In writing this column one phrase keeps coming to mind, “You can’t keep a good person down.” In the face of adversity, our community continues to show resilience. We’ve discovered the most delicious locally made vegan chocolate and pancake mixes, new products to spice up our cooking, resources to prevent food waste and quality Italian tomatoes that really make a difference in taste.

Our early Spring issue has some amazing local finds! Check out these local businesses: Dwarf Stars, Knockout Heat Co., Lannie Rae Gourmet and Scarpone’s and The Italian Store.

Hemp Fresco

If you are as challenged as we are when it comes to keeping fruits and vegetables fresh, you are going to love these Canadian hemp pads. Hemp-Fresco Organic Food Pads by Calgary-based Canadian Greenfield Technologies are meant to extend the shelf life of produce for up to 45 days. They are ultra-absorbent and will absorb additional moisture, liquids and gases from the produce slowing the spoilage, providing odor control, and increasing freshness. The unique antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in the pads work to prevent the unwanted bacteria from happening. Made from 100 per cent renewable eco-friendly Canadian hemp core granules, they contain no chemicals and are compostable. Use them as a liner in your refrigerator vegetable crisper or in your fruit bowls.

Hemp-Fresco™ organic food pads | Safeway, Sobey’s, IGA | $19.99 |