Eating local--buying produce and other foods sourced from local growers and providers--is a growing movement in Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland.
If you're worried that eating local is too difficult or time-consuming, think again: it's easier than ever to eat local in Vancouver, thanks to a wide range of CSAs and local produce delivery services.
CSA is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA organizations partner with local farms and growers to provide fresh, local produce directly to consumers. The easiest way to take advantage of locally-based CSAs is to join their produce delivery services: for a subscription fee, you can sign up to receive weekly deliveries of local, seasonal produce.
Use this Guide to Eating Local in Vancouver: Local Produce & CSA Delivery Services to find the right service or CSA for you and your family.
Fresh Roots Urban Society is an organization dedicated to education through urban farming; with them, you're really eating local in Vancouver as their produce comes from schoolyard gardens at VanTech and David Thompson secondary schools. Their Veggie Box delivery service--available late-May through early-November--delivers a box of seasonal produce for you to pick up at VanTech Secondary School (2600 E Broadway) or David Thompson Secondary School (1755 E 55th Ave) once a week.
Throughout the year, Fresh Roots also sells vegetables and flowers at its market stand at David Thompson Secondary School on the first Thursday of the month.
Another hyper-local way to eat local in Vancouver can be found at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where the organic UBC Farms offer a CSA produce delivery service from June - October (you must enroll by early April). The CSA delivery service is open to the public, so anyone can enroll; you pick up your produce every week at UBC Farms.
A community of small farms located in southwest B.C., the Farm City Co-Op offers a 17-week (mid-June through mid-October) Harvest Box CSA delivery service with multiple pick-up locations throughout Metro Vancouver.
Located in Burnaby, the Common Ground Farm offers neighbourhood deliveries (so you have to go to specific point for pick up) of seasonal, local, farm-fresh produce. You can enroll in their CSA veggie basket service via their site, but you will have to contact them to find out if they deliver to a neighbourhood site near you.
Though not technically a CSA, the Vancouver arm of SPUD offers home deliveries of both non-local organic produce and local produce in its Fresh Harvest Box Program, but you can customize your delivery to include only local growers / local produce.
The benefit with SPUD is that it's delivered to your door (not a pick up point), you can further customize your order for vegetable preferences (e.g., "no beets"), and you can include local meat, local seafood (from the Daily Catch on Commercial Drive) and other groceries, too, all of which make it one of the easiest ways to eat local in Vancouver!