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Food Hub potentiates vibrant health in the region : Two Rivers

By MAGGIE M, Editor, http://thewedge.LIVE

I just signed up as a customer at the Two Rivers Food Hub . Until today, it was just getting too hard to find foods that have necessary nutrients and to maintain what health I have left. I seek foods that are “unfooled around with”–foods that are not genetically altered with “scorpion DNA” and myriad creatures–or saturated in herbicides.

What was wrong with the tomatoes of our forefathers?

I don’t get why we have to buy 3,000 mile produce, when we grow it here. The question begs, “What has been done to keep it alive in transit?”. I understand lemons and grapefruit can’t grow here; but, tomatoes from Chile or berries from South Africa?

I am not the only one stewing over this. There is discontent growing among the people in the region–especially those who are ailing or are close to someone who is. I hear them share their concerns in restaurants like NOAL Pantry , Smiths Falls. They frequent this eatery to get local, organic, safe and delicious food. Chef Laurie-Anne Brennan has made it her life’s quest to feed her flock of customers well. The place is packed on many days with customers who drive up to an hour to get there.

The topic of pesticides-herbicides is never off my mind; so, when I shop I hunt for scarce organic produce and meat. My wallet is getting thinner–and so am I. $2.00 for one organic tomato? This is not a specialty–it is simply a real tomato, real food. Alternatively, a genetically modified tomato, with the added perk of herbicides–inside and outside–cost half the price. Recombinant hormones and antibiotics in meat have reduced my options too.

Grocery shopping is like “looking for a needle in a haystack.” I hang around small organics sections; but, there too, you have to pull out your slide rule and reading glasses–avoiding that catch-all word, “natural.”

Eating for sustenance has become work. It’s not fun anymore–until today.

Enter Two Rivers Food Hub, a cooperative of local, small farmers, headquartered on the outskirts of Smiths Falls. They are working mostly with restaurants these days, delivering to them. They also pack to order for customer pick-up on Thursdays. They hope to break-in as distributors to grocery chains and I pray they succeed–so I can find food that will add to my health and not take it from me.

When you choose products on-line at Two Rivers you can source the farmer, the methods, in great detail. This builds confidence and removes purchase dissonance. I enjoyed the process.

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Bruce Enloe, General Manager, Two Rivers Food Hub

I interviewed Bruce Enloe, a Texan native, and General Manager at Two Rivers since May 2015. “We want to rebuild the middle, between farmers’ markets and big farmers,” he said. It is true there is quite a gap–a huge unmet demand. The non-profit corporation is poised for accelerated growth as consumer awareness about quality foods grows.

“Source from local farmers first, support your community,” he chides. “This is our primary mandate.”

If we don’t support these local farmers, we are all at risk. This is not a lifestyle choice.

A little history

Two Rivers Food Hub was founded in 2012 by local food activists, Lanark Local Flavor. They started working together on a feasability study, progressed to a business plan and opened in 2014. Cheryl Nash and Bob Argue, Bill Dobson (Reeve), Peter McKenna, Dave Smith,  Shannon Miller and several small farmers are among the original Board Members.

Watch this great, short video about Two Rivers farmers. Witness their passion and commitment to your health.

Share this widely and spread the hope for health.

NOTE: The logos in my story are a smattering of the farmers’ I purchased from today.