Edible Acres’ delicious heirloom tomatoes were just one of the many locally grown treats to be had at this year’s Pig Out event.

From Scratch: How to eat your way through the Valley

There is much more to be explored and appreciated around this gorgeous place we call home... the list can go on!

This past weekend, I participated in Pig Out 2014 held at Edible Acres/Winderberry Nursery. Over 200 people purchased tickets to celebrate the summer harvest as chefs from across this valley showcased appetizers using local ingredients.  Local musicians provided entertainment, Arrowhead Brewery and Tinhorn Creek provided beverages, and Mother Nature looked after the rest — the backdrop was spectacular.  It is my favourite event of the year and I was humbled to be a part of it.  Hats off to all the organizers as there is much work to do to pull this event off.  Many comments I received from guests wandering through the day reflected on how lucky we are to live where we do.  It puts it all into perspective on days like this.

Where can you find a small valley that is home to a famous coffee company, brewery, organic vegetables, best honey ever, and wood fired pizzas within a one-hour radius?  I started thinking about all the things that there are to do in this valley of ours that revolve around food.  Here is a run-down (staying within my article word limit)!

Drive out to Fairmont Hot Springs and enjoy a meal at From Scratch — A Mountain Kitchen where we thrive on using local ingredients and seasonal flavours!

While you are there, grab a latte at Smoking Waters Coffee Shop where you can peruse the gallery gift shops.

Tony’s Greek Grill offers a unique dining experience of greek fare and makes fabulous smoothies!

Fireside Restaurant in Canal Flats is the ultimate in diner food — check out the burgers!

Winderberry Nursery in Windermere is home to Edible Acres — pick up some organic vegetables, beautiful flower bouquets and all things garden!

Hopkins Harvest is home to Okanagan fruit and many other delights like their homemade salsa and chips!  Great grab and go selection too!

Pizzeria Mercato is a new joint in town located in Hopkins Harvest where you can find pizza, pizza, pizza and some grab and go foods.

Kicking Horse Coffee Café brews up some amazing coffees and fabulous light meals.  Pick up your stash to take home and if you are lucky, grab a tour of the facility.

Arrowhead Brewery now has tastings of their makings.  This beer is made with heart!

Invermere Farmers Market runs into September where you can find local growers, artists and bakers galore!  My favourite day of the week!

Gerry’s Gelati is home to homemade gelati in a gazillion flavours.  My favourite is coffee and his crab apple flavour at Pig Out may just take the top of the list!

Beeland in Spillamacheen is home to our local honey and other honey products.  Worth the trip for a visit!

Quality Bakery in Invermere is home to incredible breads and pastries.  As recent renovation gives them a whole new vibe and their café crème is in my opinion, the best cup of coffee in town.

There is much more to be explored and appreciated around this gorgeous place we call home… the list can go on! Keeping your business in the valley keeps these businesses in business — you might need to read this sentence a couple times for it to sink in!  The dramatic contrast in a seasonal population means that these businesses work very hard in the summer months to push themselves through the off-season.  By visiting these places throughout the year, you help keep up our culture in this valley which, in turn, is making us self-sustainable as an economy.  Enjoy the end of summer and make sure you stock up for the winter months!

Lara McCormack is one of the owners of From Scratch – A Mountain Kitchen in Fairmont Hot Springs where one can savour fabulous seasonal food, sip from a selection of beverages including B.C. wines and enjoy the views of our gorgeous valley landscape.

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