Richard Pye of Chilliwack River Valley Honey tastes fresh honey.

Richard Pye of Chilliwack River Valley Honey tastes fresh honey.

Food and fitness with Chilliwack Slow Food cycle tour

Slow Food Chilliwack Cycle Tour, which will be meandering through Greendale on July 29.

It’s important to know where your food comes from.

That’s part of the thinking behind the Slow Food Chilliwack Cycle Tour, which will be meandering through Greendale farm country on July 29.

It’s the fourth year of the event and it’s been growing every year, says Joldie Hayes, marketing specialist with Tourism Chilliwack.

“It’s an awesome event. People meet the farmers, ask questions about what they do, or take a little tour of the farm.”

They can pick blueberries, visit a beautiful garden or see the goats.

People register for the event at the Tourism Chilliwack Visitors Centre on Luckakuck Way at 9 a.m. and then take a self-guided tour of area farms and agri-food producers.

“The whole day is about food,” said Hayes, “but there’s also a strong educational component.”

At the Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey farm, owner Richard Pye will be offering what he calls “bee demonstrations.”

Bees are the hard-working pollinators of many types of plants and without them, food producers and people would be in trouble.

He describes the bee life cycle and the different roles of the queen, workers and drones.

“It’s fun,” he said. “We usually open up the hive and I show them the honey, the bees and sometimes some eggs.

“People love finding out more about the bees.”

He’s owned the honey farm for the last seven of its 32 years in business. The farm got flooded out in the CRV about 15 years ago, and that’s when it moved to Adams Road.

Cyclists will tour the 24-km route at their own pace, taking breaks or visiting as many stops as they like.

“The nice thing is the road is flat throughout greendale, so it’s very dooable for people of all ages,” added Hayes.

A shopping shuttle service provided by Tourism Chilliwack is one of the perks of the event.

“They collect your purchases from the farms you’ve visited and bring them back to the registration area for you to pick up when you’re done,” said Hayes.

Cyclists like to make purchases en route and some of the bikes don’t have baskets, so the shuttle makes three sweeps of the tour throughout the day, which is appreciated by the participants.

They had more than 500 cyclists last year and are expecting a good crowd for this weekend.

“Every year it grows,” she said. “The weather looks good for the weekend so far, which is encouraging.”

Exciting new stops this year include a dairy with adorable calves at JMC farms, the Young Dairyman’s Association will be set up on-site with information and Birchwood dairy ice cream cones will be for sale.

The VQA BC Wine store will be on location this year at Willow Creek Farm, a charming vineyard. Another addition is the Wagner’s Five Acre Farm, with rustic trails and benches and nature at its finest.

Slow Food Chilliwack Cycle Tour, July 29, (rain or shine!), $15, children 12 and under get in free. Partial proceeds to Terra Madre Fund.

Registration starts at 9 a.m.  the Tourism Chilliwack Visitor Centre at 44150 Luckakuck Way. The event is in partnership with Slow Food Vancouver.

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