A Friendly Farm Gate Chat

Dear readers, how would you like to go shopping with us today? Remember, I can see when you roll your eyes. I promise it will be a shopping trip like no other you have likely been on recently. Today is the opening of Mayne Island’s Farm Gate store.

Farm Gate is the dream and shared vision of Don and Shanti McDougall who own and operate Mayne Island’s Deacon Vale Farm. Striving for local, organic and the best ingredients, the Farm Gate Store experience is about getting beyond either or thinking. When you have a love for food and community like the McDougalls this is no surprise.

At  the storefront we stopped to look at a great new sculpture by local artist and cob home expert Pat Hennebery.

Here we are at the Farm Gate store’s side entrance. A family has arrived ahead of us on bicycles to Mayne Island’s newest food place at the edge of the woods.

We are thinking maybe we will go by bicycle next visit. As we go inside we are greeted warmly by friends and neighbours and the store owners alike.

There are no strangers at the Farm Gate Store. Only new friends.

Customers decide between all of the quality choices local to “the islands” and British Columbia and a few exceptional import goods.

Locally, in our northern hemisphere, this time of year there are mostly  kale, mushrooms and a few greens and winter vegetables.

And please don’t tell anyone but I dislike kale. I know that is not very back-to-earth of me but I just can’t help it. To have the best eco-friendly variety and a balanced diet is to eat what is local, organic and in season closest to us.

Okay, so opening morning, one hour after being oriented on a new check out system that has just been installed, can be a little daunting. Though the learning curve is steep for the tellers, even young customers are happy to chill.

After all, this is the event of our day – no need to rush out the door to plant the spring peas. They will wait.

So let’s see some of the things we brought home. I have laid them out on a Deacon Vale Farm apron I was given in the check out line up.

I did not need a gift for waiting but I shall treasure it for its thoughtfulness and to remember the pleasure of opening day at the Farm Gate Store. We mostly bought celebratory foods. Partly because we know we can go back again for “a real shop” and partly because today truly was to celebrate. We wanted to have a friendly Farm Gate chat to welcome the Farm Gate Store as neighbours to neighbours.

Hum, I suppose I must confess that the hippie chip purchase was mostly for their name …… but they are also delicious!

See was I right? Are you not glad you came shopping with us today? If you are interested, there are more photos and information on the Farm Gate Store Facebook page.

Three cheers for community supported agriculture! Remember, the closer the greens are from the garden to your plate the more tasty goodness.

Sprout question: What locally grown foods feed your creativity?

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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada