Cycle through the countryside. Slow it down. Speed it up. Enjoy the fruits of someone’s labour. Appreciate the rich soil that gives us the misshapen potatoes that are perfect in every way. Ogle at the striped cows and take photos beside the giant sunflowers. Enjoy fresh berries and homemade bread. Cycle some more and then chill out under a willow tree. This week, I bring you to the annual Slow Food Cycle.
Now in its eighth year, Pemberton’s Slow Food Cycle was founded to help bridge the gap between local farmers and people who love food. Now, some 3,000 locals and tourists alike, make their way along the 50 kilometre farm belt that runs along Pemberton Farm Road.
The crowd is mixed: teens; young families; senior citizens; 20-somethings; those who like to go fast; and those who like to go slow. Anything goes as you make your way down the long stretch of flat farmland set against the backdrop of the dramatic Coast Mountain Range.
At each stop, the treats are plentiful and cheap. My favourites were Bannock with fresh Huckleberry jam made by a local First Nations woman; and the authentic fresh tacos from The Collective Kitchen.
This year’s participating farms and suppliers included: Rootdown Farm, Across the Creek Organics, Araxi Restaurant, Ice Cap Organics, Helmer’s Organic farm, Pemberton Valley Coffee Company, Purebread, Schramm Vodka Distillery and so much more.
While this year’s Slow Food Cycle has come to an end, the good news is that you can do your own Pemberton farm cycle. Head on over to the local bike shop, Bike Co. and rent a bike. While many of the farms featured in the Slow Food Cycle only open their doors for Slow Food Cycle Sunday, there are still some that welcome visitors. North Arm Farm, which is closer to Mount Currie, is my favourite for berry picking in the summer and squash and pumpkin picking in the fall.
After visiting the farms, I have a deeper appreciation for how and where my food is produced— and you will too!
PUBLICATION: Vancouver Is Awesome