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!
Countryman’s Estate Winery: A winery in Prescott that specializes in fruit wine (that is, fruit other than grapes). Lots of very interesting wines – for example, who would have thought you can make wine from watermelon? I tasted the strawberry, black cherry, rhubarb, and watermelon wines. I also tasted a maple-flavoured wine that’s similar to sherry – delicious!
Big Sky Ranch: I came across this one by accident while driving near Kemptville. It’s a sanctuary for abused and unwanted animals, including farm animals. They get about 200 visitors a week at the farm. There’s no admission charge, but they do appreciate donations. It’s a wonderful place, and I will provide more details and pictures once I’ve had a chance to write my notes out.
Valleyview Little Farm: I think I was the only visitor without a child, but don’t let that hold you back, because this place is awesome! They have all kinds of animals to visit, but the part that I loved most was the agricultural museum. It’s full of old farm implements and machinery, including such interesting contraptions as a dog-powered treadmill that was used to churn butter or do the laundry. Ahhh, back in the day when dogs did more than just crash out on the couch and wait for their next meal or walk.
Gemmell’s Garden Centre: A really well organized greenhouse and garden centre near Smiths Falls, with beautiful displays to give you some ideas for home. Great prices too.
Bearbrook Farms: The place to go if you want a huge variety of game meat. You can also walk around and look at the animals on the farm, including bison, deer, llamas, chickens, and pheasants. Hopefully this won’t make you sad though, knowing where they’re all going!
Smyth’s Orchard: Located in Dundela, the home of the original McIntosh apple. There are some interesting displays about the McIntosh apple, and a large store. They also have a 2nd hand shop with lots of antiques and other stuff. The orchard is about an hour south of Ottawa.
Kilmarnock Orchard: An apple orchard located right by the Kilmarnock lock on the Rideau Canal (near Smiths Falls). They have a large store, and you can pick your own apples.
Mountain Orchard: A very large orchard located south of Ottawa, in Mountain. It was quiet when I visited yesterday, but on weekends, things get crazy busy. They have wagon rides, a donut machine (kids of all ages love this!), preserves and pies for sale, and of course, lots of apples! They also have a giant corn maze and a straw jump.
Le Potager Eardley: A fruit farm and market garden overlooking the Ottawa River in Aylmer.
Waba Museum and Gardens: A stone house, historical log buildings, and some beautiful gardens, set against the backdrop of White Lake. I visited a couple weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. They’re open until Thanksgiving – definitely worth a visit.