“Local Flavours Farm is located on two acres in Cowichan Bay, and has been run by Judy and Stuart Kuiken since 2008. The Kuikens enjoy farming because they appreciate the challenges it offers as well as the rewards of having homegrown food on the table. They describe their challenges as much the same as other small holdings – staffing, equipment maintenance, and the pressures of working both on the farm and maintaining outside jobs.
According to the Kuikens, the climate is the best thing about farming in the Cowichan region.
“We are originally from Ontario, and the difference in growing season and water consumption is quite large.”
Additionally, they say that the focus on local food is inspiring.
Local Flavours primarily offers garlic, blueberries and raspberries, in addition to seasonal veggies including tomatoes, peppers, greens, and cucumbers. They also prepare and offer a diverse selection of preserves including pickles, relish, salsas, chutneys, jams and jellies, and raise pasture-fed chicken and turkey. They added a selection of flower jellies in 2017 including rose hip jelly, nasturtium jelly and lilac jelly. In addition, they continue to expand their fermented offerings with sauerkraut varieties and various fermented vegetables. Although not certified, they do endeavor to grow all food as organically as possible.
Over the last five years the Kuikens have expanded their farm with the addition of June bearing strawberries, peach and fig trees, as well as a larger ever-bearing raspberry patch, which provides fruit from June to early October. They have also increased the number of blueberry bushes in six different varieties, insuring a steady crop from early June to late September.
All products are available at their Country Stand located at 1535 Robson Lane, Cowichan Bay, open Thursday through Sunday. “