January 17, 2018
Guest post by Ryan Dickie In BC’s Peace region, winter has long been regarded as a time when work comes before play. But amidst the…
By Tiffany Lewis September 12, 2017 #php comments_number('0 Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?> #php echo wpb_get_post_views(get_the_ID()); ?>
The fall harvest is a big deal in BC. Here are some ways you can get out and celebrate the season in a few of the province’s most robust food and wine regions.
Galey Farms, located in Victoria, grows and sells farm-fresh produce through to October 31. Visit on a weekend in October for a hayride to the pumpkin patch, where you can select the perfect pumpkin. While you’re here, pet farm animals, get lost in the 2.4-hectare (6-acre) corn maze, and check out the recreated Western town. Also not to be missed is a 20-minute miniature train ride. All aboard!
Farther up the Island, south of Nanaimo, McNab’s sells fresh-picked fruit and veggies at their cash-only produce stand. Make friends with the farm’s animal residents, explore the 2.8-hectare (7-acre) corn maze, and in the months of September and October, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch. This farm grows between 20 and 30 varieties of pumpkin, so get ready to make some tough decisions.
Want to sample some of the bounty that surrounds you on Vancouver Island? Head to the Cowichan Valley on September 29 and 30, 2017, to attend Barge On In, the opening event of the 10-day Savour Cowichan Festival. The event takes place on a barge floating in Mill Bay. Other celebrations of food, drink, and art are held at various locations around the valley, an area bursting with wineries, craft breweries, Canada’s first estate cidery, Canada’s only tea farm, and a host of artisan food producers.
This fourth-generation farm in Richmond grows a huge variety of produce, which they sell at their on-site market. In addition to their edible offerings, the farm is home to Country Vines Winery. Pop into the tasting room to sample reds, whites, and a rosé. The popular pumpkin patch includes hayrides and live entertainment, and weekends in October you can ride a miniature replica of an 1864 steam train.
Run by the Maan family in Abbotsford, Maan Farms offers u-pick and already-picked produce, much of which can also be enjoyed prepared at their Country Kitchen. Don’t miss Mama Maan’s special butter chicken, as well as great desserts and lemonade made with berries from the farm. Kids will enjoy the play area and the baby goats, and parents can sample delicious fruit wine. A corn maze and pumpkin patch round out the experience.
Also in Abbotsford, Roadside is a great event for the whole family held weekends from mid-September through mid-October. The little ones can expend some energy at KidsZone, and even Fido is welcome here. Work up an appetite in one of three corn mazes—Rookie, All-Star, and the adults-only “Sampler Maze” that rewards visitors with craft beer samples. Hungry? Grab a bite at a food truck before calling it a day.
Get into the holiday spirit at historic Fort Langley’s Cranberry Festival, held each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year’s festivities will take place on October 7, 2017. Start the day with a pancake breakfast, check out local vendors, and enjoy live entertainment. The cranberry stomp held at the Fort Langley National Historic Site is an absolute must.
This destination farm in Vernon grows and sells a wide variety of produce and artisanal products at its charming farm village. Get to know the farm’s four-legged residents, see the display of antique tractors, tour the farm in a tractor-pulled “train,” and let your kids roam free in a 0.4-hectare (1-acre) enclosed corral. Taste your way through a selection of home-baked pies at the Deep Dish Cafe, and wash it down with Davison’s famous apple juice. Fall harvest events include u-pick apple tours, free harvest-themed photos, and a pumpkin festival.
North of Vernon, Historic O’Keefe Ranch, founded in 1867, tells the story of BC’s early ranching days. Visit heritage buildings including a pottery studio, general store, blacksmith shop, farm equipment museum, church, bunkhouse, smokehouse, stage coach station, schoolhouse, and trading post. You can even tour on horseback. Weekends from October 7 to 28, 2017, enjoy Family Daze in the Corn Maze.
One of four seasonal wine festivals held annually in the Okanagan Valley, the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival takes place between September 28 and October 8, 2017, during the grape harvest. Events include the British Columbia Wine Awards (BC’s oldest wine competition), tasting events, food pairings, brunches, dinners, tours, grape stomping, and CROPPED—an indoor tasting and farmers market with over 80 participating wineries.
For me, 2017 was a year of contrasts. Some life-altering highs and some challenging lows; days that dragged on and a year that flew by….
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