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What is agritourism?
Jul 05, 2015
Agritourism is not the most common word in a vacation planners vocabulary but it should be! With the resurgence of interest in local food, supporting local businesses and exploring what your region has to offer, this form of eco-tourism is growing at a rapid pace.
Farms, vineyards, and local markets have long been places of interest to those looking to connect with local culture when traveling to Europe, South America, or Southeast Asia. It might surprise you how much we have in our own backyard here in the Fraser Valley.
The five regional Circle Farm Tours allow you a chance to plan a self-guided tour to suit any sensibility. Foodies adore the farm stands and opportunity to taste the freshest produce in season, families love the chance to get outdoors and learn something new and couples and friends will find a variety of unique date and ‘girl’s day out’ adventures to make the most of the summer months.
Photo: Township 7 Vineyards and Winery
Fraser Valley Vineyards:
We don’t often think of vineyards as being farms, but many of our BC farm families would kindly disagree. Tending fields of fruit is nothing new to our local farmers who have put blueberries and cranberries on the map for generations.
Abbotsford, Langley, and Pitt Meadows have some incredible wineries, producing both fruit wines and more traditional red and white grape wines. Much like the vineyards of France and Germany, you will often be greeted by the families behind these businesses when you arrive for a tasting.
Some of the wineries, such as Chaberton in Langley, have full restaurants attached to enjoy a lunch or dinner meal, while others, such as Backyard Vineyards and The Fort Wine Co. have charcuterie and cheese plates to compliment your wine.
Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has tables that overlook the vineyard and you’re invited to bring your own picnic to enjoy with a glass of their wine.
Food for Foodies:
Farm stands and local markets have long been a favourite of BC chefs, seeking the freshest seasonal produce and meats. Meeting your farmer and getting to see behind the scenes of how your food is made can intrigue even the most finicky of eaters among us.
The Farm House Natural Cheese in Agassiz/Harrison has viewing windows so you can see these artisan cheesemakers in action and Goat's Pride Dairy in Abbotsford is doing amazing things with certified organic goat milk.
Restaurants on the Circle Farm Tour are focused on seasonal cuisine straight from local farms. Try Big Feast Bistro in Maple Ridge and Brambles Bistro at Tanglebank Gardens for creative plates using local ingredients.
Photo: Tanglebank Gardens and Brambles Bistro
Start your own garden:
There are many local nurseries on the Circle Farm Tour and they are a great place to pick up local plants to start your own garden or decorate your home. Most plants are grown on site and therefore don't travel to get to you, reducing your carbon footprint. Buying local also means that you support these family-run businesses while also ensuring that your plants are raised in the same climate, reducing their transplant shock and increasing your chance of gardening success!
Perfect Picks for Families:
Kids can work off that ‘out of school’ energy at any one of our Fraser Valley u-pick locations. Many local fruit farms such as Dreidiger Farms Market in Langley, Maan Farms Market in Abbotsford and Hammersley Farms in Agassiz/Harrison Mills offer a chance to pick local berries in season for great prices.
Many of the Circle Farm Tour farms have special areas for kids including the Applebarn at Taves Family Farms and the Chilliwack Corn Maze. Petting zoos, corn mazes, farm tours, and u-picks are all opportunities to teach your children about healthy eating and sustainability.
There are 5 Circle Farm Tours to explore:
Tours are self-guided with road maps and detailed descriptions provided on the website and downloadable brochures.
We can't wait to see what you get up to!