This Family Day long weekend, Buy BC's Chef Ambassador, Ned Bell, shares farms to visit around the province. Ned invites families to visit farms and producers to educate and explore where our food comes from, meet the farming families who put food on our plates, and learn how we can support our fellow British Columbians by buying BC. One of the easiest ways is to look for the Buy BC logo on products at the grocery store.
We invite you to visit a dairy farm, fromagerie, egg farm, winter farmers' market, destination farm, bee farm, beer farm, visit water buffalo, or take part in goat yoga. Read on for details.
Visit a BC Dairy Farm
Most dairy farms in BC are family-owned operations. These proud farming families are always eager to share their stories of how milk gets from farm to table.
EcoDairy Farm Discovery Centre - EcoDairy invites guests to an authentic farm experience to meet farm animals face-to-face, observe how technology can improve the lives of the animals and farmers, find out where their food comes from and learn about farming practices that reduce the environmental footprint. Start the EcoDairy experience in the Discovery Zone with hands-on educational interactive displays designed in partnership with Science World. An EcoDairy tour guide will bring guests into the Dairy Barn to meet-and-greet the cows, push up their feed, discuss the anerobic digester system that converts poop to power, watch technology such as their robotic milker and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the farm. Elevate experiences by adding on the EcoDairy VIP Behind-the Scenes tour where guests can visit the other barns on site with calves, beef and the Hydrogreen vertical farming system. Finish off the farm experience with The Amoozing Race challenge that includes exploring the farm, finding clues, visiting race stations and claiming a special prize!
ecodairy.ca 1356 Sumas Way, Abbotsford, BC
Hours of Operation; Tuesday-Saturday: 10AM – 4PM, Sundays: 11AM – 4PM
Birchwood Dairy - Birchwood Dairy Farm is a dairy farm, processing plant, and ice cream parlor. The onsite processing plant produces all the delicious dairy products including; 50 flavors of gourmet ice cream and frozen yogurt; milk; cream; whip cream; sour cream; assorted cheeses (cheddar, marble, monterey jack, feta and cheddar curd). Visit the farm and explore the calf barn, watch the cows being milked from the observation room, explore the grounds - kids will love the tractors. Shop the farm store for all the delicious products, and of course you can’t leave the farm without ice cream in hand!
birchwooddairy.com 1154 Fadden Road Abbotsford, BC
Hours of operation; Friday & Saturday: 9:30AM – 5PM, Sun: 10AM – 5PM
D Dutchman - D Dutchman offers old-fashioned, hand-made dairy products with a focus on top quality ingredients. All products are produced on location at the Shuswap dairy farm including; milk; cream; artisan cheese; and ice cream. The Vancouver Sun dubbed D Dutchmen Dairy “BC’s Best Ice Cream”. Visit the farm and shop to buy the farm fresh products, view animals that call the farm home!
dutchmendairy.ca 1321 Maier Road, Sicamous, BC
Hours of operation; 7 days a week - 8AM – 6PM
Jerseyland Organics - Jerseyland Organics is a family owned and operated dairy in Grand Forks, BC In 1994, Jerseyland Cheese began commercial production after completing the transition to “Certified Organic” status, making it BC’s first producer of organic cheese, yogurt and dairy. Peruse the farm shop, walk around the grounds, and visit the petting zoo.
jerseylandorganics.ca 2690 Almond Gardens Rd., Grand Forks, BC
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 9AM-5PM
Visit a Fromagerie
The secret ingredient to happiness is always cheese
Salt Spring Island Cheese - At Salt Spring Island Cheese, their goal is to make simply the best tasting and looking cheese you will find, from one of the most beautiful islands in the world. A farm shop visit includes sampling a variety of their artisan cheeses, perusing a selection of local accompanying foods including chutneys; jams; crackers; vinegars; honeys; smoked salmon; olives and olive oils; teas; and more. Visitors are free to wander around the farm, see the animals and enjoy the scenery or watch the cheese being made through the viewing windows in every room of the production facility.
Saltspringcheese.ca 285 Reynolds Road, Salt Spring Island, BC
Hours of operation: 10AM-4PM
Little Qualicum Cheeseworks - Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, is a small family run cheesemaking facility located on picturesque Morningstar Farm in Parksville, B.C.These handcrafted artisan cheeses are made on-site locally, ethical and sustainable. Morningstar Farm is a heritage dairy farm on Vancouver Island, where visitors will find self-guided tours, a farmgate store, and Canada's first "milk on tap" dispenser. With no admission fee, families can visit the gals in the dairy barn, learn about the milking robot, and say hello to calves, sheep, goats, and a variety of other friendly animals.
Cheeseworks.ca 403 Lowry's Rd, Parksville BC
Hours of operation: Tuesdays to Sundays 10AM-4PM
Creekside Cheese + Creamery - Creekside Cheese + Creamery endeavors to craft artisan, hand made cheeses using time-honored methods and gentle handling techniques to express the true and natural flavours of the milk and terroir. A short drive out to the beautiful rural countryside away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan areas of the Fraser Valley can be a refreshing and invigorating experience. Add delicious cheese to the mix, and you have a recipe for a perfect day. Creekside invites guests to visit their farm store to browse their selection of artisan cheeses, stock up on grass fed meats, pick up some eggs for breakfast, or find other unique farm fresh treasures. They invite guests to visit the cows, try some cheese, and order a coffee and take a seat at one of their large picture windows and enjoy the view over peaceful Maria Slough, or start snacking on cheeses in the picnic area while laughing at the antics of the friendly farm animals.
Family Day activities: self-guided farm tours during store hours; farmer-led tour on Friday February 17 and Saturday, February 18 at 10:30AM. Guests will be led around the farm to meet the inquisitive cows and assorted other friendly farm animals. The Farmer will explain all about dairy farming and cheese processing and give an overview of a “day in the life” of a farmer. Each tour participant will receive a sample cup of cheese, followed by a taste of our creamy milk. This tour is completely free, but space is limited and registration is required by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
creeksidecreamery.ca 3990 Chaplin Rd, Agassiz, BC
Hours of operation: Thursday – Saturday 9:30AM-5PM
Smits & Co.w Farm Cheese - a family run business of Dutch origin, specializes in handmade farmstead Gouda style cheese made in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Smits & Co.w produces Swiss Emmental, water buffalo mozzarella, goat, cow feta, and the oldest cheese in the world, Gouda.
smitsandcow.com 5787 Lickman Rd, Chilliwack, BC
Hours of operation: Thursdays through Saturdays 9AM-5PM
Support an Egg Farm
With the ongoing challenges facing our egg producers with Avian flu, it is important we support them during this difficult time. While we can’t visit a poultry farm, we can visit their roadside egg stands and shops.
Brightside Eggs - Brightside Eggs is a 3rd generation family owned and operated poultry farm. Brightside eggs are hand picked and sorted each day by a member of the Brightside family. Brightside’s farm vending machine offers a fun and contactless way to purchase ungraded eggs in a recyclable egg carton, along with a variety of other products from local suppliers.
Brightsideeggs.ca 6899 Evans Rd. Chilliwack BC
The Egg Store - The Egg Store sits on a multigenerational farm started in 1957 with many changes and upgrades done along the way. Today they sell local products ranging for all different types of eggs as well as other local produce and items. The team works every single day to be able to serve the freshest eggs available at all times. Visit The Egg Store’s handy-dandy “Eggspress” egg vending machine. A variety of eggs are stocked daily with the freshest after hours eggs available (freerange brown and white eggs, certified organic brown eggs, enriched white eggs, quail eggs).
theeggstore.ca 1219 Clearbrook Rd, Abbotsford, BC
Visit a Winter Farmers’ Market
BC farmers' markets connect communities with their local farmers, growers, producers, processors, makers, and artisans. Explore locally grown food, beverages and crafted goods.
Riley Park Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 10AM – 2PM
Hastings Park Winter Farmers’ Market, Sundays, 10AM – 2:PM
Port Moody Winter Farmers’ Market, Sundays, 10AM - 2PM
Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin
Creston Valley Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 9AM – 1PM
Fort Nelson Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 9AM – 3PM
Masset Farmers’ Market, Fridays, 11AM – 2PM
Queen Charlotte Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 11AM – 2PM
Prince George Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 8:30AM – 2PM
Powell River Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 10:30AM – 12:30PM; Sundays,
12:30PM – 2:30PM
Armstrong Winter Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 10AM – 2PM
Barriere Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 10AM – 1PM
Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market, Saturdays, 9AM – 1PM
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 9AM – 1PM
Nanaimo Island Roots Market Co-op, Wednesdays, 2PM – 6PM
Port Alberni Spirit Square Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 9AM – 12PM
Qualicum Beach Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 8:30AM– 12PM
Visit a Destination Farm
North Arm Farm - North Arm Farm is the Sea to Sky's go-to family farm experience. Visitors on Family Day can visit the farm animals, enjoy the on-farm cafe with fresh baked goods, sandwiches and wraps, coffee. The farm shop offers a wide array of meat pies; house made soups; pickled delights; famous hot sauce; and winter produce of potatoes; beets; carrots; winter squash; and garlic.
northarmfarm.com 1888 Sea to Sky Highway 99, Pemberton, BC
Hours of operation: 9AM - 5PM
Ruckle Heritage Farm - Established in 1872, Ruckle Heritage Farm is nestled within Ruckle Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada. Ruckle Farm is the oldest working farm in the Gulf Islands and remains a working farm committed to sustainability and preserving this land and way of life for future generations. Any visitor to the Provincial Park is able to walk around and see the animals. Want more? Take a guided farm tour, experience Goat Happy Half Hour, visit their charming honor-system farmstand. Ruckle is open all weekend, and Sunday, February 20th kicks off the weeklong Heritage Week baby lamb tours.
rucklefarmsaltspringisland.com 1801 Beaver Point Road, Salt Spring Island, BC
Email email@example.com for more information and book tours.
Visit a Bee Farm
Bees play an essential role in all parts of the ecosystem that allow us all to co-exist. They support the food and shelter of all creatures who rely on the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants.
Country Bee - Country Bee Honey Farm is open and ready to welcome families to enjoy tasting fresh honey and meeting the adorable farm animals. Customers are welcome to visit the animals in the miniature western town, and even give them a bite to eat. In-store visitors can purchase feed bags for kids to feed goats, sheep and birds. Look in the farm store and enjoy a cup of coffee or a tasty treat from the local bakeries.
countrybeehoney.ca 6440 West Saanich Road, Saanichton BC
Hours of operation: Open seven days a week, 10AM - 5PM
Planet Bee - Planet Bee aims to provide the highest quality honey bee products packaged on their Okanagan farm from passionate local beekeepers. They aim to educate and inspire and believe the relationship between humans and honey bees can and must be mutually beneficial, continually and sustainably elevating the health and wellness of both us and the bees. Visitors on Family day can sample a variety of honeys, visit the educational area, and adults can sample Mead.
planetbee.com 5011 Bella Vista Rd, Vernon, BC
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30AM- 5:30PM, Saturdays, 9AM -
5:30PM, Sundays, closed. Mead tastings, 9AM - 5PM
Visit a Beer Farm
With 220+ craft breweries on 21 Ale Trails throughout British Columbia, there are many extraordinary craft beer communities to visit.
Farmhouse Brewing - At Farmhouse Brewing it really is fun for the whole family! From the inviting front lawn, cracking fire pit, putting green to the delicious craft-brewed beers and locally-grown farm fresh food cooked in the wood fired kitchen, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Explore out back to see the fields where the barley and hops grown on-site, you’ll also catch a glimpse of the innovative beer takeout window!
farmhousebrewing.co 6385 Lickman Rd, Chilliwack, BC
Hours of operations: Fridays and Saturdays 12PM-9PM, closed Sundays.
Persephone Brewing Company - Producing award-winning craft beer, Persephone’s “farmhouse” approach integrates onsite farming in support of local food security, regenerative agriculture and amazing beer. The Gibsons based property consists of two large fields, two apple orchards, two market gardens, two greenhouses and a flock of laying hens. The large fields were first established in 2013 to grow hops. However, as nature (and a black root rot) would have it, we are now removing the hops and planting other crops. Barley is the key fermentable ingredient in beer and they are committed to planting at least 5 acres of it on-site.
persephonebrewing.com 1053 Stewart Rd., Gibsons, BC
Hours of operations: Sundays through Wednesdays, 11AM - 7PM, Thursdays
through Saturdays 11AM - 9PM, Kitchen - Thursday through Saturday 12PM -
8PM. Guest food vendors every Sunday.
BC Ale Trail recommends the following farm based breweries; Abandoned Rail Brewing (Penticton); Barnside Brewing (Delta) co-owned by three neighbouring farm families; The Beer Farmers (Pemberton) beautiful family farm with a great brewery setup; Locality Brewing (Langley) this farm has a very family-friendly setup with walking trails and a pond; Rusted Rake Brewing (Nanoose) a Vancouver Island farm just north of Nanaimo has a great restaurant and brewery.
Visit a Water Buffalo Farm
Tesfa Farms farms raises Water Buffalo in the heart of the Fraser Valley. These gentle and curious creatures produce milk; yogurt; cheeses; and meat.
Tesfa Farms is opening up the farm to families this Family Day for a "Nothing Fancy Farm Tour" - the barns are old, the cobwebs are old and nothing goes to waste ... Tesfa ia an authentic working farm, they have chickens, ducks, goats, Kune Kune pigs, a couple random cows and a whole lot of buffalo plus the odd rat:) . Tours are available on Sunday and Monday and booking requests must be made through firstname.lastname@example.org
Note* wear rubber boots and expect to get some mud on your tires and perhaps some poop on your boots ;)
Goat Yoga at Mann Farms
Maan Farms has a long and proud history of providing quality local produce to the citizens of Abbotsford, the Fraser Valley and Greater B.C., and they are hosting a Family Day Goat Yoga on the 20th at 11AM.
Enjoy special Family Day pricing and try something new with loved ones. Enjoy goat yoga with the farm’s baby goats along with tasty food from Mama Maan's Kitchen. Begin with a one-hour Hatha Goat Yoga experience followed by a delicious meal and glass of wine or strawberry lemonade. The goats will be both babies and their moms, and babies are very energetic. They can also be unpredictable. Guests ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and require children to be supervised by their parents at all times.
Tickets can be bought here.
Create a Meal as a Family using BC Ingredients
Chef Ned Bell shares a Family Day recipe using ingredients from four farming families in the Fraser Valley; Cracked black pepper roasted BC Beef, Salt Baked BCFresh Potatoes, and Brightside Eggs aioli with lemon, caper, chives and pickled fennel paired with Farmhouse Brewing beer. Chef Ned invites families to gather in the kitchen and prepare a meal together using BC ingredients and explore into where the food comes from and the farming families that help put food on our tables.
And then enjoy this home cooked meal as a family!
About Ned Bell:
Ned Bell is a well-known Canadian culinary talent who has forged a path as a chef, sustainable seafood advocate, keynote speaker and educator. As one of the country’s leading chefs, he uses his voice, outgoing personality, and indomitable spirit to stand up for the world’s lakes, oceans, rivers, in addition to hyper-local farming sustainability through brand ambassador roles. Based in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, Ned can be found at Naramata Inn, in Chef Ambassador roles at Ocean Wise and Buy BC, and as culinary and restaurant consultant at Hatch Hospitality Inc. Follow him socially @nedbell.com