If you haven't yet, check out Summer Vacay // Part I to get caught up on the first part of our trip. These have been my favourite posts to write because I get to relive our trip over and over again. In my head I'm still soaking up the sun, lounging on our big pink flamingo, and drinking local wine.
We had heard that the Penticton Farmers Market was a must. So, Saturday we made our way into Penticton. It was definitely the biggest farmers market I've been to (as you'd expect seeing as how the entire surrounding area is full of orchards, flower fields, vineyards, and perfect growing conditions for gardens that like it hot). The main street of Penticton was closed off for blocks and the streets were full of vendors. There were a lot of artisan vendors as well, and since we weren't able to store any fresh food at our hotel we ended up purchasing more from the artisans than the growers. Our purchases included a soy candle that smells like autumn in a jar, some gold geometric stud earrings, and the all important beard shampoo for James.
My favourite vendor at the market was a coffee company called The Rocky Bean Coffee Co. James and I love our coffee and we are pretty particular about the kind of coffee we drink. Since we weren't sure when setting out on our trip that we'd find great coffee, we were sure to pack our french press, coffee beans, and mugs so that we didn't have to worry about going without good coffee. When we came upon The Rocky Bean Coffee Co. we were delighted. The Australian couple who brew the perfect latte operate from a converted VW camper van, it's so cute, and they were lovely. We were so happy to find out that they park the van downtown Penticton during the weekdays so we were able to leave our french press behind on those days and grab a great latte + black from them each morning.
I saved the best for last. We had purchased tickets for this farm tour even before going out to the Okanagan. We had come across photos from this tour on social media and decided it was too pretty to miss. Covert Farm is located just outside of Oliver BC. It's a family owned/operated organic farm and vineyard. It's STUNNING. The fact that the tour took place on the back of a 1950's Mercury truck made the tour even more charming. It was us and another couple on the tour so each time we stopped we were able to ask a lot of questions about their operation (you know, for homework purposes). We picked fresh blueberries and blackberries from their field, learned about organic farming and wine, took in the amazing landscape and came back to a charcuterie board and wine tasting that had been set up for us. Gene Covert was so welcoming and willing to answer any and all questions we had. Out of each part of our trip this one had us dreaming about life on a farm/orchard in BC more than ever. I overheard Gene describing his weekend to a local once we were back from the tour: he had gone Salmon fishing, come back to the beautiful estate and had fresh salmon for lunch, played water sports on the lake and enjoyed some wine on their porch...dreamy.
On our way home we stopped in Summerland BC for peaches. We managed to find a couple who live on an orchard and have the sweetest little shop set up in their garage. We purchased 80lbs of peaches to bring home with us. Once we got home we enlisted the help of James's parents and managed to can and freeze most of the peaches! Now we are all set up for a winters worth of Okanagan peaches, a candle that smells like autumn, and a cabinet FULL of our favourite wine. So, although we are home, the Okanagan won't soon leave our minds.