The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Cowichan Food Map (BLBF) is an annually produced local farm map which has been helping Cowichan residents search out locally produced food, wine, and value-added products for the past six years. Spanning from Shawnigan Lake to south of Nanaimo, the map highlights local food, farm products, and businesses.
The Cowichan Valley offers a surprisingly wide range of products from seasonal veggies to honey, bee pollen, tea blends, hazelnuts, berries, and meats like grass-fed beef and rabbit. Local ingredients can be easily found by browsing farm listings on the map or using the online search component at cowichangreencommunity.org/foodmap.
This year, the paper map will be released at the same time as the new online marketplace for Cowichan food producers, Cow-Op.ca, opens it’s virtual doors on June 1st. Cow-Op.ca will be the first online marketplace of its kind for the region and will feature a variety of produce, meats, eggs, seafood, cheeses, honey, and more all grown or produced throughout the Cowichan Region.
Many of the same producers who list on the BLBF Food Map are also choosing to sell through the online marketplace. Cow-Op.ca will give farmers yet another option alongside the food map, existing farmers markets, CSAs, and farm-gates sales, to get their yummy local fare onto Cowichan plates. For consumers, accessing and purchasing Cowichan-grown food has never been easier.
The online version of the 2015 Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Food Map is now updated and available at www.cowichangreencommunity.org/foodmap. Search by farm, product or location. The print maps will be available at the end of May at Cowichan Green Community’s office at 360 Duncan Street in Duncan (or phone 250-748-8506 for other pick-up locations near you).