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Organizers expect Slow Food Cycle to double

Pemberton Farmers Almanac will be produced this year

By Claire Piech

Pemberton’s Slow Food Cycle Sunday bike ride is expected to double in size this year, as more people in the Sea to Sky corridor are paying attention to eating local food and global sustainability.

Event organizers are predicting a crowd of 2,000 participants for the third annual back-to-the-land ride through Pemberton Valley. Approximately 1,000 people took part last year.

The event will be held on Aug. 19 and promotes the idea that the distance between farmer and eater does not need to be greater than a 50 km bike ride.

“We’re very sensitive to the ecological crises that are playing around us, but I think most of us have no idea what we personally can do to redress them,” said event co-ordinator Lisa Richardson.

“There is only so many times you can watch An Inconvenient Truth before you’re just really depressed. But just in something as simple as our food consumption, we actually have a forum to make a difference and turn our impact into a positive one,” she said.

To further encourage members of the Sea to Sky community to get involved in local agriculture, event organizers will continue to keep participation free.

“There are a lot of opportunities for people to leave their money in the valley during the ride,” said event organizer Anna Helmer.

“But at the heart of the Slow Food Cycle Sunday, we’re promoting the accessibility of local food, so it’s important to us that people are able to participate in the ride for free,” she said.

Organizers are also putting together a Pemberton Farmers Almanac on local produce and Whistler’s northern food shed. Available Aug. 1, the 32-page book will serve as a guide in sourcing local food, growing it, and stewarding the environment.

“This is about our collective knowledge,” said Richardson. “And I think we need to be fierce about preserving it, sharing it with each other, and maintaining public ownership of it.”

Funding for the Slow Food Cycle Sunday event comes from the Village of Pemberton, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Community Foundation of Whistler’s ELF program and the Sea to Sky Community Services’ Food Project.