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Taves Farms, fall harvest 2022

Taves Farms continues to be one of my favourite farms to visit; with new food and drink items plus a slew of seasonal activities it brings me back to Abbotsford multiple times throughout the year.

Here is what is new and what you can expect from them for the end of summer season and the onset of fall.

It is great that Taves offers beverages and snack items at their concession. Given that many go planning a whole day’s worth of fun, it is important to keep energy and spirits high with food for fuel. And adding to their menu of light snacks and sweets such as mini donuts come their new bubble waffles. The first for any farm, that I know of.

There are two options, a sweet and a savory. The sweet is like a parfait with the waffle serving as a base, topped with soft serve ice cream, chunks of strawberry fruit, and a chocolate drizzle; curled into a cup for easy eating on the go. The savoury option uses the same waffle as a cone, and fills it with pulled pork and coleslaw. Given that neither are in high demand, and that they are prepared to order, they are premade then frozen until needed. So not gourmet, but it definitely feeds to fill.

For drinks their cider slushies are a great option. Made with farm grown apples, the same variety that goes into their bottled and tapped cider.

Speaking of, their cidery has grown into its own entity. An oasis for those in need of a refreshing drink. Punctuate your trip to Taves with a break at the cidery’s back yard patio, while the kids play in the pen with goats, or you can watch them jump away on the bouncy pad adjacent. Or use the cidery as the perfect wind down for your day on the farm, and sample some before you buy a few bottles to take home. Like their new pumpkin cider, perfect for the fall season with its warming cinnamon and spice.

Already well known for their spirited ciders featuring orchard fruits grown in their backyard, but they now can be made extra boozy when mixed into a cocktail. Available in 4 different cocktails with 4 different ciders and 4 different spirit mixes. Try each or all at once as a flight. The one with gooseberry is my favourite for colour. But for taste I liked the black current and gin one most.

In order from closest to the handle of the flight, to the furthest.
Gander Gusto: Gander’s Gooseberry cider + rum
Raucous Rooster: Rooster’s red currant cider + tequila
Belligerent Billy: Billy’s best apple cider + vodka
Ram’s Rebellion: Ram’s black current cider + gin

As for activities, their animals and petting zoo with feed for purchase is always available, as well as their market with seasonal offerings and local crops. Pet goats and pot belly pigs, awe at the cute rabbits and baby goats, and squawk back at the chickens and ducks. Sweet coloured pepper and eggplant are currently in season and they even have mini pumpkin ready for autumn.

For the popular activity of U-Pick, Taves currently have goji berries, apples, plums, and pears (as of the September long weekend when I visited); and even some strawberries left due to a later summer.

We actually participated in goji berry picking, learning about this super fruit as we embarked on this endeavour. As per Wikipedia, “goji berry fruit have been an ingredient in traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese medicine since at least the 3rd century AD. Since about 2000, goji berry and derived products have become common in developed countries as health foods or alternative medicine remedies”. They don’t have much flavour on their own but are more so used as an add-on to soups, smoothies, or anything else it can be blended into.

Before you enter the fields you pick up your empty bucket or bag from their check in counter. We ambitiously went for a large bucket (it is pay more to pick more), and ended up not being able to commit to a full haul. The berries are tiny and the work is delicate and tedious.

You need to pick one at a time in order to harvest them whole, pausing to discern the ones worth keeping. And as the vines grow length–wise you find yourself hunched over and squatting to complete the work. Needless to say, we tapped out and at 2lbs exactly.

Still on its way are the pumpkins which are turning orange, but their vines have yet to descend, signaling the beginning of pumpkin everything season. When they are ready you can be sure the fields will be filled with tiny feet choosing which one will become a jack-o-lanterns. They are also well known for their large-scale pumpkin displays and their gourds that come in a variety of colours including pink and dark green. But take it from me, and my personal experience, they are much harder to carve and are best left on display as is.

Sadly, we were a weekend early for their grilled corn and corn cannon which guests can operate and use to shoot whole corn on the cob at targets. It will eventually also shoot out pumpkins, later in the season. Both are one thing at Taves I have been wanting to do but keep missing. So be sure to get in on the fun if/when you can.

There is always plenty to do and more on rotation, when it comes to Taves. So be sure to follow them for all the updates and keep tabs on what is new and the next creative thing that they have in store.

Taves Farms
333 Gladwin Rd, Abbotsford, BC V2S 8A7
(604) 853-3108

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