Live in Vancouver. Eat Local Grain.

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October 7th, 2008 by Martin

Wheat

Thanks in part to the sudden popularity of the 100-Mile Diet and various other eat local movements, foodies across the province, the country, and even the world, have been inspired to seek out more local food sources. In Vancouver, this trend is perhaps best evidenced by the growing number of Farmers Markets popping up in the city. People are now coming out in droves to shop for local fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat. Despite the success of these markets, however, one item continues to prove particularly elusive — local grain.

This wasn’t always the case. As the folks over at Deconstructing Dinner have been making clear in their ongoing Local Grain Revolution podcast series, B.C. has a rich history of growing grain — a history that has, unfortunately, been largely forgotten.

Thankfully, a number of individuals are beginning to revisit our province’s fertile past. Matt Lowe of Nelson’s West Kootenay EcoSociety and Brenda Bruns of the Creston branch of Wildsight started a community supported agriculture program last year for grain, the Creston Grain CSA. Although still in the midst of its first year, the program is so far proving quite successful (you can learn more about it in the Deconstructing Dinner podcasts mentioned above or at the UrbanWorkbench blog where a member of the Creston CSA has been writing about his experiences with the program).

Upon hearing about the success of the CSA in Creston, my first thought was whether such a program would work in Vancouver. I got in touch with Matt Lowe shortly after and discussed with him the possibility of bringing the Creston model to an urban area. With his encouragement, I’m now trying to make that idea a reality.

Currently in the first stage of the organizational process — getting a small group of farmers on-board — I’m also beginning to compile a list of people interested in becoming members. Although not set in stone, I expect there will be approximately 200 membership spots in the first year. Priority will be given on a first come, first served basis and, if the initial reception is any indication, spots will likely fill up fast, so make sure you sign up early if you’re interested.

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