I miss going out. I miss little adventures here and there, I miss going to the farmer’s market, picking my own fruit and veggies directly from the ground.
Lately, restrictions are starting loosen up and we’re finally able to start picking our own produce again. Yay! Albeit, safely and I hope you wear a mask as you do so!
On that note, its more important than ever to support the smaller businesses and local farms.
Why support local?
The big grocery chains will always be there, but they’re nothing without our farmers, and it’s time we show our support to them. So if you’re able, shop local, and shop from a farmer’s market, or better yet, directly from the farms itself.
Shopping from smaller businesses, specially from smaller farms, also means that the food is better, making it truly farm-to-table, with little to no travel time, the food fresher and more beautiful for you, either picked by the farmers themselves or by your own hand.
It’s also safer for you - less travel time means less handling, and loading into trucks and various environments. Each day and hour after it is picked, it already loses its freshness.
Local farmers also have more variety in their gardens, so you have more to choose from. By shopping with them, you support the farmers and their families and your own community.
So I highly encourage you into looking into your local farm & farmers markets and shop from them. A lot of them even offer CSA programs (Community Supported Agriculture), or Harvest Share programs where you can sign-up and participate and get a weekly/bi-weekly share of produce. This is another great way to support them.
Not to mention you have a great time picking your own produce. The experience is like no other, and on top of that, it’s a great learning experience for you and the kids. You know exactly where the food comes from, and how each item is grown.
About Barrie Hill Farms:
Barrie Hill Farms is located in, well, Barrie of course. It’s a little over an hour drive from Toronto, but if you’re looking for a bit of a road trip and mini adventure, all the while supporting a small business, this is your ticket.
They offer PYO (Pick-Your-Own) produce - depending on the season, you can pick various fruit like berries or apples, and vegetables like sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, and new on their farm this year, asparagus! You can check more of what they have to offer on their site here.
To note, we had gone there last year in the summer (2019), loooooong before Covid-19, but this year, they have safely re-opened their farms for curbside-pickup as well as PYO - this of course, comes with lots of safety precautions. Starting today, June 24th, you can PYO strawberries!
The other cool thing that I found out about Barrie Hill Farms, and am super excited to try soon is that they are the first to offer a Drive-Thru experience! I love that! Especially if you'd rather still socially distance, this is a great way to get incredibly fresh product from their on-site farmer's market. To see how they are able to do this, click here. The health and safety of their customers and employees and the steps they have taken is top of mind, all the while creating a unique experience for shoppers is great to see.
It may be a bit more than an hour drive from Toronto, but I think it’s worth it if you’re already taking a road trip up north anyway - a great pit stop on your way to the cottage!
Keep in mind that although the Province of Ontario has started to reopen, the threat of Covid-19 is still real. Please take extra precautions when going out and wear a mask to keep yourself and others around you safe, and wash your hands!
*Photos taken Summer of 2019