There are better ways to find out about food than at the grocery store.
Now in its seventh year, people can take the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Circle Farm Tour to learn about lavender, sample fruit wine, find out how cheese is made, or watch bees do their thing.
Visitors can obtain a self-guided tour map from participating stops (or the tourism office) then go to as many identified destinations as they like in whatever order they prefer.
"It's such a fun program," said Debbie Hopcott of Hopcott Meats. "People come [to Hopcott] because of [this] program."
Sarah Hopcott added, "It's a good way to promote your neighbours, too."
One of the Hopcott's neighbours is Blue Heron Winery, a family-owned and operated fruit winery also on the tour.
Organizers, participating farmers, and advertisers celebrated the tour at a kickoff held at The ACT last month.
Those involved in the tour see the need to reach people who want to know where their food comes from.
But they say that isn't the only reason to take the local tour.
Circle Farm Tour brings together food, education, farming, shopping, and fun while introducing visitors to the farmers and people who make it happen everyday.
Along with the nine regular stops, there are also a series of seasonal-specific local stops: Meadows Maze with two mazes, a petting zoo, and hayrides; McKinney Creek Market for seasonal hanging baskets and bedding plants; Haney Farmers Market, a festival of food and local craftsmanship; Grow and Gather where peaceful gardens take shape; and Heather Hills Farm Society for fresh cut heather, hazelnuts, and even a nine-hole golf course.
Part of the larger Circle Farm Tour program, the kickoff celebrated all five tour regions: Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Agassiz and Harrison Mills.
Golden Ears Cheesecrafters owners Emma and Kerry Davison had the audience at the launch laughing with their humorous presentation of farm tour benefits.
"The whole program is ideal in getting people out and finding things they didn't know about," said Kevin Ridgeway, president and CEO of Tourism BC, who was at the launch, and encouraging people to get out and take in what Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have to offer.
Learn more at www. circlefarmtour.com.