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by Winnie Tam We were all asked this once: what do you want to be when you grow up? In addition to the usual answers of astronaut, doctor and marine biologist, young people in the Lower Mainland are increasingly considering an alternative profession – farmer. The trend can be attributed to a variety of factors. Some are tired of the nine-to-five grind and want to look for a job that puts them more in touch with nature. Others are motivated by their heightened food literacy and concerns about the global food system. Then there are those who want to shed themselves of technological clutter and return to simpler vocations. Whatever the reason, the demand for knowledge is definitely there, as Kwantlen Polytechnic University runs a popular 10-month program – the Richmond Farm School – that teaches students the skills to engage in small-scale agriculture. Some of the students have gone…

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 Nikki Bayley Cited as one of the key players of the city’s culinary scene, chef Andrea Carlson has been quietly shaping the way that Vancouverites eat for more than a decade. From the (now closed) C Restaurant and the Rain City Grill, to Sooke Harbour House and Bishop’s, Andrea has worked at some of the province’s most important restaurants, whose locavore seasonal menus helped to lay down the foundations of a more sustainable way of eating in B.C. and beyond. Now chef/co-owner at Burdock & Co. on Main Street, and the celebrated local community store/delicious noodle soup bar, Harvest Union, we spoke to Andrea to find out more. “The driving force behind Burdock & Co is to present farm to table food in a casual environment and bring what used to be a bit elitist to families and the neighbourhood at a more accessible price point. I wanted to…