If you’ve lived on Vancouver Island for any length of time, you’ve learned summers here are short – but sweet. Luckily, there are plenty of activities that help squeeze every last ounce of fun out of our short burst of summer heat. Last week I was fortunate to fit in not one but two uniquely Victorian experiences – fruit tree picking with LifeCycles & a Vespa pilgrimage to the Cowichan Valley.
Vancouver Island grows beautiful produce – with many residents having so much fruit growing in their yard, they can barely keep up with the harvest! Cue The Fruit Tree Project – a non-profit organization that works with volunteers to pick fruit from backyard trees and redistribute it to those in need. The best part? Volunteers keep 25% of the harvest! I was rewarded for my leisurely 3 hours of service with over 3kg of golden plums & transparent apples. Promptly turned into the most amazing preserves, they’re sure to last well into the gloomy winter months. Interested in reaping the benefits of this much needed program? Visit the LifeCycles website to find out how you can volunteer.
Another summertime island perk? Escaping the ‘big city’ and heading north to the many artisan nooks scattered all over Vancouver Island. Need some inspiration? A fellow Vespa rider invited me to tag along on what he called ‘A Moveable Feast’ – a scooter trip to the Cowichan Valley to indulge in the local bounty. Starting with a breathtaking ride on the Brentwood Bay ferry, we hit Unsworth Vineyards for wine tasting, Merridale Cidery for lunch & Drum Roaster Coffee for macchiatos. We ended the trip at Hilary’s Cheese & True Grain Bread – arguably the tastiest neighbours on the island.
Finding it hard to make time for your very own Moveable Feast? Join us for our next Long Table Dinner August 29th & 30th. We’re bringing the very best of the Cowichan Valley to the table. The four course meal, paired with Averill Creek wines, will transport you up island (and you avoid the fuss of tackling the Malahat). Dinner begins at 7pm and seating is limited to 16 each evening. Email email@example.com for more information.