The Grist Mill and Gardens is partnering with local businesses to expand their Pantry Share program.
The new partners include businesses from the Okanagan, Similkameen and Lower Mainland.
“As a heritage site that receives no operating funding from any level of government, we’ve had to be exceptionally creative with how we generate revenue,” said Chris Mathieson, general manager of the Grist Mill. “What’s most exciting to us about our new partners is that each one is a small business passionate about food and community and they are all run by fantastic people who are clearly doing what they love — just like us.”
The new community partners include Bad Dog Bread (North Vancouver), Velo Star Cafe (Vancouver), The Polly Fox Bakery and Bistro (Abbotsford), Rooster Mafia Foods (Osoyoos), Black Sage Butcher (Oliver), Dougs Homestead (Kaleden) and Granny’s Cafe & Fruitstand (Summerland).
The Grist Mill’s Pantry Share program is like a vegetable farm box, but with preserves. Members sign up for their share before the season and that money is used to invest in the site’s gardens, contract local farmers for a portion of their crop, buy jars and other ingredients.
Then, as local fruit, veggies and flowers come into season, they’re turned into jams, jellies, pickles, sauces and more. In 2022, almost 120 products were available to members, including some small-batch exclusives. Once a month, members choose their preferred products, which they can pick up a few days later at one of the community partners.
“In addition to being a great way of supporting our work preserving and sharing BC’s agricultural history, each jar gives us the chance to teach the public about bygone ingredients and recipes,” said Mathieson. “It’s a joy to introduce people to flavours like quince, damsons and garlic scapes while also sharing the freshest peach jam, full of Similkameen sunshine.”
The preserve-sharing program is just one of several programs and events that will be returning in 2023 to the Grist Mill. The beloved Teddy Bear Picnic, the outdoor concert series, and the Fiber Arts day are all set to return over the year.
For more information, or to sign up for a share, visit their website at http://www.oldgristmill.ca/csa.Early-bird sign up available only until March 15, 2023.
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