Oxford Unplugged: 4 Ways to Enjoy Local Food This Summer
Let's face it, there are so many ways to enjoy local food- especially during the summer months. From pick-your-own patches to restaurants serving up local ingredients, innovative new craft beers and everything in between, it's hard to pick! We say you don't have to but if you're looking for just four of the many, many ways you can enjoy local food with what's left of this summer read on. Don't feel like reading right now? No worries! Download the itinerary.
Berrylicious Fruit Farm
425533 Substation Rd, Burgessville, ON (View Map)
At Berrylicious Fruit Farm, you can pick blueberries while in season under four acres of netted paradise. With seven different varieties to choose some (may we recommend you try them all?) you're sure to find the farm fresh taste you're after. When you're done, check out their awesome farm stand which features elderberries grown on site, home made jams and a few other local items. Can't get enough? Every Saturday in the summer, Berrylicious Fruit Farm serves up home made jelly rolls using their products!
Thames River Farms
765875 Township Rd 5, Innerkip, ON (View Map)
What started with one acre of cantaloupe has grown into a beautiful, 500 acre farm selling just about every kind of produce you can imagine. On site, Thames RIver Farm is also home to a 15 acres of pick-your-own patches. Those who want a twist on the traditional pick-your-own will love this stop for all the unusual crops you can pick: think cauliflower, okra, leeks, berries, beans, peas, dill, cucumbers and more! You can even dig your own potatoes if you want to. If that's not farm fresh we don't know what is. Be sure to stop at their produce stall when you're done (or if you're just now down for picking your own that day), and grab a great variety of fruits and veg plus Thames River Farm's own honey, preserves and more.
#2: Visit a Farm Market
Every Thursday from 4:30-8pm through out the summer, Greener Pastures Eco Farm is hosting a sunset market on site. Shop a variety of local product including skin care from Wild Comforts Body Care, fresh produce from Bentum Family Farm, delicious meats from Greener Pastures themselves, Mapleton Organics ice cream and fro-yo and even seedlings grown on the farm! Kick things up a notch by checking out a variety of pasture-raised heritage animals including belted galloway cows, rabbits, chickens and pigs.
Bre's Fresh Market
224276 Ostrander Rd, Tillsonburg, ON (View Map)
Bre's Fresh Market has the local connection down pat. Pop into their shop and you'll find everything you can imagine from neighbouring farms. Besides the fantastic selection of fresh produce, Bre's also sells local cheese, preserves, baked goods, meats, wraps, snack food and more. Better yet, you'll know exactly where it all came from because of their awesome chalk board featuring all the farms they work with!
#3: Visit a Farm Gate Business
Godelie's Family Farm
225754 Otterville Rd, Otterville, ON (View Map)
Godelie's Family Farm has been a favourite in the south of Oxford and northern Norfolk for years. Selling much of what they grow on their own farm plus a few other products too, it's a great place to stop for fresh food while out on a scenic country drive. You'll love the fresh and local produce.
743746-743880 Road 74, Embro, ON (View Map)
Fleming Farms are a favourite at local markets but also sell from a fantastic stall at the roadside of their farm. Pop in for the freshest in local from rhubarb and asaparagus in the early summer to strawberries, sweet corn, pumpkins, squash, gourds, maple syrup and jam scattered through out the summer and fall.
#4: Enjoy an Ice Cream
Barltey's Dairy Bar
853 Dundas St, Woodstock, ON (View Map)
Barltey's Dairy Bar is well-known for their delicious ice cream ( never ice milk!). That means people travel from all over just to get a delicious Bartley's cone. Established in 1971, Bartley's was also one of the first places to offer frozen yogurt in Canada. Pop in for a delicious cone, sundae or something else all together and check out their feature ice creams too, often featuring local ingredients like the Ontario peach sundae shown above.
389 Dundas St, Woodstock, ON (View Map)
With an ingredients list shorter than freshly mowed grass, the ice cream made in house at Habitual Chocolate is anything but ordinary. Created right in house, chocolatier Philippe Lehrner uses fresh and seasonal ingredients including his own chocolate, local strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to make the flavours pop. You really haven't had ice cream until you've tried it.
What are your favourite ways to eat local? Get out there and try these ways! Want more ideas? Sign up for our Oxford Fresh newsletter.