Best Local Farm-To-Table Eats!
By Karen Hawthorne
Choosing local matters. There’s the incredible fresh taste of food picked that morning (or by your own hands from the vines). Have you gone to an orchard with a basket and sampled a Honeycrisp apple right from the tree? Or tasted ruby red strawberries at a farm stand? There’s a reason they’re so good.
One, nutrients are at their best to fuel and nourish your body when food hasn’t travelled a long distance and sat in a distribution centre before it gets to the grocery store.
And two, local farmers are some of the most dedicated people you’ll ever meet. When Mother Nature is your business partner, there’s always risk and uncertainties. Talk to a farmer and they’ll have a story to tell. Some of our Scugog farms have been a family business for several generations, so there’s likely more than a few stories! It takes commitment and expertise to farm the land, nourish the soil and care for crops and animals – and pride in homegrown goodness!
Here are five Scugog places to find fresh, local eats. Come sample!
Scugog is farm country. So a visit to the farmers’ market is a wonderful experience to pick up fresh produce, meats, fish, baked goods and crafts in one beautiful spot on the Lake Scugog shoreline. Looking for pure maple syrup, flowers or fine artisan breads? We’ve got those, too! The market runs every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from June through October at the north end of Palmer Park, near the Latcham Centre and Old Mill. You can picnic by the lake while you’re here and browse the shops downtown just a short walk away.
Here’s a family farm that truly celebrates connecting with nature and caring for the land. Sample fruits and vegetables right from the field in the farm market or pick your own strawberries, peas, raspberries, tomatoes, pumpkins and more. This country farm is family-friendly with a kids’ playground, farm animals to pet, wagon rides and forest walks. (Birthday parties, too!) The Forsythe family also offers a terrific Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program for a weekly or bi-weekly box of seasonal goods. Delicious!
Beet salad, bistro burgers, house-cut russet fries, crispy roast chicken… the menu at this Port Perry restaurant is based on locally-sourced foods dished up with incredible flavour! Do you want to feel good about what you eat (and minimize your carbon footprint)? This is the place! Foundry Kitchen & Bar has an engaging back story as well. It’s housed in the Madison Williams Foundry that operated from the late 1800s to the early 1900s crafting steam turbines for the ships that travelled the Trent Severn waterway. Now the restaurant kitchen uses fire and metal on the grill to create tasty dishes that support local producers. You’ll love the great patio and community vibe!
Susan and Randy are dedicated beekeepers who have added to their hives and honey production since they moved to their 12-acre property in the idyllic Scugog countryside. Their honey is 100% pure unpasteurized (so it has all the good healthy stuff) and has a sweet, gentle flavour. The bees enjoy the lavender and poppies growing on the farm, so you’ll taste a hint of wildflower. So if you need a natural sweet fix, this honey delivers. You can visit and buy a jar at their farm gate stand, and mellow out in the countryside.
Port Perry has a huge mushroom farm on Hwy 12 just north of 6th Line that produces certified organic mushrooms for Ontario grocers. It’s a quietly impressive operation of about 127,000 square feet for indoor growing – and a new location for the company that is well-established in its Ashburn facility near Whitby. The farm’s white button mushrooms and earthy brown mushrooms are popular healthy ingredients in all kinds of dishes from salads to sautés or a side for your next steak on the barbecue!
Food for thought: this is where your local food comes from. And this is why it matters. People! You can eat real, whole food that nourishes your body in just the right ways, and you can support the community. This is your invitation to visit our farms, farm markets and restaurants that showcase our wonderful, local goodness. Eat well!
One big beautiful lake. Hundreds of adventures.