In recent news, the Bermuda Tourism Authority has released a really beautiful food harvest almanac designed to connect all of us with locally grown foods at their freshest. It shows fruits, veggies and herbs, as well as local seafood from Bermuda’s waters and indicates the times of year they’re ripe (where applicable) and ready to eat, as well as whether or not they’re harvested year round.
For someone like me who loves to eat in a “farm-to-table” way, and who visits local farms every chance I get, plus I have at least 2 beekeepers’ phone numbers in my contacts and I check in with them about how their harvest is coming along year after year, this almanac is such a helpful tool and a beautiful little piece of art that brings joy to my heart when I look at it because then my imagination takes over and I start planning my seasonal menus in my mind…. I love to look forward to the foods and dishes that really characterize a season. Warming winter stews and sauteed kale; tasty and grounding springtime root vegetables like sauteed Bermuda onions, roasted beets and colourful carrots; fresh summer spinach salads with strawberries, goat cheese and honey; and my autumn cinnamon and maple-laced pumpkin soup, to name a few.
As wonderful as this almanac is for all of us on island, making us aware of what is available and when, it gets even better. The effort is also designed to kick-start destination marketing efforts that aim to draw visitors onto the island to experience the incredible local produce and seafood at it’s peak. As the world moves towards a food culture that highlights locally sourced foods and honours local food traditions, the BTA sees this as a really incredible way to open up the Bermuda tourism offering to include these items by leading visitors to locally grown food that residents rank the highest.
In an article published in Bernews earlier this month, BTA Chief Experience Development Officer, Glenn Jones, said:
“This will help elevate Bermuda’s food culture and sustainability practices, important to today’s travellers, who are often willing to pay more for food sourcing that is green and food experiences that are culturally immersive.”
“As we roll out a food harvest almanac to the community, we want residents to tell us their favourite locally harvested foods by season. Through destination marketing efforts, we can lead visitors to the local harvests residents rank the highest. We’re focusing on seasonal picks, because food helps articulate Bermuda’s year-round appeal. Some of our more distinct foods, like loquats and lobsters, harvest in winter—a time of year our tourism industry wants to make more attractive to visitors.”
If you’d like to pick up a free hard-copy pocket-sized version of the almanac for yourself, you can do so every Saturday in January at the Farmer’s Market at the Botanical Gardens, which goes from 8 am – 1 pm. You can also pick up a hard copy of the survey there to fill out.
Restaurants have also been encouraged to include locally sourced foods and highlight Bermudian food traditions in their menus.
I have to admit that the moment I saw the almanac, I thought: “Wow. What an incredibly smart and helpful guide – and so attractively laid out too. I wish I had thought of it!” hehe.
We at FUELLED Bermuda Ltd. are excited about this BTA initiative and with them much success. We look forward to finding out what the results of the survey show and what their next steps are.