Exploring Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on the Circle Farm Tour

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One of the areas that I haven’t explored much of in the past relating to the farms and producers is that of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. I was fortunate to take part in a media tour this summer that guided me around to some farms and places that I may have not otherwise visited on my own. Taking the Circle Farm Tour is a great way to explore Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as well as other areas outside of Vancouver.

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Our first stop was Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, I had visited this cheese maker in the past for Feast of Fields, this was the first time I was able to experience their bistro and cheese making operation. I have been a fan of their cheese for quite some time and it was great to learn more about them which you can do as well if you include them on your own day tour.

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With a variety of handcrafted artisan cheese produced on-site, with milk from Davison Family Jersey cows, Cheesecrafters also offers many other local gourmet products to enjoy at their shop or to take away.

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During our visit we were served a delightful breakfast featuring their butter and cheese as well as other house-baked goodies. They offer a full bistro menu featuring many of the items they produce in their cheese processing plant.

Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

22270 128 Ave,

Maple Ridge, BC

Phone: 604-467-0004

www.cheesecrafters.ca

Twitter: @goldenearscheez

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One of the highlights for me during our day exploring was the visit to Hopcott Premium Meats for a Tour and Sausage Making. I’ve known about them for quite some time and haven’t had the opportunity to visit in the past. They are known for the high quality meats that they smoke in house as well as their on-site butchery.

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They are a 3rd generation family run butcher shop located on their family farm, committed to bringing quality, local, farm fresh products direct to your table. From their hormone free beef, to local produce, to baked goods and cheeses, the friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you choose healthy meals for your family & friends.

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Their meats are very high quality, sourced from three main ranches in the Interior and the cattle are grass fed. Once the Hopcotts pick the cattle up, they are brought to their farm and fed a very clean, home grown silage for the last quarter of their lives. The meat is then dry-aged for 28 days or more and does not include needling.

For lunch we dined picnic style outside by the fire pit where we had a chance to roast our own smokies. Although this was a fun experience for me I have never been a fan of hot dogs and usually avoid them any chance I get. Surprisingly these smokies were really good and since I knew how Hopcott made their sausages I knew I was in for a treat.

Hopcott meats are available at their store in Pitt Meadows, they are also at the Yaletown Farmers Market every Thursday.

Hopcott Premium Meats

18385 Old Dewdney Truck Road

Pitt Meadows, BC

Phone: 604-465-7799

www.hopcottmeats.ca

Twitter: @hopcottfarms

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An eatery which I had been wanting to visit for quite sometime is Big Feast Bistro and this was our snack stop before heading back to the city. Hoping to try more of what they actually offer I will have to do on a future visit as snacks were the theme of the afternoon visit. Enjoyed their muffins, treats and the refreshing ice tea.

Featuring locally sources and sustainable food, Big Feast is a small town bistro with a trendy, urban feel. Located in the heart of Maple Ridge, BC, they feel that feasting is something we do whenever we get together with friends and family, and food should be celebrated whether you’re just having breakfast, or enjoying a special event!

Big Feast Bistro

11920 227 Street

Maple Ridge, BC

Phone: 604-477-4334

www.bigfeast.ca

Twitter: @bigfeast

Take the family or take a friend and head on out to Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows over the summer on your own Circle Farm Tour.

By: Richard Wolak