How to Eat Locally

by Jacqueline May Conte, CNP

Vancouver’s growing season is in action and we’re about to start seeing the fruits of our labour. There are many ways to take full advantage of this time of year. Eating locally is one of them. It supports your community and guarantees the freshness of the food you consume.

In the past, I’ve found it can be tough to switch from shopping in a local market or grocery store, where the food is at my fingertips and usually on my route home from work, to making the extra effort to take advantage of our growing season. It’s a change of habit – one I tend to get excited about, but don’t necessarily plan for. To make sure you don’t miss out, here are some tips to get started now:

Become a Regular at Your Local Farmers Market

There are 7 farmers markets in the city of Vancouver. You can find the listing here. This link is updated regularly and if you scroll down past the list of markets, you’ll see a listing of vendors, as well as produce and other items currently in season and available. Last year I added all the markets close to me in my calendar as recurring events so I’d remember when they happened and could plan to attend them. Bring cash or purchase market bucks on site.

Sign Up for a CSA

There are a slew of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) services in town. Go here for a list to find one closest to you. You can sign up with a farm or a CSA program and pick up your box at a designated farmers market or have it delivered to your home on a weekly basis. You can even convert your land to create a CSA! When you buy into a CSA, you’re supporting that farm’s growing season and in return, you receive a box full of their produce and other gems for a designated series of weeks.

Grow Your Own Food

Purchase a plot with a community garden or start a garden at home in your windowsill, on your balcony or in your backyard. This year I’m taking on a windowsill garden, some light balcony gardening, and am helping to set up and maintain a garden at a friend’s house that already has plots. If you’re new to urban farming or want help building out your garden, you can contact a local farming company like Victory Gardens to help get you set up and educate you on how to grow.

Book an appointment with me to continue the conversation and to discover how to take full advantage of our lush and long growing season, including how to turn our local food into culinary treasures.

Jacqueline Conte is a Holistic Nutrionist and offers appointments at Local Health Integrative Clinic on Mondays , Wednesdays and Fridays. Click here to book an appointment with Jacqueline.