top of page

Spring Fling - A Bloomin' Good Time To Visit Creston Valley

By Brian Lawrence

There's nothing like the hint of spring in the air! The change of seasons is particularly noticeable in the Creston Valley, as farmers return to their fields and orchards, preparing a bounty to delight the palates of visitors and residents alike. From celebrations at dairy farms to bustling farmers' markets to charming rural cafes and shops, Creston blooms with Spring farm experiences to enjoy!

See the Cows Hard at Play

And guess who really loves this time of year? If you guessed cows … you’re absolutely right! They certainly have an extra spring in their step after being cooped up in a barn all winter — and the public is invited to see them hard at play during the annual Spring Turnout event at Kootenay Meadows Farm each April!

A cow frolicking in the pasture at Kootenay Meadow's annual Spring Turn Out in Creston BC
A Cow frolicking in the pasture at Kootenay Meadow's annual Spring Turn Out. Photo - Sam Pyke/Juice FM

The cows at Erin Harris’s farm in Lister live in the barn through winter and early spring (the frozen ground is hard on their feet and then can be damaged by them when it’s wet) so it’s no wonder they enjoy the chance to get outside! This year the Spring Turnout is on Saturday, April 20, when the cows released from the barn at 11 a.m to return to their verdant outdoor pastures!

“It’s always been one of our favourite days on the farm,” says Erin, who now owns the dairy farm her parents started in the 1990s. “They like to bounce and dance around, and mess around with each other. Nobody eats much or milks much that day, but they have a great time.”

A much loved community tradition for nearly a decade, the annual turnout event started almost on a whim, when Erin’s family inviting a few friends and neighbours to watch. When they opened it to the public, they expected a few dozen to visit, and ended up with hundreds — about 1,500 guests visit the farm to watch the cows frolicking in the pasture. And there’s more to the event than just the turnout! This year the Creston Valley Farmers' Market will be running next door at Lister Park, hosting a number of food trucks and vendors throughout the afternoon!

Visit Farms, Orchards and Markets

Beyond Kootenay Meadows Farm, Creston also boasts an abundant collection of small farms, orchards, fruit stands, markets and more to experience local agriculture firsthand. Visiting these is a great way to see the products you might buy in the store in their earliest state — and meet the amazing people who grow or make them!

Pickers harvesting the crop at Sutcliffe Farms, B.C.'s biggest asparagus producer. Sutcliffe Farms photo

For example, did you know that the Creston Valley is home to B.C.’s largest asparagus producer? Sutcliffe Farms grows 100 acres of Kootenay Green asparagus, which has a very short growing season, and is available in May and June. It’s harvested in the most unique fashion — with workers actually lying down on the job! The farm is also home to a store where you can pick up the freshest asparagus brought in from the fields that day.

In nearby Wynndel, Swan Valley Honey is literally the best on the continent, having recently won the top awards at both the North American Honey Show and the American Honey Show. Their onsite farm shop is open seasonally, offering an array of these award winning terroir-based niche honeys for you to pick up. Otherwise, you can find their fantastic products at the Farmer's Market and in shops around Creston!

Hardy root veggies and early season veggies  at farms & markets in Erickson
Hardy root veggies and early season veggies are often available at farms and markets in Erickson.

For a wider selection of early season produce some of the small farms and roadside markets in Erickson even stay open. Along Highway 3, Marar Orchard and Wloka Farms offer hardy root veggies and fruits from last year's harvest like apples, garlic, squash, cabbage and more. Alternatively, take a tour down the quieter orchard-lined Erickson road and drop by the quaint Flamenco Farms' new farm store for fresh eggs, canned goods other early season goodies!

Don’t Miss the Saturday Farmers’ Market!

To truly get a taste of the Creston Valley in spring, the best place to explore is the Outdoor Farmers' Market, the buzzing epicentre of activity in downtown Creston on Saturday mornings in the spring and summer!

The outdoors Farmer's Market in Downtown Creston returns!

After running indoors at the Creston and District Community Complex from October to April, it will start its outdoor season in May in the brand-new Market Park, opening in 2024 just behind the Creston Valley Visitor Centre and within view of the iconic twin grain elevators. From baking to veggies to wine to local artwork from nearly 50 weekly vendors, this is award-winning market is a one-stop shop for all things grown and made in Creston. It's not just a market; it's also a communal experience where locals and visitors mingle, sharing stories and savouring the flavours of the region against a busy backdrop of vendors, food trucks and live music!

Check Out Nurseries and Flower Farms

For those with a green thumb or a love for vibrant blooms, Creston's nurseries and flower farms are a must-visit to get green goodies for your own garden, a great living souvenir to bring home from Creston! To stock up on starters, seeds, bedding plants and garden accessories Morris Flowers Garden Centre is the place to go. Meanwhile, Vinland Nursery, a charming garden centre surrounded by Erickson orchards, specializes in shrubs, berry bushes, fruit trees and more is worth a visit as well.

Brittany's Flower Farm offers stunning fresh-cut flower arrangements.

Those looking for a more immediate splash of fresh spring colour and scent should consider a visit to Brittany’s Flower Farm, where a colourful fresh-cut bouquet is sure to do the trick! The boutique and studio offers foliage in all seasons, switching from bright blooms to evergreen boughs by the time winter approaches. And it’s also conveniently in the same location as Good Company Coffee, with a postcard view of the rolling vineyards and distant Skimmerhorn bluffs that can’t be matched!

Explore Rural Cafés, Studios & Shops

The veranda at Good Company Coffee is a great spot for a coffee date
The veranda at Good Company Coffee is a great spot for a coffee date

Away from the fields, Creston's rural charm also extends to its studios, shops, and cafes, each offering a unique slice of country life. Mountain Barn Café in Wynndel captivates with its rustic barn-themed décor and homemade delicacies like cinnamon buns, which can be enjoyed in the "barn" or out on the patio. For a touch of modern farm ambiance amidst vineyards, the previously mentioned Good Company Coffee also entices with its stylish decor and idyllic veranda, the perfect spot to unwind and relax.

Venturing further, Yahk Soap & Candle Co. in the hamlet of Yahk is a haven for handcrafted soaps, known for its quirky feature of goats on the roof. Next door, Two Scoop Steve delights visitors with sandwiches and delicious ice cream, which can be enjoyed on their patio, in the gardens, or down by the Moyie River behind the cafe!

OFF The Farm Spring Activities To Explore

While farms and food forms the backbone of springtime escapades in Creston, the region offers a plethora of additional activities. Nature enthusiasts can explore the trails of Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area or embark on hikes like the renowned Balancing Rock Trail. Cultural buffs can delve into the area's history at the Creston Museum, adding layers of discovery to their visit. After that, you might even want to round out the day with some live band, a concert or stage production — our Events section offers a ton of possibilities!

For even more ideas and inspiration, visit our Get Inspired Blog and explore the diverse offerings of Creston's springtime charm. Either way, we hope you plan your spring getaway to Creston soon to indulge in an authentic agri-tourism adventure in the cutest breadbasket of BC!

Until next time, enjoy spring in the Creston Valley!

Visitors of all ages enjoy seeing the residents of Kootenay Meadows dairy farm. Andrew Bibby photo

Brian Lawrence

Freelance writer Brian Lawrence is a former editor and publisher of the Creston Valley Advance. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and trail running, and acting in and directing productions with Creston's Footlighters Theatre Society.


bottom of page