Abbotsford’s fall harvest is being celebrated this September with a bounty of events, online and in person.
The inaugural Taste of Abby Fall Food Festival runs from Sept. 9 to 18, and includes a night market kick-off event, seasonal dining opportunities at local restaurants, an awards event and a video series on food security and sustainability.
The festival, coordinated by Tourism Abbotsford, has been designed to invite everyone to explore a selection of food and agricultural events, treating one’s palate to Abbotsford’s deep history, diverse food culture, and delicious culinary cultivations.
“We are thrilled to launch the first-ever Taste of Abby Fall Food Festival,” said Craig Nichols, executive director of Tourism Abbotsford. “This celebration will continue to build Abbotsford as an epicenter of food and agriculture.”
Admission to the Night Market is $35 per person, which includes eight tokens to be used at vendors for food and beverage samples. More tokens will also be available to purchase on site, and children under 12 get in free.
The vendor list includes Banter Ice, Bubble Tasty Tea, Maan Farms Country Experience and Estate Winery, Ravens Brewing Company, Restaurant 62, SinAmen Bakery Co., and Taves Estate Cidery and Family Farm.
The event also includes live music from Abbotsford musicians Ryan McAllister, Kyler Pierce and Greg Neufeld; artisan shopping; and a long list of farmers, chefs, and makers of cider, beer and wine. It runs from 5 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Jubilee Park.
On Sept. 11, a YouTube series of “solutions-forward” presentations will be available, called Food Security, Food Sustainability, and Ag-Tech Conversations.
That will include talks from Archway Community Services on their urban farm, a not-for-profit teaching garden that empowers the community towards choosing local ingredients and supporting a deeper understanding of where food comes from.
Another video will focus on vertical agriculture in local and regional food systems, a potential approach for addressing sustainable food systems challenges.
Other videos will tackle food systems vulnerabilities in the Fraser Valley revealed by the pandemic, agri-tech incubator and accelerator programs; the Abbotsford Food Asset Map; and local cellular agriculture, which is an emerging set of technologies for producing local and reliable dairy and meat alternatives with low environmental footprint.
On Sept. 18, the first Taste of Abby Food and Farm Awards will recognize Abbotsford’s best culinary talents and agricultural producers. The awards will be co-presented from 2 to 4 p.m. by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Abbotsford, at Tavern on the Green.
And all through the festival, enjoy seasonal experiences at selected Abbotsford restaurants. Many of Abbotsford’s farmers are collaborating with chefs and business owners for special local menus through this time.
“Living and working in Abbotsford, surrounded by rich fields full of amazing ingredients and produce, is such a gift. Restaurant 62 is proud to serve as much locally sourced seasonal produce as possible. We believe the best of everything we serve shines when it is fresh, harvested at its peak, and handled simply,” said Jeff Massey, executive chef and co-owner of Restaurant 62.
For more details and to be on top of updates, follow Tourism Abbotsford on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For event information, visit the Taste of Abby website at tasteofabby.ca.