From field to front door

Jeff Holmes packs a box for Local Farms Food Delivery. - Christine van Reeuwyk /News staff
Jeff Holmes packs a box for Local Farms Food Delivery.
— image credit: Christine van Reeuwyk /News staff

Jeff Holmes spends Mondays sorting veggies.

Then he lugs them to homes across the Peninsula.

At 18, Holmes wants to be part of the movement to eat locally. With a small hobby farm at his parents’ North Saanich home, he knows the value of fresh local produce.

“I’ve always been passionate about the human body,” he said.

Originally interested in medicine as a future, Holmes now finds fuel for the human body just as fascinating. He worked on a Peninsula farm when he was 16, around the time the family started growing food at home.

The Camosun student has made multiple trips to developing areas in Africa and Mexico, adding to the value he sees in food grown and consumed within a community.

“My goal in life is to go back to Africa and developing countries and teach them farming techniques,” he said.

He came home from Uganda in October determined to raise awareness of eating local food stuffs on the home front. Holmes was stunned to learn that 50 years ago 85 per cent of food consumed on the Island was grown on the Island.

“Today it’s 10 per cent,” he said. “Raising awareness is probably the biggest thing behind this project.”

One month later he started Local Farms Food Delivery, a box program where he sources foods within a 30-mile radius.

About 20 clients get a box of fresh food each Monday.

“It’s making it more convenient,” he said. He figures convenience and cost are keeping people from eating as locally as they could. He strives to solve those issues, while offering clients the peace of mind in knowing where their food is coming from.

As the season changes, Holmes is looking forward to peppers and other fruits and vegetables.

“Eating local means eating in season,” he explained. That means no winter strawberries, but a small box will have seven to 10 different seasonal fruits and veggies, a small loaf of bread and half dozen eggs. At $25 for the small box, the goal is to meet the motto ‘from farmers fields to your front door without paying more.’

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