Eat Local series offers fun, approachable entry into locavore movement 

Local food writer Jane Reid leads series of talks on eating local, farming and gardening

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - local love affair Whistler's Jane Reid, author of Freshly Picked, detailing her love affair with B.C. produce, will lead a series of talks on the locavore movement next month at the Whistler Public Library.
  • file photo
  • local love affair Whistler's Jane Reid, author of Freshly Picked, detailing her love affair with B.C. produce, will lead a series of talks on the locavore movement next month at the Whistler Public Library.

When the Whistler Public Library (WPL) sent out a survey to patrons last year, one of the things heard over and over was locals' appetite for food-related programming.

"That came up again and again and I got that feedback from a lot of people in person as well, saying, 'You know, spring is coming up and it would be a great time to do something about gardening, or something about local plants," explained WPL's program coordinator Jeanette Bruce.

So Bruce reached out to Whistler author Jane Reid, whose book detailing her love affair with B.C. produce, Freshly Picked, had just hit the shelves months before, to craft a program that would appeal to locals hoping to learn more about where their food comes from. Eat Local, a three-part series that begins next month, was the culmination of those discussions, offering attendees a fun, no-fuss look at the locavore movement.

"She's a great speaker, has great stories to tell, and coming from Jane, it's not intimidating. She's made it sound very fun and really doable," Bruce noted.

Reid's accessible approach to her subject matter can be found throughout Freshly Picked, in which she describes initially falling in love with British Columbia's bounty of homegrown fruits and vegetables off of taste alone.

"I'm eager to do anything I can to spread the message about how wonderful it is to eat locally grown (produce) for a whole variety of reasons, starting with the top one, which is flavour, going down to supporting farmers and farmland," Reid said. "There's a million reasons to eat locally grown food these days."

It's important, Reid stressed, that eating local isn't seen as a chore but rather a passion.

"I think there's a strong desire for people to feel more connected to the food they eat. It's not just in Whistler; I think it's all over now, and I think that's why something like these talks have an appeal," she explained. "Sometimes people might be unsure how to feel more connected to their food sources, so I do think it's important to think of it as something that's a joy, not a duty."

Running every Wednesday for three consecutive weeks, the series' first talk is on May 1 and will answer the question of "How and Why to Be A Locavore," led by Reid. The second talk, on May 8, will see Reid moderate a discussion between Pemberton farmers from Laughing Crow Organics, Rootdown Organic Farm and Plenty Wild Farms.

"We see these people at farmers' markets ... and it's interesting to talk to them about what their daily life is like, how children fit in with being a farmer, why they chose the Pemberton Valley to farm and if they see themselves still farming in 10 years," Reid noted. "We brought questions that we'd like to ask them and I think the audience will be interested in hearing their answers. They are an extremely enthusiastic group."

The third and final talk, set for May 15, will feature local gardening pros offering tips on starting your own garden, just in time for green-thumb season.

"(I want to offer) anything that can connect people to the food they eat—and the taste. It's very rewarding to eat something that is grown close by, especially if you know where it came from and who grew it—it might even be you who grew it," Reid said.

The May 1, 8 and 15 Eat Local talks are free to attend and all run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Learn more at whistlerlibrary.ca/events/eat-local.

Tags:

Readers also liked…

Latest in Epicurious

More by Brandon Barrett

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation