EAT Buzz Up-Island & Tofino September|October 2019

The Buzz Up-Island 

It’s high time for festival season! I anticipate this time of the year all year long when fresh produce is in abundance, grapes hang sweet and heavy on the vine, garlic gently dries and chefs’ imaginations run wild. It’ll be over faster than you imagine, so think big and take it all in.

Salt Spring Island’s Harvest Food & Drink Festival starts on September 29th with the world-renowned SSI Apple Festival, featuring over 300 varieties of heritage apples lovingly nurtured over the years by local farmers. Stay for a week and take in some of the Harvest Dinners offered by award-winning local restaurants And in the middle of the Festival is Sip & Savour (see below). A full schedule of events will be available on the website.

You won’t ask yourself if you “should go back for seconds?” but rather “if you can possibly resist going back”. One of my favourite festivals of the year, in one of my favourite locations, the iconic Farmers Institute on Salt Spring Island once again hosts Sip & Savour on Oct 19th. Graze the afternoon away on local chefs’ thoughtful and tasty creations while you sample a glass of Salt Spring Wild Cider, or Garry Oaks wine. With over 40 vendors to choose from, this barn party/fall wine festival offers everything you could want from a premier event, and then some. It never disappoints!

Scheduled to open August 24th, New Tradition Brewing in Comox should be up and running by this issue’s release. The Savard family has been brewing beer for generations, handing down family recipes and skills from one generation to the next. Their plan is clean; brew the best beer they can, and serve it in the right glass at the right temperature using local ingredients, for the ultimate brewing experience.

Think big, then think bigger – take every sweet bite, in stride. You can rest up when the last remnants of summer are but a mere memory.

The Buzz Tofino 

Fall shows off Tofino and Ucluelet at their finest. The salmon are jumping, mushrooms are rearing their shaggy heads and there’s an abundance of ocean harvesting available. Let me show you the way…

Autumn is the time of year to slow down, savour the final days of summer and prepare for the shorter days ahead. This season encourages us to harvest the bounty around us—from the gardens, fruit trees, wildflowers and berries—so we stay nourished all winter long. Join Heather Wolf and learn to Harvest the Abundance of our Bioregion on Sept 20th. Learn home fermentation using foraged ingredients, how to make herbal elixirs and old-world herbal tonics that are all good for the heart, mind and soul.

Learn how to harvest marine resources in a sustainable and ethical manner while enjoying creative appies provided by Tofino Resort + Marina. The course runs Oct 11th. You’ll learn to I.D fish, become familiar with sustainable harvesting choices, and understand the life histories of the many organisms you’ll see and sample.

Finally, on Oct 11th, take an intense 3-day look at how to safely forage for Mushrooms of the West Coast and then enjoy a gourmet lunch prepared with your gatherings.

With all this local knowledge filling your head—and stomach!—you will be the expert at the dining table when that sublime offering of fresh uni shows up on the menu.

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