Bringing the goodness of the Fraser Valley directly to Lynn Valley has an Upper Lynn entrepreneur evolving her business that brings food from farms to local doorsteps. Dana Dykema has a knack for finding partners to fill her Valley to Shore Harvest Boxes and to offer other unique local products.

Farm direct

Healthy living and eating have always been a priority for Dana Dykema. When possible she buys local or grows her own food.

“It’s been a journey of years for me to change how I think about food,” she said. “We don’t go on extravagant holidays because I have to feed our eating habit of buying farmer direct.”

Back in 2021, that desire to care for her family through healthy food led Dykema to seek out a farm partner and launch a small business. This began a three-year passion project with farmer Dan Oostenbrink’s market garden farm  Local Harvest

“I was going out to the [Fraser] Valley a lot to pick up what was seasonally available, to pick cherries, ” she said. “I have been frustrated with the lack of Fraser Valley produce on the North Shore. It’s so good and it’s right there. Why isn’t it in our stores?”

As she got to know Oostenbrink, and his family, and to experience the quality foods he grows, Dykema felt compelled to offer it to other families who might not have the time to source high-quality food. 

“I was going out to the [Fraser] Valley a lot to pick up what was seasonally available, to pick cherries, ” she said. “I have been frustrated with the lack of Fraser Valley produce on the 

Since its humble beginning (the first harvest box was a fundraiser for Upper Lynn Elementary) Valley to Shore has grown to offer more than just weekly produce deliveries. There are eggs, meat, self-care products – like make-up – and garden products. All of them were produced between here and Hope. 

“It’s more than just delivering a product to the North Shore,” she said. “There is no mystery to where the money goes. The whole dollar goes back into the local economy.”

One challenge local suppliers and small businesses, like hers, face is potential clients being intimidated by price. Food produced in Canada, especially by small producers can have a slightly higher price point.

“It may feel like you’re paying more but the value is there. When it has a longer growing season and is ready for the table – and not for shipping – it tastes better.

“We need to support local producers or they won’t survive,” said Dykema. “We are not going to be getting some of the usual products this year like Okanagan fruit. We need to buy what they can offer so we can carry them through.”

Referring to the devastating cold snap late last winter that affected both the Fraser Valley and Okanagan after the previous drought and fire summer, Dykema is passionate about trying to offer local farmers a fair price. The Fraser Valley floods cutting off the Lower Mainland from the rest of Canada also highlighted the need to support the local food producers.

“Not all small farms will make it, I have been able to diversify so I am not relying on one,” she said. “Knowing that my money is supporting local families makes it a no-brainer to ride it out with them.”

In season

Local eating can be an exercise in patience and indulgence, said Dykema. She has made connections to offer more products like honey and foraged products like morels and sea asparagus. 

“Waiting for seasonality is worth it. I am really excited for blueberries and haskap berries – we only get them for about two weeks. They are special flashes in a pan.”

The last few decades of grocery store offerings have shifted away from nutrition and seasonal foods to the shelf stability of global offerings and convenience foods. 

“Simple, good ingredients taste better and people feel so proud cooking what’s delicious,” said Dykema. “It takes a bit of work but there is more enjoyment too.” 

She tries to make seasonal cooking less intimidating by offering recipes and writing posts related to each week’s offerings. 

“Some of the ingredients are new to people so it’s a culinary adventure.”

To dip your toe into seasonal eating and get a taste of Valley to Shore, Dykema recommends testing out a taster box which has veggies, meat, eggs and bread (and variations available to accommodate different diets) to get an idea of the quality and variety of items available in the Fraser Valley. Orders can be placed on recurring subscriptions or weekly by Sunday evening for pick-up in Lynn Valley the following Tuesday. All the details and offerings are available on


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