Farm Fresh, and Grown with Love
Supporting local is a very important part of my life, both from a holistic stand point, economical, environmental, and an entrepreneurial stand point. When we support “small” businesses we give back to our very own communities, our neighbours, our friends, and we are gifted with pride of ownership and a sense of gratitude.
Farmer Doug Balsillie and his wonderful wife Lesley are the owners of the Fruit Wagon and Farm in Kingsville. They have a glorious fruit stand surrounded by budding Mums as far as the eye can see. The farm is bussling, yet relaxed, a contradiction in and of itself yet so suiting for the people who own it. Quick witted and laid back, these two are guaranteed to put a smile on your face within the first 5 seconds of meeting.
As a produce lover I was in heaven, and as a science guy Pat was right along side me as we were navigated around the ins and outs of the farm, the apples, and the cider that uses the beautiful brebern apples grown right there.
The farm is home to the renowned fruit wagon, and the adorable Farm Dog Cycles bike rental shop. Here you can grab a fresh snack or lunch and a bike to get you through a lovely tour of the town. Which in the good weather makes for the perfect mode of transportation - you want to get as close to those Lake Erie views as possible!
It was a gorgeous sight and we learned so much within the hour that we toured the farm. The thing that caught me the most though was the massive amount of knowledge and love Doug had for every single piece of produce, every single flower, and each item on the farm in general.
As someone from North Eastern Ontario, I grew up surrounded by farms and a large portion of the people in my high school classes lived on working farms. I always shop at local farmers markets and love being able to eat fresh food straight from the source. The apples we sampled literally were picked in front of our eyes and were grown without the pesticides of mass consumer markets.
But pesticides and chemicals aren’t the only problem these days, did you know that most of the produce you buy from supermarkets are hit with low grade gama rays through a process call irradiation to help prolong the shelf life? This means that we are absorbing this level of gama every day if we are buying our produce from supermarkets. From a health stand point, it’s just awful for us and a great way to remove that from our systems is to eat locally produced foods straight from the source.
… It’s a beautifully captivating and inspiring thing.
Walking through the farm, Hopping Apple cider by Pelee Island Winery in hand, it was so easy to appreciate the care and quality that goes into the production of every batch. Knowing that Doug is hand selecting these apples, knowing that only the best will do here, it was so reassuring. Not to mention, the Hopping Apple was perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day. To think, such gorgeous products such as Hopping Apple and Mousseux de Pomme came from two friends just talking about their own passions … It’s a beautifully captivating and inspiring thing.
The experts have already answered those frequently asked questions for you as well. As you explore the rows of gorgeous apple and pear trees, you’re given helpful insight into the farming practices used here. As a curious traveler, I loved being able to take my time to understand each crop a little more.
We gratefully accepted some apples to go along with our epic and healthy lunches from Green Heart in Kingsville. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, makes Angie a happy healthyfittstrong gal. If you’re looking for catering, meals on the go, or a quick sweetness pick me up (they have the best black bean brownies!), definitely check them out!
Thank you to Lesley and Doug for welcoming us onto their farm, for the gorgeous apples we tasted, and the hospitality.
If you’re visiting Kingsville, I highly recommend taking a moment to visit this farm and Fruit Wagon, you will not be dissappointed, and neither will your stomachs!