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Three Holiday Appetizers from Abbotsford Farms

This season, preparing a gorgeous, delicious, and local holiday appetizer or hostess gift doesn’t have to break the bank and is easier than you think! Here are three amazing appetizer suggestions from local Abbotsford farms. 

Rockweld Farm

BCSPCA certified organic chicken farmers Tim and Flo Rempel sell eggs and chicken (whole or pierced) from their farm store on Townshipline Road. Located at 34205 Townshipline Road. Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings (click for recipe)

Ingredients
• Rockweld Farm chicken wings
• 2 parts teriyaki sauce
• 1 part barbeque sauce

 

Lepp Farm Market

Specializing in pork, the family-run farm launched as a corn stand in 1995. In 2009 they opened their year-round farm market at the corner of Highway 11 and Clayburn Road. Located at 33955 Clayburn Road, open seven days a week 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Smoked Chorizo paired perfectly with Abbotsford’s Campbell’s Gold Honey, this spicy, sweet, and highly addictive dish is great for taking to any Holiday party.

Lepp's Honey Wine Chorizo (click for recipe) 

Ingredients
• 2 Lepp’s Chorizo Sausage
• ½ cup white wine
• 3 tablespoons Campbell’s Gold Honey

 

Mt.Lehman Cheese Co.

The Dykstra family aims to provide high quality, hand-crafted cheese using fresh milk from local farms with as few other ingredients as possible. Located at 30854 Olund Road. Products are available at 37 retailers including Lepp Farm Market and Nature’s Fare.

Goat Cheese and Goji Berry Wrap (click for recipe)

Ingredients
• Mt. Lehman Cheese garlic and herb chevre
• Mt. Lehman Cheese Matsqui aged cheddar
• Gojoy Fresh goji berries
• Sundried tomato soft tortilla shell
• 1 chicken breast

All three of these farms are part of Abbotsford's Circle Farm Tour.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.

Come Try Something New at Singletree Winery

At the north end of Mount Lehman Road sits 12 acres of vineyards on rolling hills, grown by the Etsell family. Since 2005 the farming family has planned to use part of their 65 acres for vineyards and in June 2015 their tasting room opened to the public as Singletree Winery.

General manager and viticulturist Andrew Etsell said he wants people to feel comfortable when they visit.

“The wine industry can be intimidating,” he said. “We’re an easygoing farming family—you’ll be treated the same if you wear flip-flops or if you’re dressed for high tea.”

Current releases include a 2013 Farmhand White, a 2013 Pinot Noir, and a 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.

Their winery name is inspired by the pioneering farming tool, the singletree. It’s a single harness yolk, which allowed horses to clear land for farming in the late 1800s. The Etsell family is proud to carry on the tradition of working the land. In fact, their first 3,600 vines were hand planted!

The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to bring a picnic, pick up a bottle of wine, and enjoy the beautiful view of Mount Baker. Singletree wines are also available at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market and several local restaurants.

“We’re a regular Abbotsford family farm who really enjoys wine and decided to open a winery,” Etsell said. “Come and try something new!”

Singletree Winery, located at 5782 Mount Lehman Road, is a featured partner of the Abbotsford Specialty Beer and Wine Tour.

This map is your guide for hyperlocal, unique experiences while visiting Abbotsford. It showcases the developing industry of craft breweries and wineries opening throughout the city. Download a PDF copy or pick one up at any Abbotsford craft brewery or winery.


Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city. 1st Photo credit - Christine McAvoy. 

Ravens Brewing Company is Inspired by Abbotsford

Ravens Brewing Company may be one of the newest businesses in Abbotsford, but they’ve got no shortage of customers. The busy tasting room has been showcasing unique, handcrafted beer since June 2015 and is only growing.

Owner Paul Sweeting has created a range of core beers to please for everyone from the first-timer with their signature Golden Ale, to the craft beer savant with their Farmers Ale saison. Sweeting wants people who visit the brewery to experience something new every time they visit.

“Everyone’s tastes are their own. You don’t have to like our beer—but we hope you do,” he said.

On top of their core brews, Ravens Brewing Company offers seasonal ales. Right now they have a white IPA and a raspberry hefeweizen. The 450 pounds of raspberries in the hefeweizen travelled three kilometres from picking to brewing—an extreme local beer for enthusiasts.

Working with local growers and businesses is a focus for Ravens Brewing Company. Inspired by the agricultural roots surrounding the Abbotsford area, they aim to create great beers full of character and style in a friendly and welcoming environment.

The tasting room is open daily from noon and you’re invited to bring your lunch and enjoy a flight at the long log table while making new friends.

One unique element of the craft brewing industry is growler fills. A grower is a refillable glass jug, which you can fill at any craft brewery.

In British Columbia the craft brewing industry is thriving, with three new breweries opening in Abbotsford alone this year. Editor Stephen Smysnuik noticed this trend and decided to launch The Growler Craft Beer Handbook, which curates breweries across the lower mainland.

“I thought, man there’s a lot happening here. Someone should really put a publication together to keep stock of this.”

Smysnuik said The Growler reflects the industry as much as possible and aims to provide a comprehensive look at the growing craft beer industry in B.C.

Current issues are available at local breweries, including Ravens Brewing Company, and back issues can be ordered from thegrowler.ca

Ravens Brewing Company, located in at 2485 Townline Road, is a featured partner of the Abbotsford Specialty Beer and Wine Map.

This map is your guide for hyperlocal, unique experiences while visiting Abbotsford. It showcases the developing industry of craft breweries and wineries opening throughout the city. Download a PDF copy or pick one up at any Abbotsford craft brewery or winery.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.

Family-Friendly Abbotsford Agrifair is Ready to Entertain this Summer

This August long weekend there’s something for everyone at the annual Abbotsford Agrifair and Mighty Fraser Rodeo.

“With a wide variety of activities, every day is a different show,” said Agrifair general manager Pamela Brenner.

Last year’s event saw 33,000 visitors to the Agrifair. This year they’re expecting up to 50,000 visitors and have added an entire extra day of entertainment and activities.

Aside from the professional rodeo, featuring fan-favourite events like steer wrestling, bull riding, and barrel racing, the annual Valley Voices Vocal Competition is sure to impress fair visitors. Finals begin Friday where 15 young artists compete for the grand prize, a chance to record a single at a professional recording studio.

The community and main stages will be loaded with musical entertainment all weekend and features a battle of the bands on Friday and Saturday. Sunday evening hosts Grammy-award winner Laura Story who will perform songs from her new album God of Every Story, including her hit single Til I Met You.

The four day event runs Friday July 31 through Monday August 3 and is bringing back the professional rodeo, 4-H livestock show and competition, live entertainment and contests, Midway, food trucks, demolition derby, and agricultural displays and demonstrations.

For the expanded 2015 fair expect to see many new additions including midget wrestling, the return of popular West Coast Lumberjacks, mini chuckwagon races, and visits from Richard’s Racers, Chef Pamela E and Kids Kitchen, and the Reptile Guy.

Four-day fair weekend passes are $15 per person and children 10 and under are free. Visit agrifair.ca for detailed information.

From now until July 20 like Agrifair on Facebook for your chance to win prizes from their ESCAPE to Agrifair contest. The grand prize will be an ultimate fair experience, including four weekend wristbands, two all-day parking passes, four one-day Midway ride passes, customized LEGO prizes, and a chance to be part of the Country Horse Classic horse-pulling team. All you have to do is watch for “the location of the ESCAPE,” and answer the question. Each correct answer is an entry to the contest.

All photos are courtesy of Abbotsford Agrifair and Mighty Fraser Rodeo.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.

Learn About Good Bugs, Bad Bugs and Daffodils at the 2015 Bradner Flower Show

It was springtime when English horticulturist Fenwick Fatkin noticed a daffodil field out the window while riding a train through Bradner. Thinking the soil must be good he bought land, ordered some bulbs and moved his family out.

This was the beginning of the Bradner Flower Show, now in its 87th year. The 2015 show runs from April 10-12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Featuring more than 400 varieties of daffodils, Fatkin’s granddaughter and co-organizer Pauline Isherwood said visitors should expect to be blown away by how many flowers there will be at Bradner Hall and elementary school this year.

“The thing I like about daffodils is that when I see them I know spring is here. That’s spring.” Isherwood and her 90-year-old father plan to run their family table at the event.

Themed “the good, the bad, and the bug-ily,” this year’s guest speaker entomologist Jim Matteoni opens the show on Friday and will answer gardening questions in the Speaker’s Corner. Other featured speakers are Chris Bodnar of Glen Valley Organic Farm, Bert the Mole Man, and Mason bee expert Jim Sadowski.

“This is a good time to come out and find some new and interesting items for your garden,” said co-organizer Lynda Richard, who has planned the show for the past five years. “There’s lots more than daffodils, but of course the daffodils are the star of the show.”

Over the weekend, plant wholesalers and craft vendors will display unique product for those eager to get planting.

For those not gardening this year, there’s plenty to see and do for all ages. With musical performances, cooking demonstrations, taxidermy displays, wine tasting and much more, this is sure to be a fun-filled, educational event.

The Bradner Flower Show begins April 10 at 5305 Bradner Road. The volunteer-run event costs $2 at the door with free parking at the elementary school and along the roadside. There will be a tea room selling homemade soups, sandwiches and desserts all weekend and barbequed food available on Saturday and Sunday.

Visit Facebook.com/bradnerhall for more details.

Photos are courtesy of the Reach Gallery.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.