The Circle Farm Tour is a self-guided tour (a detailed map) that directs participants to a variety of specialty farm-gate vendors, open air markets, charming eateries, heritage sites, fairs and other special events. You travel in your own car, at your own pace, when it suits you. Visit one, or all, of the locations in a day. Each stop may not specifically be a farm, but all are related in some way to agriculture and the area’s farming heritage.
Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Agassiz Harrison Mills and Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows are the participating communities. We recently hopped aboard a media tour of the 2013 participants on the Langley Circle Farm Tour for a sneak peek at this season’s participants. I’ve been on a few of them and this year has some great new additions. Do put it on your list of summer to-dos!
On this year’s Langley Circle Farm Tour are the following great producers:
Vista D’Oro Farms & Winery. We first introduced you to Vista D’Oro back in 2010. They have had some amazing, beautiful additions and changes since then and I highly encourage a visit to their South Langley property.
Domaine de Chaberton Winery & Bacchus Bistro. One of my favourite local restaurants and an award-winning winery – in Langley! So great.
Kensington Prairie Farm. This place is so neat! It is home to 60 alpacas. The farm retails an array of specialized alpaca products including rovings, yarn, socks, toques, mitts, scarves, shawls, apparel and housewares. Stop by their roadside organic egg freezer and pick up a dozen farm-fresh eggs for just $4! It’s on the honour system; please bring exact change to put in the slot.
Erikson’s Daylily Gardens. I always love visiting here. Although our visit was a tad too early to see these thousands of daylilies in bloom, within the next week there will be specialty lilies and hostas on display. Their seasonal open house is coming up soon – check their website for details.
Make sure you ask them about Crotchless Panties!
JD Farms Specialty Turkey Store. This is another local favourite that we’ve introduce you to before. Turkeys from JD are certified free of antibiotics and animal by-products. If that isn’t win enough, you will find dozens and dozens of delicious turkey products and a deli with the best sandwiches in town. We were treated to sandwiches and soup on this stop during the media tour. So good – so, so good!
Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery. Shannon visited here recently for the opening of their fruit winery and to take a tour from above! This is a favourite with most local families I know. There’s so much to do – from berry picking to lunch on the patio, wine tasting to play areas to farm animals and lots more.
Thunderbird Show Park. This is the largest venue of its kind on the West Coast. The grounds are stunning! Bring your family and spend a day enjoying show jumping, dressage, pony rides and entertainment. When we stopped by there was a small show of 400 (!!!) horses; the larger shows see 1000 horses sometimes.
Driediger Farms Market. This is a fun place to U-Pick, to buy flats of berries for your pie and jam-making festivities or to enjoy a fresh baked pie. Trust me on this one, try the pie!
Aldor Acres Dairy Centre. We will be bringing you some more info on this awesome local venue in the future. Milk a cow, take a tour, make butter and play at this fun Dairy Centre. The kids love it here!
The Fort Wine Company. Cranberries are more than just a healthful and refreshing fruit. Visit this quaint winery to taste and see how they use cranberries to create wine, balsamic vinegars and other fruit based delights.
Fort Langley National Historic Site. Built in 1827, the Hudson’s Bay Company operated a 2000 acre farm here. Watch costumed interpreters take you through the Fort, join a barrel-rolling race, explore the heritage garden, feed the farm animals and stop for a bite in the Full Barrel Cafe. They host some great family-friendly events throughout the year.
Cedar Rim Nursery. This place is HUGE – the largest destination garden centre in the Lower Mainland. They feature over 125,000 sq. ft. of covered area and 10 acres of outdoor space. It truly is your one-stop garden shop. They have really neat accessories for your home and gifting needs, too.
Milner Valley Cheese. I was very excited to see this addition to the Fort Langley Circle Farm Tour. This 5th generation family farm and goat dairy is a lovely surprise to find. They process handcrafted farmstead cheeses from pasteurized goat milk produced by their herd. The sweet Farmgate Shop has an assortment of cheeses, lamb, goat soaps and local artisanal products. One word of advice: try the gelato – it’s delicious.
Milner Village Garden Centre. This place is so cool. Their 25 acres of food and floral production is under glass. Tours are available on Saturdays during the Spring and Christmas seasons. It is quite a spectacular site to see thousands of hanging baskets being produced in the Spring! Their retail shop is so neat and full of whimsy. It’s one of my personal favourite local shops to find a neat gift or special treat for our home. Check out the piano fountain in the back, as well as other fun repurposed items.
Langley Community Farmers Market. We are incredibly lucky to have so many great farmers markets throughout the Lower Mainland. Langley Community Farmers Market gets better every year. Over 30 vendors make it, bake it or grow it themselves. Check it out Wednesdays 2pm – 6pm.
We also visited two of this year’s Langley Circle Farm Tour sponsors – Bonetti Meats and Otter Co-op. Both are long-time local gems that have so much to offer – and just down the street from one another! Take a drive down to 248th Avenue to check them out.