We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful province and unceded territory of our many indigenous communities. From our oceans, lakes and rivers to our hills, mountains and valleys, BC is so rich in nature. It is also abundant in so many local foods and what better way to celebrate BC day than focusing on eating local and supporting our incredibly hard-working food producers.
August is the perfect time to prioritize local purchases as our growing and harvesting season is in full swing. We also have time to visit local farms and understand the challenges our food producers face every day. Whether our vegetable and fruit farmers, our ranchers, the fish and seafood harvesters, let’s show them our support by buying these local BC foods in abundance!
Here are some of our local foods around the province to look out for:
- Fruit—from Okanagan stone fruits like cherries, peaches, apricots and plums to wild and farmed berries that grow throughout the province, it’s easy to find local options in August. The taste of ripe, local fruit is so superior to those grown on the other side of the world. So, eat it while we have it (and take a break from fruit that has been grown far away). Also consider stocking up on freestone peaches and berries that can be prepared and laid out on baking sheets to be frozen before bagging to use all winter long.
- Vegetables—farms and gardens are bursting with vegetables in August in every corner of the province—from leafy greens to summer squash, potatoes to peppers, cucumbers to carrots–the list is endless. A fresh local tomato tastes so much different than the pale ones we find in the grocery store in January. Don’t forget to get your local corn-on-the-cob! But consider trying it in a less-than-local way, as Mexican Corn on the Cob, drizzled with crema, crumbled cheese, lime and cilantro.
- Seafood—although spot prawn season is wrapped up by August, our salmon season is just getting underway! Our wild BC salmon is world-class—get it while it’s fresh and freeze some for later in the year.
- Eggs & Poultry—get to know a local egg or poultry producer in your region and consider buying straight from the farm. That way more money ends up in the hands of the producers and it’s easier to know how the birds are being raised. BC eggs and poultry are available year-round.
- Other Meats—although Alberta is known for its beef, many BC ranches also raise beef as well as bison. Bison is a naturally grass-fed animal whose meat is leaner and often has a better nutrition and sustainability profile than conventionally raised beef.
To know what’s in season in your region, check out https://bcfarmersmarket.org/why-bc-farmers-markets/whats-in-season/. And keep your eye out for those roadside signs for a neighbour’s eggs, freshly-caught seafood, a pick-your-own berry patch or an all-purpose farm stand.