This fertile chunk of the Island is home to everything from poultry and meat, veggie and fruit, honey and dairy and even seafood producers.
By Charlene Rooke
The ninth annual Comox Valley Farm Cycle rolls around in September: more than 400 cyclists visited 29 farms last year. The Rotary Club of Courtenay hosts a Beer & Cider Fest on a Sunday night in September, with two dozen sets of Island taps pouring samples
The Comox Valley Growers Guide (download or read at discovercomoxvalley.com/discover/explore/dine-drink/growers-guide/) is your bible to fall foodie touring–more than 150 businesses are listed, with detailed self-touring routes to visit them.
If you prefer to buy your local, ethically raised meat from the source, join the CSE The Lost Box (organic, pasture-raised local meats delivered to your home from Lost Savanna Farm) or attend the annual North Island 4-H Auction at the Coombs Fairgrounds (check I4HAuction on Facebook).
FARM TO GLASS
Some of B.C.’s finest single malt whiskey (and craft gin with locally foraged botanicals) comes from a farm on the Oyster River, where Shelter Point Distillery is located. Take a free tour (Wednesday to Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.) or sip at the tasting bar. Distilling delicious gin, vodka, rum and a scrumptious Krupnik liqueur from B.C. honey, Wayward Distillation House in Courtenay has complimentary tastes and tours from noon to 6 p.m. daily.
Local wine-tasting options include Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery (which was the first), Blue Moon (also home to Ciderworx) and Coastal Black Estate (a fruit winery and blackberry farm). You can even take a helicopter tour over this scenic region with 49 North, touching down at one of its local winery or distillery partners for a taste.
If you grow more than you can eat, the Comox Valley Food Bank Grow-a-Row program is for you: donate part of your personal harvest, and they’ll even send a refrigerated van to pick up your excess garden goodies.