Celebrate fall on B.C.'s Saanich Peninsula

Sip some cider, take a gardening class, and enjoy locally grown produce in British Columbia's Saanich Peninsula

A view from the deck of the Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse

What better way to celebrate fall than by sipping hard cider and popping artisanal cheese, surrounded by ocean views and 1,000 young apple trees? Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse presses, ferments, and bottles on-site, while you get to sample its full line sitting at long wood tables milled from local trees. 2487 Mount St. Michael Rd., Saanichton; seacider.ca

Michael Hanson

A greenhouse at Terralicious on Saanich Peninsula.

Two-hour classes at Terralicious, a gardening and cooking school on a community organic farm, begin in a backyard demonstration garden, and end with easy recipes using the fresh-picked produce, in a house decorated with jars of jellies, chutneys, and other small-batch backyard bounty. Closed Sun; from $40 U.S.; 741 Haliburton Rd., Saanich; terralicious.ca

Michael Hanson

The Montreal, a beef sandwich from The Roost bakery.

At The Roost bakery, queue up for fresh loaves, slabs of old-fashioned bread pudding, and hefty sandwiches like the Montreal, a Reubenesque heap of thin-sliced, hot-smoked beef. The bread is made from wheat that’s grown in a field behind the bakery. 9100 E. Saanich Rd., North Saanich; roostfarmcentre.com

 Michael Hanson

A map of Saanich Peninsula

From downtown Seattle, a Victoria Clipper ferry ($89 round-trip; clippervacations.com) takes you to Victoria’s dock, where Budget Rent A Car awaits.

Michael Hanson

Why go in fall: It’s harvest time!

Peel your eyes for: Hand-printed roadside signs advertising fresh eggs and locally made jam.

Number of farms: More than three dozen of all sorts, with goods from apples to quince to Christmas trees.

Fruity wines: The relatively mild climate is hospitable to grapes―and to blackberries and kiwis, used by a handful of Saanich wineries.

Sweetest touch: Dark, raw wildflower honey at Babe’s Honey Farm, still carrying a taste of the honeycomb (334 Walton Place, Saanich; babeshoneyfarm.com).

Traffic hazard: Tractors share the backroads.

Kids will love: Island-made ice cream and feeding the goats at Dan’s Farm and Country Market (2030 Bear Hill Rd., Saanichton; dansfarm.ca).

Read up: At Country Life Books, browse old cookbooks and gardening magazines (2372A Beacon Ave., Sidney).

Take it home: Find inspiration for your own home harvests at Dig This, from patterned gardening boots to heavy-duty trowels (2387 Beacon, Sidney; digthis.com).

More great Northwest fall trips

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