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[caption id="attachment_1269" align="alignright" width="202" caption="U-pick farms are on Vancouver Island"]U-pick farms are on Vancouver Island[/caption] When people think of islands they generally think of isolated communities with limited provisions that can only be purchased for a princely sum. The cornucopia of culinary delights that can be found here on central Vancouver Island definitely does not prescribe to this norm!

Fresh foods are available in all seasons from local vendors here in Nanaimo, including not only fruits and vegetables, but also beef, poultry, seafood and grains. With an abundance of Farmers Markets that operate year round, local butcher shops and meat markets, and many grocers who support local producers it is easy to shop local and buy in to the oft mentioned 100 Mile Diet. There are also many u-pick  local farms that welcome visitors in to pick their own produce right in the fields, a great experience for all ages!

[caption id="attachment_1268" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Eating fresh from the Island"]Eating fresh from the Island[/caption] If you'd like to enjoy an expertly prepared meal full of fresh and tasty local ingredients, there are many restaurants just a short walk away from the Painted Turtle Guesthouse doorstep that would be more than happy to indulge your wildest gastronomic fantasies. Some of my favorites also just happen to be part of the great Painted Turtle Stay & Save program, which means not only are you getting delicious, nutritious food, but you’re also getting a steal of a deal!

For more information on how to eat local in Nanaimo check out the Vancouver Island Diet webpage, and to learn more about our new Stay & Save program call the Painted Turtle Guesthouse toll free at 1-866-309-4432, or email at stay@paintedturtle.ca