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Farm folk and city folk talk turkey

By PIRJO RAITS
March 6, 2013 · Updated 2:48 PM
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Marika Nagasaka, from ALM Organic Farm sells produce at the Shirley Market last year. / Pirjo Raits

Well, they may not necessarily be talking turkey, but they will be talking and discussing what they do to get the proverbial “turkey” on the table.

For the past 10 years, the Island Chefs’ Collaborative (ICC) has been connecting local growers, processors, retailers and chefs in an attempt to address the needs of each of those involved in food production.

The meetings help farmers plan their crops, ensure chefs have the produce they need, provide outlets for sales of products and encourage the movement to local food security.

The ICC has partnered with FarmFolk CityFolk to form a Meet Your Maker event on March 11 at the Saanich Fairgrounds. Meet Your Maker provides interactions between producer and buyer through panel and workshop discussions, fun high-speed networking, and a thoughtful and collective shared lunch experience. It expands on what is already been done by the ICC.

Candace Thompson, of Eagle Paw Organics in East Sooke, is one of the panelists  who will discuss one of the aspects of our local food economy. Thompson has been a farmer for 16 years with 14 of those years as an organic farmer. Her farm is the historic Chipperfield Farm begun in 1912.  As a organic farmer and agricultural consultant she is well versed in what it takes to grow food. She is an educator at the West Shore Training and Learning Centre and teaches youth about sustainable resources and growing their own food.

She sells produce at the Moss Street Market and to local restaurants.

“I will be speaking on deconstructing the food supply chain,” said Thompson. “What are the biggest challenges to buying and selling local food and what is the solution to that problem?”

Most important, said Thompson, was that she would be commenting on the importance of buying local and supporting farmers.

When she isn’t farming her own acres she teaches and provides a consulting service to those who wish to establish their own gardens, (email: cantho@telus.net or phone: 250-642-2595).

People interested in attending Meet Your Maker are asked to pre-register by March 8 for the March 11 event. Register online at: www.farmfolkcityfolk.ca/events/meet-your-maker-3/my-vancouver-island/