The Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is increasingly becoming known not only for its wines and cider, but also for the local foods grown and produced here. Some of the best places to find many of the great local, fresh foods of the Valley are at various Farmers Markets in the region.
On Saturday a couple of weeks ago (remember that gorgeous Easter weekend we had?) I made a trip out to the Duncan Farmers Market. This market is open all year round on Saturdays, from 9 am or 10 am until 2 pm. Not only will you find local food producers here, but crafts people and artisans as well. There was everything from locally made baked goods to seafood and smoked meats, pasta, clothing, beautiful wood crafts, local author Sandie Bergen with a fantasy series of books, tea from the Tea Farm, local honey and more! As spring and summer advance, there will be even more fresh and locally grown produce available. I took home some fresh bread and some stinging nettle pesto which I really enjoyed from Fat Chili Farm, a local Cobble Hill grower and producer.
The Duncan Farmers Market is probably the biggest of the Cowichan Valley Farmers Markets, but there are several others in operation during the late spring, summer and early fall, so lots of opportunities to buy local, or, if you’re a visitor to the Cowichan Valley, take home some great fresh products as a reminder of your visit here.
The new (this year) Mill Bay Farmers Market will start at the Mill Bay Shopping Centre on Thursday May 2nd, from 2 – 7 pm. The South Cowichan Farmers Market, which started up last year, will open for the season on Sunday May 5. Hours are 10 – 3 pm. Great tips for shopping at Farmers Markets on their website! The Chemainus Farmers Market will start up on May 29, and runs every Wednesday 10 – 4 until the end of September. In our own village, the Cobble Hill Farmers Market takes place on Thursdays.
So, there are numerous places to find great local products, meet the growers , vendors and people in the community, and experience one of the big reasons to visit the Cowichan Valley. Let me know if there are any other Farmers Markets in the Cowichan Valley that I’ve missed. Book your Cowichan Valley Bed & Breakfast stay, explore the area, and go home with some great food!