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Local Food Challenge in the Great Bear Rainforest

August 11, 2013



Our Local Food Challenge is starting next week! Woohoo! If you are still wondering if you should join, take a look at Merri’s inspirational challenge last year in the Great Bear Rainforest. Of course, you don’t have to eat solely from the rainforest to participate! We let you determine what local means for you, so join now! You can also pledge to any of our participants here.


—–Merri Fishing

August 19th–Well, we’re approximately nine official minutes into the Growing Chefs! Going Local! Local Food Challenge 2012. I just finished a last cup of decaf coffee and ate a dried nectarine (not a local one) as my final imported meal until next Sunday.

Starting in the morning, I’ll be eating (along with two wonderful KPL staff members–Barb, an adventure guide, and Marie Soleil, one of our spa therapists) from within 100 miles of the isolated rainforest where I currently live, bolstered by other foods from B.C. Pledge me money! All funds go right into the Growing Chefs! program. For those of you who can’t buy tickets to our fancy gala and don’t have the time to volunteer, this is the perfect way to show your support. I’m about a quarter of the way toward my goal of $1000. Donating is easy. Visit: and click donate.
So… Great Bear Rainforest foods update. I caught a halibut! My first one. Kind of an amazing experience. Here are Marie Soleil and I fishing (I should mention that all the next few photos, all gorgeous–clearly distinguishable from my usual photographic disaster–were taken by our media intern, Brooke Allen. She’s fantastic.):
  Marie-Soleil Fishing
And here’s my halibut!

The same afternoon, we picked berries for five hours! Mostly huckleberries, some bunch berries and thimbleberries (YUM!).
Check out the ingenious berry purses we made (you may have seen these last year).
It’s painstaking work, and at the end of the day, we had two trays’ worth of berries. Not bad… but not nearly enough for the week!
Two amazing farmers from the Fraser Valley, Jeremy from Pitchfork Organic Farm and Sheila from Mighty Fraser Farm Goods donated some food and sent it up via the incomparable Kim Frederiksen. So far, we’ve received some breathtaking braising greens, salad mix, and field cucumbers, and we’re expecting carrots, fennel, and beets to arrive on Monday! Having these items on hand is literally turning my dread over the rainforest diet into excitement for a nutritious, healthy week of amazing discovery! I cannot thank them enough. Check out their product at a farmers market near you! (Much better pictures in a future update.)
We’ve gotten a few things donated from the kitchen (B.C. tuna, a whole box of fennel fronds) and Shelly arrived back from a trip to Hartley Bay tonight with dried seaweed harvested by her mom and sister! Smoked cockles! And smoked salmon!
So, on the dawn of the challenge, our cupboards are stocked with: 3 coho salmon, 1 chinook salmon, 1 halibut, 1 rockfish, smoked salmon, smoked cockles, dried Kiel seaweed, huckleberries, bunchberries, thimbleberries, salmon berries, stink currants, wild blueberries, miners lettuce, albacore tuna, quail’s eggs, fennel fronds, braising greens, cucumbers, rhubarb compote (made with wild mountain honey), apples, corn, mushrooms, butter lettuce, tomatoes, dried nettle tea, devil’s club (for tea), silver fir, cedar, and bog myrtle (I don’t even know what that is, yet!).
Don’t you want to send a pledge and stay tuned to hear about our adventures and menus through the week?
Thanks so much to those of you who have already supported me. It really is motivational.
More soon!
xo Merri
P.S. We also started some lettuce. Last minute garden. Fingers crossed.

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