Tomato plants change hands at the Langley Community Farmers Market. From Aug. 3-10

Langley residents challenged to eat local

From Aug. 3 to 10, residents are invited to take up the challenge of eating local and to share the fruits of their efforts on social media

Food, glorious food! Delicious, nutritious, and local.

For the past eight years, foodies and locavores have been indulging in a bounty of edible items grown and produced within the community during the annual Langley Eats Local festival.

The tasty event returns to the Langley Community Farmers Market at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and this year, a bit of an appetizer is being offered in the form of a challenge.

Residents are being asked to eat local for one full week, from Aug. 3 to 10, in the days leading up to Langley Eats Local.

“Participants can define ‘local’ for themselves,” said Ava Shannon of the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS), which presents Langley Eats Local in partnership with the Township of Langley.

“That could mean, for example, sourcing 70 per cent of their food from B.C. or the classic 100-mile radius, or challenging themselves to buy all their produce, dairy, and meat from Langley sources.”

Participants are encouraged to share their personal goals and stories using #LangleyEatsLocal during the week, and a prize will be presented to the most active person on social media.

All participants who register for the challenge by Aug. 3 can pick up a little goodie bag at Langley Eats Local.

The event itself will take place Aug. 10 during the Langley Community Farmers Market, which runs each Wednesday from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Langley KPU campus, at 20901 Langley Bypass.

Langley Eats Local celebrates the variety of farmers and food producers in Langley and the Fraser Valley who sell everything from bread, wine, meat, fruit, and veggies, to honey, cheese, apple cider, and wild-foraged mushrooms.

The event is now paralleled by the Township of Langley’s Buy Local campaign, and LEPS and the Township’s Economic Investment and Development Department encourage residents to pay attention to where their food is being produced, and choose local options whenever possible.

“Buying from our own farmers and producers keeps money circling in the local economy, and gives residents the opportunity to get to know the people who produce our food – who they are and how they farm,” said Val Gafka, Langley Township’s Senior Manager of Corporate Administration.

“This event offers the opportunity to learn about our local food system, acknowledge the necessity of food security in our economy, and try something new.”

Not only is eating local good for the economy, it is good for the environment, added Shannon, as it reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting food from where it is grown and produced to where it is sold or consumed.

During Langley Eats Local, there will be even more vendors than the usual at the Market, as well as kid-friendly games and activities.

Food-loving adults will have a chance to win locally-sourced prizes and can watch Langley’s local food champion and gourmet chef Adrian Beaty whip up dishes.

Beaty, from Seasonal 56, a locally-sourced restaurant that recently closed its doors, will provide samples of five of his creations for $5.

Tickets for the sampling are available now at the LEPS office at #201-4839 221 St. or at the farmers market. Call 604-546-0337.

For more information, contact Ava Shannon, Langley Environmental Partners Society, at 604-546-0337 or agriculture@leps.bc.ca or Val Gafka, Senior Manager of Corporate Administration, at vgafka@tol.ca or 604-532-7305.