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Archive for September, 2010

It’s been another busy few days as I continue to throw myself into full-time agri-touring. Here are some of the places I’ve been:

Domaine Perrault: A terrific winery in Navan that produces several different varieties of wine. Some are blended with grapes from Niagara, but others are 100% local to the farm. They also have ice wine.

Vignoble du Clos Baillie: A small winery in Aylmer, Quebec. This is where you go to dream about opening a winery in your backyard – if you had the money for all the expensive equipment! They also make an excellent ice cider (similar to ice wine). Cash or cheque only, but amazingly, they’ll let you mail in your cheque later if you don’t have one on you! Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been meaning to post more blog entries, but I’m so busy touring that it leaves very little time for writing. So rather than wait until I have time to write up more detailed reports, here’s a quick snapshot of the places I’ve been visiting. I will write more about these later. By the way, some of these places I visited yesterday – there’s no way I could see this many places in one day!

Agri-Tour 2010

This is the 15th Edition of Agri-Tour, an event organized by the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network. Agri-Tour runs this weekend (Sept. 11-12) and next (Sept. 18-19). Details are at Here’s where I’ve visited so far: Read the rest of this entry »

Ripening tomatoes

Curious about how a large-scale hydroponic greenhouse works? Then stop by SunTech Greenhouses near Manotick, where you can tour a 2.5 acre greenhouse that produces tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables. If you’re in a group, you need to reserve in advance, but otherwise, just stop in and they should be able to show you around (it’s best to come earlier in the day though).

The tour begins with walk through a disinfection solution for your shoes, and then it’s off to the main greenhouse. This is where you will learn about the hydroponic growing method, which uses fertilizers dissolved in water to feed the plants. There is no soil involved in this process. The greenhouse is very clean and quiet – just lots of green plants, ripening tomatoes, and bumblebees. The bumblebees pollinate the fruit, and are apparently better workers than honeybees, mostly because due to the fact that they’re not busy producing honey! Read the rest of this entry »

Pumpkins for sale

It’s not too often that you get picked up by the side of the road by a man in a John Deere tractor. But that’s exactly what happened to me yesterday when I visited Millers’ Farm and Market in Manotick.

I had gone to Millers’ to check out their agritourism operation. Millers’ Farm and Market has a little bit of everything: pick your own berries and pumpkins, wagon rides (on weekends), tours for school groups, a large gift shop, antiques, home-made preserves and pickles, a garden centre, and fresh local and Ontario produce. They also have an 8 acre corn maze, which is what I was looking at when Ron Miller came by on his tractor from a back field. He stopped the tractor to say hi, and when I told him that I was doing research on agritourism in the Ottawa region, he invited me to climb into the tractor for a tour of the farm! Read the rest of this entry »

Hot peppers

Have you ever dreamed of having a huge garden filled with dozens of different fruits and vegetables? Even better, a garden that you just happily walk into without a second thought about weeding, insects, or hungry animals? Rideau Pines Farm and Market is such a place – the perfect destination for those who love the idea of a garden, but don’t have the land, time, and/or talent to pull it off.

Rideau Pines Farm and market is a fresh fruit and vegetable farm that provides the option of picking your own produce. Matt Vandenberg, the owners’ son, showed me around the astounding variety of vegetables and fruit in the fields behind the market store. I saw tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, beans, eggplant, rutabaga, swiss chard – and at least 4 types of fall raspberries at their peak for picking. And there were more veggies in the fields beyond – pumpkins, corn, melons, brussel sprouts, and on and on. Read the rest of this entry »

Sales counter

Sales counter with tempting bakery items!

Now Closed

While driving home from Saunders Farm, I came across a great new farm-direct store. The Hobbs Family Meat and Bakery store is on Dwyer Hill Road in Ashton, just south of Stittsville. Specializing in Black Angus and Angus cross beef, the Hobbs family is the 4th generation to manage and operate this 200 year old farm. In mid-June, they opened a retail store on their property, and are selling meat from their farm, as well as home-made “Meals to Go” and baked goods. They also have a small cafe within the store, where you can enjoy a sandwich and a coffee. Read the rest of this entry »