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Agritourism Ottawa

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

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.)

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Cheese and Wine Lovers: 3 Great Events and a GIVEAWAY!

Artisan Cheese
Artisan Cheese

Great news! There are three exciting wine and cheese events coming up this month, and I’ve got tickets to give away for one of them! Read on for more details.

On Wednesday, May 18th, Savvy Company is holding a Quebec Artisan Cheese Tasting at Thyme and Again in Westboro. Tickets are $60 each, and there are only a couple seats left, so you’ll need to act fast if you want to go.

On Wednesday, June 1st, Savvy Company is also holding a Taste and Buy event with the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The event is taking place at the National Arts Centre’s Terrace Tent, with 26 wineries showcasing their latest releases of wine. Tickets are $45 when purchased before May 20th. Sounds like a great way to spend a Wednesday evening!

And finally, the Great Canadian Cheese Festival is being held in Prince Edward County from June 3rd-5th. From the festival’s website:

For the first time in Canada, The Great Canadian Cheese Festival brings together the country’s leading cheesemakers from coast-to-coast so cheese lovers can meet to learn, talk, taste and buy the best in artisan, farmstead and specialty cheese—and sample fine wine, craft beer and artisanal foods.

Last week I attended a media launch in Ottawa for this event, and got a preview of what attendees will be enjoying at the festival. Continue reading “Cheese and Wine Lovers: 3 Great Events and a GIVEAWAY!”

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”

Fortune Farms Sugar Bush

Making my maple taffy on snow

If you haven’t made it out to a sugar bush yet, you may want to head to Fortune Farms tomorrow for what may be their last day of the season. This Lanark County sugar bush provides an excellent introduction to the history and science of making maple syrup.  From sap boiled in kettles, to modern evaporators, you’ll be able to see how maple syrup production has progressed from pioneer to modern times.

Your first stop will be the modern maple syrup production building, where you’ll see the oil-fired evaporators with stainless steel pans, and will learn about modern production techniques using reverse osmosis.

Next, you’ll walk down a dirt road to the 1940’s sugar shack, where maple syrup is produced using an old-fashioned wood-fired evaporator. Here you’ll learn interesting facts about traditional maple syrup production – such as the huge amount of resources (wood and labour) needed to produce a small amount of syrup, or the fact that the steam contains small amounts of sugar, which sticks to the roof and attracts wasps in the summer. The best part is that you get a free sample of warm syrup freshly made from the evaporator, which should give you lots of energy for the rest of your visit! Continue reading “Fortune Farms Sugar Bush”

Temple’s Sugar Camp and Restaurant

Temple's Sugar Camp Restaurant

Earlier this week I made a trip out to Temple’s Sugar Camp and Restaurant in Lanark County, where I treated myself to some decadent Belgian Waffles covered with maple whip cream, blueberry preserves, and lots of pure maple syrup! I also checked out Temple’s excellent nature trail that runs through their sugar bush. For the full story, please go to the Local Tourist Ottawa website. Warning: Don’t read the article when you’re hungry!

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!

Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush

Horse-drawn sleigh ride

Located between the picturesque towns of Almonte and Pakenham, Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush is one of the biggest sugar camps in Lanark County. And with the property being in the Fulton family for over 160 years, the current generation is tapping some of the same maple trees that their ancestors tapped in the 1840’s!

You may want to start your visit in the restaurant, where you can fill yourself up with enough sugar and carbohydrates to keep you going for the rest of the day. Unlike many other sugar bushes (especially in Quebec), you don’t need a reservation, so you can just come in, order your food, and sit down at one of the many long tables in the 120-seat restaurant.

Your food choices include pancakes, sausages, beans, and various desserts and drinks. Gluten-free pancakes are available, and if you need to bring your own food because of dietary restrictions, Fulton’s will be happy to heat it up for you.

The food service is cafeteria-style, with beverage stations and a maple syrup centre where you can apply as much maple syrup as you like. It’s been a while since I’ve had pancakes, so I was shocked at how quickly the pancakes absorb the syrup, and had to make a second trip to get more! The whole meal was delicious, and I was glad that I’d arrived hungry! Continue reading “Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush”

Blog News: OttawaStart, Local Tourist Ottawa, and Maple Sugar Season

My blog on the OttawaStart "very strongly recommended" list

I’m excited to report a couple recent developments pertaining to this blog. First, a big thanks to the OttawaStart blog, which named Agritourism Ottawa as one of its 30 “very strongly recommended” blogs about Ottawa. I am very honoured to have been put on the list! Thank you also to any new readers who followed the link from the OttawaStart blog. If you want to get updates through RSS or email, just click the Subscribe button on the left hand side.

Earlier in the week, OttawaStart also published its list of 26 “essential Ottawa blogs”, which represent the very best blogs in the region. This is where I learned about a recently launched blog called Local Tourist Ottawa, which features articles from local writers about places to explore in Ottawa. I contacted the blog coordinators to discuss contributing to their blog, and my first blog post is now in the works! I will post more here when the article is published, but I will say that the article includes news that will thrill organic food lovers, especially in the west end of Ottawa!

In other news, the maple syrup season is now starting (Fulton’s opens today!), so stay tuned for profiles of the best sugar bushes in the region.

Valleyview Little Animal Farm and Bill’s Old Farm Museum

Pig peeking through the fence

Most parents of young children in Ottawa know about Valleyview Little Animal Farm. Like Saunders Farm and the Central Experimental Farm, this is one of the top places to bring young kids for a farm outing. So when I pulled up to the farm on a sunny autumn day – all by myself – I was feeling a bit awkward. After buying my single admission ticket (“Just you? Are you sure?”), I thought I’d make a quick tour of the place: say hi to the animals, check out the children’s play area, take some pictures, and then be on my way.

That was before I knew about Bill’s Old Farm Museum, a hidden gem that makes Valleyview Little Animal Farm one of the top agritourism destinations in the Ottawa region – not just for kids, but for adults too.

Bill’s Old Farm Museum is a collection of restored farm machinery spread out over five barns. All the machinery works, and was lovingly restored by the late Bill Mowat, father of the current farm owner, Heather Brophy. The collection used to be open to the public only on special occasions, but is now open for self-guided tours whenever the farm itself is open. Continue reading “Valleyview Little Animal Farm and Bill’s Old Farm Museum”

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