A plant-based hug in a bowl.

A plant-based hug in a bowl.

The Planter's Guide contributor Brooke Takhar shares her favourite places and products to imbibe, ingest & inhale in her beloved Vancouver.

By Brooke Takhar

When I was a kid, my Christmas list was a never-ending scroll of wishes and dreams. It was the 80s; greed was good.

December 25th was a day of excited whoops and crunchy piles of discarded wrapping paper. I would line up all my gifts and smugly survey my haul. I’d clearly been a good girl and Santa and my family had rewarded my excellent behaviour (and kindly looked the other way at my C+ in Math and P.E.)

As an adult, when I’m asked what I want for Christmas, I draw a blank.

9-year-old me would be so disappointed.

Once you have a steady income and a Sephora membership, you just buy everything you want. And I know from experience that not even Kris Kringle can pop an eye cream that dissolves my navy blue undereye circles into my stocking.

So now when I find gifts that I would both love to receive and bequeath, it’s a Christmas miracle. 

On a recent crisp afternoon I explored Chinatown and popped into Harvest Community Foods. Their warm and cozy shop is the perfect place to peruse carefully curated grocery shelves for gift ideas, and treat yourself to one of their noodle bowls made with locally-sourced ingredients. (They’re like a hug in a bowl.)

Alongside a glass of chai pear kombucha, I devoured a vegan and gluten free bowl piled high with rice noodles coated in a creamy and fragrant sauce of hazelnuts, with smoked chili and crunchy greens.

If you have foodie friends like I do, Harvest Community Foods has two unique choices of bespoke holiday gift baskets. The large gift basket supports local suppliers (like East Van Roasters, Hives for Humanity, Namaste Tea, Johnny Hetherington, Treasure Life, and Blume) while simultaneously inspiring recipients to cook using only the freshest in-season ingredients. Gift one of these and you will get a dinner invitation for sure.

The small gift basket contains Harvest in-house products, including home-made granola, jam, pickles, cocoa nib almond granola, and a gift card for one noodle bowl, all packaged in a beautiful felt box.

Harvest Community Foods also offer a gift idea that keeps on giving in the form of a CSA box. Community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes are stocked with a rotating selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables. All produce is sourced from Lower Mainland farms and growers, so you can easily eat in season. CSA boxes can be enjoyed as a single purchase, for multiple weeks or an entire season, and are available for bi-weekly pick-up.

While my 9-year-old self’s head would explode at the gift of vegetables, 41-year-old me thinks that’s pretty amazing.

Harvest Community Foods will be closed December 24 to 26 so don’t delay!

For more information on their current menu and CSA schedule, check out their website.

You can also find them on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

Brooke Takhar is a Gastown-based writer, performer, gossip-monger and Mom. She blogs about pop culture, parenting and poop at, and is the Community Manager for The Planter's Guide. She enjoys being early, being right, black coffee, and true crime.