Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve staff are travelling across the 15 rural municipalities within the reserve to meet with farmers and producers who want to sell their product “At The Farm Gate.”
There is a growing trend of people who are following the “100-Mile Diet,” eating locally, cooking more meals at home, and becoming aware of sustainable eco-conscious eating and green foods. These same people are concerned about the quality of the food that they are eating, their health and the health of the environment.
The RMBR is helping these “locavores” find locally produced, fresh products that many small family farms are already producing and selling “at the farm gate,” such as farm fresh eggs, grass-fed or free-range beef, pork, and chicken, jams, jellies and preserves, baking, fruits, vegetables, and much more.
Both producers and consumers are pleased with the results.
“Our farm is registered in the Riding Mountain Biosphere. Go local!” tweeted organic farmer Kate Storey. She and her husband Doug who run Poplar Glen Organic Farm are just one stop on the At The Farm Gate virtual farmers market. “Happy chickens, happy cows, happy people. We enjoyed your visit,” she later tweeted.
“Connecting the variety of producers and consumers who live within Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve has been a very rewarding experience” says executive director Valerie Pankratz. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we at RMBR are enjoying meeting the producers who are inviting folks to buy directly from them at their farm gate.”
RMBR’s goal is to help build a stronger rural regional economy by encouraging people who live, work and play in the RMBR region to purchase food and various locally made products, to get to know where their food comes from and to get to know their farmer. The “At The Farm Gate” project is showing them where to go.
The virtual farmers market is growing and has taken off since its inception in May 2010. To see whom your local producers are and where they are located, check out http://www.rmbr.ca/projects/at-the-farm-gate/