Last week, I had an opportunity to visit South Pond Farms in Bethany, Ontario with some other bloggers from the Toronto area. South Pond Farms is a popular spot for weddings and events and is about a half hour from Durham Region and a little over an hour from Toronto.
It’s a place that I’ve been familiar with and have always wanted to visit, so naturally I was extremely excited once I received the invite! To my surprise, I learned that the farm is actually open to the public on Tuesdays and that they also host weekly events and workshops that anyone can sign up for! (More on that later.) I was extremely happy when I found out that they can always accommodate us gluten-free folk.
Once our group arrived at the farm, we were greeted immediately as we stepped off the bus with drinks. I’m not 100% sure what it was entirely made of, (aside from strawberries, pictured above) but it was so refreshing and fruity. I was instantly hooked.
We met the owner, Danielle, who told us the most captivating story about how she came to own such a magical place and how it transformed into what it is today. She moved to the farm from the city, created “Farm Flavours” – a small business where she sold weekly food baskets, word of mouth caught on and eventually she had people knocking on her door asking if she did weddings. South Pond Farms was then born and it has just continued to grow from there!
We also met two pups, Lillie and Molly, (priorities, am I right?), who followed us around all day!
We then headed inside the restored barn to partake in a floral arranging workshop, lead by Danielle! Turns out, flower arranging is a bit harder than it looks but we all got the hang of it pretty quickly.
After the workshop, we headed back outside to the stone oven where we watched the resident baker create honey & goat cheese pizza. So simple, yet so delicious. (And visually appealing!) They even have their own honey bees. We chatted a bit more about the farm and went on a brief tour of the grounds and saw the cabin which can be booked for overnight accommodations for guests and sleeps up to 8 people. From there, lunch was served so we headed back inside the barn, where the most delicious chilled carrot dill soup was waiting for us.
Chef Brian, also gave us the recipe for the soup! I’ve already made it myself, it’s that good. I was also extremely excited for the homemade, fresh out of the oven, gluten free bread they had made me – you guys, I’m not even exaggerating, it was the best gluten free bread I have ever had. (And I’ve tried a lot of gluten free bread!)
The main course was served; ham, homemade spicy mustard, grilled potatoes and snow peas and their signature coleslaw. The mustard, much like the gluten free bread, was the best mustard I have ever tasted. Chef Brian then came out and told us a little bit more about the meal and how they prepare food. We learned that everything they serve if it’s not grown on right on the farm, they source it within a 70km radios – including meat! We all know I love supporting local businesses and farmers, so I was extremely happy when I heard that.
For desert, the non-gluten-free folk enjoyed homemade butter tarts, which I was a little jealous until I tasted my homemade ice cream and fruit syrup. It was kind of amazing. (And inspired me to go strawberry picking the following weekend!)
We then learned that Danielle also sells pre-packaged products online, including jams, syrups, gourmet salts, gift baskets and more. (For all you Caesar lovers out there, there is a pretty killer Caesar Set.) Her packaging is absolutely gorgeous, and she then surprised us all with little gift bags filled with her Strawberry Rhubarb Compote and one of her gourmet salt bottles! I’ve already used both and will definitely be ordering more in the future.
As I mentioned, South Pond Farms offers tons of weekly events and workshops such as pizza making, bread baking, art in the fields, high tea, preserves workshops, spice blending, ancient grains and herbs, whiskey tasting, meat + beer, culturally themed culinary experiences and so much more! I’m personally eager to go to the painting and wine night and the welcome harvest event.
It honestly was such a magical day and I can’t wait to go back and am already planning my next visit! If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Snapchat (teacups.things) to get the inside scoop on events like this while they’re happening! Be sure to check out the South Pond Farms blog too for more amazing stories from the farm.