Renowned for its fertile soils and favourable climate, Kelowna, located in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, is a jewel of Canadian agriculture. From sprawling vineyards to diverse farms, it’s an area ripe with agri-tourism opportunities. So, get ready to roll up your sleeves, don a sunhat, and experience Kelowna’s rich agricultural heritage firsthand – from U-pick farms to honey and cheese producers, and beyond.
Embrace Your Inner Farmer: U-Pick Farms
One of the best ways to get an authentic taste of Kelowna’s farming tradition is to head to one of the many U-pick farms dotted around the city. These farms offer visitors the chance to wander through orchards and fields, picking their own fruit and vegetables. Not only do you get the freshest possible produce, but you also get to experience the simple joy of harvesting food straight from the source.
Take Davison Orchards Country Village, for example. This family-run farm lets you pick apples straight from their trees, providing a unique chance to learn about the different apple varieties they cultivate. Don’t miss their famous apple juice, pressed right on the farm.
Paynter’s Fruit Market is another U-pick highlight, where you can harvest everything from cherries and peaches to apricots and berries, depending on the season. They also have a charming market filled with local products and a bakery renowned for its fruit pies.
A Sweet Adventure: Honey Farms
Kelowna’s agricultural scene is buzzing with more than just fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s also home to several apiaries that contribute to the region’s diverse food scene. At Arlo’s Honey Farm, not only will you be able to sample and buy this golden nectar, but you can also learn about the vital role bees play in the ecosystem.
Their guided tours are informative and engaging, offering a close-up look at the world of beekeeping. Walk through their demonstration gardens and learn about the plants that provide forage for the bees. The culmination of the tour is, of course, a honey tasting – the perfect opportunity to appreciate the subtle differences between honeys produced from different floral sources.
Say Cheese: Local Dairies
Completing the picture of Kelowna’s agricultural bounty are its local dairies, where the milk from happy cows and goats transforms into delectable cheeses. One such place is the Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan, a small-scale goat farm located near Okanagan Mountain Park.
Visitors to Carmelis can tour the facility to witness the process of cheese-making from start to finish. But the highlight is undoubtedly the cheese tasting. Their cheeses range from soft and creamy to firm and aged, with flavours that reflect the clean, natural diet of their goats.
The opportunities for agri-tourism in Kelowna are abundant, reflecting the diversity and richness of its farming heritage. Through U-pick farms, honey tours, and cheese tastings, visitors can connect more deeply with the city’s agricultural roots while also indulging in the delights of farm-fresh produce. The convergence of agriculture and tourism in Kelowna offers a journey of flavours, education, and experiences that create lasting connections to the land and its bountiful offerings. Get ready to dig into Kelowna’s agri-tourism, where farm-to-table isn’t just a concept – it’s a way of life.