This summer, more than ever, people have taken to the countryside to discover what their province’s “backyard” has to offer since travel elsewhere has been restricted due to the pandemic. What they’re discovering is a vast network of what can only be termed food and drink trails. Farmers markets and orchards, vineyards and craft breweries abound!
We keep getting rave reviews and positive reports from so many of our retired friends who live out in British Columbia about how they’ve been driving The BC Farmers’ Market Trail – capitalizing on all the abundant fresh fruits and produce the province’s farms and orchards have on offer. It is, after all, that time of year when everything is ripening and ready for picking. Everyone is saying how much they’re loving the way the markets on the trails have been catalogued into regions and how easy they are to access.1
Farm to Table
Like other provinces throughout the country, BC has established what’s known as The BC Farmers’ Market Trail along with other similarly named routes for lovers of fresh and nutritious foods. Let’s all agree, nothing beats eating produce straight from the field or just picked in the orchard. Also to be found is organically raised poultry and meats at some markets as well as farm raised fish at others.
Let’s Go for a Ride!
There are ten regions to choose from and within each there are numerous trails to venture forth on. The BC Farmers’ Market Trail’s website includes an extremely handy interactive map where you can click on a region and be taken to that area’s featured markets. By clicking on each specific trail or region, you have also the opportunity to find out what’s in season at any given time – a great way to plan your trip if certain items are on your wish list or are among your perennial favourites. This feature certainly helps save time and energy going in the wrong direction!
Remember, too, that every area is different, each with a micro climate of its own, creating unique growing conditions. They also have different soils and geological features and therefore produce diverse kinds of produce, fruits, fresh meats and fish/seafood.
And do keep in mind that every one of the markets along every trail is “dedicated to hosting vendors who grow, make, bake or raise the products they sell.”
Pick a Trail & Explore
Nothing could be simpler, just pick a trail, hop in the car and off you go. There are enough trails, each featuring multiple local markets to fill an entire summer and fall with culinary adventures and wonderful products to bring home and savour. Whether you live in Vancouver proper, out on the island, up north or in the interior or along the coast, they’ve got it all covered. The ten regions are as follows:
- Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
- City of Vancouver
- Fraser Valley
- Metro Vancouver
- Northern BC
- Sea to Sky
- Sunshine Coast
- Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin
- Thompson Okanagan
- Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands
You’ll find your comprehensive guide to more than 145 authentic farmers’ markets including online markets (if you cannot get out and about) by visiting this website, and following the links provided.
1 Take note that the BC government has declared farmers’ markets to be an essential service which means they’re all up and running and need your support this year more than ever. Please wear a mask and respect the social distancing rules in effect when visiting and bring your own shopping bags.