Stories

BC Farmer’s Thompson Okanagan Trail

Decade old farmers’ & artisan markets enrich the culture of this sunny mainland coastline.
3 minutes
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Category
Date
Length
3 hours
Distance
50km

For us city folk, the Thompson Okanagan is a perfect getaway for days spent on the lakes, countless winery tours, and of course rest and relaxation in a setting so quiet you can finally hear your own thoughts.

I love making my way there during the Summer months, soaking up sun on their shores, and dinning at restaurants boasting dishes made with local produce.

I’m ALSO a fiend for farmers markets. Regardless of what city, country, or continent I’m on, I will always be on the hunt for a farmers market with vendors selling crafts and edible goods for me to bring home as souvenirs from my latest adventures.

This year I found myself heading up to Kamloops with my family. A trip we hadn’t made in for over 22 years when we spent a Summer living the small town dream in a city that runs at it’s own pace. We were excited about seeing what would be new, and to explore some of our old haunts.

First Stop
Chase Farm and Craft Market
Shuswap Avenue, Chase, BC

I counted 13 stalls, as my excitement to support local increased. The allure of the Chase Farm and Craft Market comes from the quaint casualness of the setting mixed with the heart of true local products. Smiling faces aplenty, I walked past the tents doing a once over as I prepared to make my way back through the vendors more thoroughly. There were a couple of produce stands – one man looking like he pulled vegetables from his own backyard garden (it doesn’t get more local than that), but mostly craft goods. My first stop was Banannie Jewelry for some shiny crystals that caught my eye – specifically the bismuth (which looks like a crystalline rainbow city of the future). Annie Banannie herself, with charm that one only obtains with age, easily convinced me to purchase two small pieces, and a white angel quartz cluster.

I caught up with my family at the Mama Bear Bannock booth where we all went a bit wild with our orders. I had a fried bannock covered pepperoni stick, and two bags of cinnamon sugar bannock bites. While inhaling the Bannock Pepperoni I browsed a garlic stand and ended up getting some Persian Star Garlic since I’ve been meaning to try a TikTok video recipe for garlic confit.

On my second pass, I noticed a vendor (Black Cat Crystals) next to Banannie selling crocheted goods and crystals and I couldn’t help myself from picking up a raw rose quartz for just $2! I also picked up some bar soap from a booth called Forest Garden – woodsy scents of course.

With my bag a bit heavier, we returned to our car and decided to head into the “heart” of Chase. About a minute drive from the market, spanning about two blocks is their downtown core. Lined with cute shops and restaurants, we perused for a bit before spotting a museum in the distance and promptly heading over.

Second Stop
Chase Museum
1042 Shuswap Ave, Chase, BC V0E 1M0

My whole family is into museums, history, and vintage finds so the Chase & District Museum and Archives was a perfect stop for us. It’s small, but full of stories on how this area came to be. The residing curator was very friendly and we enjoyed her take on the area’s history.

Third Stop
Little Shuswap Lake
1886 Little Shuswap Lake Road, Chase, BC

With the weather being muggy that weekend we set our sights on Little Shuswap Lake, which was a quick drive down from the museum.

People of all ages speckled the park beside the lake. We changed into our swimsuits and walked down the long pier that ends in a dock for swimmers. Very child friendly, there were more kids than adults contentedly swimming around. The water isn’t too deep at that point since I could still touch the ground with my head above water, and after a quick swim I laid on the dock to dry while catching some rays. Total peace.