Local food, stronger community

As a Revelstokian, I love this amazing town and all the characters that come with it.  Really, it's all in the name…  “Revel” in the “Stoke”. Enjoy oneself in a lively way and be excited about it. This describes most of the amazing people in this town.  Many of us love it so much that we actively seek ways to keep this town wonderful. In the Sustain the Stoke series, we are exploring various non-profits in Revelstoke who are working hard to keep Revelstoke great. In the first installment, we decided to interview the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative, or the LFI as we all call it.

Watch the full interview below!

Food insecurity in revelstoke

If you lived in Revelstoke in the fall of 2021, you likely saw and felt the insecurities of our food system. Within days of the landslides closing the highways from Vancouver, the grocery shelves were bare. The supply chain quickly pivoted to Calgary and life returned to normal.  As time moves forward, those feelings of insecurity have faded, but the memories remain. Revelstoke only eats about 5% of its food from within 150 km and the rest imported from elsewhere. In Revelstoke, the non-profit Local Food Initiative is working on this issue for us. 

What does the local food initiative do?

Their mission is very clear, through education, facilitation, and advocacy they want to empower the community to enhance local food production and utilization. This magnanimous goal is achieved through their educational programs and local initiatives.  

Most of us see the very obvious Saturday farmers market where the thrumming energy at the farmers market is testimony to people’s desire for local products and the connections that come with it. The LFI works hard at creating a space where artisans, fruit growers, and boutique farmers can come and exhibit and sell their wares. Personally, these market moments are where I connect with friends and locals alike; while also filling my basket with tasty fruits and foods to get my family through the next week. There truly is something special about eating food grown by people you know. 

Probably somewhere between 40 and 50 families eat out of our community gardens by the end of summer and then everything extra we give to to the food bank.

KElsey from the local food intiative

Grow your own

Even more special is the taste of food grown by your own hand. Another facet of the LFI is the education that they offer in helping empower people to grow their own food.  Through their seed sale, online videos and tutorials they make it much less daunting to grow your own.  Their garden tours help inspire and illustrate the potential of backyard gardens.  It is incredible to see what a little passion and some work can create.  

recruiting the kids!

Of the many educational offerings that the LFI does my favorite is the “little sprouts program” where they educate children age 3-4 about where their food comes from. Then they allow the kids to get their hands in the dirt and connect with the food cycle.  Educating the kids continues into highschool, ensuring that the youth understand that their choices have impact and the pleasure that comes with growing their own food.  

By educating and empowering more local food production, the LFI’s vision of a more vibrant and resilient food system is achievable.  It's made possible by the local volunteers, local artisans, local farmers, local gardeners and in the end, all the locals who support this. We live in a special place and working together will ensure that it remains as great as it is.   

Here are some actions that the LFI suggest we do to Sustain the Stoke.  

  • Grow some of your own food 
  • Eat local/support local 
  • Eat in season. 


Written by Greg Hill

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