— A VISIT TO VAN VALLEY FARM —
(and other highlights in the Duncan Area)
September 19th Out and About
Van Valley Farm was fascinating! Never knew dairy farms could be so much fun. Ben and Margie Van Boven were great hosts, providing us with so much information about their enterprise. We watched the robots in action from feeding to milking. The cows are treated much like loved family members, their comfort and care being paramount to the operation. The farm, pristine in all aspects, at this time provides milk to Island Farms. However, we hope to see their product at Springford Farms, possibly by the end of the year.
A stop at Great Greens Farmers’ Market had most of us stocking up on various and sundry groceries including chocolate (Sharon), local jam and produce.
Our next location was Zanatta Vineyard where we enjoyed lunch at their Vinotech restaurant located in an historic style house with an open veranda. A bit fresh to sit outside, we opted for indoor seating in their spacious dining room. During the course of the meal “to die for’ was often heard uttered as people sipped soup or ate a fresh herb infused salad. When the entrees arrived, one just had to take photos. An enjoyable meal all round. Not enough time to do a wine tasting but we imbibed our share during lunch.
Our final destination was Westholme Tea Farm. Unique to Canada, the tea farm is owned by Victor Vesely who enlightened us on the camellia sinensis (pictured), passing out buds and leaves for us to taste. Theirs is an organic progression, refusing to use pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Inside the adjacent building, walls lined with an assortment of teas and paraphernalia tempted us and an adjacent room displayed beautiful (and pricey) pottery. I don’t think any of us escaped without purchasing one of the many varieties of teas available.
Consensus? A good day!