s farms are family farms, which means that when you’re able to choose local, you’re helping to support other families. Even foods like grains -- which are harder to come by in BC outside of the Peace Region -- are still easy to find Canadian sources for. So here’s a family challenge: can you fill your plate for a day with only local food?
Poultry and dairy products are ingredients you can get locally year-round, along with aquaculture products like fish and seafood. To see more about how salmon gets to your table (along with dairy, produce and grains) check out these videos. Some products are super easy to track locally—the next time you’re enjoying an egg, try this tool to find out exactly which nearby farm your eggs came from. And now is a great time to support BC’s local tofu makers—you’ll be supporting family-owned businesses and your community.
Berries are plentiful all over BC right now, and farms in the Lower Mainland can keep you berry happy with local blueberries and strawberries—and of course, raspberries and blackberries! Depending on where you are, you might also be able to enjoy boysenberries, gooseberries and saskatoons. In fact, berries are so abundant you might not have to go further than your back door to find some: salmonberries, raspberries and blackberries are easy to spot right now all over BC, and are a great way to make family walks a little sweeter.
It’s stone fruit season in BC, so you can have your pick of locally grown nectarines, plums, apricots, peaches and cherries. We’re lucky it’s local: BC produces 95% of Canada’s cherry crop, and 80% of the cherries around the world were developed in BC. Later in the season look out for local melons, pears, apples and pumpkins too.
For veggies, the hua foundation’s Seasonal Choi guide is an excellent way to source which choi are grown locally in BC. BC’s family-owned greenhouses are also a surprisingly efficient way to grow other veggies you love like peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes: in fact, a greenhouse can grow 55 pounds of tomatoes in a space the size of a bathtub, all while using water and heat efficiently...and zero pesticides.
To see more about the ways we produce produce, grains, dairy and salmon, check out these videos.
Of course, the most local place to get your food is your own garden! It’s not too late to get your garden started—check out our post on kitchen gardens, and our tutorials on making your own indoor, outdoor or micro kitchen garden. And if you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, keep an eye out for sea asparagus: they’re a local delicacy that’s in season from June till August, and our community has a delicious recipe for enjoying them.
Ready to fill that plate? Here are our favourite recipes that highlight local for every meal—and you can explore our community recipe archives to find many more!
If you’re looking for more summer fun ideas, let your kids eat like an animal for a day, cook using only your freezer, or test their ability to recognize what their favourite foods look like in the wild. And we’ve got many more ideas and inspiration for you over on our Facebook and Instagram feeds!