At dinner parties my wife often has to remind me that sex, religion and politics are not topics for polite conversation.

Lately it seems you can add climate change to that list.

Whether you are an optimist, pessimist or realist when it comes to climate change, there is no denying that a trip down the aisles at a big box store will show that prices have gone up, package sizes have gone down, and availability is not as reliable as it once was.

It is not hard to see why when you see some of the drought maps for California. Production for some crops has been consolidated to the point where, in the case of almonds, 99% of the crop is grown in one area. And that area is now facing a drought that NASA scientists are predicting could last for hundreds of years.

There’s an old saw about bad weather that is fitting for the falling snow today and for the changing climate of tomorrow: The optimist sees the snow falling and hopes it will stop soon. The pessimist complains about it. The realist gets out the shovel.

Local & Fresh is the realist’s approach to the changing economics of food.

Our goal is not just to preserve the existing local food network, but to grow and strengthen Saskatchewan’s ability to feed itself with healthy food grown and made right here. Your support of a new way to get your groceries makes that happen.

When you chose local, you are choosing to support the environment, your health and the incredible group of realists we are proud to call our producers. As the rest of the world is going down the path of consolidation and globalization, these folks have chosen to pick up a shovel and do the hard work of building a stronger local food network.

If you ever wonder what it takes to “make a farm”, check out Green Ranch Owner and L&F partner Tim Shultz’s blog or check out the trailer for the documentary To Make a FarmI guarantee you, it will make it hard to chose “food from far away”.

If this was a dinner party, my wife would probably be nudging me under the table by now so perhaps it is time to change the topic.

Farm Fresh Eggs are back!
We are now working with Star Eggs who aggregate the supply of several local producers with a common protocol. These Free Run eggs are laid by hens housed in cage-free, weather-sheltered barns. Each hen is allowed to roam, feed, perch, scratch and do all the chicken-ee things that chickens should do – including lay eggs.

Tyler Weisbrod started growing fruit when he was just 17 on his family farm near Cupar. His Loon Creek Saskatoons are a Local & Fresh favourite, but we are now pleased to add a limited supply of premium Saskatchewan grown raspberries. These individually frozen berries are a wonderful taste of summer in the last gasps of winter.

Stacey’s Kitchen – Pastry Wrapped Trout Fillets Stock Box
If you ever want to build a big appetite, take spin through the posts from Stacey’s Kitchen on Facebook. Stacey has a growing list of delicious recipes featuring Local & Fresh items. Her latest is “Puff Pastry Wrapped Trout Fillets”, featuring Wild West Steelhead trout, Chatty’s Mango Mustard Chutney, and fresh dill from Campbell Greenhouses. We have put them all together with the recipe in a Stock Box for one-click convenience.

New Home  – New products on the way!
Finally, keep an eye on the “New to Local & Fresh” section. Now that the last box has been unpacked in our new, larger facility we will be adding a whack of new products – and of course the optimist in me can’t help but get excited for the bounty of produce that will return when the weather finally smartens up. But first I have to go find my shovel.

Andrew Rathwell – Owner, Local & Fresh