A couple of weeks ago,
on one of those rare sunny Sundays, a couple of friends picked me
up in their car for a little road trip adventure. In our hands we
clutched our Farm Fresh Guide, which lists nearly a hundred
farms and markets in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (which
for you out-of-towners is just less than a one hour drive from
Vancouver).View Larger Map
Our plan was to visit some local farms and wineries and get out
into the lovely October sunshine. Our first stop was at Cloverdale Country Farms. They had a huge
selection of colourful pumpkins grown right at their farm along
with tiny nugget potatoes, sweet corn and squash. They also had a
large selection of local fruit and I ended up buying a few pounds
of Okanagan-grown Granny Smith apples on special at just 39 cents a
pound! Cloverdale Country Farms also carries grocery standards like
milk, cheese and bread and it was a bit strange to see imported
pineapples at a "local farm market." No matter, I was happily
weighed down with two kinds of squash, some cremini mushrooms and
my deliciously tart apples.
Cloverdale Country Farms
5688 168 St.
Our next stop was at a small farm that ended up being closed on
Sundays. Too bad! However, we did get to wander the front yard a
bit and follow around a very friendly looking chicken (above,
right). Next to the farmhouse, we followed a strange bleating
noise, which led us right to a small black goat sitting on top of a
trailer (above, left)! With the sunflowers in full bloom and the
cute goat, it was quite a sight.
Down the road, we found Surrey's only winery, River's
Bend Winery. We did a tasting of a selection of reds and
whites. Most of the wines we tried came from grapes grown right in
the winery's vineyard, while some were blends created with Okanagan
grapes. I bought an amber-coloured fortified wine grown from River
Bend's own grapes. It was delicious with a whisky nose and a smooth
finish. My friends purchased a very lovely 2006 Syrah that was ripe
with deep berry flavours like blackberry and black current and
ended with a silky, peppery finish. Well, at least it said
something like that on the bottle! While my wine palate is pretty
inexperienced, I'm certainly a willing taster.
View Larger Map
River's Bend Winery
15560 Colebrook Rd.
It ended up being a great afternoon. Spending a sunny Sunday
road-tripping around the Lower Mainland and visiting farms is such
a great way to see the abundance of local produce and products
first hand. Now that it's nearing Halloween, I think it's time to
gas up the tank as I've got some pumpkins that I want to pick.
Local farms, here I come!
Jeannette Ordas is a Vancouver-based Web Designer and Food Blogger who is probably right now thinking
about what she'll make for dinner.
Market posts are featured every Monday.
Posted: Mon, Oct 20 2008