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Slocan Valley Farmers group producing food guide

By Malin Christensson

Where do you get local seeds or manure for your garden? Is there someone raising chicks for sale in the Slocan Valley? Who could you ask about how to keep honeybees?

There is lots of interest in gardening and eating local food, yet sometimes it seems both a mystery and an illegal activity to follow a 100-mile or 10-mile diet.

Soon a local food guide for the Slocan Valley, produced by the Slocan River Valley Farmers, will help to connect farmers and consumers.

The local food guide is being compiled this spring in a printed and online version, and will be added to the existing directory at www.slocanvalley.com. A Kootenay-wide directory, Our Growing Community, is being put together as well.

The Slocan River Farmers hope that the local food guide will facilitate backyard food production and strengthen the local food system through connecting consumers with farmers. The distribution and promotion of the guide will also help to raise awareness of the benefits of local food for carbon emission reduction, health and the economy.

Many individuals and organizations are working on food security, and the local food guide could facilitate more networking among farmers, businesses and groups.

Besides the joy of eating your own produce and the health benefits of fresh, natural and less processed food, there are many other reasons to eat local food. The David Suzuki Foundation lists eating locally as one of the top 10 things we can do to reduce our global footprint.

When we buy a local food product, the local producer receives a higher percentage of our food dollar. This money is then circulated many times throughout our communities, strengthening our local economy.

The Slocan River Valley Farmers was established in 2007 in Winlaw with the purpose of creating a thriving and viable ecological farming community in the Slocan River valley. The farm group operates autonomously as well as functions as the Slocan Valley social and educational committee of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society (KOGS).

If you’d like to be included in the local food guide for the Slocan Valley – from Playmor junction to Hills – please contact Malin at 355-0053 or malinchristensson@hotmail.com.