Ah, how I live for Saturday mornings. It’s become a necessary ritual to indulge in some “me-time,” and my favorite way to cap off yet another busy week is to set out to explore what’s fun on the farm market scene in our beautiful little corner of the Earth.
My latest discovery is DeeKayTee Ranch, a scenic, pristine slice off Headquarters Road north of Courtenay. Take this easy 10-minute drive out of town and you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from it all.
As soon as you turn onto the property, you’ll be captivated with this inviting farm market that’s open Saturday mornings all year-round. The facade exudes an old fashioned home-on-the-farm feel and is flanked by antiques and farm machinery that lend some old-world charm.
To add even more pleasure to the experience, owners Dan and Maggie Thran, and eldest son Ryan and daughter-in-law Marieke, are the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
These long-time Valley residents are well-known and respected in the local ag industry, plus they’re super knowledgeable and passionate about everything local.
The Thrans have been raising beef cattle for more than 30 years and take great pride in producing healthy products – to ensure high quality meat they don’t use hormones, additives or processed feed. They bring to their farm practices the utmost care and attention by ensuring the cattle are pastured on grass and the free range hens are provided vegetable-based feed and un-medicated water.
Peace of mind for families who want to know what they’re putting on the table each day.
Their grass-fed ground beef is ultra lean, flavorful and great to use for hamburger patties or those good old stand-by spaghetti or casserole dishes, quick and easy favorites the whole family will enjoy.
And, for those wanting to learn even more about where their food comes from, the folks at DeeKayTee are super keen to let visitors have a walk-about and see how the farm is run.
Ryan and Marieke have joined in on the farm duties and raise high quality lamb, pork and roasting chickens. Whole-roasted chickens are a popular sell at the supermarket these days because they make a convenient and hearty meal.
By buying local you’ll find it’s just as easy to roast your own (see recipe in the sidebar of this article) and you’ll notice a huge difference in taste and texture while feeling the relief of knowing it’s organic as you and the kiddos enjoy a good tuck-in.
All DeeKayTee’s meat products can be special ordered at the farm market.
And there’s plenty of produce to stash into the cute DeeKayTee fabric shopping bags every season of the year. Their selection is complemented with a range of seasonal crops and homemade goodies from neighboring farms.
You’ll find everything from home-baked pies, jams and jellies, to crafts and local honey. And there’s even gluten-free bread so those who have wheat sensitivities won’t miss out.
Tasty carrots, leeks, onions, cabbage and beets add a rainbow of colors to their current stock while jars of pickles and preserves line the shelves.
If you’re like me and counting the days until the Summer greens crop up, you’ll be happy to hear that a neighboring farm has been growing mesclun greens in their greenhouse and are available (sporadically!) now at DeeKayTee.
That’s the fun of the farm experience – you’ll find something new each week!
DeeKayTee Ranch also offers a beautiful retreat boasting rooms with a view in their log cabin and bunkhouse.
These amenities provide a quiet hideaway in a forested setting with glorious vistas of the surrounding mountains. So if you’re not quite up to hosting out-of-towners, send them to the ranch for a relaxing and educational farm experience, or treat yourself and your other half if you can wrangle up a babysitter for the weekend.
The DeeKayTee Farm Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday throughout the year and is located at 6301 Headquarters Road in Courtenay.
For more information call (250) 337-5553 or visit their website at logcabinbunkhouse.bc.ca
About the Author (Author Profile)Robyn has worked in public relations for 15 years and has realized her dream of combining her favourite pursuits, writing about food and sharing her latest discoveries to help families eat and live healthy. Her husband loves to cook and her daughter loves to eat, which keeps her on task to include the bounty of local growers in the family meal routine. She is excited to pass along tips on what to look for at the local farms and the value of eating local.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Family & Freshness - Seaview Game Farm | Our Big Earth | April 9, 2009
- The Comox Valley's Top 10 Reasons to Eat Local | Our Big Earth | August 28, 2009
- The Comox Valley's Best Farms of 2009 | Our Big Earth | December 23, 2009