Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer Berry/Thunderstorm Adventure

I've been whining a lot lately about getting berries before it's too late. I just can't justify spending $13.99 for a large bag of frozen mixed berries at Metro or Zehr's when I don't know where they have come from, I don't know what has been sprayed on them or what has been put in the soil to help them grow, and I don't know how far they've travelled to make it into my smoothie. Furthermore, they all look the same. They're the same size and the same colour. This isn't natural. So, I had the idea that I would find somewhere local that sold berries exactly how I wanted them. They're not cheap, these berries, but they're oh-so-good. I'd almost forgotten what 'real' berries tasted like.
So, when I finished work this evening, Alex and I headed out to chase a storm and stumbled upon a strawberry shaped sign that read "Marcy's Berries", and off we went.
On the Guelph-Wellington Food map, Marcy's Berry's is #55. Located at 747 Valens Rd., Puslinch, it was a bit far for a Tuesday night in a thunderstorm, but I insisted and Alex folded. It was a good 20 minute drive, but we found the stall, just off the side of the road at the Valens townline. After begging Alex to drive me so far for 2 pints of raspberries and some pictures, I didn't have the heart to ask if they sprayed anything on the precious lode. After tasting each type of raspberry carefully, I settled on one and purchased 2 pints at $4.50/pint. I would email the farm this evening to inquire about their practices (which isn't easy to do, by the way). How does one inquire about such things without sounding accusatory? I should note that Marcy's Berries also sold new potatoes, peas and jams.
I felt guilty that we had driven so far for 2 pints of raspberries. I was just beginning to think of myself as the Carbon Bigfoot of Guelph, when I thought that maybe the trip wouldn't be such a waste if we made some more stops in the area. After looking at the map, I noticed #58, sort of on the way home, at the Flamborough-Puslinch townline. According to the Eat Local Map, Tigchelaar Apples and Berries has a farm gate stall that is self-serve and open all hours. I love these little stands and I love driving in thunderstorms. After another 15 minutes of driving, we located the farm. Much to our dismay, there was no gate stall and it was not open all hours. There was a sign that listed hours of operation. A little dejected, we headed home.
I still really, really want to find somewhere to purchase a ton of berries, enough to freeze for the winter. If anyone has any suggestions for me, please comment here.


  1. I used to get a booklet in the mail when we lived in Guelph. It was a directory for Pick-Your-Own farms in the area. I see that they now have a website: http://www.pickyourown.org/canadaon.htm

    Also, there was a great stall on Hwy 6 south of the 401, that sold fantastic asparagus for a really good price. We used to load up and freeze a bunch. Not sure when asparagus season is though.

  2. A little late, but Knapps country farm is a pick your own berry farm. No spray, organic practices. They have lots of different produce. Beautiful farm. I go and pick strawberries every year to make inot jam and freeze for the winter. Definatly check it out. It's only about 15 minutes out of town, byt Guelph lake, in Eramosa.