604 Area Code

For those of you way out of the 604 telephone area code, this post may not be of interest.  For those of you in the 403 and 306 area codes, this post may be of some interest.

It’s all about food.  And the quality of food.  Those of you who know me personally, know that I am fairly passionate about good food.  Good quality food, and food prepared well.  It’s not a snobby thing…although you may know from previous posts that I appreciate a Michelin-rated restaurant when it shows up on my horizon.  😊  It’s about homemade food from of good quality ingredients.  Not fancy, but quality ingredients with good nutrition.

So while my last post was more about the world order, this one is about the opposite.  It’s about my community and the businesses that operate within that.  I am very committed to supporting my local small businesses during this time of self-isolation: I make sure I buy from a local supplier rather than a large box store when I can; I offer to purchase services in advance from my local suppliers (e.g. haircuts); and I support local food cooperatives.  I admit it’s been a sobering and saddening experience to go into my local medium-sized grocery markets.  I still shop there and try to convey my appreciation for their continued service, but today I learned about some things to supplement that experience.

Here are a few ideas for consideration:

  1. Local farms in the Fraser Valley are hurting. People, in their panic, are racing to the large box stores and forgetting about the local producers.  Today my son and I drove out to Rockweld Farms (34205 Townshipline Rd. Abbotsford) where we were the only customers at this family-run poultry farm.  After a lovely 2 metre distance chat where we learned about the farm and its products, we came away with dozens of lovely organic eggs, fresh roaster chickens, and frozen sausage delights.  We could have also bought grain-fed beef, local honey…the list goes on.  Normally these suppliers are at our local markets, but that won’t be happening this spring.  We came away with a box of food for us and our neighbors at great prices.
  2. With the support of google maps, prior to us leaving home we had looked at local farm markets near there that we could check out. This led us to Lepp Farm Market at 33955 Clayburn Rd. in Abbotsford.  We lined up outside, briefly, to allow for enough social distancing space inside, and then entered a foodie mecca.  Lovely produce fully stocked, rows of gourmet spices and sauces, a full fresh butcher with locally sourced beef etc., homemade soups, sauces, salads in their refrigerated deli section.  We came away with fresh produce, frozen homemade perogies and sausage rolls, a couple of bundles of freshly cut daffodils from local farms…and home.

My point is not to necessarily promote these retailers, but to suggest you pick a place you like to go.  I know a neighbor of mine likes JD Farms Turkey in Langley (24726 52 Ave).  My suggestion is that you pick a destination place you like, and then use google maps to find farm markets around it that appeal to you.  They are not super busy, you will be supporting the local economy, and you will come away with quality products at a good price.  And it’s a nice way to kill a few hours.  The highway isn’t busy.  Don’t take your reusable grocery bags, but do take your hand sanitizer and have a nice break away from the house.

That’s one suggestion.

The other is to share a positive experience with a cooperative seafood supplier (perk up 306 and 403 readers!).  For a couple of years my family has bought our seafood from a local cooperative.  We decide upfront each year how much we want to spend on seafood.  The money goes directly to the fishers and there is no middle retailer.  Our product is fresher, local, and I have the peace of mind knowing I am supporting local fishers.  Here is a brief description from them: “Skipper Otto Community Supported Fishery is changing the way Canadians get their seafood. Their model for sustainable, ethical and traceable seafood supports fishing families and small-scale seafood harvesters. If you’re interested in becoming a member, you can learn how it works here: skipperotto.com/how-it-works


2 responses to “604 Area Code”

  1. Hi Carmen! Just wanted to say that I’m enjoying your blogs. This one in particular was inspiring. I’m going to try and head out there next week. The ones you went sound fabulous – if you know of any others – love to get recommendations. Hope you are all staying healthy! C


    • Thank you Carol, you too. My travel companion had low tolerance for too much shopping, and I honestly had what I needed after two stops, so that was it. But there are loads of places out there…I would pick a “key thing” you want (in my case it was eggs), and then go from there on google maps.

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