Toronto - July 21, 2021 - On a warm, sunny Monday morning I took a drive to Milton to visit a much anticipated farm that I have been awaiting opening for the season. I however was not prepared for the beauty I was about to witness as I made my way to Springridge Farm. Travelling north of Derry Road on Bell School Line, I turned left into the farm’s driveway. I was taken aback by the breadth of the barn and the atmosphere that surrounded it. Rolling green hills with small mountains in the distance, fields of produce, and an expansive area where you can tell horses and children once played (pre Covid times) - I felt like Ontario was a place far, far away. Despite the farm looking like a extraordinary destination, I was delighted to be accompanied by several couples and families doing their Monday morning shopping.
Walking towards the barn where the farm market is held, I was greeted by a lovely woman standing at the entrance. I exchanged a hello and a few words about my awe, then made my way inside. The interior had a feeling of a 19th century market, and was lined with aisles and shelves of different items. Displays were set up around the expansive market boasting fresh seasonal produce, preserves, honey, sauces and dressings, and delicious fine foods ready to take home and enjoy. For over 35 years the farmers have been turning their harvest into preserves. Their preserves are made from scratch, in small batches, in their farm kitchen using only the finest ingredients. I was also delighted to see meats from one of my favourites, Thatcher Farms, sitting amidst their fine foods section.
Towards the back of the market also stands their bakery where they have been making famous pies and tarts for over 50 years. The quality of their baked goods is spectacular judging by the line up of people at the bakery counter. All that sparkles can also be found upstairs in their loft boutique. The boutique brings together a beautiful collection of jewellery, accessories & other fashion finds.
Springridge Farm is owned and operated by the Hughes family. The Hughes have been fruit farming for six generations (over 100 years). Leslie and Isobel Jane Hughes purchased this farm in 1960 when their farm in Mississauga was sold for development. When John and Laura got married and moved to Springridge to take over the farm after Leslie’s passing, it seemed there was no future in growing and selling wholesale sour cherries. John, a graduate of Horticulture at the University of Guelph, began working in the flower industry with the Ministry of Agriculture. In 1974 and 1975, their daughters Sarah and Amy were born. Now at home taking care of her daughters, Laura thought she would open the farm to the public with pick-your-own cherries. People came and picked, but mostly wanted to see inside the 19th century bank barn. Since then, Springridge has listened to what customers are interested in experiencing and have gradually added to the business.
To learn more about Springridge Farm and the family behind the operation, visit their website.