Online map, Buy Local Buy Fresh, plots local food producers in Elgin County

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Finding fresh, local food from the farthest reaches of Elgin county just got a little easier.

You don’t have to search far to find Buy Local Buy Fresh – a grassroots project, curated by Mennonite Community Services in Aylmer, that’s making the rounds on social media.

Though organizers have been putting out printed maps of Elgin County hot spots for a decade, they’re just beginning to ramp up the program online too.

“The website gets quite a few visits and the Facebook page, because we post recipes and stuff too, people really seem to enjoy that,” said Helen Bergen, settlement services manager.

“It’s certainly got a great response when we first launched… A lot of time was put into making sure it was accessible.”

The county-wide interactive map plots about 50 different local food locations along with their hours, products and website links. From handmade soap to fresh vegetables and meat, the tool has it all.

And it you’re not great at navigating, the map has got you covered. Just pick the locations you want to hit up, along with your starting spot, and the tool will calculate the best route.

“It’s a nice site… and a great, great program,” said Katherine Thompson, Elgin County marketing and communications coordinator.

“It’s a good compliment to the printed maps because you can click through to find more information.”

As for travelers who didn’t bring their appetite along for the ride, the Buy Local Buy Fresh map has a plan for them too. There are lists of local artisans, quaint shops and the settlement quilt locations – a public art project meant to celebrate the county’s first generation Canadians, heritage ad culture.

“Each quilt has a little story,” said Bergen, all it takes to uncover it is scanning the QR code at each site.

“They can pop it onto their phone and read the story as they’re doing the trail.”

Though a lot of local businesses are open year round, and the quilt trail is a permanent attraction, Bergen said summer is when tourism season really heats up.

“People are ready to go for a drive and visit the different sites. It’s a fun way to get to know the region,” she said.

“It gives you a bit of the sense of the culture.”

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Buy Local Buy Fresh Online


Twitter: @BuyLocalFresh


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