Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fresh Produce In The Okanagan

If I ever enjoyed grocery shopping- and I did, tremendously so- living in the Okanagan quadrupled my joy in a matter of four days. Despite the pressing need to unpack and organize, I managed to visit six shopping locations and stock up on anything from locally grown squash and carrots to organic cereals and spices.

Somehow, the rainbow of whole foods resting in my fridge offers confidence in the world where nothing is for certain. The assurance that my family and I consume enough nutrients to sustain our everyday lives, protect against the invisible environmental attackers and ensure adequate energy resources for life's inevitable battles.

In the Okanagan, shopping for produce is never a chore. During the summer months, the main highway and virtually every secondary road from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos are adorned with local farmers' signs, marketing fresh fruit and vegetables, free-range chicken and eggs, hormone-free dairy and raw honey. For the native residents, this abundance is customary. As for guests, travelling through or to the Okanagan and more familiar with the difference between snow and ice tires than what Brussel sprouts look like before harvesting, the option of picking juicy McIntosh apples straight off the farmer's tree is unheard of.

For anyone bent on salubrious living, shopping for fresh produce on a frequent basis is a large part of it. Unfortunately, the so-called fresh food at big-chain grocery stores is often picked before it had a chance to ripen and then transported for miles, resulting in a minimal nutrient concentration. Far from ideal, this state of affairs, while normal elsewhere, is effectively remedied in this part of British Columbia. And if nothing else, this alone is worth a cross-provincial move...

Brussel sprouts, apples and grape tomatoes of various shapes and colours from one of The Lakes farmers

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