Directwest May 2020
Life

Back to Basics

Author Jenn Sharp at the Turtle River. Photo by Richard Marjan.

Saskatchewan Writer Takes Us on a Home-Grown Food Adventure

Exploring the province’s culinary scene is not new for Jenn Sharp, a Saskatchewan-based writer and agricultural advocate. For years she kept us foodies entertained and hungry with her Saskatoon Star Phoenix and Regina Leader Post column, Sharp Eats, as a promoter of supporting local and bringing producers and consumers together for the love of food.

“We have so many beautiful, nutrient-dense foods that are exactly what you need for your immunity and that are grown right here at home,” she says.

Flat Out Delicious by Jenn Sharp.

Sharp set out on a four-month, 20,000-kilometre adventure with photographer Richard Marjan to capture the stories of the artisans who bring nutritious food to Saskatchewan’s plates. In her newly released book, Flat Out Delicious: Your Definitive Guide to Saskatchewan’s Food Artisans (TouchWood Editions, April 2020), Sharp introduces us to the world of unique producers from every region of our province.

“I hope these stories help people reconnect to their food and their farmers and the land,” says Sharp. “The stories range from ranchers to beekeepers to chefs to fishmongers and everyone in between. It’s about why they do what they do, and how you can buy from them and where to find their products.”

Describing it as a travelogue, Sharp encourages readers to enjoy the culinary journey and get back to basics by becoming better acquainted with where our food comes from. “These artisans promote sustainability: how we can regenerate the land and put more back into it than what we’re taking. It shows what’s possible when we work with nature.”

Flat Out Delicious profiles more than 150 producers who are captured “in their glory” by Marjan’s photography. Each person she spoke to and location she visited inspired Sharp. “From a fisherman up at remote Dore Lake who’s been catching pristine wild fish and selling them at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market for two decades, to ranchers down in southern Saskatchewan in a drought-stricken area, but because they’ve used regenerative agriculture and rotational grazing for their grass-finished cattle they’re making nutritionally-dense food for their community. In every corner of the province, there are these unique, inspiring stories I think people would love to know more about.”

Sharp keeps us updated regularly with her column Flat Out Food in the Star Phoenix and Leader Post. She’s also the founder of The Happy Farmer, an online coaching and training program to support farmers with their marketing strategies. “I’m helping farmers tell their story—helping them rise up and in turn help them feed their community and make our little piece of the world a lot healthier, too.”

For more information about Sharp and her book, visit jennsharp.ca.