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In Pictures: New plans cooked up for fans of local food

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Despite the soggy conditions, Vancouverites flocked to the city’s only winter farmers’ market this past Saturday at the parking lot and plaza outside Nat Bailey Stadium. Patrons had plenty to choose from – whether it was local produce, handmade sausages, the cheesy fare from some of the city’s top food trucks, or handcrafted purses and bags. And this week, the local-food movement could get a huge boost.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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Cole Hewlett enjoys the a crepe purchased from Crepery La Boheme. On Wednesday, Vancouver city council will vote on a new food strategy called “What feeds us,” prepared by the Vancouver Food Policy Council. The strategy features 71 recommendations, including increasing the number of farmers’ markets in the city from nine to 22 by 2020.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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The food strategy also recommends, among other things, that five or six new community garden plots be added to the city each year until 2020, that the number of urban farms increases from 17 to 35 over the same time period, and that the city look at opportunities for schools, parks and city facilities to increase the amount of local and sustainable food they buy.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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Customers shop for vegetables at the Fiore Farms booth. “Not all farmers participate in farmers’ markets, but those that do find them a real valuable piece of their marketing strategy,” said Brent Mansfield, one of the food council’s co-chairs.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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“When people have an affection and understanding of the life of a farmer and farms and local products, we then care enough to shop in those places and value local food and local farmland,” Mr. Mansfield added.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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Preserves on display at JJ’s Country Cooking booth. The strategy also suggests growing vegetables on residential boulevards, traffic circles and bulges. “This provides a coherent framework for the city to bring food to that level of profile that understands the many things food does for a city,” said Mr. Mansfield.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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