Connecting communities

Deciding what to do with that extra 70 pounds of zucchini from your garden or finding a neighbour to pick your bountiful apple trees just got a little easier. Squamish Climate Action Network (Squamish CAN) is putting the finishing touches on its most recent food-related endeavor - The Sea to Sky Food Web.

"It's connecting business members with community members but also connecting community members with each other and connecting them to other resources as well that might be in the corridor besides business," said Katie Pease, food group representative for Squamish CAN. "It's meant to make things more local so people know where resources are in the corridor for obtaining more local, hopefully more healthy food and just to connect around any other food things that are happening, even down to say, a movie playing regarding food one night, anything like that."

The website was originally created with funding from Coastal Health's Smart Fund before being passed to Squamish CAN. That group decided to give it a go based on the rise of popular food networking websites like Farm Folk City Folk (www.ffcf.bc.ca) in Vancouver and Urban Agriculture Hub (www.urbanagriculturehub.ca) in Victoria. Residents can log in to browse the calendar, the forum, the directory and the resource section or contribute an offering to the various sections.

"On the sites in Vancouver and Victoria, people are able to exchange things ... even home gardeners for instance, who have 50 extra pumpkins can put it on the site and other people can either buy them or trade for them - different things like that," said Pease. "I'm hoping the site will be used for things like that as well... I'm into food, so I think there's interest."

The Sea to Sky Food Web is looking for a volunteer coordinator to run and update the site on a regular basis. Contact Pease at info@seatoskyfoodweb.ca to inquire about the job. To explore the site, go to seatoskyfoodweb.ca.


Cornucopia is coming

November may get a bad rap from those who despise the gloom (much to the indignation of Scorpios like myself) but the advent of this oh-so-rainy month means bright, shiny things come to Whistler under the umbrella of Cornucopia.

Whistler's celebration of wine and food is notorious throughout B.C. and beyond and the upcoming festival will again be nothing less than plentiful. For the 15 th year, local and regional restaurants, producers, wineries and breweries will be displaying their wares in various shades of dizzying abundance. Those not content to just sit and eat can participate in various workshops and demonstrations by industry professionals (the rest of us will cheer you on from behind towering feasts).

Don't miss out on the Artisan Slow Food Market (Saturday, Nov. 12), where you can sample from a variety of boutique produce, wines and restaurants in a relaxed market space. To step it up a notch that night - get owly in some of Whistler's finest digs. Those familiar with the Burrowing Owl brand don't need to be sold on the product, something the Fairmont Chateau Whistler knows well. The Chateau's Winemaker Dinner will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the Wineroom, hosted by Burrowing Owl proprietor Chris Wyse, and winemaker Bertus Albertyn. The dinner will include a selection of Burrowing Owls' current and library release wines paired with fresh local ingredients from the Chateau's executive chef Vincent Stufano.

If you're determined to finally get your head around one wine in particular, try one of the mini-tastings on offer. Sunday, Nov. 13 has a number of tastings that focus on just one grape - chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon or a bubbly. Though general wine tastings can be a lot of fun, they often end up being overwhelming. This individual approach will open the doors to the many flavours and treatments of one grape, upping your wine knowledge and helping you identify exactly what it is you should be looking for when faced with any chardonnay or cab sav choices in the future.

For a full list of events, go to whistlercornucopia.com/schedule.

This is Susan Hollis last column for a little while as she is taking maternity leave from the Pique. Reporter John French will be looking at food news and issues in this space in the coming months. Feel free to email him at John@Piquenewsmagazine.com with ideas.




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