Search

Agritourism Ottawa

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

Category

Greenhouses

All Day Cheese Tour: Vicki’s Veggies

Picnic lunch at Vicki's Veggies

A highlight of our All Day Cheese Tour was stopping at Vicki’s Veggies for a picnic lunch. We arrived quite hungry from a busy morning of touring, and were happy to take a seat at the picnic tables that had been set up on Vicki Emlaw’s and Tim Noxon’s property. Here we savoured a delicious box lunch from Prince Edward County’s East & Main Bistro, while free-range chickens wandered around us looking for handouts.

During our lunch, Vicki Emlaw provided a history of the farm business that she and her husband run. After spending a couple years at university, Vicki spent twelve years travelling the world. She would return in the summers to work evenings in local restaurants, and would spend her days working in her mother’s garden. At a party one night, she met a local carpenter whose recent hand injury was preventing him from being able to can his home-grown tomatoes. She volunteered to help him, and the rest is history.

Now the couple lives on an 8-acre property where they grow non-certified organic mixed vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, mushrooms, and eggs. Continue reading “All Day Cheese Tour: Vicki’s Veggies”

Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Prince Edward County

Chef Anthony Rose from the Drake Hotel

I just returned from a wonderful 3-day weekend in Prince Edward County, where I attended the 1st annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival. I had such a great time touring cheese factories, sampling outstanding cheese, and most of all, meeting so many inspiring and passionate people who were part of the event. As one woman I met said, “This is like a wedding, but without the bride and groom!”

Over the next few blog entries, I will provide details about the tours, seminars, and tasting events that I attended. This should provide lots of ideas for agritourism experiences in Prince Edward County and beyond, and will also give you some ideas for great cheeses to seek out from your local cheese shop.

Here are the topics I will cover in the next blog entries:

  • An all-day bus tour that took us to a dairy farm, Black River Cheese, Vicki’s Veggies, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, and County Cider
  • A full day of cheese seminars covering Canadian cheddar, cheese from Quebec, and artisan cheese in Ontario
  • The Cooks and Curds gala featuring tasting dishes prepared by eight Canadian chefs with eight Canadian cheeses and paired with Ontario wine and beers
  • The  Artisan Cheese and Fine Food Fair where cheesemakers and producers of artisan foods offered their products for sampling and purchase

It’ll take me a few days to cover all these topics (unless I write faster than I usually do), so keep checking back for new updates, including pictures from the various events.

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!

Ferguson Forest Centre in Kemptville

Larger trees for sale

Just south of Ottawa, eastern Ontario’s largest tree nursery welcomes nature lovers to explore its 1000 acres of plantations and forested Crown land. Since 1945, the Ferguson Forest Centre (FFC) has been providing tree seedlings for the reforestation of eastern and southern Ontario. Originally managed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the  nursery property is now owned by the Municipality of North Grenville and leased by the non-profit Ferguson Forest Centre Corporation.

There are three parts to the FFC property: a seasonal nursery outlet, the seedling production and research areas, and over 800 acres of forested Crown land with numerous walking trails.

The nursery outlet is open in the spring and fall. Visitors are free to walk through the greenhouses and view the many types of trees, from conifers to hardwoods to shrubs. Some of the trees are quite large (10 ft. or higher), while others are tiny seedlings available for less than a dollar each. Continue reading “Ferguson Forest Centre in Kemptville”

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”

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”

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”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑