The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Okanagan and Thompson Shuswap maps are growing in popularity as they attract tourists to local farms.

Okanagan farms map out success

The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Okanagan map is moving into its fifth year and second year for the recently released Thompson Shuswap map.

The prospect of buying local, fresh products is seeing steady growth.

The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Okanagan map is moving into its fifth year and second year for the recently released Thompson Shuswap map.

“The maps continue to be well received and are becoming one of the most requested publications at visitor centres and other outlets,” said Shayne Wright of Buy Local! Buy Fresh!

Places such as Armstrong’s Otter Lake Farm, Vernon’s BX Press and the Coldstream Creek Road Orchard are among some of the 48 listings, plus events, mapped in the publication. And it’s growing.

“We’re planning to register 60 farms for 2017,” said Wright.

“Last year we had a number of farms inquire to join in Coldstream and Lavington. We hope we can make space for them in next year’s edition.”

Coldstream (as well as Vernon, Lake Country and other Okanagan communities) has been a sponsor of the map since it started five years ago. Wright would like to enter into a three to five year agreement with such sponsors.

But a couple Coldstream councillors have some hesitations.

“I’m a little bit leary of seeing this continue into perpetuity,” said Coun. Peter McClean, who suggested private sponsorship be sought.

“I looked at this as more of a helping hand to get started, not on a continual basis.”

Wright says there is a possibility of some other region’s sharing the sponsorship with Coldstream, such as the Regional District of North Okanagan, if they are interested.

But, he adds: “They (farms) pay a pretty modest fee to participate. Hopefully the district can continue to provide some support.”