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The Village Green and Railway Creek Farms

Rob and I have spring fever to the max and were bummed when we saw the rain today! Our plans of enjoying the great outdoors had to be postponed for another weekend but we couldn’t’ let that ruin our day. Along with the arrival of spring, comes the plans for adding to the “family garden” that will be planted as soon as the threat of frost is no more and the desire to do a better job of supporting local farmers and companies. Grossed out by an article that I read this morning about the addition of steroids and hormones in grocery store meat aka factory farmed meat, it totally convinced us never to buy meat from a grocery store again, because you just never know what you are getting. For the past few years, I have tried very hard to buy grain fed and grass fed meat when possible but it is not always available at the supermarket. This article reconfirmed the fact that the government really does not care about what goes into the food that people eat and we must go beyond the government to regulate what we eat. Read Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma and you will never return to the grocery store for meat yourself. All of this led us to a trip to Gilmour’s Meat Shop in the County to check out their local stock. We purchased a few of the sausages made on site including the Maple and the Rossmore Hot XXX, which we are going to add to a pizza later on tonight. Hopefully they are good! It felt so much better to support a local business but I did still leave with the question, where is all of their meat coming from?

With this question in mind, we switched gears and headed to Foxboro and had planting on our mind as we pulled into The Village Green. ( This store sells heirloom seeds and a huge variety of local goods from honey to soaps to jewellery to literature. You name it they have, but almost every item sold in the store is made by someone that the store owner knows personally! When we went in there we explained to the owner, Karyn Wright, that we were interested in eating locally and how hard we try to support local growers and farmers. She handed us a map created by Harvest Hastings listing all of the farms in the area with all of their specialties listed. She asked what some of our challenges were and we explained that finding local grains was the hardest and she automatically directed us to a mill in Marmora called CIPM Farm that harvests and produces red fife wheat flour, hemp, spelt, oats, and rye! Can’t wait to check this out! Then we also mentioned that finding a good beef connection was tricky because we have tried a few farmer’s meats and they haven’t been that good. At that moment the women, Elly Blanchard, from Railway Creek Farm ( in Marmora walked in, which is Karyn’s direct connection for beef! When she took off her rain coat hood and showed her face, I recognized her right away as the “Garlic Lady” from the Belleville Farmer’s Market. I could never forget the face of someone who grows over a dozen varieties of garlic…she is my idol and I just ran out of her amazing garlic and had to resort to using garlic imported from China, which is just not the same. What are the chances of this to be having a conversation about where to get good beef and in walks the farmer herself! She ran to her car and came back in with her cooler of meat and a basket of garlic. We dove in and bought a few pounds of stew meat and a large handful of garlic! We were so excited. We also bought a bag of coriander seeds to give growing cilantro another go this year as we made the mistake of transplanting it last year and lost it all. Life is too short to be deprived of cilantro!

Karyn did mention that on April 30th, the store, The Village Green, is having a 10th Anniversary party which is going to feature alpacas from OH Alpacas in Stirling, native tree give-aways, marigold seedling give-aways, honey from Twin Sisters and many other exciting events! It is already marked on my calendar! It is going to be a wonderful event and a great way to meet so many local connections!

All in all we had a productive and knowledgeable rainy afternoon. We are so eager for planting season to get here so that we can contribute our part to making the world more sustainable, but in the meantime the next best thing is to support those who can provide sustainable goods now!

1 comment:

  1. Gtretchen- wonderful blog!
    And you are SO right, life IS too short to be deprived of cilantro. I love it almost as much as basil and eat it with almost anything (I put handfuls onto avocado sandwiches!)
    I'm looking forward to more posts, and to reading your past ones as well! Bravo!