While farmer's markets are a big draw in Vancouver, Circle Farm Tours are popular in farm country. If you haven't ventured out on one, basically it's a self-guided tour of an area through eateries, fairs, heritage sites, and specialty farm-gate vendors.
While staying in Harrison Springs, we decided to try the Circle Farm Tour ourselves. Being cyclists we brought bikes to conquer the 26km of the Agassiz/Harrison Mills Tour. The roads are relatively flat so the ride isn't strenuous especially when stopping every five km to check out a new shop. Due to time constraints, we had to choose a handful to make it to but since some of them are seasonal it was easy to narrow it down.
We had already checked out part of the Kilby Historic Site when staying at Rowena's Inn on the River. There we wandered through the 1906 general store museum that sells fresh fudge, home-made jams with local fruit, pies and even sock puppets.
Beside the general store, in the same building, is the River Restaurant. The restaurant resembles a cafe and reminded me of my grandma, with it's welcoming vibe, quaint dining area, simple decor and food made from scratch.
Unfortunately we didn't have time to eat at the restaurant or go on a guided tour of the heritage farm and historic site for which it's known. Since it takes less than two hours to get there from Vancouver I'm sure I'll be back soon to experience the full thing and to take another dip in Kilby Lake.
The other stops we made were to The Back Porch, Farm House Natural Cheeses and Canadian Hazelnut.
If you're seeking a taste of the country and love a good chunk of cheese then Farm House Natural Cheeses is the place to go. With a wide variety of artisanal cheese like herb gouda, goat brie and Lady Jane you'll surely find something you'll like. I learned that they use different milk from different breeds of cows and goats on their farm to enhance the best qualities in each product.
A family owned and operated shop, we were happy to support them especially when we discovered the farm fresh squeaky cheese curds. James, who is from Quebec, was impressed with them although still saying that they're better back home.
Since we're by nature curious people it was nice to satisfy that urge by watching them make and age cheese through a big window facing in to the shop and out to the parking lot. I felt like a child as I stuck my face against the window pointing out what I thought each of the cheeses were.