Boosters of Surrey’s agricultural industry are getting ready to show off their goods.
Events planned for the city’s first-ever Agriculture Week will celebrate the estimated 475 farms that account for close to one-third of Surrey’s total land use.
“It’s a lot of farms, yes,” agreed Councillor Mike Starchuk, chair of the city’s Agriculture & Food Security Advisory Committee.
“We want to showcase Surrey’s agricultural industry and show what we produce.”
Surrey’s Agricultural “Week” of events runs for just three days, from Sept. 15 to 17.
First up, starting this weekend, is the new Farm Fresh Sundays, a dining series involving seven restaurants in Surrey. The “eat local” promotion on, yes, Sundays in September, includes menus featuring at least two-thirds of locally-farmed ingredients.
Participating restaurants are Bozzini’s, Elements Casino, Maharaja, Old Surrey, Royal Oak, Tap and The Taphouse. The “Sunday” exception is Tap, which will feature its Farm Fresh menu on Tuesdays because the restaurant isn’t open on Sundays.
The Surrey-specific menus can be found at Surrey.ca/files/FarmFreshEventandMenusPamphlet.pdf.
“We hope to grow this event annually,” noted Starchuk (pictured).
All other Agriculture Week events will take place at Surrey City Hall, including a day-long agriculture land-lease workshop (on Sept. 15) and a speakers forum focusing on the local dairy industry (Sept. 16). Tickets for each of these events are $30, with lunch included.
At city hall plaza, a “Pie in the Plaza” event on Saturday, Sept. 17 will include what’s being called “B.C.’s largest blueberry pie” – an eight-foot-diametre creation consisting of 2,000 mini pies placed together, according to Carla Stewart, a senior planner for the city.
At noon that day, the pie will be served to event attendees with the baking help of student-employees of the PricePro store in Newton and John Volken Academy.
At 2 p.m., a pie-throwing contest will involve local farmers, animal mascots and perhaps city staff and politicians.
A petting zoo will also be set up at the event, along with other agricultural-related displays and demos, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. These include seed planting, “Heritage Hangout” lessons about Surrey’s farming history, a “Farm Fun Photobooth” and honeybees brought in from Cloverdale’s The Honeybee Centre.
“It’s a fun way to end the week of events,” Stewart told the Now.
Details about all Agriculture Week events in Surrey can be found on the city’s website, at Surrey.ca/culture-recreation/20206.aspx.