Mark your calendars – it’s that time of year again, when the best chefs and food producers in our local communities come together to put on the delectable Feast of Fields event.
Held at various locales in British Columbia, this year is FarmFolk CityFolk’s 15th annual food celebration and fundraiser, with the Feast of Fields Vancouver Island event to be hosted at Alderlea Farm in Duncan on Sunday, Sept. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. This is the seventh Feast of Fields to be held in the Cowichan Valley, and will showcase another delicious gourmet harvest. The culinary extravaganza has been hosted at numerous stunning Vancouver Island farms since 1998.
If you want to enjoy a meal cooked on an unusual stove, El Diablo Restaurant on Spain’s Island of Lanzarote is a perfect choice – the restaurant uses energy from a volcano that last erupted in 1824.
The high temperature gas that vents from the volcano were turned into the stove heating in 1970 by the late Cesar Manrique who built a magnificent restaurant in the Timanfaya National Park with architects Eduardo Caceres and Jesus Soto, complete with a giant grill to barbeque meat and fish dishes at around 400°C.
The Skyfarm by German designer Manuel Dreesmann allows people to grow food in their own home. The hanging spherical gardens offer city dwellers fresh greens without the carbon footprint and pollution of long distance transport.
Dreesmann’s spherical molded acrylic garden designs hang from the ceiling and from the balcony, making them ideal for the high rise buildings in city centres.
SABMiller, a large worldwide brewing company, makes Impala Beer from local African ingredients using a mobile Dutch processing unit (from the Dutch Agricultural and Trading Company, DADTCO).
The locally grown cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a woody shrub that has a starchy root that is high in carbohydrates, it is also used to make tapioca. It is a major food source in the tropics and SABMiller buys and processes the cassava locally too.
“By creating market opportunities for subsistence farmers in our value chains, we are able to increase their productivity, allowing them to feed their families and generate an income for the first time,” explained Andy Wales for SABMiller. The company is currently buying cassava from more than 1,500 smallholders.
Andy Wales implements SABMiller’s Ten Sustainable Development Priorities; identifying social, economic and environmental issues within the group’s strategies and business plans. This covers areas of risk such as water scarcity as well as areas of opportunity such as promoting local economic growth through smallholder farming.
It seems the beer also tastes good according to Wales. “It’s excellent, not too dissimilar from a regular lager. It looks exactly like any other beer – golden and sparkling with a foam head.”
A locally sourced beer, that encourages smallholder farmers to grow a commercially useful crop sounds like a great idea! But, how’s the hangover?