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Agritourism Ottawa

A Guide to Wineries, Orchards, Gardens, Farm Tours and Other Agricultural Adventures in the Ottawa Region

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Farm Store

10 Agritourism Destinations During Winterlude

A recent Ottawa Citizen article reported that City Councillor Doug Thompson wants visitors to “come for Winterlude and stay for the farms.” With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of fun farm destinations that Ottawa visitors can enjoy in February (or any month really).

  1. A farm stay at Gillenderry Farms in Pakenham. If you’re from out of town, why not stay in a B&B on a 170 year old farm just outside Ottawa? Gillanderry Farms is a working dairy and cash crop farm in Ottawa’s west end. The B&B offers three guestrooms in a beautiful old stone home. In your free time, you can visit the livestock and tour the farm’s museum containing 30 antique farm tractors!
  2. The animal barns at Canada Agricultural Museum. The exhibition areas are closed until February 26, but the animal barns are open. Drop by and visit with the dairy and beef cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, and chickens. Best of all, there’s no admission charge at this time of year (but donations are encouraged)! Continue reading “10 Agritourism Destinations During Winterlude”

Kings Creek Trees and Ornamentals in Ashton

Sue Dyer with a pre-cut Christmas tree (larger ones also available)

There’s not much time left before Christmas, but if you still haven’t bought a tree, you might want to check out Kings Creek Trees and Ornamentals in Ashton. Tim and Sue Dyer sell pre-cut Concolor Fir, Douglas Fir, and Fraser Fir – varieties that are very rare in this area. The trees are from Sue’s brother’s tree farm in Pennsylvania, where her family has been growing Christmas trees for over 30 years. The plan is to eventually start selling trees from their own farm (more on this in a moment), but their own trees are still young and not ready to harvest. So in the meantime, you can buy some gorgeous Christmas trees from Sue’s brother’s farm – some of the nicest trees I’ve ever seen.

Kings Creek also offers Evergreen Wreathing Workshops on weekends in November and December. At most of the workshops, customers create large evergreen wreaths, but the final weekend (Dec. 18 and 19) is dedicated to evergreen table centrepieces and Christmas urn inserts/planters. If you want, you can also make the centrepieces or urn planters during a wreath workshop, as I did last weekend. Continue reading “Kings Creek Trees and Ornamentals in Ashton”

Domaine Cléroux Maple Orchard – Open House This Weekend

This is just a quick blog entry to let people know that Domaine Cléroux Maple Orchard is having an open house this weekend from 12-4:30 pm. Here is how they describe their property on their website:

Come discover our vast 200 acres Domain, with our apple orchard, sugar bush, sugar shack, bed & breakfast and kiosk.  The ceilings dressed with 120 year old tin from church benches, floors covered with 300 year old slate originally from a church roof, doors also from a church, the staircase recycled from a presbytery, and the stained glass windows from different churches on display as art. In our kiosk, you will find all our maple and apple products along with other refreshments, for you to enjoy on picnic tables set up for your convenience. For those who want to stay for the weekend, it will be our pleasure to greet you in our Domain Bed & Breakfast. – Domaine Cléroux website

I visited Domaine Cléroux a couple months ago, and it was gorgeous. The store is really something to see with all its recycled church components. The B&B is still under construction, but you can see the staircase leading up to it, including an absolutely beautiful gold Italian chandelier. Continue reading “Domaine Cléroux Maple Orchard – Open House This Weekend”

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree: Ian’s Evergreen Plantation and Cedar Hill Berry Farm

Wagon ride over covered bridge
In all the years I’ve lived in Ottawa (going on 18 years – how time flies), I’ve never been to a Christmas tree farm. Which is a shame, because Ottawa has some really great cut-your-own Christmas tree farms, as I found out today when I visited Ian’s Evergreen Plantation and Cedar Hill Berry Farm. Even if you’re not looking to buy a Christmas tree, it’s worth going out to one of the local plantations to enjoy the festivities and natural surroundings (and maybe buy some other goods for sale – such as wreaths, hot chocolate, and preserves). Continue reading “Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree: Ian’s Evergreen Plantation and Cedar Hill Berry Farm”

Ripon, Quebec – Agritourism Heaven

It’s 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa, and I’d never heard of it. Ripon, Quebec – an unexpected agritourism hotspot, and one of the prettiest drives in our region.

The Ripon area has it all – wineries, farm tours, cheese shops, specialty butchers, display gardens, organic farms, and more. It’s a fantastic place to visit as a day trip. Just remember to bring your cooler, because you’ll have a lot of food to bring back by the end of the day. Continue reading “Ripon, Quebec – Agritourism Heaven”

SunTech Greenhouses in Manotick

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! Continue reading “SunTech Greenhouses in Manotick”

Millers’ Farm & Market in Manotick

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! Continue reading “Millers’ Farm & Market in Manotick”

Rideau Pines Farm & Market in North Gower

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. Continue reading “Rideau Pines Farm & Market in North Gower”

Hobbs Meats and Bakery in Ashton

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. Continue reading “Hobbs Meats and Bakery in Ashton”

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