Nanoose Edibles features fresh, fabulous feasts from the fields

Lorne and Barbara Ebell with their 'retirement project'

Nanoose Edibles is one of those places that defies description, at least within the parameters of this blog/website.  For some time now I have been puzzling as to whether to put it in the ‘Farmers Market’ category, under ‘Where to Eat’, or simply in the ‘Special Places’ section. Loosely speaking, it fits into all three areas.

            While not a farmers market in the strictest sense of the word, Nanoose Edibles is in some respects just that, in the best sense of the word. This 23-acre farm market garden, tucked among the backroads of Nanoose, produces certified organic fruits and vegetables almost year-round. The calibre of the produce is so high that it is regularly found on the menus of some of the most prestigious restaurants on Vancouver Island.

Tools of the trade at Nanoose Edibles

            The really happy news is that the farm produces enough, especially throughout the warmer months of the year, that it also sells its varied offerings to the general public from the rustic market stand located right on the farm. Which, of course, is how the ‘where to eat’ factor fits in. Many area residents already enjoy the fruits of the labours of Lorne and Barbare Ebell and their staff, either by visiting the farm or participating in the  CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) box program. Travellers are always welcome too, so those exploring the Island on some sort of self-catering vacation would do well to consider stopping in at Nanoose Edibles and picking up some of the most sublime fresh produce to be had.        

Free range chickens produce organic eggs

The third great thing about Nanoose Edibles is that it truly is a ‘special place.’ The Ebells encourage visitors to wander around the farm and enjoy the idyllic setting. About half of the 23 acres is under cultivation, and those taking the time for a stroll can enjoy the peace and quiet, as well as have an opportunity to see how realfood is produced. It is especially a great education for city dwellers and youngsters, and offers up a new appreciation of why good food costs what it costs. Special events held throughout the year also are a draw, offering great opportunities to spend a few hours in a nurturing, natural environment.

Farm hands hard at work

            The backstory on this place is also worth a few words.  The Ebells purchased the land 22 years ago with plans to retire there. But, what began as a simple interest in agriculture and salad greens for Barbara soon became a small market garden serving the neighbours.  That little project eventually grew to its certified organic status and a thriving business that keeps both the Ebells and a farm staff ranging from 6-10, depending on the season, on the run.  Judging by the apparent vibrant health and sharp minds of the two delightful owners, organic food and hard work might be a good retirement plan for all of us.

            Nanoose Edibles farm stand is open at different times, depending on the time of year, so best to contact them either by phone at (250) 468-2332 or via e-mail at neorg@telus.net  You can also follow the farm activities, market stand hours and special events on Facebook at :

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nanoose-Edibles-Organic-Farm-BC-CertifiedOrganic/196503243712007

             Nanoose Edibles is located at 1960 Stewart Road, Nanoose, about half-way between Nanaimo and Parksville.

            GPS Co-ordinates are: Lat. 49.2905813  Long. -124.1888059

                                                    N 49 17.435  W 124 11.328

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.
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