Good food is not something new for us in this region; in fact we have a growing international reputation for our fantastic West Coast cuisine. From our wild salmon and seafood to the produce and fruits from our fields, local farmers and chefs are garnering quite a reputation. This isn’t news to you is it? Here on the Saanich Peninsula we know how good local quality can taste. Do you wonder who the local magicians are that bring us these feasts and how they do it?
If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, or you just love tromping around the countryside eating good food, the North Saanich Food and Farm Festival is the place you want to be Aug. 19-21. This Flavour Trails signature weekend of activities is a chance to get up close and personal with the growers, harvesters, vinters, chefs and producers of our region and really see what “farm to table” looks like in action.
Each of the 17 free venues and activities will provide a window into how things are grown, made and prepared. There will be tours, food and beverage sampling, music, art and of course lots of fun farm animals to see.
“Making a personal connection to where our food comes from and those who make it is so much part of the experience of enjoying the food. It just tastes better,” says Jelena Putnik, CRFAIR events and outreach co-ordinator.
You can start the weekend on Friday at the Muse Winery BBQ (tickets at musewinery.ca/events or call 250-656-2552) or start your explorations at the North Saanich Farmers Market on Saturday morning and branch out to the various farms, wineries and stops outlined in the North Saanich Food and Farm Festival brochure and map. You can find the brochure at many local businesses, coffee shops or community centres, or download it at www.flavourtrails.com.
This year we will have “hot spots” (or info stations) set up at The Fickle Fig Market, the new McTavish Academy of Art, Farmer John’s at Epicure, and the North Saanich Farm Market where you can pick up your Flavour Trails shopping bag and map, and enter to win a prize if you are exploring the trails by bike.
And what a great way to experience the weekend, by bike. Work up an appetite by riding from Saanich, or drive and park at a “hot spot” and ride to the various sites along the trails. You see and experience so much more when riding.
Any children or youth riding are in for an extra treat with many additional prizes for them, including iTunes cards and other great giveaways from CRD’s PeoplePower program that is encouraging active transportation.
I am getting hungry just thinking about this great weekend for the senses. I hope to see you on the Flavour Trail.
For full details of the weekend, go to www.flavourtrails.com and follow us at Flavour Trails on Facebook and Twitter.
Linda Geggie is the executive director with the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.