The local food council is preparing a brochure for the public which will list the farms in Rainy River valley where local products can be purchased.
“We want to share with everyone else that not only can we speak about buying local products, but we can tell people where to access them,” noted Jarrod Gunn-McQuillan, adding they hope to have the brochures available by the end of this month.
The group put out a call to all producers in the area who sell from their farm gate or at farmers’ markets—and they received interest from 15-20 producers.
“It’s quite impressive,” Gunn-McQuillan remarked. “Some of the larger areas that would have a higher concentration of farmers only got 25-30 their first year, so it’s pretty impressive considering it’s much smaller amount of farmers to select from here.
“It’s really exciting.”
He stressed farmers from across the Rainy River valley will be included in the brochure.
“We got some from Pinewood, Rainy River, Devlin, Stratton, and on the outskirts of Fort Frances,” he indicated. “It’s a wide variety for wherever you may be.”
Other communities have put out brochures and maps for the same cause in their area—and to some success, added Gunn-McQuillan.
Last month, for instance, the Waterloo Region distributed its fifth edition of the popular “Buy Local! Buy Fresh!” map as a guide to local food and farm products.
“We’re sort of partnering with Waterloo to borrow their brand ‘Buy Local! Buy Fresh!’” Gunn-McQuillan said. “They’ve created this like an image or a logo.
“And the idea behind it is if we can create some brand recognition across the entire province using this same brand, then it might increase recognition by consumers.”
But Gunn-McQuillan noted the local brochure will say “Rainy River Valley” instead of Waterloo Region.
“It’s really, really nice of them to do that,” he enthused. “So right now we’re concentrating on trying to get that brochure up and out.”
He added the local food council also is still working on having a “Taste Local” event, partnering chefs with local food producers and allowing people to go around and sample the locally-made food.
“We’re in the planning stage right now,” Gunn-McQuillan said. “The best time for this will be in late September, early October when we’d have the widest variety of food available.”
While the food council is not yet sure where the brochures will be available, Gunn-McQuillan urged people to watch for them because they will be out around the end of June.
(Fort Frances Times)