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Laithwaite Apple Park, a fun family outing

14 Nov applesfrompark_1

by Diva Rachel Lynn
A couple of weekends ago our family visited Laithwaite Apple Park.  The park is located 1km east of Goderich on hwy 8.   It’s not just an apple park.  It’s also a farm that has many sculptures from cement, metal, fieldstone and found materials by George Laithwaite (1873-1956).  Some of the figures were created as satirical or political commentary on world events, while others were based on comic strip characters.  Most of his statues were created as a hobby during slow economic times.


The Apple Park also features a farm store selling seasonal products.  Some products include apples, fruit in season, potatoes, honey, jam, apple butter, apple cider, squash and many more.  It is open year round.

Products available at Apple Park

Products available at Apple Park

On our visit we had pumpkins in mind as well as apples.  There are so many kinds of apples so I asked which one I should use for apple pie.  Pauline (one of the owners) mentioned she likes Courtland.  These apples were huge!  And delicious too.  Thanks to Pauline’s suggestion, I made a mean apple pie.


Bea choosing her pumpkin

Bea choosing her pumpkin

pumpkins found a happy home.

pumpkins found a happy home.

Although our main purpose was pumpkins and apples we also picked up Robinson’s Maple syrup, spaghetti squash and a rutabaga.  I love good food and supporting local.

Laithwaite Apple Park
35563 Huron Rd,

A Busy Friday Afternoon at the Bayfield Farmer’s Market 

1 Aug

Whether it is stopping on the side of the road to pick up some sweet corn on the honour system or frequenting markets, eating local is both good for you and our economy!

Whether it is stopping on the side of the road to pick up some sweet corn on the honour system or frequenting markets, eating local is both good for you and our economy!

By Diva Calista Powell

We are so fortunate in our area to have beautiful lakes and land that make for the perfect farming climate. We are also very lucky that we have so many places in Huron County for small businesses to sell their harvest. As a past “Londonite” I made sure to visit the many markets the city has to offer, but had never been to one in HC. It just so happened that for one of my other jobs I was asked to sell tickets for a local initiative in Bayfield during the market hours on Clangregor Square. Boy, was I ever impressed. I thought that the sleepy beach town of Bayfield would have a small turnout, but each booth was so busy, I hardly had a chance to chat with the vendors. I was also impressed because there wasn’t just the regular old fruit and veggie stands lining the square. I enjoyed a hot coffee from Shop Bike Coffee Roasters and a vanilla cinnamon roll from the Red Cat Farms bakery cart. I also had the chance to say hello to Pat McDougall and Shelagh Sully of CovenTree Gardens and peruse through Irene Morris’ unique garden art. Overall, Bayfield Market has a great selection of vendors and is worth the visit this summer.

Check out the Bayfield Farmer’s market every Friday from 3-7PM on Clangregor Square.To find other markets in the area download Huron Perth’s Farm to Table, “Buy Local! Buy Fresh!” guide here:

Firmly Rooted supplies many happy customers with fresh seasonal veggies.

Firmly Rooted supplies many happy customers with fresh seasonal veggies.

Pat McDougall and Shelagh Sully pose for a shot with their fresh cut flowers. Coventree Gardens is known as the home of Bayfield lilies.

Pat McDougall and Shelagh Sully pose for a shot with their fresh cut flowers. Coventree Gardens is known as the home of Bayfield lilies.

Irene Morris smiles alongside her work that was originally inspired by art she saw in Ottawa.

Irene Morris smiles alongside her work that was originally inspired by art she saw in Ottawa.


A Shopping Trip to the Exeter Market

24 Jun Exeter's Farmer's Market

by Diva Christine Harris

Exeter's Farmer's MarketIt was a beautiful day outside for a Farmer’s Market and I was lucky enough to meet all the vendors and talk to them.  Here are the people and places I met on June 19th during my shopping trip to the market.

Truly-Local-(2)Truly Local

Matt McIntire from Truly Local has a food truck set up and today his specials are Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Meatball Subs. Matt believes in using only local meat, he can tell you exactly where he has gotten his meat from that he’s serving that day and when it was butchered.

Eagleson-FarmsEagleson Farms

Matt Eagleson primarily sells beef, lamb and pork from his farm near Grand Bend.  Most of their food is organic, or pretty close to it.  They also have peanut products from the Simcoe area.

The Healthy Hemp GuyThe Healthy Hemp Guy

Brent Holden sells Canadian made hemp products such as clothes, soaps, and seeds.  He also has a variety of balms, bamboo towels and coconut oil.

Bayfield-Berry-FarmBayfield Berry Farm

This vendor has a wide variety of items, ranging from produce to baked goods and canned goods.  Today the strawberries are in season as well as asparagus and rhubarb.  The pies and tarts look great!

Sandra's-Country-CraftsSandra’s Country Crafts

Sandra has a variety of crafts available for sale.  She enjoys making canvas art, handmade jewelry, and she also knits and crochets items like dishcloths.


Wally makes his very own jams, pickles and relish, all ready to take home at reasonable prices.

Good-Luck-GardensGood Luck Gardens

Joanne and Dave Foster are from Kirkton and have been in business for 24 years now.  Today tomatoes, asparagus and potatoes are for sale. They also have some beautiful planters and if you’re someone who enjoys growing their own food, they have heirloom tomato plants.  Look for Joanne on the cover of Rural Voice.

Pillitteri-Estates-WineryPillitteri Estates Winery

All the way from Niagara on the Lake this family owned and operated business joins our farmer’s market with five types of wine.  They have been in business since 1993 and have won over 700 awards.

Susan's-CraftsSusan’s Crafts

Susan has many unique crafts in her booth today.  She makes birdfeeders and what she calls dress-ups for the kids.  She also makes handmade quilts, pillows and purses from used clothing.

The-Home-FarmThe Home Farm

Kirk and Carol pick their produce the morning they come out to the market, so you know what you’re getting is fresh.  Today Carol is selling peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, parsley, lettuce and garlic. She also makes baked goods from spelt, which you can also buy as berries to make your own goodies at home. Today she sells a variety of cookies and pies.

Sheldon-BerriesSheldon Berries

Ray Sheldon from Lakeside Ontario is displaying some beautiful strawberries today.  He tells me that they have raspberries in their greenhouses and blueberries will be ready for July.  Ray is also selling honey, apple butter and raspberry jam.

Cedarvilla-Angus-FarmsCedarVilla Angus Farms

This 7th generation family farm from the Zurich area takes great pride in their products.  Today they were selling beef roasts, pepperettes and beef jerky.  You can contact them to place larger orders as well.

Have you caught a fish this year?

10 Jun


By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Since 1980 Gloria and Dave Hedley have been running Hedley’s Trout Farm. I stopped by a couple of weeks ago to check out the place and see if the fish were biting! The farm is located at 84534 Marnoch Line in a beautiful slice of Huron County country-side.

First I will say that Dave is quite the character.  He will tell you when you arrive that his place is not for catch-and-release fishing – it is a farm, just like any other farm.

Caught a Fish at Hedley's

Since Hedley’s is a farm you do not need a fishing licence, there are no catch limits and there is no closed season, and no entrance fee! This is about the closest way to guarantee that you will catch a fish! While I was there we came across a family that had caught four or five rainbow and brown trout. Each of the kids had caught at least one fish and they were super happy.

My favourite part of this experience is that you can catch a fish and pay just a small amount to have it either scaled or filleted. The cost for your fish is $0.50 per inch and guess what, if you don’t have a pole you can rent one! They also have bait for purchase.  The one other “catch” is that you will have to get up early as fish bite the best in the morning!

Fish Jumping for food

Overall my experience with Hedley’s was great.   Dave even fed the fish and you could see them almost jumping out of the water. If you are looking for a great experience, where you get to bring lunch or dinner home, this is a great way to spend a morning! If you are looking for more information visit:

Good, Fresh Food at a Great Price!

28 Mar
The Good Food Boxes ready for Delivery

The Good Food Boxes ready for Delivery

By Diva Trista Russell

Like most people, I buy the majority of my food at the grocery store. During the summer, I like to stop by the Exeter Farmer’s Market, but in the winter I find it hard to source locally grown produce. The local food movement is growing in popularity, and has attracted some attention in the news lately as the provincial government is reintroducing the Local Food Act.
Purchasing the Good Food Box is one way I can get local, fresh produce year-round. The Good Food Box is a community-based project which provides Huron County residents with local vegetables and fruits monthly. The best part is the Good Food Box is only $15. According to their website, buying a Good Food Box means you can save up to 40% off grocery store prices!
Fresh food items in this month's Good Food Box

Fresh food items in this month’s Good Food Box

Here’s what I got in my Good Food Box for the month of March: a bag of green beans, a cucumber, 2 heads of garlic, 3 pound bag of carrots, hearty bean chili mix (with recipe), 5 pounds of potatoes, a whole cabbage, 2 peppers (red/yellow), 4 oranges, and a bag of brussel sprouts. Included in the box is a handy newsletter with recipes using the box’s contents as well as nutritional information and tips.

I used a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks (The Looneyspoons Collection) to make a healthy crustless quiche for dinner using the peppers, potatoes, and garlic from my box.
Delicious & Nutritious dinner made from items in my Good Food Box this month.

Delicious & Nutritious dinner made from items in my Good Food Box this month.

You can place an order at a neighbourhood host site by the first Friday of each month. The nearest host site for me is the Exeter Library. All orders must be pre-paid in cash at the time they are placed and orders can be picked up on the third Thursday of each month at the host site.

Check out the Good Food Box’s website or visit them on Facebook. Join the local food movement!

It’s Syrup Time Again!

25 Mar

2013-03-09 12.24.36-2

The Sap was running well on this sunny Saturday afternoon.

By Diva Karen

By all reports the sap has been flowing well this season and Huron County has some great Maple Syrup producers.  I’ve enjoyed it a couple of times in the past week and I’m sure you’ll enjoy spring sweet nectar served like this too.

First, my all-time-favourite way to enjoy maple syrup is on fresh baked tea biscuits.  My grandmother taught me how to make these flakey treats years ago and they are still a big hit here.    I add raisins for extra goodness!

And last night I tried an easy new recipe.  I chopped up sweet potato, parsnips and carrots, drizzled them with olive oil, salt & pepper and baked for approx. 1/2 hour (stirred half way through).  Then, I mixed 1/4 cup maple syrup with 2 tbsp dijon mustard and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and glazed the cooked root vegetables.  My dinner guests enjoyed this sweet vegetable treat last night and todays microwaved left-overs were even better!

collecting sap the traditional way - metal buckets hang on the trees

collecting sap the traditional way – metal buckets hang on the trees

I visited the Drudge Family of Wroxeter right at their farm a couple of weeks ago.  The Drudge Family has been making maple syrup continuously since 1797!  So, I didn’t think I could go wrong and I purchased some light syrup – first of crop for 2013.

I was delighted to find on my tour through Huron evidence of both the newer way of collecting syrup with those blue syrup lines and large tanks as well as traditional method – metal sap pails nailed on the side of the trees.

Maple Syrup is also available in Huron County at

Robinson’s Maple Syrup in Auburn

Doris & Albert Schilbe’s (Facebook) product is available at Brandon’s Hardware in Bayfield.

Westlake Maple Products in Bayfield

and Cranston Farms Maple Syrup in Lucknow.

Cost for Maple Syrup this year is approximately $20/litre

I’ll be checking out the Belmore Maple Syrup Festival in a couple of weeks, so until then – Enjoy Spring’s Sweetness!

A Hobby Farm near Kinburn

25 May

by: Diva Jenna Ujiye

While I was in Kinburn a couple of weeks ago a friend noticed a miniature horse and what we thought was an Alpaca. We walked across the road and asked the owners if we could check out the animals. There were many more cute and fuzzy creatures than we could see from the road. When we got up close there were goats, the Aplpaca was a Llama, a bunch of miniature horses and their colts, baby ducks, kittens and more! There are many hobby farms in the area and I’m sure they would let you take a peek if you asked!


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