At the farm gate: Fresh food, flowers, fine wine and fanciful wares for sale at East Kootenay farms

Summer is the perfect opportunity to explore our area and shop locally

by Julie Matchett
Display of goat milk cheese, assorted meats in basket.

Delicious alpine-style cheese, fresh bottled milk and whipping cream can be found at Kootenay Meadows in Creston. — Photo courtesy Kootenay Meadows Facebook page

It’s officially summer! For many of us, it’s a favourite season made up of family reunions, backyard barbeques with friends and relaxing on the deck. It’s also the perfect time to head out to one of our local farms and food producers to pick up some fresh, healthy locally grown produce, ethically raised meat or a selection of fine wines. 

Our fertile valleys and mountains are home to a multitude of farms, ranches and people dedicated to local food production. Shopping locally ensures that these hand-working folks stay in business for years to come. Having a secure and robust food economy helps to ensure our local food supply remains dependable in times of crisis. Buying local means access to a plethora of the freshest available food—unlike grocery stores where fruit and vegetables are often shipped from far-flung locations. Supporting our local food producers also helps to maintain our ecological diversity as many farmers grow several varieties of plants as opposed to one specific species common in mass farming productions.

How about taking the gang on a fun picnic to a local lake or arranging a romantic rendezvous with a special someone? On the way, stop at one of our local farms, vineyards or food producers and pick up a few culinary delights to enjoy.  From U-pick fruit and vegetables, homemade jams and fresh-cut flowers to hand-crafted sausages, smokies and fine wines, there is a rich selection of products to be discovered.

Staying local means the opportunity to support our local businesses and farms, an especially important consideration as we slowly recover from the economic repercussions of a global pandemic. Check out this list of East Kootenay farms and food producers who offer sales directly to their customers on site.

Where to buy local food in Cranbrook

Kootenay Farm-to-Folk: Kootenay Farm-to-Folk works with over 80 local farmers and food suppliers to bring wholesome, organic and healthy food and produce straight to market. Customers are welcome to shop in person at their storefront: 223 Cranbrook St N. Store hours are currently Sunday to Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., but are subject to change. Please phone ahead to make sure they are open: 250-417-5507.

Where to buy local food in Creston

Kootenay Meadows: Kootenay Meadows is a certified organic dairy farm dedicated to sustainable management practices. They offer delicious alpine-style cheese, glass-bottled milk, table and whipping cream from their on-site farm shop, as well as self-guided tours. Summer hours are Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: 3071 16th Street, Creston;  250-428-9655.

Display of apples, pears, peaches at Kootenay Farm-to-Folk

Looking for healthy, organic, wholesome food? Cranbrook's Kootenay Farm-to-Folk works with over 80 local food producers to bring plentiful produce and goods straight to their market storefront. — Photo courtesy Kootenay Farm-To-Folk Facebook page

Ki Mana Acres: Ki Mana Acres is a small-scale farm focused on soil health, land regeneration, farm/ecosystem sustainability and animal welfare/nutrition. They offer pasture-raised poultry, free-range eggs, heritage pork, salad mixes/microgreens. 318 33rd Avenue S.; 250-431-8420.

Pure Honey Products: From the hives to you in the purest form, Pure Honey Products are organic and chemical-free. Offering raw honey, beeswax food wraps, lip balms, candles and gifts. 1850 Corn Creek Road; 250-581-0524.

Wloka Farms Fruit Stand: The Wloka Farm Fruit Stand offers only locally grown food, offering a large variety of fruits and vegetables in season. 3524 Highway 3; 250-428-0510.

Wynnwood Cellars Estate Winery: Local, handcrafted fine wines from the beautiful Creston Valley. Currently open Friday to Sunday, but best to call ahead. 5566 Hwy 3A, phone: 250-866-5155.

Crestview Farms: A family-owned farm, offering ethically-raised lamb and beef. Farmgate sales available. 1366 Speers Road, phone: 250-435-0211.

Blueberry Patch Farms & Farm Girls Flowers:  Offering berry preserves, frozen blueberries, old-fashioned candy and Farm Girls line of botanical soap, cream and salves at the farm store. Come and visit their new vegetable and flower gardens—U-pick seasonal berries and fresh flowers available! Hours are Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2782-20th Street in Lister.

Faraman Farm: Offering 30+ varieties of apples, cherries, peaches, carrots, potatoes and assorted vegetables, along with pressed apple and custom juices. 3111 Highway 3, Erickson, 250-402-3056. Closed Sundays.

Morris Flowers and Garden Centre: Locally-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables including blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, corn and garlic. Visit the greenhouse for bedding plants, annual and perennial flowers, ornamental and fruit trees, nursery stock, and foliage plants. 1403 Erickson Street, phone: 250-428-5262.

Red Bird Estate Winery: A small family-owned winery, Red Bird produces small lot, artisanal wines that capture the best of the Creston Valley. Open by appointment for tasting and sales. Phone 250-254-8885 or email [email protected]

Where to buy local food in Fort Steele/Wardner

Norbury Creek Farm: Offering organic, fresh-picked produce all season long. Find a large selection of fruits and vegetables, bedding plants and farm-fresh eggs. 3075 Wardner/Fort Steele Road, phone: 250-417-9854.

Floral arrangements sitting on counter with basket of handmade soaps.

Farm Girls Flowers in Creston grows fields of beautiful flowers every season and sells creative bouquets and arrangements. Make-your-own U-pick bouquets are also available. — Photo courtesy Blueberry Patch Farms website

Where to buy local food in Jaffray

Bolter Farm and Chalet: Bolter Farm provides superior quality, grass-fed beef, pastured pork and free-range poultry from animals locally born and naturally raised. All meat products are free of hormones, vaccines and antibiotics, and raised without the use of pesticides, herbicides and GMO ingredients. 8670 Derosier Road, phone: 250-429-3888.

Where to buy local food in Kimberley

Meat Matters: Rebranded by new owners, (formerly Cliff’s Meats), this butchery is famous for its delectable bacon, beef jerky and pepperoni. Extremely popular with locals, they also offer pork, beef and poultry, beef and turkey jerky as well as numerous types of sausages. 8164 Highway 95A, phone: 250-427-0048.

Gwinners Country Butchers: Offering naturally raised beef from their own herd, as well as  “made from scratch” meats, sausages, prosciutto, hams, salamis and more. 2230 Thomason Road, Kimberley, phone: 250-427-5049.

Pommier Ranch Meadery: Offering a selection of dry and sweet meads made on-site using mountain wildflower honey. Please use our contact page to make an appointment for a tour and tasting.

Sparrowhawk Farm: Sparrowhawk Farm—where nature conservation and farming come together. Grass-fed lamb for the table. 250-427-0803.

Where to buy local food in Windermere

Winderberry and Edibles Farm+Cafe+Catering: A popular stop in the Columbia Valley, Winderberry Farm features a plant nursery and greenhouses, fresh, locally organic produce and a quaint cafe. Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1681 Highway 93/95, phone 250-341-5330.

If we missed adding your farm or food producer to this list and you would like to be included, please send us a message: [email protected].

Bottles of mead from Pommier Ranch Meadery.

In the mood for something different? Pommier Ranch Meadery in Kimberley offers a selection of dry and sweet meads made on-site using mountain wildflower honey. — Photo courtesy Pommier Ranch Meadery Facebook page

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