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On a recent mid-week getaway out of the city, we stopped in at Hopcott Farms in Pitt Meadows, home to both Hopcott Meats and Meadows Maze.

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[The original 1934 dairy barn at Hopcott Farms]

Operations Manager Jennifer Hopcott is the third generation of a family farming business that began in 1932 with her grandfather Fred, who purchased the grounds – all trees back then – and turned it into a dairy farm. Her grandfather’s dream was to raise cattle, and this was realized in the late 1960’s.

We were led on a brief tour of the farm by Jenn’s father Bob, who helps manage up to 700 head of cattle on the farm that includes 70 acres of cranberry bogs, the majority of its cranberries sold to Ocean Spray.

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Hopcott’s cattle are fed a wholesome diet without antibiotics and hormones. The meat is either of AAA or prime quality (we learned that marbling and fat content dictates the quality in meats, starting with A, AA, AAA, and leading to prime, all graded by a provincial health inspector). Meats here are not mechanically tenderized or needled, a typical industry practice used to tenderize meat. Avoiding these methods also helps against E. Coli contamination – as the needles enter and exit the meat, potentially damaging bacteria can easily spread.

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In true farm-to-table fashion, the entire animal is used, from nose to tail. A team behind the butcher counters separate and cut the animals, as well as package free-run chickens that are raised on a wheat-based diet by Fraser Valley’s Farm Fed. The pork is sourced from Johnston’s BC Pork, a family-owned Fraser Valley business that takes pride in offering grain-fed, hormone-free pork cared for by local farmers.

The abattoir is close by, keeping everything super fresh and easily prepped for sale.

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Last night, we fired up the barbecue and grilled a couple of Hopcott’s boneless, skinless Smokey BBQ-marinated chicken breasts. We could really taste the fresh, succulent, high quality meat, and the BBQ marinade isn’t high in salt content as some marinades can be.

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If you’re planning a feast, the shop sells a variety of freezer packs, from the Economy Pack (10 lbs. ground beef, 5 lbs. stewing beef, 10 lbs. blade steaks, 2 3-to-4 lb. pot roasts, 4 lbs. round steaks, and 4 lbs. ground pork) up to the Family Pack that will keep your freezer stocked for several weeks.

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The farm also grows raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and tayberries (a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry). Another highlight of the farm, Meadows Maze, opens annually in August. The family-friendly corn maze also includes a petting zoo, tractor rides, and harvest-time barn pig races.

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The retail shop is fully stocked with meat cuts, locally-produced products, freezer packs, house-made meat and Shepherd’s pies, Jenn’s Mom’s fudge, seasonal produce, double-smoked sausages, and raw dog food. Many of the products here are also gluten-free.

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Hopcott Farms was recently awarded the 2014 Best of Show at the 29th Annual North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association Convention in Kansas City.

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We recommend loading up on Hopcott meats to take along on your next camping outing or picnic. They’re easily accessible off Lougheed Hwy in Pitt Meadows. Either way, it’s worth a stop in to find some of the tastiest locally-produced products around!

Volvo XC60; photo by Ariane Colenbrander

Our journey was made extra comfortable in the Volvo XC60, graciously provided to us for the week by Volvo Vancouver (read our recent XC60 experience here).

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Hopcott Farms is located at 18385 Old Dewdney Trunk Road.

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