By Jim Barr
If you make a living taking the forest home for dinner, then you’ll likely know a thing or two about how to get the job done. Across the Alberni Valley, Célia Auclair and her husband Ben Patarin (who has a masters in agro-forestry), make their living harvesting the 85 different plant species found throughout the year on their forays.
Over the course of a year, they cover some 20,000 kilometres of logging roads around the Island to find their edible treasures.
Good news for those like me who are fascinated by this process, their company Forest for Dinner offers tours and products to place foraging at your fingertips. I recently went on an Alberni Valley foraging tour with them to uncover the opportunity with their bounty of knowledge on what to pick while also learning what tools you use to pick it.
Read the full story on my experience at ZenSeekers.com, and read on for some foraging tips and your next #ExplorePortAlberni vacation itinerary.
“I love the Alberni Valley because of all the natural elements that surround us,” explains Auclair.
For upcoming foragers – here are some key tools:
Extensive knowledge of the forest
And what to look for. Forest for Dinner offer these tours – sign up for the spring series and sign up to their e-newsletter for when the spring tours become available: forestfordinner.ca
A GPS device
The Alberni Valley is one of the biggest valleys in the world. Don’t be that person search and rescue needs to come looking for.
A solid itinerary for your time in the wood
But also what to do with your time once you are out of those woods – click here for Célia’s fall itinerary she suggests for Alberni Valley Tourism
A basket with holes
So when you put the mushrooms in there the spores can flow through and back into the soil
This can simply be a straight blade from Rona.
Location, and for Célia and Ben, the Alberni Valley is right up there for top of the food chain status…globally!
Ready to taste the forest, on your plate and in your glass? Here’s how to elevate the experience: Antidote Distillery opened up a new ‘French Café’/West Coast-inspired gin bar and grill in the heart of Port Alberni and with it comes a Forest for Dinner collaboration.
Go #explorePortAlberni this fall to find some love within one of the world’s largest valleys. Alberni Valley Tourism has any upcoming traveller covered via these itinerary suggestions found on their website.