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The fourth annual Powell River 50-Mile Eat Local Challenge starts on Sunday August 9, 2009, and goes for 50 days until Sunday September 27, which is the second day of our two-day Fall Fair.

This year, the organizers of the Eat-Local Challenge decided to kick off with an event of some kind, and the popular choice was an idea that has been floating around for some time: a tour of food-producing gardens. And so the Edible Garden Tour was born. This tour of local gardens is going to be a great way to see how other people in the region are producing some of their own food, which is one good way to provide plenty of fresh local food during the eat-local challenge (and throughout the year).

I know from personal experience, and from talking to plenty of people, that one of the highest barriers to growing more food is the feeling that it is all very complicated and too difficult for most people. So traveling around and seeing the creative ways that people are growing food in backyards, sideyards, and frontyards should be enough to inspire almost anyone to think about doing something similar where they live.

The gardens are split up into two sets:

  • a morning set to the north of Powell River, and in Wildwood, Townsite, and Cranberry; and
  • an afternoon set in Westview and Lang Bay (south of Powell River).

There is no fixed order for the gardens, but you might want to start in Lund (Nancy’s Bakery opens early, so you can start with a (non-local!) coffee there) and work your way down through Wildwood into Townsite and then Cranberry in the morning. The neighbourhood of Cranberry is having Cranberry Days in Lindsay Park on Sunday, so you can stop there for lunch and a midday break. Or head over to the Open Air Market. Then in the afternoon you can see the gardens in Westview and travel down to Lang Bay to finish off. Take a snack and spend some time on the beach south of town! The order in which the gardens are described here is a suggested order only. See the map on the last page for the overall layout of the tour.

If you are looking for a guide and map, you can pick one up in Powell River at Breakwater Books, Kingfisher Used Books, the Powell River Public Library, and at the Community Resource Centre. Or click on this link to see a printable or downloadable PDF version.

Thank you to all the volunteers, to the gardeners who have graciously opened their gardens up for the public, and to you for coming out. If you would like any more information about the Edible Garden Tour, the 50-Mile Eat-Local Challenge, or any other projects of the Powell River Food Security Project, please contact David Parkinson at (604) 485-2004 or david@prfoodsecurity.org.

Thank you for supporting local food!

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