Slow Food 

Popular cycling tour of market farms June 4

Slow Food Cycle Sunday returns to the Pemberton Valley on Aug. 20.

The free Back to the Land bike-ride through the beautiful Pemberton Meadows to meet local growers and sample fresh-from-the-earth produce returns with its successful formula of pedaling, snacking, socializing and slowing down.

The event has expanded its showcase of the valley’s potential as the region’s breadbasket with the addition of a Feast of Fields celebration. The 13-year established Farm Folk City Folk event will be held in Pemberton for the first time at Sturdy’s North Arm Farm on Saturday, Aug. 19.

Helmer’s Organic Farms, recent recipients of the prestigious Chefs Top Table awards, will be hosting an evening farm banquet on the Saturday featuring a five-course menu prepared by Chef Andrew Springett of Bocuse d’Or.

The Feast of Fields/Slow Food Cycle combination creates a Back to the Land weekend that makes an ideal urban getaway.

Local and Whistler accommodations will be providing foodie and pedal-friendly weekend packages. The Whistler Mountaineer is offering a $99 return trip B.C.-residents-special train fare to entice visitors to leave their cars and the gridlock of weekend traffic behind.

"This weekend is an invitation to get back to the land," said organizer Lisa Richardson. "Slow Food Cycle and Feast of Fields help shorten the distance between farmer and eater, between farm and table."

The Worldwatch Institute reports that the average food item eaten in North America has traveled 2,500-4,000km from farm to table.

"A 50km bike ride that takes you straight to the farm-gate is nothing, compared to that," said organizer Anna Helmer.

Located 155km (or 96 miles) north of Vancouver, Pemberton produce falls within the range of the 100 Mile Diet. Bounty-hunters will find the motherlode of locally-grown produce in this floodplain, less than half an hour from Whistler.

Ticketing information for the Feast of Fields and Helmer’s Farm Banquet will be available at www.slowfoodcyclesunday.com The Slow Food Cycle is free.

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