It is a challenge with many tasty benefits.
Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) has once again issued its Eat Local Challenge. For one week, starting Wednesday, July 26, residents are encouraged to source as much of their food as possible from local producers and farmers.
The Challenge will culminate Wednesday, August 2 with a free Langley Eats Local event organized by LEPS and hosted by the Langley Community Farmers Market, from noon to 4:30 p.m., at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 20901 Langley Bypass.
“Eating locally means farming can remain a viable career for families and young people in our community. Those are the people who are going to steward the land for generations to come,” said Ava Reeve, agriculture program coordinator with LEPS.
“In this day and age, it is really special to be able to actually talk to the person who grew or raised or prepared your food from scratch. And with everything from berries, fruits, and veggies, to cheese, bread, and wine all produced here – even chocolate and olive oil is sold by small businesses right here in Langley – eating locally isn’t a hardship at all: it’s a feast!”
Residents who want to take part in the Challenge can sign up through Facebook, via the Langley Eats Local page, where they will find ideas, information, and recipes. All participants will receive a goodie-bag, and those who document their week on social media have a chance to win prizes.
Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese and Councillor David Davis are taking part in the challenge. Both are local farmers who know the importance of supporting Langley’s food producers.
“Agriculture plays a major role in the Township of Langley, which is home to nearly half the farms in Metro Vancouver,” said Froese, who established a turkey farm and business with his wife 30 years ago, which is now run by their children.
“Not only do our local farmers and food producers make major contributions to our economy, they provide our families with food that is fresh, seasonal, and sustainably produced. We are lucky to be so closely connected to the food we enjoy.”
“Local food supports local farmers,” said Davis, whose Davistead Farms in Milner was established by his great-grandfather in 1872, and has been passed down through generations.
Davis took over operations 30 years ago and runs the dairy farm, which produces milk for Dairyland, with his wife and their five children.
“Money is spent and re-invested in the community, and it benefits the environment because there is less travel time from farm to table.
“Local food attracts tourists and promotes agri-tourism, which in turn educates the public on where and how their food got onto their table, and most importantly, shows why we need to protect our farmland,” Davis said.
“Besides, local food is full of flavor, it is fresher, and it tastes better.”
“We are so lucky to live in a place where we can grow so many different things. Plus, entrepreneurs here are willing to learn skills to handle the rest, like roasting and blending coffee,” Reeve said.
“Langley Eats Local celebrates the bounty of our region. From ciders to gluten-free baking, this is an opportunity to showcase everything delicious that we can proudly call our own.”
During the free Langley Eats Local event on August 2, more than 50 vendors will have their wares for sale, games and activities will be offered for the whole family, and samples of appetizers created by Langley “localvore” chef Adrian Beaty will be available for $5.
Tasting tickets are available in advance from the LEPS office at #201 4839 – 221 Street. Call 604-546-0337.