All Things Local at Sideroad Farm
It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, we have SO many amazing farmers in the area who grow, nurture and supply amazing organic goods to our community. I recently had the opportunity to visit Pat and Amy Kitchen at their home, Sideroad Farm, and see where the magic happens (and I'm talking about the veggies and that sort of stuff, guys).
Nestled in the backroads of Grey County since 2013, this farm is full of wonder. Today, the sun was out, the wind was briskly blowing and it was a field of green that was simply breathtaking. It was the perfect day for a late morning tour.
I'm all about farmers markets and restaurants who strive to use local ingredients on their menu, but I had never witnessed the operation behind the scenes. Amy and Pat tend their farm each and every day, growing everything from seasonal vegetables, pasture raised chicken + pork, and cut flowers in the summer season. Some of these products go to local establishments such as Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury, and the Feastology food truck in Markdale. How cool!?
This little trip was so out of my box, and I loved it. I grew up here in good ol' Meaford, and as much as I'm a "small town gal", there is a lot that I have yet to experience. Things like growing my own flower garden, feeding animals in the barn, harvesting my own crops, raising chickens - all of which I saw a glimpse of today at Sideroad Farm. At first when I told Amy that I'm not suuuuuper comfortable around animals she wondered if I even wanted to go see the pigs or their llama, "Cusco". But you know what, I did go pay them a visit, because I'm all about flooding life with new and interesting experiences. As simple as going to say hi to some pigs, or walking up and down the growing gardens, it meant so much to me. Seeing a row of onions popping from the soil, and a family of tomato plants ready to change colour - what a sight to see. Some serious farm to table action about to take place.
I preach it and I'll aways stand by it, local tastes better. Amy and Pat really love what they do, and pride themselves on providing healthy, organic home-grown vegetables and pasture raised meat to our community. And we love it!
How do you get some of the goods? Sideroad Farm has a booth set up at the Collingwood Farmers Market every Saturday morning during the summer season, but also offers an amazing CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) program to the Blue Mountains, Collingwood, Walters Falls, and Toronto areas. Visit their website for all of the deets.
Thank you so much for bringing me to your home, and showing me a piece of your local paradise. Amongst all of your other grown veggies, I'm real excited to fry up this back bacon and make some MEAN breakfast sandwiches. Photos to come.
Check below for a mini Q+A with the lovely Amy Kitchen.
How can people take advantage of your CSA box program? How do they sign up/what is the cost?
Amy: The Summer CSA runs for 18 weeks and we have a veggie, eggs and flower share option. Currently we're sold out but we start taking sign ups in January for next season. It's a great way to access the freshest local produce, connect with your farmers and make it more affordable to eat local/organic. The cost is $540 for veggies ($30 a week). Many more details(and sign up) on our website.
What is your favourite thing to grow?
Amy: I'm sucker for all flowers obviously....they are beautiful and make people happy. We also love growing garlic because of the love and care that goes into growing (it gets planted in October and harvested in July) and curing it and then saving our seed from year to year. There's also nothing better than a fresh bulb of garlic...especially compared to the imported stuff. I also love growing and eating eggplants...they have beautiful flowers (ha!)
Are there any winter markets that you pop up shop at with your goods?
Amy: Yes...I'm glad you asked. There is a group of vendors starting a Collingwood Winter Market this year. It's going to be on Saturday mornings at the United Church (more details coming soon). We'll be there as well as other produce, meat, bread etc.
We also run a winter bounty box program which is a bi-weekly home delivery program featuring our pork, chicken, veggies, and eggs as well as bread, honey, coffee and chocolate from other local producers. Sign up will be in September - Give them a follow be notified of sign-up period.
We also deliver produce/meat year round to the Barn coop in Meaford and the Farm to Table Market in Collingwood.
What do you love about living in this area?
Amy: It has a little bit of everything going on...small town meets big city vibes. It has a great food culture that seems to be growing! It's a good area for farmers like us who aim to connect directly with the people consuming our products and like to eat at all the delicious restaurants around town that serve up local ingredients.