Fields of plenty

With a couple of weeks of summer yet to go, it’s time to pay attention and appreciate what local farmers and farmers from all over B.C. have grown for us. This time of year has to be one of my favourites as it seems as though almost all produce available at traditional grocery stores, farmers markets and farm stores is locally grown.

I have been devouring various tomato varieties from the back yard and elsewhere and it is great to see the Okanagan-Keremeos crop of toms making it to local shelves. I support our hothouse growers in the off season — as we all should — but right now, you need to eat peppers, toms and cucumbers right off an outside vine.

As canning and pickling re-emerges as a popular way to enjoy local produce all year, now is a good time to stock up and nurture your inner homesteader. Canned fruit and pickles make great Christmas gifts and are welcomed additions to any appy platter during the quickly approaching holiday season.

Over the coming weeks we will get a last crop in the ground to overwinter at our school farms here in Delta and the kids will be winterizing the soil and planting an assortment of bulbs.

At the Delta Farm Roots site, there are lots of crops to harvest and the students will have plenty of work to do in the field over the next couple of months.

The crops were exceptional this first year. From kale to cantaloupe and everything in between, the site was successfully transitioned from weeds to farm.

But, like in any B rated horror flick, just when you thought the villain was dead, they magically come back to life. Veggies love good irrigation and sadly, so do weeds. The weed monster is alive and we need to re-kill it organically.

We need help to clear the weeds at our Boundary Bay site so that we can ensure our crops will be successful for the fall and in to early next year. We will be holding our first “Weed and Feed” event at the farm this coming Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Weeders, young and old, are invited to help us out for a half-hour in exchange for a bag of fresh goodies to take home.

Later in the month, a celebration of harvest gala will be held at the farm. The event is a fundraiser for two innovative programs in the Delta School District. Dirt and Candlelight will see the Farm Roots Mini School and the Performance Academy with Vancouver Opera partnering to raise funds for their programming.

Two strange bedfellows yes, but both have combined to orchestrate what promises to be a fun evening. The night will include a live and silent auction, a performance by the Vancouver Opera and dinner served with assorted Farm Roots fresh ingredients and music and dancing with the Retrogrades.

For more information on this Sept. 30 event or to purchase your tickets, go to Or, if you and your family are intending to visit a Day at the Farm at the Ellis’s Westham Island farm tomorrow, come by our booth to grab a chance for tickets to the banquet and we can fill you in on our programming and the Dirt and Candlelight gala at the same time.

Mike Schneider is founder of Project Pickle and likes to write about growing, cooking and eating food. He is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution ambassador. 

© 2017 Delta Optimist


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