Up Island Buzz – November | December 2016

“We all eat, it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” said Anna Thomas famously.

Heading into this holiday season, there couldn’t be a truer statement. We know we are going to over-indulge on rich foods never to see the light of day once it’s all over, and last minute trips for that special bottle of wine or spirits will be the norm, so make each and every food experience you have this season stand the test of time and eat till your hearts content – the gym awaits you in the New Year!

First up, some exciting news from the vine – Salt Spring Islands’ own Garry Oaks Winery has a new proprietor; Nalini Samuel, and tasting room manager Cliff Jones. Stay tuned for news of their future plans for the estate and their award winning wines! The idyllic, 10 acre terraced vineyard overlooking Burgoyne Bay is a perfect place to pick up that hand crafted, estate bottle for that other worldly party you’re planning to attend. Of course, they can be purchased at your ‘local’ as well. www.garryoakswinery.com

Keeping in mind the overwhelming quantity of packaging we are going to bring into our households in November and December this year, reduce unwanted garbage by shopping Salt Spring Islands’ new Green Zero Waste Grocery, the first of it’s kind in Canada. Owner and environmental crusader Crystal Lehkey, is committed to honoring the ecology of our Islands and our planet by getting rid of the unnecessary packaging our world is saturated with. In addition, a large percentage of their 300 or so products are sourced locally, and are organic wherever possible. Look for local producers such as the 20 acre Windsor Farm for their chicken beef and lamb, Epron Valley Farm, for their amazing vegetables, and their newest farmer who specializes in aquaponic gardening of tomatoes, carrots, strawberries and beets to be supplied throughout the winter. www.greenssi.ca, ssiwindsorfarms.weebly.com

Moving up Island to Yellowpoint south of Nanaimo, Yesteryear Farms is a wonderful full service producer of ethically, hormone free, pasture and free range raised Berkshire pork, lamb, fowl and farmed venison. They were the originators of the ‘meat box’ program which is now spread widely over island communities. The program allows small hobby farm growers access to a local customer base; and you, access to the freshest, healthiest farm to table product available. The farm’s products are so desirable that they’ve expanded to include an apple orchard, garden and professional grade kitchen in which to collaborate. Be sure to pick up some of their specialties; duck meatballs, Cornish game hens and of course their sausages with mouthwatering flavour combos. Go ahead, you, your family and friends deserve it! www.yesteryearfarms.weebly.com

The Comox Valley was the first to enjoy the asian flavours of Sushi Wara; whether you love sushi or traditional Japanese food, there is something for everyone – and for those times before and after turkey. Last year they expanded to Ladysmith, and now Nanaimo! 108-50 Tenth Street, or find them on fb.

Finally, for something a little different Nanaimo brings you Bistro Breizh; a mobile concession offering the traditional delights of Brittany made with locally sourced non – factory processed ingredients. Specializing in galettes or crepes made with buckwheat stuffed with savory or sweet fillings, Breizh satisfies that craving for Breton patisserie on the go. Their Web site is attended to with up to the minute info regarding their location so you don’t miss out. www.bistrobreizh.com

As you are making plans with friends or family for a night of dining out don’t waste an opportunity to eat well, make reservations early, and have a safe and happy holiday season.

– Kirsten Tyler

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