Toni and I had just returned from a cold, bleak trek across the beaches of Merville (chronicled in Part 1) laden down with bags of watercress and jacked up on coffee and the promise of more food-related adventure.
“I think we passed a farm on our way here. You ‘wanna check it out?” Toni gunned the engine and smiled her mega-watt mad grin at me, “I’m game.”
Just up the road, the sign for Seaview Game Farm came into view. We turned up the dirt lane into the sprawling oceanfront property, passing idle, monolithic farm equipment, scattering gangs of beady-eyed chickens in every direction. I rolled down my window to take in the view and soak up a bit of the barnyard ambiance. I know it’s weird but yeah, I love cow stink… I must have been a farmer in a past life.
The property is 168 acres of absolute freakin paradise: Open fields packed full of deer and shaggy highland cattle, rolling hills, greenhouses, an orchard , a children’s playground, and a mile of pristine BC beach snaking around the whole shebang. Even though it was a gunmetal grey morning, the waterfront view was breathtaking!
We parked up near the house and a guy met us at the window, all smiles. “Are you looking for the store?” We didn’t know, but answered in the affirmative. “I’ll let ‘em know. The door should be open.”
Following the signs, we waded through another legion of very free-range chickens (including a loud and ornery old rooster!) and soon found ourselves welcomed into a local food wonderland. Dried herbs hanging everywhere, baskets full of squash, shelves full of glass jars containing every preserved veg imaginable… And two big freezers full of meat.
Seaview’s claim to fame is meat. Specifically the fine dining, accommodation and attention with which they lavish said meat. Both highland cattle and fallow deer graze around the massive property, feeding on herbs and heather and getting fat and flavourful. The folks at Seaview work hard to make ‘em at home (they were born here after all) and when the time comes, they kill and process all the meat on-site.
Toni and I made a beeline for the freezers, and oh man! They had everything! Steaks, roasts, chops, guts, everything you could need for a killer meal! Toni went with some steaks, and I nabbed a venison leg roast.
The lady at the counter (I know how lame that sounds, sorry, I almost always ask people’s names!) was really helpful and offered many suggestions for our choice of meat and how they could be cooked. She lamented the weather and said that during the summertime the farm was packed full of kids and tourists on a daily basis. You can take farm tours and tractor rides from June to September and there is even a Yurt (Mongolian-style dwelling)on the property for couples to rent overnight.
We said a final goodbye to the chickens and furry cows, peeked in a couple greenhouses and packed up. On the highway back to CR, Toni and I sang along with Lou Reed (RIP buddy, thanks for the banana album) and took stock of our morning. It had only been a couple hours since I’d rolled out of bed, and now I had a bag of watercress, a delicious slab of venison, a bunch of new songs to download, and a heightened appreciation for the beauty of nature. Total win!
Big love to Toni for waking me up and getting me out on the beaches! If it wasn’t for friends like her, not only would I spend most of the weekend being a total lump, I’d be a hungry total lump.
Now, all that’s left is to make a big ‘ol holiday dinner with my local bounty.