Here are five reasons to consider.
1. Tastes and looks better. Crops are picked at their peak and farmstead products, such as artisan cheeses are hand-crafted and made in small batches for optimal flavour. With livestock processed in nearby facilities, local farmers have direct control over processing, unlike large-scale industrial facilities, resulting in higher quality foods.
2. Is better for you. The shorter the time frame between the farm and your table, the greater the amount of nutrients. Imported food can spend months in warehouses before it actually gets to you. Ripened on a vine, a plant or a tree or in a gas-fumed vehicle? You choose!
3. Is safer. There’s a unique kind of assurance that comes from looking a farmer in the eye and feeling like you really ‘know your farmer’. Local farmers can’t be anonymous, meaning they understand accountability and, directly, feel the benefits of contributing to their local communities. By knowing the source of your food, you’ve gained more control over what goes into your body. As the saying goes, ‘your body is a temple’.
4. Builds community. When you buy directly from a farmer, you’re engaging in a time-honoured connection. Farms also provide access, encouraging kids to learn about how their food is grown and harvested. Agri-tourism has been an awesome way of bringing people back to the farms where they can have fun, too!
5. Good for the local economy. When farmers market locally and are compensated at fair value, they’re less likely to sell their farmland to large-scale industrial producers. The spin-off also creates opportunities for other local businesses and keeps jobs in the community. Buying locally puts you in the center of a web of food producers, transparently, connecting economy and nutrition.
Since 1932, the Hopcotts have been farming in Pitt Meadows starting with a dairy farm before expanding to cattle followed by cranberries. Throughout the Hopcott’s history, they have worked hard at teaching friends and neighbours about the benefits of eating local food and supporting local farmers, which is why Hopcott Meats is a hub of ‘all foods local’ from meats, deli items and produce to sauces, condiments and baked goods. Hopcott’s newest addition–Hopcott Bistro– is a celebration of ‘farm to plate’. Check out their new menu at: http://www.hopcottmeats.ca/Whats-Cooking.
We encourage you to learn about our region’s terrific local producers, whether it’s exploring BC Farm Fresh’s member list, visiting farmers’ markets or perusing the Circle Farm Tour!
The Farm Fresh Reference Guide is produced by the Fraser Valley Farm Direct Marketing Association in cooperation with the BC Ministry of Agriculture.
For information on participating in the 2015– 2016 Farm Fresh Reference Guide or bcfarmfresh.com, contact us at:
35390 McCorkell Drive
Abbotsford, BC V3G 2C3