Kootenay Rockies: Farm to Fork

Kootenay Rockies: Farm to Fork

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With the support of consumers and chefs who are dedicated to buying local ingredients whenever possible, farm-to-fork is what locals and visitors crave.

Whether you live in the Kootenays or are visiting, many are interested in the various stages of food production from the harvest, storage, processing, packaging, sales to, the best part, CONSUMPTION

Photo by Gina Begin, Casey's Community House in Creston, BC

Around the Kootenays many restaurants are celebrating this slow food movement which is the concept of dining that combines whole foods that are locally grown, dishes made with health of the body & soul in mind and meals that are appreciated when eaten.   Here are a few events planned for the season:


On Saturday, August 24, there is a Scotch-tasting and Tapas Evening at Winderberry and Edibles Farm called Whiskey at Winderberry’. The food paired with each malt will feature produce from the Edible Farm, a certified organic CSA in Windermere, and meats from local producers and cheeses.   


St. Eugene Resort’s Long Table Dinner event (near Cranbrook) is set for Friday, August 16.  Their 76 m/250 ft. long courtyard is transformed into a fresh-air outdoor dining experience, with the Canadian Rockies as the backdrop.  This year’s Bohemian Summer theme will encourage attendees to dress in their favourite 60’s and 70’s fab findings!

Photo by Kari Medig, St. Eugene Resort's Long Table Dinner


To kick off the season, Island Lake Lodge is hosting their Untamed’ Kootenay Culinary Event on Saturday, June 8 near Fernie, BC.  Guests will indulge in a true forest-to-table experience at the lodge.  Island Lake’s Chef Keith Farkas has created a scrumptious meal with ingredients sourced and foraged from the surrounding Elk Valley.

Photo by Tourism Fernie, Island Lake Lodge's Untamed Kootenay Culinary Event

When out exploring in Fernie – you could find owner, Jillian Rutherford from the Fernie Distillers forging for berries around town – as they make their own bitters and syrup to add to their drink cocktails. Their gin and vodka are for sale online and at various farmers’ markets or you can stop in and sample one of their outstanding drink specials, curated by Andy.


Just south of Golden in Parson, Columbia Wetlands Outposts offer an 'Interpretative Farm Tour' through the field of organic hops, apple orchard and bee hives.  Try their delicious farm products with all fresh produce grown directly from their farms.


On Sunday, July 14, the communities around Kaslo host an annual Kootenay Lake Edible Garden Tour.  This self-guided tour offers one of the best food-growing gardens in Kaslo and the north-end of Kootenay Lake. Each year is different but you are sure to find things like drip irrigation, straw-bale gardening, backyard chickens and rabbits, home-made and professional built greenhouses, hügelkultur, companion planting, perennials, berries, fruit trees and more.


The 27th annual Hills Garlic Festival (Sunday, September 8) features homegrown garlic ‘everything’.  With over 160 venders – you’ll be able to find something, such as garlic seed, powder, syrup, pickled, dips, snacks and plants.  Local artisans attend too; you’ll find locally hand-crafted jewellery, glass, wood, furniture, pottery, textiles, metal, stones, soaps, lotions and herbal remedies.


A second evening (Saturday, Aug 31) is planned for Cahoots Kitchen's as a long-table event. The idea of these evening is to bring the community together.  The dinner series 'Beauty in Flowers' winds throughout the communities in the Kootenays (as well as the Okanagan & Shuswap) this summer.  And this evening is most unique - as they are opening up the menu for community input with 'produce' that has been grown within the region.  So if you something grown in your garden, you will be asked to supply something towards the menu (that Cahoots will prepare) in exchange of a reduced entrance fee.  Watch for details on what vegetables are needed for the August event!

The 'Beauty of Flower' first event - oysters on the half shell, photo courtesy of Cahoots Kitchen

The first evening was held in Rossland mid-May.  The menu featured Ile Sauvage Brewing which supplied their flavour popping Golden Raspberry Sour, with Superflux out of East Vancouver who sent their ultra delicious Happyness IPA.  Desert Hills supplied both a Chardonnay & Gammay, while Bohemain Spirits out of Kimberley kicked things off with a delicious Gin cocktail. 


The annual Harvest Hootenanny (formerly Midsummer Night's Green party) features a 100-mile diet - happening on September 7, 2019. This year's event is transforming a local woodworking shop into the party place.  The feast is the largest fundraising event for the Local Food Initiative in Revelstoke, BC.

Another excellent source are the 20 Summer Farmers’ Markets in the Kootenays! Here is a list of their dates/times:

Photo by Kari Medig, Nakusp Farmers' Market

May 11-Sep               Saturday (9am-1pm) - Castlegar

Jun 22-Oct 12            Saturday (9am-1pm) - Cranbrook

Jul 3-Sep 4                Wednesday (5-7pm) - Columbia Valley, Windermere

May 4-Oct 12            Saturday (9am-1pm) - Creston Valley

Jul 3-Aug 28             Wednesday (5-7pm) - Elkford

Jul 7-Sep 1                 Sunday (10am-2pm) - Fernie

Jun 12-Sep 25            Wednesday (12pm-5pm) and Saturday (10am-3pm) – Golden

Jun 15-Sep 15            Saturday (9am-1pm) - Invermere

May-Sep          Saturday (9am-1pm) - Jaffray/Baynes Lake

Jun 8-Sep 21              Saturday (10am-2pm) - Kaslo

Jun 20-Sep 19            Thursday (5pm-7:30pm) - Kimberley

May 18-Oct 26          Saturday (9am-1pm) - Nakusp

May 18-Oct 12          Saturday (9:30am-3pm) - Nelson, Cottonwood

Jun 12-Sep 28           Wednesday (9:30am-3pm) – Nelson, Downtown

Jun 7-Sep 27             Friday (10am-2pm) – New Denver

Jun 29-Aug 31       Friday (4pm-9pm) - Radium Hot Springs

May 4-Oct 26           Saturday (8:30am-1pm) – Revelstoke

May 16-Oct 24         Thursday (3pm-6pm) - Rossland

Jun 27-Sep   Thursday (4pm-6pm) - Salmo

July-mid Sep  Friday (4pm-7pm) - Sparwood

In addition to knowing what you are eating, you are supporting farmers in our local communities.  Small-scale farming is sustainable, supports families and contributes to our economy. 

Enjoy – everything is fresh, natural and organic!

Photo by Kari Medig, Baillie Grohman Winery in Creston

Story by KootRocks Staffer (Shannon Harrison).  Cover/top photo by Jeff Benman from Creston, BC.

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