The Valley Food Farm Collective
an article by Natasha Mijinke, Fraser Valley Now Community Writer
Valley Food Farm Collective. (Abbotsford, BC) Credited as a city of momentum, Abbotsford has approached its tipping point, and the latest endeavour is the Valley Food and Farm Collective (VFF), which launches on Thursday, July 26th. Spearheaded by Josh Vanderheide, Owner of Field House Brewing, and Bonnie Friesen, Executive Chef and Head of Food Services at Field House Brewing, the VFF’s vision is to use food to transform the local community and to position the Valley as a global food destination.
It is a call-to-action by local food producers and restaurants to establish a more meaningful food culture where local farmers, artisans, and chefs are deemed as the change-makers, endeavouring to create a culture of teaching, and bridging the gap between what is farmed and crafted with the food that is cooked and shared.
Vanderheide started Field House Brewing with the belief that craft beer is about more than cold brews. It is about the warmth of a community, which is what led him to create an authentic experience. Abbotsford is the largest agricultural hub in Canada, and Field House honours Abbotsford’s agricultural history by bringing it back to a simpler time, where farm workers could come back to the ‘field house’ for a beer.
Friesen, who joined forces with Vanderheide in 2017, believes that food is a universal language that connects everyone. “This is what struck me and changed the course of my life when I had the opportunity to travel. Countries with the smallest footprint were so diverse in what they ate, how they spoke, and the manner in which they ate together; yet, the common connection was the deep-rooted heritage of growing, cooking, and sharing food. ‘Breaking bread’ breaks down barriers, makes us human, and creates connection.”