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Local Farms

Since Blue Canoe opened in 2008, we have made an effort to use local suppliers.  Richmond has a strong farming community, so naturally we started the search here for local farmers to meet our produce needs.  This venture has proven more difficult than we had anticipated.

The challenge was twofold.  First, many farmers produce small crops and could not meet the volume requirements that we needed to be able to consistently use their product.  Second, the larger farms and farmers did not have the product variety we were looking for.  In spite of the logistical challenges over the last several years, we did try to incorporate product from the local farms whenever possible.

The journey to use local farmers has evolved this past year.  We buy product from Richmond’s JS Nature farms throughout the year, and use their produce for weekly features.  This has become a regular trip for Blue Canoe’s Executive Chef Danilo Ibarra.

Chef also sourced a local potato farmer for use year round.  We now get our potatoes from a Ladner farmer, Blake Lundstrum.  Blake stops by once a week in his pickup truck to drop off our sacks of potatoes.

Another breakthrough happened last spring, when we met Miles Smart, a third generation farmer from Cherry Lane farms in North Richmond.  This past year we used his produce throughout the summer and fall months.  Last week Chef Danilo and Miles sat down and planned out which seeds Cherry Lanes farms can plant for us for our spring and summer menu.  We will be working closely with Miles and his team as the seeds start to sprout.  We look forward to visiting the farm to check on the progress of the crops.

We will continue to grow relationships with local producers.  “Shopping local” is one of our core values as a company, and we are very excited to be making positive steps in this direction.

Chef and Miles Feb 2014