You mean our food comes from farms?

By combining cycling routes with farm tours and demonstrations, Saturday's Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour gave Valley residents a chance to explore the rural countryside and meet the people who produce their food.
One hundred and ninety-four cyclists took part in the Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour, a self-guided cycle tour to many local farms, where visitors could take guided tours and sample products.

BARB MILLEY (left) leads cyclists Betty Lou Rattray and Lyle Trockstad on a tour of Lloydshaven Holsteins Ltd. on Dove Creek Road during the Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour.

BARB MILLEY (left) leads cyclists Betty Lou Rattray and Lyle Trockstad on a tour of Lloydshaven Holsteins Ltd. on Dove Creek Road during the Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour.

By combining cycling routes with farm tours and demonstrations, Saturday’s Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour gave Valley residents a chance to explore the rural countryside and meet the people who produce their food.One hundred and ninety-four cyclists took part in the Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour, a self-guided cycle tour to many local farms, where visitors could take guided tours and sample products.”I talked to quite a few people who finished, and no one had a rotten time,” said tour chair Willy Van Kemenade. “Everyone seemed to really enjoy it. We’re really pleased.”The Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour was organized by the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market Association, the Comox Valley Farmers’ Institute and Discover Comox Valley.van Kemenade leads weekly cycling trips in the Valley for the Probus group, and one of the people he cycles with went on a farm cycle tour last year and really enjoyed it and asked van Kemenade about doing something similar in the Valley.”I’m a firm believer of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition and the work they’re doing, which promotes safe cycling in the Valley,” said van Kemenade. “I approached them … there was enough interest to take it to the next step, which I decided was to take it to the Comox Valley Economic Development Society. They were quite keen. I think they saw it possibly as a tourism event.”They quickly put together a group to organize the event, and it grew from there.The Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour included three different loops, ranging in length from 18 kilometres to 41 kilometres or 58 kilometres. The routes featured stops at farms all the way from Black Creek to Fanny Bay, including Innisfree Farm in Royston, Snap Dragon Dairy in Fanny Bay, Berry Best Farm in Courtenay, Coastal Black Estate Winery in Black Creek and Eatmore Sprouts in Courtenay.”We’re feeling pretty good about it,” said van Kemenade. “We’re not sure where it’s going. The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition and its partners will do a post-mortem and talk about if it’s something we want to do next year … If we work at it, I’m sure it could be a much bigger event in future years.”While van Kemenade hopes the Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour helped create more awareness for the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, he also thought that, more importantly, the event gave the public a chance to experience sustainable farm practices that provide the public with locally grown, wholesome and nutritious products.”It’s a win-win,” he noted.Betty Lou Rattray and Lyle Trockstad of Comox rode the Rural Ramble, which took cyclists from the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market to Lloydshaven Holsteins Ltd. on Dove Creek Road; Natures Way Farm, Blue Moon Winery and Tria Culinary Studio on Darcy Road; and Finlay Creek Farm on Rennison Road.They were interested in the Farm Cycle Tour because Rattray leads the Comox Valley Newcomers’ Club cycling group.”I enjoy cycling, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to cycle a different route and learn different routes and see some of the farms you happen to drive by and say ‘I wonder what they do there,'” she said.Members of the Comox Valley Camera Club were out taking photographs during the cycle tour, and van Kemenade says they plan to add the images they captured throughout the day to their website at www.cvfarmcycletour.com.writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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