Interior B.C. residents are getting the message – locally grown food is better for your health, the environment and the local economy. Attendance is up at farmers’ markets, gardens are becoming more popular and people are paying attention to where their food is grown.
Now that winter is on the way, can we still eat locally? With assistance from Interior Health’s Community Food Action Initiative (CFAI), the answer is yes. Many communities are developing innovative ways to help residents store and preserve the harvest for year-round enjoyment.
“Food preservation skills were once absolutely necessary in order to ensure food was available all year long,” said Rose Soneff, Community Nutritionist with Interior Health’s Food Security and Community Nutrition program. “CFAI funds are helping resurrect these lost and forgotten skills.”
One of the barriers to food preservation can be the cost of the equipment. In order to overcome this hurdle Kootenay Local Agricultural Society (KLAS), with assistance from CFAI, has purchased four commercial-sized food dehydrators. The dehydrators will be included in the Society’s tool library, which is available for residents of Castlegar, Nelson, Kaslo, New Denver and Nakusp, and accessible for a small fee of $8.00/day.
“The Kaslo Food Hub used these dehydrators to produce value added products and raise funds,” said Nette Lack, Administrator, Kootenay Local Agricultural Society. “Produce donations provided over the summer from a local distributor were used to make products which were then sold as a fundraiser.”