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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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Gardens

Carleton Growers Looking for Part-time Help

Carleton Growers greenhouse
Carleton Growers greenhouse

Update: Sadly, Carleton Growers is now out of business.

I stopped by Carleton Growers in Carp today to pick up some cut lilies and roses from their greenhouses. While I was there, they told me they’re looking for some additional part-time help. They have several open positions: florist, design florist, harvesting help, and drivers to delivery flowers to farmers’ markets.

This could be a great opportunity for anyone who loves flowers and is passionate about environmental issues. As I wrote about previously on the Local Tourist Ottawa website, Carleton Growers was recently purchased by the Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre, a charitable organization with an environmental focus. They plan to turn the adjacent fields into an organic farm and add more greenhouse space so they can grow year-round organic vegetables in addition to flowers. They’ve hired 11 local youth for the summer to help with their plans, and now are looking for more specialized help with the flower business.

If you’re interested, you can send an email to carpacresdm <at> hotmail <dot>ca. Or visit the Carleton Growers website for additional contact information. (Note: The website has not been updated since the business changed hands earlier this year, so you won’t find details about their expansion plans there yet.)

May Agritourism News

I apologize for not posting many entries lately. For personal reasons, I haven’t been able to focus much time on agritourism lately, but hopefully that will change as the weather warms up and the growing season gets into full swing.

Here are a few recent agritourism-related developments that readers may find interesting:

1. New Garden Centre in Carp opening on Saturday, May 7th: Our friends at Kings Creek Trees and Ornamentals are opening a full service retail garden centre at 153 Donald B. Munro Drive. This is exciting news for the Carp area, which is also home to the new organic farm at Carleton Growers. For those not familiar with Kings Creek Trees, have a look at my previous article about their tree farm and perennial garden business, where they grow an interesting assortment of trees, ornamental grasses, exotic thistles, and wetland plants. Their new business in Carp is a welcome addition to the community, and definitely worth checking out on their opening weekend! 

2. Farmers’ markets opening dates: Many farmers’ markets are starting up this weekend. Here is a list from Ottawa’s Rural Affairs Office:        

Continue reading “May Agritourism News”

Carleton Growers Article on Local Tourist Ottawa

My article on the Local Tourist Ottawa blog

I have two new blog entries today, but you’ll have to go to a great new blog called Local Tourist Ottawa to see them! The first article is about agritourism in Ottawa – what it is, why it matters, and why Ottawa is such a great place for it. The second article is about Carleton Growers, a Carp-based business that just changed hands, and is about to change the organic landscape in Ottawa ((no pun intended!)

I’ll be writing periodic articles over at Local Tourist Ottawa, mostly about agritourism, but also about some little-known tourist destinations I’ve discovered in my rural travels. I’ll let Agritourism Ottawa readers know when I’ve posted something new at Local Tourist Ottawa, but even better, why not follow both blogs regularly? Don’t forget to also follow us on Twitter at @LTOttawa and @AgritourismOtt!

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”

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”

Galetta Rose Nurseries

Roses

Today Gary and I took the motorcycle out for a visit to Galetta Rose Nurseries in the west end of Ottawa. Originally an abandoned gravel pit, the nursery has undergone a profound change in the last 20 years and is now covered in plants, trees, and grasses. There is something very peaceful about being in a sunken area surrounded by pine trees above you. There is also a lovely pond on the property, complete with a short boardwalk and bridge. It’s a very unique spot – different from any other nurseries we’ve been to in the area.

Like many of the nursery owners I’ve met over the last few weeks, this is the owner’s second career. He was previously in high-tech, and still does some consulting, but is primarily focused on the rose business. Although the nursery used to sell more than roses, it became too difficult to compete with the low-priced imports being sold at Walmart and Canadian Tire. Instead, the nursery now specializes in hardy roses. Continue reading “Galetta Rose Nurseries”

Gardens in Perth

Last Sunday we drove out to Perth to check out three gardens: Rock Wall Gardens, Kiwi Gardens, and the Round Garden for the Blind. Each was special in its own way, and made for a very nice day trip.

Our first stop was Rock Wall Gardens just off Hwy. 7 outside of Perth. The owners, Judy and Phil Wall, have converted the ruins of an old dairy barn into a stunning garden centre. The combination of the old stone foundation, colourful drought-resistant plants, and stained glass windows in the old window wells makes this a very special place. They also have a pond surrounded by sun-loving plants, and a demonstration shade garden right beside it. Continue reading “Gardens in Perth”

Herbfest and the Carp Farmers’ Market

Last weekend I visited two places: the Carp Farmers’ Market and the Annual Midsummer Herbfest at the Herb Garden in Almonte. Both events were opportunities to make agritourism contacts for my book. It was a good test of how comfortable I am approaching strangers and asking if they give tours of their agricultural operation! I’m still a little shy about it, but that’s something I’d like to work on from a personal development perspective anyway.

My first stop was the Carp Farmers’ Market on Saturday. The market runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays from May to October. It’s the largest producer-based farmers’ market in Ontario (over 100 vendors) with about half the vendors outside, and the other half in a heritage exhibit hall at the entrance to the grounds. Continue reading “Herbfest and the Carp Farmers’ Market”

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