Online Farm Map for Vancouver Island’s 100-Mile Diet
A Guide to Farms and Local Food in Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
May 30, 2016

The 100-mile diet on Vancouver Island has just become more accessible. The online Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map offers a way to find over 300 farms and hundreds of fresh local foods in Victoria, Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island.

Video: The Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map

Local Food on Vancouver Island

A lot has changed in the decade since Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, authors of The 100 Mile Diet, first tried their one-year experiment in eating foods produced within a 100-mile radius of their Vancouver home. Their eat-local challenge galvanized the Canadian local food movement. In the past ten years, “sustainability” and “local foods” have become household words.

Nowhere has the 100-mile diet been taken more to heart than on Vancouver Island, where farmers have used the mild maritime climate to push the boundaries of what will grow locally. New crops like citrus fruits, olives, regionally-adapted wheat, gluten-free grains, lentils and green tea now thrive on the Island. Products such as hand-harvested sea salt, edible oils, and fresh milled flour are extending the range of locally-sourced foods.

Residents and visitors can find these regional foods on the online Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map, along with more typical local farm fare like u-pick berries, vegetables, nuts, meats, dairy, mushrooms and herbs. The map also includes an extensive list of local farm-produced specialty items such as honey, pickles, syrups, fermented foods, baked goods, juice, wine, distilled spirits and cider.

Guide to 12 Vancouver Island Farm Regions

BC Farms & Food e-magazine created the interactive farm map to connect people with locally grown foods in 12 Vancouver Island regions: Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula, Metchosin, Sooke, Cowichan Valley, Cobble Hill, Ladysmith, Cedar, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, and Salt Spring Island.

The Victoria region of the Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map from BC Farms & Food.

The Victoria region of the Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map. Users can search for hundreds of local farm products.

With it users can find farm stands, u-picks, and CSA farm box programs. The map also guides visitors to farms that offer tours, workshops, wine tasting, earth-to-table restaurants, events and overnight farm stays.

The Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map is a resource for residents and tourists who want to locate Island farms and enjoy fresh local food. By pointing the way to explore the dynamic local food movement on the Islands, the Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map demonstrates that sustainable farming is not only a dream, but an achievable reality.
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The Power of Pulses
Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas & Lentils

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
April 19, 2016

Book cover of The Power of PulsesIt’s the International Year of Pulses, and a new book, The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas & Lentils, is here to guide the way. If saving the world sounds like hyperbole, it’s because pulses may be one of nature’s most perfect foods. Nutrient-dense and packed with protein and fiber, these superfoods are seeds and edible foods at the same time. They are also important for sustainable agriculture. Peas, beans and lentils are easy to grow, require little water, and improve the fertility of the soil wherever they take root.

The Power of Pulses
brings together organic seed grower Dan Jason, and culinary sisters, Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne, to provide everything you need to know about planting, harvesting and cooking peas, beans, chickpeas, favas and lentils. Accompanying this practical advice is Jason’s wisdom on why pulses are important for sustainable agriculture, and how they can help renew the health of the planet.
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Crispy Chickpeas

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
April 19, 2016

RECIPE

Delicious eaten on their own or tossed onto salads and soups in lieu of croutons, these roasted chickpeas will be requested often and devoured quickly.

This recipe comes from The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas & Lentils by Dan Jason, Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne.

A bowl of crispy chickpeas
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Beka Brown Maple Baked Beans

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
February 24, 2016

RECIPE

With the increasing interest in heirloom beans, we’ve developed this delicious recipe for Beka Brown Maple Baked Beans. Plump, hearty, golden-brown Beka Brown beans add an extra edge of flavour to this traditional side dish. If you can’t find Beka Browns, you can substitute navy beans.

This recipe makes a lot so you can save and freeze the leftovers for future dinners. Also great as a large pot of beans for barbecues and parties.

Beka-Brown-baked-beans-bcfarmsandfood
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Plan a Seed Saving Garden
How Seed Saving Can Help You Grow Better Food

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
January 13, 2016

Packets of open-pollinated seeds for seed savingThis winter, as you pore over the seed catalogs and dream of next season’s garden, think about including seed saving in the harvest. By selecting seeds from plants with the best flavour, size or other desired characteristics, you can create a garden most suited your tastes and microclimate.

Starting a seed-saving garden is easy and depends on two things: 1) willingness to let your plants go to seed, rather than tidy up as soon as they bear fruit, and 2) choosing heirloom and open pollinated varieties. Open-pollinated plants grow true to type, which means that (unlike hybrids) their seeds can produce the same kind of plant as the parent.
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Hazelnut Biscotti

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
December 15, 2015

RECIPE

Homemade biscotti are nothing like the dried-out versions you find in coffee shops. These twice-baked Italian cookies are crisp, nutty, and eminently delectable. Make these biscotti with local hazelnuts or use pecans for even richer flavour.

fresh baked pecan biscotti
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Edible City Gardens
Turning Lawns and Balconies into Food Gardens

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
December 2, 2015

Strawberries and lettuce interplanted with ornamentals in a patio container garden.

Strawberries and lettuce are interplanted with ornamental flowers and plants in this edible patio garden.

Edible gardens are changing the landscape of modern cities. A desire to save money on food and to eat local, fresh healthy produce is motivating people to grow food in urban spaces. The edible city gardening movement is transforming front and back yards, curbside medians and community spaces into active food growing areas. It is also spurring small businesses such as SPIN farmers—who “farm” in multiple backyards throughout a city—and edible garden landscapers who design, install and maintain urban food gardens.
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Sausage!
Artisan Sausage Makers are Preserving a Tradition

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
November 11, 2015

Artisan sausages on display at the Village Butcher in Victoria, BC.

Handcrafted sausages at the Village Butcher in Victoria.

Traditional sausage making is an art that dates back thousands of years. About 500 BC, the Greek playwright Epicharmus wrote a comedy entitled, The Sausage. It is one of the earliest references to the ground spiced meat in casings we love to sizzle on the barbecue or fry up for breakfast with eggs.
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Beet Chips

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
November 1, 2015

RECIPE

If you love vegetable chips, why not make your own? The trick is to slice the vegetables seriously thin so that they crisp up nicely in the oven. This beet chip recipe is easy to adapt to other root vegetables, such as carrots or parsnips.

A plate of homemade beet chips.
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Starting a Farm in One Year
How Two Young Farmers and a Love of Fine Food Created The Fickle Fig

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
October 13, 2015

Mitchell Morse and Chris Margetts stand in front of the tool shed at The Fickle Fig Farm.

Mitchell Morse (left) and Chris Margetts at The Fickle Fig, the farm they started on Vancouver Island in one year.

Three hundred sixty-five days, more or less — that’s the time it took. When Mitchell Morse and Chris Margetts told their friends they planned to start a farm, no one expected to see it in a year’s time. Because back then Mitchell and Chris were living in the city, in Vancouver, with no land or tools — just an idea, a picture in their heads of how they would start a farm.

Of course, there was also that longing to return to their roots. For Chris, who grew up in the small town of Sidney, not far from Victoria on Vancouver Island, and lived for six years on a llama ranch on the Sunshine Coast, a city allotment garden in Vancouver was never going to cut it.
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Starting the Fickle Fig Farm
Farm to Plate from the Ground Up

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
October 13, 2015

In this video, Mitchell Morse and Chris Margetts talk about the planning, hard work and adventures that went into starting The Fickle Fig Farm. In just one year, they transformed an empty hay field on Vancouver Island into a fully diversified farm-to-table venture with pigs, chickens, ducks, goats, rabbits, beehives, an array of fresh vegetables and herbs, and an orchard of nearly 200 fruit and nut trees.

Their ultimate goal is to open a farm-to plate restaurant and supply it with the special produce and meats they cultivate on the farm.
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