Farmers and food processors are invited to meet one another and find out how to better support local food in the Comox Valley on Wednesday, Nov 20th from 7-8:30pm at the Merville Hall, 1245 Fenwick Rd. The Mid Island Farmers Institute will be hosting this event as part of their monthly series of meetings. The evening is free for all members with a suggested donation of $5 for visitors.

“The demand for local, Comox Valley-grown product is extremely strong and we would love to facilitate even more connection between farmers and those looking for local food”, explains MIFI President Arzeena Hamir. “We know how important it is to relocalize our food supply for environmental, economic and even social reasons. Knowing your farmer is the key”.

As the demand for local food is expands, farmers are stepping up to supply them. Popular ice cream spots such as Blue Spruce in Courtenay and Love’s in Cumberland both use local fruit in their creations. Bakeries such as True Grain and Alderlane Bakery feature Comox Valley-grown grain; local breweries have added spices, berries and fruit to create unique, seasonal product;  and schools are also getting on the bandwagon by providing students with salad bars stocked with locally-grown veggies.

“There are so many times of the year when we have a plethora of food that can’t keep for long”, states Hamir. “Everything from blueberries to zucchini comes to mind but I know processors are often looking for specific ingredients that local farmers could grow if they knew there was a market”.

Wednesday evening will provide an opportunity for suppliers to understand what the market is looking for. At the same time, those who use local ingredients can hear what times of the year those products are available and time their production to meet the peaks in supply.

The Mid Island Farmers Institute is open to all members of the public.For more information, please contact midislandfarmersinstitute@gmail.com or call (250) 702-5657.

Arzeena Hamir

Amara Farms