Talk of the importance of locally grown food has become more widespread of late, but North Saanich has been walking the talk for years now.
Mayor Alice Finall says this weekend’s Flavour Trail event Aug. 24-26, now in its sixth year, is proof of that. And it’s a great way for locals to learn about the agriculture and farming industries taking place in their own backyard.
“There are so many varieties of agricultural activities going on here, but I think a lot of people don’t really recognize that,” Finall said. “It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s interesting, it’s educational and it’s something that people will not only learn from, but also really enjoy.”
Flavour Trail offers a weekend full of free tours of farms, gardens, markets and more, giving residents a chance to chat with the growers, farmers and agricultural experts in the district.
There are 15 participating businesses and organizations, plus activities at parks, heritage bike tours, seaside strolls and more.
“I think the curiosity factor is really important. People increasingly are becoming interested in local food and how it’s grown. And they taste it and realize how great it is,” Finall said.
There are even fruit dehydration and cheese-making demonstrations.
And it’s not just about the food. Come out and chat with experts on the natural flora and about how to plant your own garden – from berry plants and hedgerows, to olives and lemons.
New this year is a Friday night kickoff at Muse Winery, featuring music and readings, along with local wine and food.
Wain Park at 870 Wain Rd. will host free family fun throughout the day Saturday, including a country flea market, put on by the Parkland secondary grads, which is also new this year.
The park will also feature family friendly games (potato sack races, egg on a spoon race, tug-of-war) with prizes, the mayor’s country hoe-down and a movie under the stars.
Finall says the free event gets better with each passing year. And thanks to new venues coming on board all the time, visitors have something different to see every year.
“It has been successful and it continues to be successful because of the interest by the community,” she said. “If you don’t keep doing it and make it a regular event, it loses its import and impact, and it loses its momentum. I think it’s extremely important for us to show the farmers and the venues who participate how much support they have from this community.”
To download a brochure on the North Saanich Flavour Trail, which includes information and maps to all the activities and venues, visit northsaanich.ca and click on “Flavour Trail booklet” or see more information on pages A12 and A13 of the Peninsula News Review on Wednesday, Aug. 22.