The Cowichan region is home to a unique microclimate that gives the area Canada’s highest year-round temperatures. Because of this mild, Mediterranean-like climate, the region can grow a wide variety of agricultural goods, from kiwis to asparagus and everything in between. This collection of farm-fresh food products combined with the plethora of local artisanal goods makes the Cowichan markets a must-see when visiting Vancouver Island.
More and more people are looking for authentic experiences when they travel, and for original keepsakes to take home with them. What better way to have a local encounter than to shop at a farm market and take a little piece of the region back with you?
Each market offers a unique experience and personality, so grab your baskets and check out these four Cowichan markets.
When: Wednesdays from mid-May to mid-September, 10 am – 3 pm
Where: Waterwheel Square, Chemainus
Make it, bake it, grow it, is the motto of the Chemainus Wednesday Market. All the vendors at this market have to produce their products locally. Chemainus is known for being an artistic town, from the murals to the Chemainus Theatre Festival to the artisans that sell at the market, there’s an incredible variety of artistic pursuits to be found. Once you’ve shopped at the market, wander through this quaint seaside village and check out all their historic murals.
When: Thursdays from June – September, 5 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: 3550 Watson Ave, Cobble Hill
The bee-friendly neighbourhood market in Cobble Hill works to produce products that will help the bees thrive while creating a welcoming atmosphere. Located on the fully fenced field of the Cobble Hill Community Hall, it is the perfect spot for a family night out. Enjoy the shopping, grab dinner from a food vendor and enjoy the live music.
When: Saturdays from April – October 9 am – 2 pm and November to March 10 am – 2 pm
Where: Craig Street, Downtown Duncan
The Duncan Farmers Market is open year-round and offers over 150 different vendors making it one of the largest markets in British Columbia. From grocery shopping to gift shopping or just grabbing lunch, this market is the perfect addition to any Saturday itinerary. When you’ve finished perusing the market stalls, make sure you take a stroll through the shops and restaurants of Downtown Duncan.
When: Saturdays from mid-May to early October
Where: 10055 South Shore Road Honeymoon Bay
The Honeymoon Bay Outdoor Market is built up by individualized stalls that are specifically suited to each vendor. In the heart of the market, there is a tiny church, big enough to hold only a couple of people at a time. The church bell rings every Saturday to open and close the market. Vendors here sell everything from food to clothing to furniture to jewellery. The stalls and church give the market a whimsical ambience, but it also adds to the small-town feeling of Honeymoon Bay. When you visit this market, you’ll want to plan a full day at the Lake.