One of the highlights of my recent trip to Kelowna was getting out to visit some of the local farms and chatting with the farmers. In our short time there (just 2 1/2 days!) we obviously didn’t have time to visit that many (because, you know there were eats and drinks to be had, pastry classes to attend and markets to check out too!) so my experience is definitely limited but certainly it’s representative of all the amazing producers around the Kelowna area. These people respect the land and have a real passion for, and connection to, the food they produce.
Our first stop was Old Meadows Organic Farm where we met Farmer Jeff.
Old Meadows Organic Farm is situated on the fertile floodplains of Mission Creek. Farmer Jeff grows certified organic fruits and vegetables using sustainable practices to provide the highest quality produce for the local community, and which they sell at their Market in the summer and fall. They also carry produce from a few other local certified organic farms since the Farm cannot grow everything. The Farm has loyal customer base supporting locally grown food.
At Old Meadows Organic Farm the aim is to provide the community with the highest quality food, grown using the most sustainable practices. Their ultimate goal is to be a self-sustaining farm and they believe that by using a balanced approach they will be able to produce enough food to feed the local community while actually improving the land they farm on. Old Meadows Organic Farm believes it is up to farmers to lead the way in sustainable practices and hope to inspire others to do the same. You can read about their sustainable farming practices here.
Check out Old Meadows Organic Farm’s Farm to Table Feature with Tourism Kelowna:
Old Meadows Organic Farm
4213 Gordon Drive
We also visited Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan Inc.
If you find yourself in Kelowna, you should definitely take the time to visit this family dairy specialising in rich, complex and refined goat cheeses that do full justice to the high quality of their goats’ milk and the art of cheese making. Owners Ofri and Ofer Barmor of Carmelis offer beautiful handcrafted goat cheeses and goats’ milk gelato (oh yes!).
Making regular appearances on the menus of top Kelowna restaurants, Carmelis is a recognized name in BC’s food community – Ofri recently joined the ranks of BC’s top 40 foodies under 40 (Western Living Magazine 2008).
The goats on the farm are treated with care and respect, enjoying excellent living conditions and natural food (that includes a variety of grains and alfalfa, free of hormones or additives) which means the milk produced meets the highest possible standards. This has a direct effect on the quality of the cheese; their unique approach is based on a true passion for cheese making, and as a result, every cheese is a work of art. You can read all about the production of goat cheese at Carmelis here.
Oh and about that gelato…
Two words: Salted Caramel. This alone was worth the trip to Carmelis. Oh and the cheese? Superb. Read about the entire range of cheese available at Carmelis here.
Our last farm stop was to visit the honey bees at Arlo’s Honey Farm.
Nestled in the beautiful hills of South East Kelowna, Arlo’s Honey Farm is “where the dance of the honey bees orchestrates the pollination of flowers, fruits, berries and vegetables while creating award winning honey”. Beekeeper Helen Kennedy and her husband Rick also run a 14-acre farm. We were lucky enough to have Helen explain the basics of bee-keeping (although it’s definitely not “basic” – it’s quite the production!)
Arlo’s offers award winning honey, but also pollen, bees wax, propolis, fresh fruit, berries and vegetables in season. You can tour the farm (by appointment) where you will learn everything you wanted to know about bees! Did you know that in its lifetime, a worker bee will only create 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey? One twelfth, of a teaspoon – that’s right!
We even got to taste honey straight from the hives directly off the frame. Amazing!
If you are even a tiny bit interested in honey and how it’s made, you definitely need to book a tour of the farm.
Arlo’s Honey Farm
4329 Bedford Lane, Kelowna
Open May 14th to September 17th 11am to 4pm
Open Long Weekends
July and August — Open 7 days per week
* Tours are be by appointment.
Check out the Orchards, gardens and markets in Kelowna on the Tourism Kelowna site.
Check out Tourism Kelowna’s Farm to Table page – take a farm tour then experience how local chefs turn fresh, local products into delicious meals at one of the many Farm to Table Restaurants.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Tourism Kelowna and my transportation, accommodation and all meals were covered. I am not being further compensated for writing about my experiences and all opinions are 100% my own. Neither Tourism Kelowna nor the businesses mentioned reviewed this post before publication.
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