The concept behind the Circle Farm Tour is simple; it’s a self-guided road map with around a dozen locations for you to visit. What all of the stops have in common is that they are “farm-gate vendors, open air markets, charming eateries, heritage sites, fairs, and other special events.” We made eight stops yesterday so I’ve featured five below and there are fourteen stops in total on the tour. The wineries (yes, there are wineries in Langley and have been there for ten years) will be covered separately. Find hours of operation, u-pick, and tour hours listed on each individual website.
Fort Langley National Historic Site
Our day started out at Fort Langley with some refreshment in the Full Barrel Café followed by a tour and a stop off at the blacksmith’s for a demonstration. I haven’t been to Fort Langley since I was in school and I found it really fascinating to learn new history and honestly, I could watch the blacksmith make tools from the fire all day. Fort Langley is the “Birthplace of BC” as that is where Sir James Douglas read the proclamation that deemed this territory the Crown Colony of British Columbia.
The whole area is lovely. Antique shops, the diner, the book store/coffee shop, artisans and crafters, and the rising river. I used to spend days on end visiting with a childhood friend in Fort Langley and we rarely ran out of ideas for activities.
Location: (The Fort) 23433 Mavis Ave
Families are welcome at this family u-pick, fruit stand, and farm market. Take home fresh baked pies, preserves, honey, and the season’s best berry offerings. We stayed in the vehicle for this one as Rhonda Driediger told us about the farm’s history, production, and current happenings and in particular, the weather. “Not all rain is bad, not all sun is good,” she said with a smile. They’ve been having a great year for berries and in fact there are even more this summer than last, they’re just late. Rhonda was a great source of information and I learned about ever-bearing berries, the importance of pollination, and even a crafty way to grow rhubarb in old tires in your garden.
Erikson’s Daylily Gardens
While we didn’t get out of the vehicle and tour the gardens, we did chat with Pam Erikson who operates the garden with her husband (aside from them both having full time jobs). “You do it because you love it,” she told our group. “And I have the hands to prove it!” Their specialty is producing hybrids found nowhere else in the world (and she’s come up with some pretty interesting name for her flower varieties, including “Crotchless Panties”). Pam and Tom have over 3,000 types of daylillies on their property and they’ve come up with 62 exclusive hybrid varieties themselves. The nursery and gardens are open daily throughout July with peak for the flowers happening within the next 2 weeks.
Location: 24642 51 Ave
J.D. Farms Specialty Turkey Store
Walking into the J.D. Farms store was like standing in front of the oven at Christmas time right when it’s opened up to reveal a finished turkey. The aromas are unreal and offer a warm hug as soon as you walk in. You can pick up lunch (eat-in or take-out) from the deli counter, grab frozen sausages or stuffings, fresh turkey pepperoni (no preservatives), and all the fixings which are mostly supplied by other farms in the valley. You can find their local farm specialty turkeys in shops from Abbotsford to West Vancouver. Owner Jack Froese is also running for Mayor of Langley Township this fall.
Location: 24726 52nd Ave
Website, Twitter, Facebook
Krause Berry Farms
This is one u-pick berry farm that has it all. A market, café, goats for petting, a tractor playground for kids, and of course produce. Strawberries (try them in a “Mile High Custard Pie”), raspberries (available soon), blueberries (in August), green beans, and sweet corn. “We’ve got the best sweet corn in the valley, ” said owner Alf Krause who also took us around on a hayride. “Our focus is what we grow”. Pretty much everything that Krause grows can be found in a pie, in a doughnut, in fudge, in lemonade a smoothie or tea, and in their market.
Over the last 38 years, Alf and Sandee Krause have successfully reached their goal of making Krause a destination – a place you can visit even if you’re not picking or buying berries – and they’re not done growing. As for the “Mile High Custard Pies”, they make between 200 and 300 of them on their busiest days but you can also pre-order. This Sunday (July 17th) they’ll be hosting Farmers’ Feast as local farms and wineries join together at Krause with free samples, face painting, pony rides and more.
Location: 6179 248th St
It’s important to note that all of these locations are free to visit (aside from the Fort at Fort Langley) and that these are home-grown businesses (often attached to the owners’ homes themselves).
Download a Circle Farm Tour map (or take some notes on the website) and create your own tour as you explore the best in local berries, produce, gardens, and farm experiences. Langley is the closest Circle Farm Tour to Vancouver, just 45 minutes East down Highway 1.
Other self-guided Circle Farm Tours in our region aside from Harrison Mills & Agassiz and Langley are Pitt Meadows & Maple Ridge, Chilliwack, and Abbotsford. All of my Circle Farm Tour posts can be found under the “Circle-Farm-Tour” tag.
Related post: Where to Pick Strawberries.