LEPS is challenging Langley once again to eat local by buying from small businesses and visiting the farmer’s market.(Langley Advance Times Files)

Utalizing U-Picks, wineries, and farmers markets

LEPS challenges Langley to eat local

Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) is asking people to take a break from their regular supermarket and explore all the fare their community has to offer.

Langley Eats Local returns for its 10th year, highlighting the fruits and labours of all the local farmers with a challenge to only eat food from the area between Aug. 7 to Aug. 14.

Amanda Smith, agriculture program coordinator for LEPS, said accessing a variety of ingredients for the week will be easier than some might think.

“There is a lot of fantastic food being grown. Take a look at what you would normally would eat and think about what’s in season too like fruits and veggies,” Smith said.

LEPS is a non-profit environmental organization that partners with local businesses in the Fraser Valley to promote a healthy community.

Among their partnerships for this taste testing initiative is the Langley Community Farmer’s Market and Circle Farm Tours, which suggests and facilitates self-guided adventures through the Fraser Valley’s agricultural landscape.

“We’re asking people to build three meals a day with locally grown food – and there is something to cover all the bases for meat, cheese, fish… maybe Central Park Farm for your meat or Milner Valley Cheeses for Dairy… there’s A Bread Affair,” Smith suggested.

In fact, if people get can’t come up with a place where they can buy a certain product locally, LEPS has introduced a passport to give them an idea where to shop.

“The Farm Gate Passport is in case anybody gets stuck,” Smith added. “There’s ten businesses to try to guide them, and if they go and get five out of 10 stamped, they’ll get entered into a draw for a prize basket of local products – valued at three hundred dollars.”

Businesses participating in the passport project include 1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market, Backyard Vineyards, A Bread Affair, Central Park Farms, Dead Frog Brewery, Dreidiger Farms, Fraser Valley Cider Company, Langley Community Farmers Market, Laurica Farm, Milner Valley Cheese.

Smith said the one of best places to begin is local farmers market held every Wednesday, noon to 4:30 p.m., at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University courtyard, 20901 Langley Bypass.

LEPS will be at the market on Aug. 7 and Aug. 14, which bookends the start and finish of the Eat Local challenge.

People can sign up or grab their passport this coming Wednesday and celebrate a week of eating Langley at the following market.

“There will be and demos and appetizers to sample prepared by Langley chef Adrian Beaty,” Smith explained. “It costs $5 dollars to join and ticket’s have sold out in the past before, so buy as soon as possible because they go fast.”

Hours will be extended to 6:30 p.m. for the Aug. 14 market, which will also include a scavenger hunt and farm chores for kids to try, as well as all of the usual local fare.

If people are unable to stick to the challenge, Smith said not to worry. “We won’t hold anyone accountable if they can’t finish, were just trying to get creativity going and get people to know local businesses and explore the municipality.”

Read More: Langley Eats Local returns to Langley Community Farmers Market

People can sign up for the challenge or buy their farmers market tickets on the LEPS website.

Smith said a few encouraging emails will be sent to participants throughout the week to keep them motivated.

Participants are also asked to take pictures of their meals and share them on social media to inspire other’s who may find themselves running short of ideas.

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