British Columbia

Foraging and growing food doesn't need to be an adventure

The On The Coast food columnist talks about Dylan Tomine's approach — it's about the food and connecting with your family.

But that doesn't mean you can't make it fun, food columnist says

Dylan Tomine fishes in a publicity shot for Patagonia, the company for which he serves as a "fly fishing ambassador." (

A Seattle-area author and conservationist is coming to Vancouver this week to talk about his experiences gathering food in the wild with his two kids in tow.

On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson says Dylan Tomine will teach you how to find food close to home — but also how doing so can be enriching for the whole family.

"He and his wife just happen to love the outdoors and so it was just a matter of including the kids in things they were already doing anyway. Basically, the kids were forced into coming along on fishing, clamming, and crabbing expeditions," Johnson told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

"But having kids along completely changed his approach to those pursuits. Children still find the magic in something as simple as sitting on a log in the middle of the forest. … He said, 'You can't walk 10 feet on the beach without someone bending over to turn over a rock and going crazy with happiness when shore crabs scramble up from underneath.'"

Johnson says Tomine and his family aren't 'hardcore' about foraging and living off the land.

Sure, they grow four types of carrots and know how to use cat food as bait for spot prawns, but they're not 'off-the-grid' types. If they can't forage or grow enough food, they just go to the store a little more often.

"You don't need to move to a small island or set out on big, ambitious adventures every weekend. He says the pleasure of growing your own food can be as simple as having a pot of radishes on an apartment balcony," Johnson said.

Also, Johnson says if you're interested in foraging, the Vancouver-based Forager Foundation is a great place to start. And if you want to start catching your own fish, she recommends chatting with the Sport Fishing Institute of B.C.

Dylan Tomine is hosting a book reading and talk April 27 at Patagonia Vancouver at 7:30 p.m. The event is free.

With files from On The Coast

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Seattle author coming to Vancouver to talk growing and foraging your own food