Get Fresh is a hidden gem of a resource. It’s your complete guide to fresh local food and services on Vancouver Island.

(Photo from getfreshguide.com)

Want to know what produce is in season? Where to find locally made products? What restaurant use local ingredients? Get Fresh’s guide can tell you all this and more!

“We wanted consumers to be able to make choices about where their food dollars would go, so that when they chose a local maker, baker, restaurant, hotel or retail grocery shop, etc., they would know that money was staying local and going back into the hands of the growers and producers,” says Elisabeth Bond. Bond pioneered the creation of the Get Fresh guide 7 years ago as a passion project. “Every guide is curated and each business is selected not just for growing or providing local but for the quality of the product they create.”

(Photo from getfreshguide.com)

For Bond, the inspiration for the Get Fresh Guide came from her family and childhood. “I didn’t grow up farming exactly, but did live surrounded by farmland on the Saanich Peninsula,” she says. “My father became very active in the local agriculture community as an advocate concerned with protecting farmland.”

Eventually, Bond and her husband would move to 10 Acres on Thetis Island, turning the former vineyard into an organic market and keeping livestock like pigs, milking goats, chickens, and ducks. Bond continued to work in the food industry. “ Over and over again I heard restaurant owners and chefs complain of their difficulty in sourcing direct from growers and local producers, while I often heard the same from farmer friends,” she said. And so Get Fresh was created.

(Photo from getfreshguide.com)

“It seemed to me that with my understanding of farming, seasonal availability, and connection to the local food economy I could help to further these community food connections,” she says. “When I discussed the idea with my family, we all agreed that an attractive, informative guide was needed, one that didn’t just highlight farms, but one that helped show and grow connections between important partners in our local food economy.”

Get Fresh makes it easier to support the local food movement. They also encourage new connections to be made within the food industry. “We’ll often pick up a product from one member and take it to another to introduce it to them.”

(Photo from getfreshguide.com)

“We believe that furthering the connection to local in-season foods through celebration, education and inspiration will help inspire others once choice at a time to make a conscious decision on where their food dollars go.”

You can learn more at getfreshguide.com and find out where to pick up a printed guide at getfreshguide.com/get-a-guide

-Ryann Anderson