The White Rock Farmers Market opened for the season last month and runs every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Farm-fresh produce close at hand

Beautiful beaches, lush parks and peaceful hiking trails are just a few examples of what health conscious residents on the Semiahmoo Peninsula have to keep themselves healthy in their own back yard.

An important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of options in White Rock/South Surrey for lovers of produce and other local delicious creations. Here’s a round-up of some of the local farms and markets where you can indulge in the best of the Fraser Valley and support the local economy:

White Rock Farmers Market

Founded in 1999, the non-profit market has become a mainstay of the Semiahmoo Peninsula, offering a bustling open-air venue that supports local business and sustainable farming while providing an opportunity to get to know the community from the roots up.The White Rock Farmers Market hosts vendors and shoppers every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting May 29 through to Thanksgiving at Miramar Village Square, near the Whaling Wall on Russell Avenue.

Weekly entertainment highlighting local talent adds to the market’s lively atmosphere and special events throughout the season make for a new experience each time you visit.

For more information on vendors or special events, visit www.whiterockfarmersmarket.ca

Mary’s Garden

It’s been 45 years since Jack and Mary Nootebos started a small vegetable stand on their South Surrey farm, selling produce fresh from their fields.

Fast forward to 2011 and Mary’s Garden, located at 15649 40 Ave., is one of the Peninsula’s best-known spots to find a huge variety of fruit and vegetables – including their famous sweet carrots and corn.

The emphasis at this family-owned farm is fresh, as all of their veggies are picked daily. Other mouth-watering items to be found include fresh-cut flowers, an assortment of locally made jams, syrups and honeys and free-range eggs.

Surrey Farms

Another family-owned produce destination in South Surrey, owned by the Rai family who began farming in 1989 with around 10 acres of land. More than 20 years later, and Surrey Farms now stretches more than 200 acres, at 152 Street and Colebrook Road.

Well-known on the Peninsula for fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red and black currants and gooseberries, shoppers can also find a variety of other fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh-baked pies and homemade jams.

For those who like to get up-close-and-personal with their produce, Surrey Farms also offers U-pick throughout the season in their clean, supervised fields.

Missing Goat Blueberry Farm

Located at 32 Avenue and 172 Street in South Surrey, this family-run blueberry farm is in its third year of transitioning to organic certification.

The farm grows two varieties of blueberries – Bluecrop and Augustine – and is also home to The Shabby Shack, a store that sells the tasty berries as well as old-fashioned jam, chutney and pies.

Hazelmere Organic Farm

Peninsula produce-lovers can find a wide variety of goodies at this South Surrey farm, which grows produce that is certified organic. The farm – located at 184 Street and 18 Avenue – is also home to a store that is open year-round, and the farm’s produce can also be found at Capers Community Market and Bishops, to name just a few.

Cloverdale Country Farms

Famous for homegrown nugget potatoes, this farm market, at 168 Street and 58 Avenue, is also known for its fresh mushrooms, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, as well as a number of other veggies, including carrots, squash, sweet corn and pumpkins.

Bring the kids along on the weekend to enjoy the bouncy castle while you browse the produce or the on-site garden centre, which sells locally grown bedding plants, perennials and nursery stock.

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