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
It might be dull and dreary outside, but it looks a little like spring in the greenhouse. Since we try to grow a lot of our flowering annuals from seed rather than cuttings, we have to start them extra early. We find when we start from seeds rather than cuttings we can get better varieties with lots of heritage choices. One of the other reasons is this way we have control over the start of their life so to speak. A good start means better success later on. Even after all these years, I never get tired of watching those little sprouts shoot up almost over night.
We have also started lots of veggie and herb plants as well, along with a great selection of heritage tomatoes many from seeds we had saved from last summer. Of course, what are tomatoes with out basil? So we've made sure to have lots of basil varieties to choose from.
We will be updating the lists on the Wendy's Country Market website, so you can plan out your gardens as well. What better way to spend a winter evening then planning a garden?
Mark Sunday, April 30th on your calendar. It is our first event of the season. Hard to believe it is only a few months away. We will have lots of bare root crops, hardy perennials, herbs, heritage seeds for sale and more.
AND down on the farm, the real work has begun. We have the house building permit and can move ahead with our plans for one of the many barn structures! As the layers are removed we've seen history unfold, and got a real insight into a house that was built over 100 years ago. We've found wide wooden boards covering some of the walls, hard wood floors, and a 10 foot ceiling.
We've also been exploring our own local history, and have posted some photographs of Furnace Falls on the Farm's Facebook page. Have a look!
I find my favourite places to be are all over 100 years old (like our market which is an old school house also over 100 years old.) Can't wait for the rebirth of this wonderful farmhouse as a place for guests to stay, with great kitchen and dining spaces for celebrating local food.
Considering I love heritage plants and heritage homes, I think this week's recipe should be heritage sourced.
Recipe of the Week
Wild Berry Cornmeal Scones
Makes 8 servings
1 1/4 cup Red Fife Wheat Flour or Spelt Flour – Ironwood Organics or Sonset Farm
3/4 cup Cornmeal – Against the Grain
1/4 cup Maple Syrup – Gunnebrooke Farm
2 tsp Baking Powder – Purest
1/4 cup Baking Soda – Purest
1/3 cup Whey Butter – Stirling
2/3 cup Milk – Limestone Creamery
1 cup Mixed Berries – Brierlea Farm, Wendy's Country Market
1 tsp Vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Have a Great Week.
Rick & Wendy & Leigha
Thanks for supporting Local Producers.
Visit us at Wendy's Country Market.
We're open Thursday through Saturday 11 am – 6 pm, Sunday 'til 5 pm
Wendy Banks is a 6th generation farmer from Lyndhurst, Ontario. She runs Wendy's Country Market with her husband, Rick Trudeau.