By Lorette Smillie
My Husband and I came to Haida Gwaii and fell in love with the Islands many years ago. We found a perfect home in Port Clements on Masset Inlet. Thinking of retirement, we decided to open Smillie's Bed & Breakfast in 2007 to share what we love – the ocean, the islands and fresh locally grown and wild harvested food (http://www.gosmillie.com/default.html).
We are blessed to have access to such an abundance of local food on Haida Gwaii. Fresh produce and locally raised meat can be found with ease on Haida Gwaii – I understand there is even a directory being published to make ‘shopping’ easier than ever.
Island farmers and producers bring their wares to weekly Farmers Markets in each of the island communities. Spend the morning at the markets - they are also a social event! Fresh greens, local produce and an abundance of wild fruit in the summer are excellent and well worth waiting for.
Our family buys locally grown food to share with our guests. We buy our bacon at Island Meats across the street where it is freshly processed and packaged – now that’s convenience! I buy real free range eggs for my Bed and Breakfast as opposed to those from the stores that have been imported from many miles away. We have received numerous compliments on the ‘locally grown’ breakfasts that we serve. What a difference fresh can make!
I recently went to an island-wide food event in Port Clements (the Future of Food on Haida Gwaii) at which participants discussed various means to increase local food production on Haida Gwaii. We do appreciate having access to fresh healthy food on Haida Gwaii!
A visitor to Haida Gwaii may notice a significant number of backyard gardens throughout the islands… The local Farmers Institute and Islands Food organizations are proactive in organizing workshops to support food production on Haida Gwaii, from beginners to farmers.
Experience Haida Gwaii – our fresh healthy food will invigorate you while you tour the islands, walk the beaches and forests and kayak or sail around Haida Gwaii. Come visit!