Like most of you, I have been following the news and watching the world as it comes to a halt. I have read personal and local business social media posts and engaged in local conversations, and like many have felt a bit overwhelmed with what is happening.
We are taking it one day at a time and taking every measure possible to keep everyone safe in our businesses by following our usual protocol, adding extra steps to ensure customer safety. We are all in this together, and more than ever, we need to help look after each other. We need to call on our neighbours, especially the elderly and those with challenged immune systems, to make sure all is well. Isolation and panic can take its toll. We need to make sure people feel safe and supported. Working as a community, even at a distance, we can make a difference.
With schools closed and news reports and continued cancellation alerts on social media, we need to talk to the kids in our lives. Make sure they have a safe and comforting space to express their thoughts, worries and concerns. Provide them with the reassurance that will help them process the sudden changes in their routines.
We encourage you to take this time to go for a walk and spend some time outdoors.
Remember to wash your hands, of course!
Reflecting on not only the last year, but also the last decade, I must say it has been exciting to say the least. From the beginning when we first decided to start the local food distribution to homes and restaurants, connecting producers to consumers we have constantly strived to fill a need. We are very aware now more than ever that everything has a time and place and we feel it is now time to shift gears. As our wholesale distribution ends, we are gearing up to offer new opportunities at our Market and Furnace Falls Farm with the promise of a new year. Rick, Leigha, and I thank all of you that have been with us through the journey and we look forward to sharing the next step.
We are taking a step back to our roots with a focus on the future of families including both yours and ours. Personally, I have felt the pull over the last few years towards our future generation, helping them reconnect with the earth, teaching them where their food comes from, and focusing on community and encouraging sustainability. I for one, look forward to expanding my work with children, sharing my passion for gardening, earth, farm animals and the joy of preparing farm fresh meals.
With the addition of Furnace Falls Farm, we have been able to offer cooking classes, community gatherings, and agricultural experiences and more all in a family farm atmosphere. We are passionate about providing people with the true farm to fork experience while surrounding ourselves with our family and yours.
We feel the New Year is also the perfect time for us to introduce family affordable, sustainable meal plans at our Country Market. Stay tuned for more news on that next week. In addition to the new package offerings, we will also begin Wendy’s meal pick of the week, complete with recipe. It has been a while since I sent out my weekly e-mails and I cannot wait to resume these.
In 2019, we will be celebrating our ancestry, both at our market and at Furnace Falls Farm. We would love it if you are able to share your family recipes with us and we would be honoured to include them in some of our weekly meal packs or even make some into preserves with your family name highlighted.
Let’s make 2019 about FAMILIES
Past, Present and Future!
Come celebrate with us.
Happy New Year
We want to thank everyone who came out on the snow covered roads yesterday to attend our Fall Halloween event yesterday at Wendy's Country Market and Furnace Falls Farm. Admittedly it looked more like a Winter Wonderland than a Festive Fall event.
The support of our loyal vendors who ventured out is always deeply appreciated. Some new vendors even tracked through the snow, some driving an hour to get here and we were so happy to welcome you! We understand those who couldn't make it, but made an effort and had to turn back.
A special thanks to Mom and nephew Cody and even some vendors who came with shovels in hand to help clear paths and snow covered steps. It is events such as this that truly takes a team to pull together and see to it that everything gets done. If you were unable to make it out to see our vendors yesterday please take time to visit them online at the following links or plan on seeing some of them at the Shop & Hop coming up in December.
Join us for a day of family fun with local vendors and artisans, chefs and a musician on site.
Spring is officially here even though it looks like Mother Nature did not get the memo.
The transformation from winter to spring always has so much packed into it between the last of the snow and the beginning of green grass. We have all hands on deck for spring-cleaning. It’s time to spruce up the market, get rid of the cobwebs so to speak, clean the farm animals' pens and perhaps add a few more fences in case we add to our farm family. You never know when we might get the urge to adopt another cute animal. Minor repairs are required for the greenhouses at the market to get ready for the precious little seedlings that Leigha has been growing in our greenhouses at home. We are just as busy next door at Furnace Falls Farm planning and preparing for landscaping and barn renovations for the coming weddings and events booked.
I cannot believe our first outdoor event for the season is only a few weeks away. It is our Spring Celebration Sunday April 29th. Leigha and her helpers have been rapidly filling greenhouses...sometimes a bit faster than Rick would like since this adds to his wood heating woes. We have focused on lots of heritage vegetables, annuals, and perennials again this year as they are more resilient and provide us with a great variety. Many of the tomatoes we grow come from our own seeds. As Leigha and I look around, we realize as usual, we have gone a bit crazy on growing plants again this year. It is just so hard to stop planting when you love growing things as much as we do. We think the best time to stop is when we run out of greenhouses, Ha, Ha.
This year we are very excited that we get to start the season off by adding Furnace Falls Farm events to our list of activities. In a time when the world has so many negative things happening we are hoping to provide a bit of reprieve and bring people back to a simpler time when the focus was on growing food, family, friends and community. We are excited to have people come, stay, relax, enjoy a kayak ride, pack a picnic, go for a walk, pick fresh vegetables for dinner, visit the animals, sit by a bonfire, or enjoy a farmhouse dinner with new friends and family.
Springtime is all about new beginnings so come join us on the journey of new experiences with old-fashioned traditions. We invite you to refresh, renew and enjoy yourselves at our farm.
From all of us at Wendy’s Country Market & Furnace Falls Farm Retreat
Wow, not only has this past year flown by but also it’s hard to believe how fast the past 10 years have. Rick and I started the Mobile Market delivering to restaurants 10 years ago and during this time, we have seen so many changes to both the growth and availability of local food. For me, seeing this growth and interest in local food brings me full circle back to the way it was in my youth. I get to see a revival of farm fresh food at the very market that my parents started over 40 years ago. Thankfully, this next generation of young people are embracing and even demanding locally grown and made products. They want real experiences with a better understanding of how and where their food comes from. With a keen interest in growing, preserving, and cooking, this younger generation desires a back to the basics lifestyle craving honesty and integrity above all.
It is true to get to the future we need to go back to the past!
In order to keep small to medium size farms, either generational or new young farmers, we need to be conscious of the sustainability of this lifestyle. The choice to farm full time is not always an easy path. Farmers must deal with the daily issues of, repair costs, pests, droughts, floods, and reduced crop prices among the usual issues faced by entrepreneurs alike. The reward though is one that benefits themselves as well as everyone else with the supply of healthy food and a more sustainable community.
I am humbled to be able to work with so many dedicated, extremely hard working producers in our area who make a difference in our community and our lives every day. I am also excited to see the next few generations on our own family farm working together to continue the tradition.
Now, as we add another facet to our business and bring Furnace Falls Farm to fruition we can focus on the importance of our past and help reconnect people to those old-fashioned traditions of a tasty meal and lots of laughter, cooking together, bringing back that community feel in a farmhouse setting. We feel honoured to be able to create a space for you, your family, and your friends to gather and experience moments and memories to last a lifetime.
Of course, none of this is possible without all of you who are making the effort, taking the time and believing that buying local benefits everyone. Thanks for building a relationship with your food, your community and bringing us back to a healthier food system.
A very Happy New Year to everyone
From all of us at
Wendy’s Country Market
Wendy’s Mobile Market
Furnace Falls Farm
November has certainly been a busy month for community building and celebrating local food.
I am going to start with a great project that we were lucky enough to be involved in with the Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands. The Healthy Kids Community Challenge enabled a group of kids to take a 10 week cooking class with Chef mark and helpers Cara and I. Together the kids developed a menu, experienced local food, tasting and creating along the way. After the 10 weeks the kids put on a meal for a group of lucky guests. This was such a great experience and we heard from more than one student that they "didn't know cooking was going to be so much fun”. What a great feeling to be able to watch kids try eating and cooking things for the first time and see their satisfaction and surprise when they finish creating a special dish on their own.
The cooking classes sparked some ideas of our own for March Break Farm to Table Cooking Classes so we will let everyone know when this idea ends up in print.
Just last Friday we got to cater a farm to table lunch at the townships Tourism Summit in Lansdowne which saw a host of interesting speakers and area businesses networking. This was a great opportunity for both new and established businesses to put their heads together and work out ways to promote the fantastic area we live and work in.
This weekend, Saturday , December 2nd Lyndhurst and Seeley’s Bay Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the area SHOP and HOP . A great way to support local, receive giveaways, treats, prizes, plus get some holiday shopping done. After head on over to the town of Delta and celebrate the season with Christmas carols, wagon rides, meals, Delta mill and a stroll through the park to enjoy the lovely display of lights.
Throughout the month we have had the great pleasure of hosting themed supper clubs and cooking classes at Furnace Falls Farm with the focus on bringing people together with local food. This is a great way for new people in the area to meet others or just to get together with friends and relax without the mess and stress. We look forward to hosting your business dinner parties or family get-together in the holiday season and the New Year. Lets bring back those old fashioned traditions of big meals and lots of laughter in a farmhouse kitchen setting. Call us to reserve your party today 613-928-2477.
The community spirit is definitely alive in this area , thanks to all involved to make it a place to be proud of.
Have a great Week
Thanks for supporting local producers
Rick & Wendy & Leigha
November is the month of a shift from Fall to Winter. It’s officially time to take the last crops out of the field. The only thing still standing in our gardens is some very hardy kale. The temperatures have definitely taken a tumble and reality has set in that it is time to turn the heat on (or collect wood right Rick)! But hey it is not all doom and gloom. We still have a wide array of tasty vegetables available from a number of local producers who have greenhouse crops and many tasty root crops to go through the winter.
We also have other exciting things to help brighten your November continuing throughout the winter months. Across the road from our market at Furnace Falls Farm Retreat, we welcome you to more local flavours with Friday night supper club and Saturday cooking classes, which are sure to keep you toasty warm inside and out. We are very excited to show off our farm and share some of our family history with you explaining why we chose to name it Furnace Falls Farm. We are certain you will enjoy the ambiance of the century-old farm and the chance to connect with friends and family as much as we do.
Follow our facebook sites and blog to stay up to date on all our events designed to keep everyone busy throughout the winter. We are thrilled to be able to bring the past into the future with a few updates and twists of course. What better way to spend the winter months then with lots of soul-soothing food, new and old friends, and heart-warming conversation shared around a harvest table in a welcoming farmhouse kitchen?
The recipe of the week is just the type of comfort food for a grey November day.
Recipe of the Week
Parsnip & Parmesan Soup
1/4 cup unsalted butter - Empire Cheese
1/1/2 lb parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch dice (4 cups) - Ravensfield Farm
1/1/4 cup diced shallots - Patchwork Gardens
8 cloves garlic, minced – Vern Price
1 tbsp finely chopped oregano – Wendy’s Market
41/2 cups vegetable broth – Wendy’s Market
1/2 cup freshly grated aged Lancaster - Glengarry Cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan over med heat, add parsnips and cook until lightly browned, 7 - 10 min.
Stir in the shallots, garlic, chopped oregano, salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally until shallots are very limp and begin to brown 8 -10 minutes.
Add the broth, bring to boil, reduce heat and maintain a low simmer until parsnips are cooked 8 -10 min.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Puree the soup. Stir in the cheese and lemon juice. Taste. Add salt and pepper. Reheat the soup and serve.
Serves 5 -6
Have a Great Week
Thanks for supporting local producers
Rick & Wendy & Leigha
Looks like the last few weeks of September are more like what july should have been like. Combining the great summer temperatures with a fall bounty of produce and it's a win-win. Take advantage of it and come out to our Apple Theme Event this Sunday, Sept 24th from 11 am - 3 pm and stock up on lots of fall produce and of course lots of apples.
While mulling around at the Apple event you will be able to enjoy all the apple theme products available from a variety of vendors. Apple theme baked goods, apple jelly, apple preserves, apple butter, apple cider, apple vinegar and more. Our chefs will be presenting a tasty apple theme tapas platter for lunch along with Hot Apple Fritters and an apple cider press display.
Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun filled day with live music by the Andrew Mack Duo. Find out a bit of local history from our guest Art Shaw who will talk about the recent archaeological dig in Lyndhurst.
Parents make sure to bring the kids for our apple theme scavenger hunt and some tasty homemade apple pie ice cream.
We will have lots of specials on bulk apples as well as a chance for you to stock up for winter with great deals on sweet corn and potatoes from Corn Acre Farms.
Come on our for a day in the country and enjoy this blast of summer in the fall colours.
Interesting Facts about Apple Cider
The production of apple cider became one of the most important uses for the fruit. It had great economic benefits as a great fresh cider drink, a mild alcoholic drink (hard cider), a potent alcoholic drink called Apple Jack (an apple brandy made by freezing rather than distilling), and as vinegar. Many pioneers who immigrated to Canada in the 1880s feared drinking the water and believed alcohol killed the bacteria (at least that’s what they said HAHA). Every small village had its cider mill operating during the late summer and fall. The farmers brought their excess apples to the mill in lumber wagons and the cider was stored in barrels in the cellar.
Recipe of the Week
Apple Cider Cheddar Soup
Serves 4 -6
1/2 cup finely chopped onion – Corn Acre Farms
1 tbsp butter – Empire
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced – Corn Acre Farms
2 cups apple cider – Hall's Apple Market
1 tsp fresh thyme – Wendy's Country Market
1/2 tsp salt
1 dash cayenne – Wendy's Country Market
1 medium cooking apple peeled and coarsely chopped – Wendy's Country Market
1/2 cup milk – Limestone Creamery
2 tbsp flour – Purest
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded – Wilton
fresh apple slices – Hall's Apple Market
Have a Great Week.
Rick & Wendy & Leigha
Thanks for supporting Local Producers.
Visit us at the market.
We're open 7 days a week. Monday - Saturday 11 am – 6 pm, Sunday 'til 5 pm
I am Wendy Banks a 6th generation farmer from Lyndhurst, Ontario. I have been selling farm produce since the wee age of five when my parents first set me up with a corn stand at the end of the driveway. I have always been focused on providing quality products and providing customer service with a smile.