Supporting your local farmers is a holiday tradition everyone can get behind: after all, BC’s farmers produce the food you bring to family feasts this winter (and all year round!). To get the season started, we asked you to share with us how you bring local to your holiday table. Our community had some wonderful replies, and we loved hearing about the amazing BC agricultural products you buy for the holidays. Get inspired to fill your holiday table with our community ideas below!
Lots of you shared that you make sure to source your meat proteins (such as turkey, beef, chicken, seafood and pork!) locally, along with cheeses, ciders, wines and beers. BC-grown apples and cranberries were popular ingredients, along with brussels sprouts, squash and root vegetables all grown close to home. P. Erskine suggested “Carrots, potatoes, onions and lovely Brussels sprouts on the stalk from Desert Hills Ranch and BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. to wash it down.” D. Johnson showed how easy it is to build a complete menu from local ingredients: “We buy a turkey, cranberry sauce, cream, greenhouse peppers and tomatoes, apples, all from BC.” L. Platina reminded us that BC is home to some beautiful greens: “I usually head to my favourite farm market across the bridge to pick up local veggies (cilantro, napa, lettuce).” And D. Wei shared a mouth-watering look at how delicious local can be (you can see his photo on our feed here!), posting: “Thank goodness for local B.C. agricultural products. Nothing beats farm fresh local Brussels sprouts to accompany our festive roast deboned B.C. farm-raised turkey!” When it comes to products that are produced responsibly, and that are safe and affordable for consumers, our community made BC farmers their first choice - as C. Andrews said: “Always look for local BC products and buy all that I can! I trust them!!
You’re experts at finding local, too! Many community members mentioned how they support your favourite local farmers’ markets (find yours here) or family-run grocery stores. Community member J. Leeuw reminded us that grocery stores are a great place to source food products from your area: “I love seeking out new items in the 'local' section at Save-On-Foods. So many different items to try there from crackers, sauces, dips, snacks…” And S. Hanson said “(We) always buy Island Farms dairy products, local chicken and turkey, Hertel hams and sausages, vegetables from farm markets, local cranberries, seafood from local markets, local tree and local honey. Happy to be in the Cowichan Valley where we also have great wineries, breweries and ciders.”
Many of you also shared compelling reasons to support local all year round. B.W. Litowitz said “I always try to find local. Keep the money in the province - it's fresher and leaves less of a carbon footprint.” T. Litowitz said “We try to find local in the markets and stores when possible, especially produce as we feel not only is it good to support them but feel it's safer too.” And S. A. Dueck had this to say: “We buy as much as we can local from the turkey to sweet potatoes to Brussels sprouts and even cranberry sauce - love the taste of local and love supporting local farmers.”
If these ideas have you feeling energized, head to our recipe archive to start menu planning! Try a classic roast turkey with homemade bread stuffing; or stuffed turkey breast with apple-curry gravy. Cranberry mincemeat and seafood holiday quiche are two delicious twists on holiday dishes. For dessert, let local flavours shine with a deep dish apple and cranberry pie; a cranberry and biscotti semifreddo; or simple and sweet homemade egg-nog ice cream (after all, eggs and cream are always in season in BC!) Have you got a holiday recipe to share, or a farmer you appreciate? We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook and Instagram feeds.