EXPLORE ABBY BLOG

Simple Summer Fun: Farm Fresh Picnic Ideas

Get inspired by the bounty of farm fresh food that is available here in Abbotsford, or pick up a meal to go from one of our local restaurants and head to one of the many parks and outdoor spaces to enjoy your meal al fresco. 

Explore Abbotsford's Circle Farm Tour

Long summer days are on the horizon which means more time for a leisurely journey through the countryside. 

Seasonal Sips to Try this Winter

From hot mulled apple cider and spiced honey meads to hot chocolate porter and a fir tips brew, you’ll be loving the winter vibes in Abbotsford. 

Hop History, From Farm to Brewery

The fields in Sumas Prairie are budding with rows of vibrant, green hops to accommodate an exploding craft beer industry. 

Top 5 Harvest Experiences

Fresh-pressed apple cider, harvested hops, and crisp breezes are all signs that fall harvest has arrived in Abbotsford.

Eat, Play, Love Abby: Family Friendly Adventure!

This fun filled itinerary is loaded with family friendly experiences that will have your children sharing memories for years to come.

Abbotsford Must-Visit Fall Destinations

A refreshing, crisp breeze, the leaves changing colour, pumpkin-spiced lattés…all signs that fall has arrived. The change of seasons doesn’t mean that we should be spending time indoors. In fact, quite the opposite!

We are talking about colourful pumpkin patches, vibrant apple orchards, daunting corn mazes, bumpin’ hayrides and so much more. Our list of fall destinations has something for everyone.

And, while most are family-friendly, we have a few activities that are better suited for the adult kid in all of us, like craft beer stations and haunted experiences in corn mazes.
So, whether you're looking to stock up on decorative gourds, master the perfect pumpkin pie with locally grown pumpkins, make jars of tree-fresh applesauce, or spend the day having ‘fall family fun’, Abby has you covered.

Come prepared. Bring shoes and pants you can get dirty. And, don't forget to layer.
 


Abby Roadside (NEW!)

Family-friendly | Dog-friendly (on leash) | Designed for adults, but fun for the whole family.

Highlights

  • Roadside social
  • BC’s first beer-tasting corn maze with local breweries (Fieldhouse, Ravens, Old Abbey Ales, Old Yale). Two other mazes for all ages. (please check their social channels for closure updates due to weather) 
  • Craft beer garden
  • Doggie bar & photo booth
  • Pumpkin patch
  • Apple cannon
  • Autumn Eats at Food Trucks

Open September 30th to October 23. (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
Admission: Free for 2 and under, $5 for 3-18 years, and $10 for 19 plus.
@abbyroadside on Instagram and Facebook
 



Taves Family Farms (Applebarn Pumpkin Farm)



Family-friendly | No dogs | Free admission to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch

Highlights

  • U-Pick apples for couples, families, and friends. Smaller trees that are perfect for the little ones.
  • Large pumpkin patch to choose that perfect Jack-o-Lantern and stands with several pumpkin varieties and gourds to choose from.
  • Fresh cold-pressed apple cider (100% apples), made before your very eyes.
  • Hayrides and ponyrides
  • Petting Barn
  • Corn maze, with a quest, that is best suited for children ages 3 to 12.
  • Farm foods to keep you energized like caramel apples and apple cider slushies

Admission for attractions: Applebarn pass includes most attractions. Free for children 2 and under. See website for details).
Open daily until November 1st.
@tavesfarms on Instagram and Twitter and @tavesfamilyfarms on Facebook
 



Maan Farms COUNTRY EXPERIENCE & ESTATE WINERY 



Family-friendly | No dogs | Family-friendly with experiences just for teenagers and adults

Highlights

  • Flashlight Corn Maze opens after dark. Only a flashlight can guide corn maze-goers through the rows.
  • Haunted Corn Maze: This year, Leatherface and his accomplices have been joined by a band of crazed clowns. It’s a terrifying corn maze with many dead ends and full of surprises from starving zombies and chainsaw-wielding murderers to killer clowns.
  • Maan’s Estate Winery, award-winning wine with a free tasting room.
  • Moonlight Wagon Rides
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Petting Zoo
  • Country Store with farm-fresh foods and home-made fudge

Admission: A la carte pricing. See website for details.
Open daily until November 11th
@maanfarms on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
 



Willow View Farms



Family-friendly | No dogs please | No general admission rates

Highlights

  • U-Pick apples for couples, families, and friends.
  • Pumpkin patch with several varieties to choose from in different colours and sizes.
  • Home of the annual Farmer vs. Farmer’s wife giant pumpkin growing contest. This year ‘meet Ugly Randy’, an 800 lb pumpkin! (see photo above) 
  • Hayrides
  • Playground and petting zoo
  • Country-chic décor

Open daily until November 1st. Hayrides are available on weekends only including Thanksgiving Monday.
@willowviewfarms on Instagram and Facebook
 



Directions

Coming from the east on Highway 1, head to Abby Roadside and then take the Sumas Way exit to Huntingdon Road where you can visit Maan Farms, Taves Farms, and Willow View Farms all within a 10-minute stretch.

Coming from the west on Highway 1, reverse it and take the Sumas Way exit to Huntingdon Rd to visit Maan Farms, Taves Farms and Willow View Farms before heading back on the Highway to hit Abby Roadside.
 

Celebrate Hop Harvest at BC Hop Fest



Although the recent boom of craft beer may make it seem like hops are a new crop to the Fraser Valley, it has been grown in our fertile soil for more than 100 years.

Until the 1940's, the Fraser Valley was a huge hop-growing region but dissipated as demand dropped. Now with 120 local craft breweries and more launching every month, the demand for local hops has returned.

On October 1, it’s this rich tradition BC Hop Company celebrates, as well as the emerging craft beer industry, at the second annual BC Hop Fest at Kinloch Farms on Sumas Prairie.

“What makes it unique is there aren’t festivals focusing on wet-hop beer,” said event organizer Donna Dixon. The festival is timed to coincide with the hop harvest and the beginning of BC craft beer month.

Wet hop, or fresh hop, beer is a challenging type of brewing utilizing the green hops of the harvest. Hops are fragile and don’t survive long after being cut, and are meant to be drunk within weeks of brewing. Wet hops are said to taste different than traditional kiln-dried hops.

“The hops add a vibrancy, a fineness, a definition, and a chlorophyll-driven energy you don’t get in standard hopped beers,” said Dixon.

Kinloch Farms grows some of the hops used for the festival and is the only hop farm in Abbotsford. Using the best European technology to preserve the quality of the hops, they’ve just completed building a world-class processing plant.

Traditional large-scale processing involves drying thousands of pounds of hops over direct fired furnaces and can take up to three days from harvest to bailing. This European technology uses indirect heat and air conditioning so the hops are in final bailing condition in less than one day.

“We’re very excited because we grow hops and process them and a lot of the breweries attending are using our hops,” said Dixon.

More than 30 of the province’s best craft breweries are bringing their fresh-hopped beer to this year’s BC Hop Fest. Attendees will not only get to sample fresh-hop beer but also enjoy field and plant tours, take in a panel talk from local brewers discussing how they use wet hops, learn home brew tips and tricks, shop at the artisan marketplace, and take in live entertainment.

“Breweries love coming out here to the Fraser Valley because they can engage with a new customer base. Customers love the breweries coming to them.”

Last year’s event sold out so they’ve added more space for this year’s event, which happens rain or shine. Tickets to the 19+ event are only available in advance.

BC Hop Fest
October 1, 2016
1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
1905 Cole Road, Abbotsford BC

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city. All photo credit: PhotoArt by Simpson & BC Hop Co. 
 



Follow Abbotsford on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share along your journey with the hashtag #ExploreAbbotsford. We can't wait to see what you get up to!

More from #ExploreAbbotsford:

Top 10 Adventures in Abbotsford 
Shopping Spots in Downtown Abby
5 Places to Explore with Kids
Fresh Faces of Abby Series 

Events Calendar 

Abbotsford's Beer & Wine Tour

Sip, Savour and Share on the Abbotsford Beer & Wine Tour! Meet all the local craft breweries & wineries and start tasting the unique flavours of our valley. From honey mead and berry fruit wines to salted stouts and raspberry ales, you'll discover something new. Download your tour map here or pick a copy up from one of the locations below. Cheers! 



Field House Brewing  Co.

At Field House Brewing Co., we believe it’s about a full craft beer experience, we brew great beer that we love and want to share with our community and beyond. We’ve also created a unique gathering place for friends and family to create new experiences and learn more about the world of craft beer. Whether you are new to craft beer or a seasoned pro - we offer a range of styles, all with a high drinkability factor and we’re always searching for new inspiration and ideas. Cheers.

604.776.BREW (2739)
www.fieldhousebrewing.com
2281 West Railway St



OLD ABBEY ALES

Old Abbey Ales brews and serves 30 beers on tap. Brewed with the finest ingredients and employing the time-tested traditions of Belgian beer brewing methods with West Coast creativity affectionately called Belgian Forward. Visit our tasting room for pints, flights, and growler fills.

604.607.5104
www.oldabbeyales.com
1A-30321 Fraser Hwy 



RAVENS BREWING COMPANY

Ravens Brewing Company is inspired by the agricultural roots surrounding the Abbotsford area. We will be brewing European and West Coast beers, respecting the ingredients traditionally found in these great brews. Working with local growers and suppliers to craft great beers full of character and style, we look forward to welcoming you to our tasting room.

604.758.1557
 www.ravensbrewing.com
 2485 Townline Rd



Maan Farms Estate Winery

A culmination of three generations of farmers, has brought forth a taste of true distinction. From ground to glass, Maan Farms wines are soley produced here, leaving no room for anything less than the best. Showcasing wines made from Maan Farms mouth-watering berries, expanding to now include grape wines, and a VIP Wine Club. Visit our fun family farm for our tasting room, great country food and family activities.

604.864.5723
 www.maanfarms.com
 790 McKenzie Rd



CAMPBELL’S GOLD HONEY FARM & MEADERY

Believed to be the oldest known alcoholic beverage, Mead or Honey Wine was first discovered by the Samarians in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago. Campbell’s Gold produces these ancient elixirs including the traditional Mead. In addition, they offer Pyment (honey wine & grapes), Melomel (honey wine with fruit or berries), Metheglin (spiced honey wine), and Cysor (honey wine with apple juice/cider).

604.856.2125
 www.bchoney.com
 2592 Lefeuvre Rd



Mt. Lehman Winery

Mt. Lehman Winery is a family owned boutique winery specializing in small lots of premium naturally made wines. Come tour
our beautiful farm and vineyard where we have over 15 acres planted of a variety of grapes including Pinot Noir (our flagship wine), Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, and others. While you’re here, drop by our tasting room to sample our unique award winning wines.

604.746.2881
www.mtlehmanwinery.com
5094 Mt. Lehman Rd
 



Singletree Winery

Join us at Singletree, a family operated Vineyard and Winery located in Mt.Lehman. The site where the farm is located has a rich farming history, with activity starting in the late 1800’s. We are proud of our focused portfolio of wines, crafted by family member and winemaker, Andrew Etsell.  We welcome you to taste a new generation of wines in our rustic tasting room and also enjoy the vineyard and surrounding area in our licensed picnic area located right beside our winery.

604.381.1788
www.singletreewinery.com
5782 Mt. Lehman Rd
 
Download your tasting tour map here to find your way around town. 

Taves Apple Barn Opening

Not that anyone is quite ready for summer to be over, but it’s hard to deny that these cooler summer days don’t have us heading into fall mode! And, fall means fall harvest with apples and pumpkins.



Opening on August 19th, the Applebarn at Taves Family Farms is ready to welcome everyone on the farm. The late spring warm weather has ripened these apples, earlier than anticipated, and the trees are loaded with beautiful red apples. There is nothing quite like spending the day with family and friends, reaching for that highest apple and, of course, ‘testing’ it to make sure it passes inspection. U-Pick begins with Alkmene and Gravenstein followed by Ambrosia, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, Spartan, and, the Taves’ signature apple, the Jonagold.  Elstar and Sunrise are only available in the Country Store.



Types of Apples grown on Taves Farm:

Alkmene:
Originates from Germany, related to the Cox, but with a more robust flavor. Slightly sharper than the Cox and commonly known as the Early Windsor. White to cream to pale yellow. Sweet and aromatic.
Gravenstein: An older apple variety from Denmark. High quality flavor. Sweet and sharp. White to cream to pale yellow.
Ambrosia: Medium-sized. White to cream to pale yellow. Honeyed, scented, aromatic.
Fuji: Originating from Japan. Attractive, crisp, very sweet modern apple.
Gala: One of the most well-known apples. Medium-sized. White to cream to pale yellow. Sweet and sharp.



Honeycrisp: Medium-sized white to cream, pale yellow. Crisp, and predominantly sweet, modern variety from the USA.
Spartan: Attractive, crunchy, sweet and with the characteristic of a delicate wine-like "vinous" flavor like the McIntosh family of apples. Sweet and aromatic. Honeyed. White to cream to pale yellow.
Sunrise: Originates from Canada. Medium-sized. White to cream to pale yellow. Sweet and sharp, leans towards sharp.
Elstar: Successful offspring from the Golden Delicious and Cox’s Orange Pippin. Excellent flavour quality and great for cooking. Honeyed and scented. Medium-sized. White to cream to pale yellow.
Jonagold: Originates from the US and inherits many of the good qualities of its parents, the Jonathan and Golden Delicious. Great for cooking and cider. Exceptional flavour, bold and sweet. White to cream to pale yellow.



For those who don’t feel like U-Picking, the Country Store has bags of freshly-picked apples ready to go. Be sure to watch the U-Pick page for expected picking dates and frequent updates. No need to bring your own containers as the Taves have that covered, and tour buses and larger groups are always welcome.

The Taves invite you to spend a full day at the farm for that taste of the country experience. The kids will be bouncing away on jumping pillows, petting adorable farm animals, gazing at alpacas and peacocks, feeding the goats, riding ponies, bumping along on a hayride, shooting pumpkins and corn cobs, swooshing through the air in tire swings, watching bees make honey, sliding and zip-lining, and running through a corn maze. A concession stand is available on weekends, but everyone is also welcome to bring a packed lunch and rest at a picnic table.



A visit is not complete without trying an apple cider slushy and bringing home a few jugs of cold-pressed cider. So sweet and delicious, but contains nothing more than pure apples. The viewing window shows the process in action. Healthy and tasty? I know, hard to believe!

Visit www.tavesfamilyfarms.com & www.circlefarmtour.com