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By Kristi Alexandra Fine diners, ethical eaters, and locavores alike can find common ground in Bees Knees Microgreens. While many revere the farm-to-table culinary trend, South Surrey-based entrepreneur and grower Samantha Stewart does one better by providing local chefs with fresh microgreens grown in their own backyard. Literally. “My house in White Rock has a small greenhouse,” Stewart tells WestCoastFood. “It’s an old glass greenhouse from the sixties, so, for [my] first season, I was able to grow out of that greenhouse for the market.” Talk about homegrown. Bees Knees Microgreens sprouted at the White Rock Farmer’s Market just a couple years ago where Stewart retailed microgreen varieties and mixes. Now, the small business supplies select local eateries with microgreens, along with catering and events. Sunflower and pea shoots, along with arugula, radish, and broccoli microgreens were among Bees Knees’ regular offerings at the market. “From there, I made some…

By Ian Lai, Executive Director of the Richmond Food Security Society INGREDIENTS Onion, diced (1 large) Leek, whites only (1/2) Garlic, minced (1 clove) Flour (2 Tbsp) Potatoes, diced (2 cups) Sunchokes, diced (1 cup) Sprig of thyme Butter (4 Tbsp) Homogenized milk (1 litre) Salt and pepper INSTRUCTIONS Sweat onions, leek and garlic in butter on medium heat until translucent Add potatoes, sunchokes and thyme Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally Add flour to coat everything Add milk Bring to a simmer stirring occasionally Cook until vegetables are soft Blend using a food processor or an immersion blender until smooth Season and taste Enjoy with a slice of crusty baguette Richmond Chef and Educator Aims to Make Healthy Food Accessible By Tourism Richmond It’s a sunlit autumn morning, and Ian Lai has just returned from Tomsett Elementary School in Richmond, helping to set up growing towers…

by Catherine Dunwoody When it comes to outdoor activities geared to get you into the spirit of the changing seasons, it doesn’t get much more autumnal than this. Fall is most definitely here, and getting lost in a zigzagging corn maze or choosing which big orange beauty to take with you from a pumpkin patch is part of the fun when it comes to living in or visiting BC – and especially in Surrey. The city boasts 4 different mazes and patches, each unique and fun for the entire family. Bose Family Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch 64th Avenue & 156th St, Surrey www.bosecornmaze.com Since 1891, this farm has been serving the community, and it just keeps getting better. Every year the corn maze is cut so with a jaw-dropping design meant to been from an aerial view. This year the maze features the logo of Vancouver’s Western Hockey League…

By Kathy Mak With the surge of new craft distilleries in BC, it’s not unusual to find an expanding collection of local spirits on the shelves of liquor stores and cocktail bars; but finding craft spirits made by a female distiller and with potatoes and corn grown on a distillery’s own farmland is unusual! Enter Roots and Wings Distillery, opened in early 2017 as the first craft distillery in Langley, BC. Situated on a 30-acre farm in the idyllic countryside near the village of Fort Langley, Roots and Wings Distillery embraces a true field-to-bottle approach when producing artisan spirits. Back in 2015, the co-founders/owners – Rob Rindt and Rebekah Crowley – were inspired to handcraft their own distilled spirits when they couldn’t find a good locally-made potato or corn vodka for sipping straight.  With some research and a big leap of faith, the couple created the distillery from the ground…

Images by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran The heart of local food that brings all the greens, grains, produce, cheese and meats to our plate isn’t often in our urban centres – it’s mainly found in the people and animals who work the fields and farms. There are several places within Metro Vancouver where you can bring the kids to meet the producers and see farm animals, and a scenic place to start is Langley along the Circle Farm Tour. At Milner Valley, a fifth-generation heritage farm, they specialize in a variety of artisan goat cheese. There is a whole crew of adorable goats to visit on Milner Valley’s farm, who are milked to create the cheese you can buy in their shop. All of the ogling, petting, and taking photos of the goats can get exhausting, so cool yourself with hand-made goats milk gelato, served up in the…

By Ashley Lockyer Classic red tractors, fields bound by forests, and bright red beets that radiate nutrition with their sweetness: That’s what you’ll experience at A Rocha farm in Surrey, BC. Their dedication to good taste doesn’t only apply to flavour. It’s their farming philosophy to use organic, sustainable farming methods that support the environment and build community. Group tours get a chance to wander through fields with the farmers, who point out organic growing techniques and show the benefits of eco-conscious gardens. “Often conservation and farming seem to be at odds with one another… we want to, in a really small way, demonstrate that a garden can be a really thriving ecosystem that’s diverse and healthy and has a place for animals and insects within it,” says farm manager, Paul Neufield. Farmers here encourage you to expand your palate and taste test new varieties of your favourite produce, beyond…

By Lenée Son Across the street from a busy road and tucked away behind a tall hedge fence is one of Surrey’s best hidden gems, Zaklan Heritage Farm. The 8-acre urban farm was founded in the 1920’s by Dragan and Marta Zaklan who immigrated to Canada from Europe. Continuing his great grandparent’s legacy, Doug Zaklan is leading the farm through a revitalization project along with his partner, Gemma McNeill. The pair met at UBC Farm in Vancouver and share a passion for sustainable and organic farming. At the farm you’ll find a variety of fruits of vegetables but you won’t find any pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers. “We fertilize with compost,” said Zaklan. “For pests we cover with a Reemay cloth and mostly just make sure things are healthy.” Pick up fresh seasonal produce from Zaklan Heritage Farm on Saturdays from June to October. They also offer a community supported…

by Catherine Dunwoody Such a glorious way for any food aficionado to spend some time – exploring all the bounty Burnaby’s Big Bend offers. Burnaby Food First, in partnership with the City of Burnaby and with support from Tourism Burnaby, has just released a self-guided map listing participating farms and nurseries that are opened to the public within Burnaby’s Big Bend area. Talk about buying local. Sustainable food, all grown right in the area, plus Burnaby Food First is offering local workshops on growing and cooking healthy. Fill up your bike basket with the freshest summertime vegetables and fruit around, or pile the family in the SUV and shop big. Soon enough it’ll be pickle and canning season after all, but visit throughout the summer season as the variety will change as produce becomes in-season. Participating farms and nurseries include, Urban Digs, Hop on Farms, Gardenworks at Mandeville, Wing Wong’s…

By: Alyssa Barry As you head east on Highway 1 through Abbotsford, it’s hard to miss the enormous “I (Heart) Endive” sign on the right hand side as you pass through Sumas Prairie. Thriving on the flatlands between the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges is BC’s one and only endive farm. What is endive? Endive is a peculiar chicory vegetable that is planted, grown and harvested at the Van Eekelen farm in Abbotsford, BC. There’s a good reason why Van Eekelen Enterprises is the only known farm in BC to produce “witloof” (which means “white leaf”), or also known as “Belgian endive” (believed to be first discovered by a Belgian farmer in 1830). Ria Van Eekelen, owner of Van Eekelen Enterprises, moved to BC from a small town in Holland in the 1970s. In her 20s, Ria was walking through the Woodwards building in Vancouver when she first noticed the…

By Kathy Mak At the entrance of Lepp Farm Market, you’re greeted with heaps of fresh produce. Initially, you may get the impression that this is a convenient food shop, located at the crossroads of Clayburn Road and the Abbotsford Mission Highway. However, Lepp Farm Market is unexpectedly much more than just a grocery store. The family-owned and operated market is the natural union of Rob Lepp’s farming expertise and Charlotte Lepp’s foodie flare. Together, their focus is on sharing fresh farm direct products and local food experiences. One would be hard-pressed to find a couple that is more passionate about farm-to-table goodness than Rob and Charlotte Lepp. The duo brings together a variety of elements to achieve a quality, locally grown, field-to-fork environment all on its own. Their love for farmed products is rooted in their families, both sides farming in the Fraser Valley since 1948 raising cattle, hogs,…

By Joanne Sasvari At Urban Digs Farm, the pigs are brown and black and copper coloured, with jauntily spotted wiry coats, twirly tails and alert ears. You’d swear they’re smiling at you. And why not? These are some of the happiest pigs around. “We carry pigs that make good bacon and have good personalities,” says Julia Smith, co-founder and operations manager of Urban Digs. “Adorableness is one of the important characteristics we look for.” Smith and her partner Ludo Ferrari started the farm in 2012 on two weed-choked acres in Burnaby. Right from the beginning, they wanted to raise free-range, pasture-fed heritage pigs, not the big, pink commercial pigs we all know so well. Those commercial pigs have been bred for size, weight, uniformity and a lean, mild meat. They grow quickly and produce many litters of piglets, often without ever leaving the inside of a barn, making them ideal…