While picking raspberries on the peninsula last week for jam, we learned the Heat Wave was accelerating harvest at local farms at a rate faster than consumers were buying, leaving good food wasted in the fields. We saw cauliflower the size of your head, beautiful nutrient-rich broccoli, salad greens browning in their beds – all needing to be picked now.
If you freeze or preserve food for winter consumption now is the time to get started.
On our way home we stopped in at Silver Rill to see if the corn was ready. Sure enough, we came away with the first of many dozen cobs we’ll buy this summer, some destined for that night’s dinner but most to be processed and put into the freezer for winter meals. At $14 a dozen it seemed costly until I price-checked it against a tin of corn in the grocery store. In this instance fresh, local is comparably priced, almost certainly more nutritious, and carries a much smaller carbon footprint.
According to Saanich’s Climate Plan, if everyone in the world lived the lifestyle of the average Saanich citizen we would require five or six planets right now for us all to survive. When we’re talking carbon footprints, every step counts.
Today I was basil picking in my home garden. Our small greenhouse offered up a 4 litre bucket full of fragrant basil which, within an hour, became packets of pesto, and lemon-basil vinaigrette, also stowed away in the freezer for winter meals.
That we have such a rich variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables available to us, whether from nearby farms or our own backyards, means we can eat locally year round with a little preparation. Jamming red raspberries, preserving basil, corn off the cob is simple to do, takes a little time but no fancy tools, and contributes significantly to reducing my family’s carbon count. And it cements my relationship with our farmers, reduces food waste, and contributes to the local economy.
BC Farms and Food lists dozens of Saanich Peninsula farms where you can buy direct from
the farmer, including these U-pick
Dan’s Farm & Country Market
Michell Bros Farm
Plentiful Plate Farm
Stewart’s Berry Patch
Violet Grove Farms
If you’d like the pesto or lemon-basil vinaigrette recipes, contact CHUFF – (Quadra) Cedar Hill Urban Food Farmers and we’ll post them next issue. firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch for CHUFF’s August activities in QCHCA Events listing.