Doug Smith of Natural Pastures Cheese tours visitors through the plant at Courtenay, B.C. Much of the cheese maker’s sales are on Vancouver Island. | Karen Morrison photo

B.C. island ag ventures find new support

COURTENAY, B.C. — Water buffalo cheese, salmon pepperoni and broccoli sprouts are just a few of the unusual items produced in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley. The willingness to take a leap of faith on such ventures says a lot about the people who live here: from the dairy farmers who don’t want to milk cows […] Read more

Brian McCormick checks the new crop of garlic, emerging in February in B.C.’s Comox Valley.  |  Karen Morrison photo

New ideas keep island promoters thriving

BLACK CREEK, B.C. — Entrepreneurial blood has always pumped through Lia and Brian McCormick’s veins. They have grown wasabi on Vancouver Island and operated a restaurant. More recently, they produced salad greens and squash for local markets. Now in their 40s, they are poised to capitalize on a large local food movement with the acquisition […] Read more

During an event designed to help farmers get their food into local restaurants, chefs shared their points of view on what foods they are looking for to highlight their dishes.  |  Mariusz Strawinski/ photo

Chefs seek unique produce unlike grocery store fare

LEDUC, Alta. —Vegetables are king as far as chef Ben Staley is concerned. For chef Jasmin Kobajica, it’s meat that wears the crown. “Vegetables deserve respect,” Staley said during an Alberta Agriculture Explore Local event designed to help farmers get their food into restaurants. “The humble carrot should be given the same respect as a […] Read more

Margarita Pischke of the 100 km Kitchen Company, stirs a pot of soup in the Easyford Community Centre kitchen. This is where Pischke and her partners turn local food into james, jellies, pickles and chutney. | Mary MacArthur photo

Local food project evolves into business

Preserving produce | Partners hope to find ways to increase efficiency

EASYFORD, Alta. — After three years of working with a local food group, Margarita Pischke has learned most people like eating local jams, jellies and pickles. They’re just not always keen on making them. Instead, Pischke and two friends have turned their love of making jams, jellies and pickles into a business. “People understand the […] Read more

Food products on the shelves of the Sobeys grocery store in Camrose, Alta., brought in as part of the Localize Your Food project. The project helps consumers recognize local food in their grocery stores with shelf tags and scanners.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Just how local is that? Program provides answers

Products get score card | Alberta grocery stores promote local food

A new project intended to shine a spotlight on local food has become a big success in grocery stores. Meghan Dear was looking for ways to highlight local food in grocery stores. It began with a single store in Sherwood Park, Alta., eight months ago but by the beginning of January it had expanded to […] Read more