Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Post About Parties

It's December 1st and the invitations are already rolling in. You're invited to a plethora of holiday parties with work colleagues, neighbours, family, friends - wow, you're popular! With a tight social calendar you might need some help from the Springridge elves!

Glitz and Glam from the Gift Loft
Adorn yourself with faux diamonds from our Gift Loft! Our modestly priced costume jewellery will add sparkle to any little black dress. The crystal beaded cuff bracelet is our top pick for the season - perfect for taking you from daytime Christmas shopping to holiday-happy hour crantinis! Looking for a practical party accessory? We have a stylish selection of purses and handbags with a little somethin'-somethin' like colourful satin materials, beads and bling! We also have a dazzling collection of necklaces, earrings and brooches in winter designs.

Holiday Host
The invites are piling up but you're hosting a Christmas party of your own too! We are a one-stop-shop for everything appetizer to dessert. One of our easiest and most delicious appetizers is Raincoast crackers with brie cheese and roasted garlic red pepper jelly. For another palate pleasing hors d'oeuvre you can bake our frozen sausage rolls (cut into 1 inch pieces) and drizzle raspberry honey mustard over them before serving. For a main course, we have gourmet quiches, lasagna and savory meat pies in our frozen section. And for dessert, a platter of freshly baked gingerbread cookies. Voila, dinner a la Springridge Farm!

Don't be a Grinch Guest
We all know it's etiquette to bring something to the host or hostess of a party. Our staff is ready to help you select the perfect hostess gift! We can add some holiday cheer to a bottle of wine with a glass elf wine stopper - or pair your regular paper napkins with a Spode cheese knife set in their traditional Christmas tree pattern. For a host: we recommend our beer can chicken roasting set (sure to score you an invitation again next year!).

Party on!

Springridge closes for the season December 24 at noon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Save the date! Mr. Claus is making his first stop of the season, right here in Milton.

For one weekend only on November 12 & 13, Santa is helping us kick-off our Christmas activities. Bring your letter for Santa and your camera because he's here to visit and take some jolly old photos with families in our party room.

Christmas activities continue every weekend until December 10 & 11, 10am-4pm. Join us at the farm and make a Springridge memory painting a glass ball ornament or decorating a freshly baked gingerbread cookie.

Our barn is all decked out with holiday home décor, ornaments, gifts, gourmet foods and gift baskets. Fraser Fir Christmas trees are available mid-November.

Once you've selected the perfect tree to take home, we want you to decorate it in style! So, we present to you our top 5 tips for making your Christmas tree shine.

1. Immediately place your tree in water and remember to water it throughout the holiday season. Let the branches open up and settle before decorating. Your tree will look full and have a naturally healthy glow!

2. Use LED lights. Make your tree radiant with energy efficient lights that last longer and don’t burn out like regular incandescent bulbs.

3. Add a little sparkle – we have glittery ornaments, picks and decorative balls available in our gift shop. Dress up a traditional tree with several ornaments that stand out!

4. Adorn your tree with sinamay. We have a wonderful selection of colours so you can use this crafter's fabric to create a theme or go wild!

5. Keep your tree shining by using it as kindling when Christmas is over.

Visit us for ideas and inspiration for entertaining and gift-giving this holiday season.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins

Picture this: it’s an eerie Halloween night. The fog is rolling into Milton off the Niagara Escarpment. In the distance a coyote howls. You’re getting the kids ready to go out trick-or-treating. You gaze up at the dark October sky and the moon looks exactly like… a pumpkin you got at Springridge Farm!

For the first time ever, we are featuring Full Moon Pumpkins! These white pumpkins are as big and bright as the moon and will surely eclipse all other pumpkins on your neighbourhood block!

Now in stock:
Orange pumpkins – great for Jack-o-lanterns
Red warty thing
Prize winner

One of our favourite ideas for carving pumpkins this fall is ‘the Twinkle Pumpkin’. This idea will add sparkle to your Thanksgiving décor or light the way along your porch stairs at Halloween. First select pie pumpkins or jack-o-lantern style pumpkins from Springridge Farm. Cut an opening around the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and guts. Next, use a drill to make holes 1-2 inches apart around the entire pumpkin. Place candle inside and admire the Twinkle!

It’s no secret that Martha Stewart has some of the most creative ideas for celebrating holidays. Get inspired by her pumpkin carving photo gallery.

We are certainly passionate about pumpkins at the farm! This month, our bakery is featuring homemade pumpkin pies and tarts as well as our famous pumpkin face cookies! And the pumpkin doesn’t stop there…we have a delectable selection of pumpkin butters in our gourmet department.

In fact, we love pumpkins so much we’re celebrating this season’s crop at our annual Harvest Festival! Activities include wagon ride, 5-acre corn trail, Boo Barn, face painting, professional puppet show and access to the Fun Farm Yard including our new 40ft pipe slide. Harvest Festival takes place every weekend in October, including Thanksgiving Monday, 10am-4pm.

Springridge Farm is the ultimate destination for pumpkins this fall.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Drive by for a Pie

What did one old apple pie say to the other?
You’re getting a little too crusty!

At Springridge, pies are no joking matter! We make our pastry from scratch, fill it with the most delicious fruit and carefully hand-flute the edges before baking a perfect golden brown crust. Many of our recipes have been passed along from generation to generation on the farm.

September is all about bridging the gap between summer and fall and we’re filling this month with homemade apple crumble! It has a traditional pie shell bottom with a sweet crumble top and it’s our very own version of the satisfying, comforting, old-fashioned dessert.

Oh me oh my, we love pie! We asked some of our staff what their favourite Springridge pie is and everyone had a different one in mind! Sarah chose peach raspberry, Palma selected our classic apple pie, Kathy thought no one could beat our cherry recipe, June loves the spring-like taste of strawberry-rhubarb and Sandy is anticipating pumpkin pie!

Our pumpkin pie is made with a special blend of spices and will be available in the bakery early this month. We recommend a dollop of whipped cream and several forks for sharing! This pie is a true symbol of the harvest season.

Freshly pressed apple cider and apples are already in store. Our barn is brimming with new fall merchandise. Soon enough we’ll have all shapes and sizes of pumpkins available in our barn market as well as potted garden Mums. This could only lead us to one thing: HARVEST FESTIVAL!

This year’s festival kicks off September 24/25 and continues every weekend in October, including Thanksgiving Monday. Join us for tractor-drawn wagon rides to a 5-acre corn trail, face painting, Boo Barn, professional puppet show and fall family activities in the Fun Farm Yard.

Come celebrate good food, good fun and good pumpkins with us!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Make Your STAYCATION Sizzle

Does mid-summer leave you dreaming about that European vacation or relaxing week at a cottage rental you never booked?! While a ‘staycation’ fits any budget, the dog days of summer can be hot and long. Here’s a list of our best suggestions of how to make your staycation sizzle!

Entertain Your Brood

Let your kids rule the roost in the Fun Farm Yard! Rocky, our resident fowl, invites you to come and visit him! You can race on the pedal tractors or hike up to the lookout and see if you can spot the CN tower. Plus, Rocky will show you all around the Animal Barn and introduce you to his best goat friends!

Day Trip

Pick up a copy of Ron Brown’s book, ‘Top 100 Unusual Things to see in Ontario’ from our farm shoppe and choose your own adventure. The book outlines locations that are easy to get to from city centers as well as some for more serious explorers. Say goodbye to expensive plane tickets and visit Ontario’s Stonehenge, Ontario’s Taj Mahal or North America’s longest wooden bridge!

Backyard Beautification

Since you’ve had all the time in the world to hang out in your backyard during your staycation, you must have noticed that bare spot in the corner of your garden or the empty table on the patio. A summer at home is the perfect excuse to spruce up your backyard. We have a wonderful selection of garden statuary (for whimsical, rustic or modern gardens), lanterns to brighten your evening entertaining and trinkets that will add charm and character to your outdoor space.

Eat Local

We addressed the importance of eating local foods in our July blog, but August is a bountiful month for fresh fruits and veggies! Visit our barn market for peaches, corn, blueberries, everbearing strawberries and early apples (call ahead for availability). Farmers' markets are a great place to find fresh summer produce like sweet corn. Collect your harvest and try grilling corn on the BBQ. Pull away a few outer layers of the husk, grill for 20 minutes rotating the cob, peel the rest of the husk, butter up and enjoy!

Tour the Country (Roads)

Take a self-guided bike tour of the country roads in Milton! See the farms, landscape and wildlife as you wind around the back roads of the Escarpment. Make sure you put on the breaks as you whiz down the hill on Bell School Line and stop in for a refreshing drink and a seasonal fruit muffin!

Friday, July 1, 2011

From Our Own Backyard

We are looking forward to all of the local, seasonal foods Ontario has to offer over the summer! At Springridge, we can’t get much more ‘local’ than enjoying the strawberries grown right in our own backyard on Bell School Line. Even though strawberry season is winding down for us in July, we hope our Springridge friends will continue to 'eat local'.

Over the next few months, Farmer John and Farmer Tom will keep our barn market stocked with the freshest produce, grown in Ontario, by some of their farming friends. The first sweet peas of the season are now available in our market and soon we will have sour cherries, sweet cherries, new potatoes, raspberries, blueberries, peaches and corn.

In celebration of local food, we are hosting an Evening with Lynn Ogryzlo, culinary expert and author of The Ontario Table. With a background in Niagara’s wine industry, Lynn has shared her knowledge as a food, wine and travel writer. She has developed more than 1400 recipes devoted to local and seasonal food. Her latest book, The Ontario Table is more than a cookbook; it is an agricultural journey designed to introduce you to the people, food and culture of Ontario’s local food.

Lynn Ogryzlo will also highlight her Buy, Eat, Drink and Think Local Challenge. She is rallying for consumers to adjust their shopping habits and make an effort to spend just $10 of their grocery budget on local food each week. This will lead to an influx of money staying in our own communities.

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, July 13 from 5:30pm-8:00pm for an evening of hors d’oeuvres featuring local, seasonal farm foods, special guest Elizabeth Baird - Food Editor Emeritus of Canadian Living, after hours shopping and an exclusive book talk and signing. RSVP to as space is limited.

We are also welcoming our friends from A Taste of Burlington at the event. This summer they are focusing on local food promotion and encouraging restaurants to include Ontario ingredients on their menus. This summer’s A Taste of Burlington is taking place from July 18 – August 1 and is a wonderful opportunity to sample some of Burlington’s finest restaurants that help make the city a growing culinary destination. Look for the ‘Eat Local’ logo on menus.

Click here for A Taste of Burlington event flyer.

Eat local all year ‘round! Try freezing or preserving your Springridge strawberries so you can enjoy them in the depths of winter. Just hull the berries, place whole on a cookie sheet and freeze. Package quickly and return to freezer. Or try Foodland Ontario’s recipe for Freezer Strawberry Jam.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Berry Blog II

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s not even time for the kids to go back to school yet! It’s BERRY SEASON! With all the cool, rainy weather we’ve been having, the strawberries are taking their time out in the field. We’re expecting this year’s crop to be ripe, juicy and ready for picking mid-late June.

Here’s a list of our best strawberry picking tips:

• Call ahead for Farmer John’s daily crop report! We’ll let you know the picking conditions and we’ll post updates on our website, Facebook and Twitter too.

• We’re sure hoping to see the sun a whole lot more in June! Sunscreen, water and a hat are must-have items for your day in the strawberry field.

• The fields are open 9am-4pm and the farm closes at 5pm daily. We suggest coming in the morning when both the temperature and the fruit are cooler.

• We have wooden baskets available for picking or you are welcome to bring your own container from home.

• Look for plump, firm, fully red berries to pick. They taste the best with whipped cream!

• The price of our pick-your-own berries is determined by weight at the end of your berry picking adventure! This year's price is set at $2.75/lb.

• If you’re not the strawberry pickin’ type – we will have a selection of ready-picked berries in our farm market. It can be just as much fun to pick your perfect berries from a fruit table!

• Keep your berries cool; enjoy or freeze.

Try something new in your summer kitchen! We’ve gathered a few of our favourite strawberry recipes from some of our farm friends!

1. Fresh off our special Evening with Lucy Waverman, we’re keen to try her Strawberry Salsa and Goat Cheese Bruschetta. This savory, sweet appetizer is a refreshing twist on traditional bruschetta and a perfect accompaniment for outdoor entertaining!

2. Elizabeth Baird’s recipe for Strawberry Melon Soup with Mint is sure to add coolness to a summer lunch. The soup can be prepared ahead of time and chilled for up to 24 hours.

3. Foodland Ontario has a wealth of delicious strawberry recipes on their website and they’ve merged two of our favourite things: strawberries and grilling! Serve Grilled Ontario Strawberries as a side dish with chicken or pork.

We’d also like to share with you the ultimate Springridge Strawberry Pavlova recipe! We served this delightful dessert at a special luncheon for local food connoisseurs last strawberry season and it received rave reviews!

See you in the fields.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Shopping News

We are in full swing at the farm and this season we are featuring many new and exciting product lines! Next time you visit us, look for these fabulous food and gift items in the barn.

Saigon Soul Food: You’ll definitely recognize their Spring Rolls from the Milton Market! Their tasty Vietnamese appetizers and stews are prepared locally in Hamilton using the freshest produce and legumes. Try the Curry Chicken Stew over a bed of rice or serve your guests their specialty Chicken Curry Delights. Saigon Soul Food also offers Gluten Free Spring Rolls and several sauces to accompany the Asian treats.

Pavlo Pottery: Located in Rockton, Pavlo creates his functional pieces using a traditional potter’s wheel. One of the most interesting items in his collection is the wine chiller with tumbler glasses that have indents to fit your finger grip! Sipping from the wine tumblers will have you feeling like you’re soaking up the sun in a rustic vineyard. Pavlo’s pottery collection also includes salad bowls, salsa dishes, pickle trays and mugs.

Trudeau Acrylic Tableware: Perfect for the patio or poolside entertaining, the high quality acrylic tableware is a seasonal must-have item. Available in wine, tumbler, rocks glass and pitcher, it’s easy to imagine enjoying a refreshing lemonade and outdoor summer living! For those people that stand by glassware, there is a new line of elegant water, champagne, martini and wine glasses available too.

Wicked Gourmet: With the philosophy ‘you don’t know how good our product is until you taste it’, Wicked Gourmet products are certainly worth trying in your kitchen! Their sauces, rubs, dips and spreads are prepared in Oakville with a focus on flavor and customer satisfaction. You may have sampled Wicked Gourmet at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto and now we are excited to be a Wicked retailer!

Books: Springridge has become a destination for culinary books and books of interest. New in the shop is The Canadian Living: Barbecue Collection. This book contains the best barbecue recipes from the Canadian Living kitchen. Recipes for shrimp to corn on the cob to pizza will surely shake up your summer grilling. Also new to Springridge is How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack. This is a fun gift for a green thumb or makes for perfect reading in your backyard gazebo!

In other news: Springridge Farm presents an Evening with Lucy Waverman. RSVP to to join us for an evening of gourmet food, book signing and shopping! Spaces are limited.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring into Springridge

We are ready to open for the 2011 season! April is one of the most exciting months at the farm: nice weather is on its way, pansies are blooming and baby chicks are peeping.

Opening day is Friday, April 8 and the barn will be brimming with seasonal and garden décor. After a long winter’s nap, anticipation is building for the first pie of the season.

Join us for a hopping good time on Easter weekend! We are celebrating Easter at our annual Easter Festival taking place on Good Friday, Saturday and Sunday (April 22, 23, 24). Activities include a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny, egg hunt, face-painting, ‘Peter Rabbit’s Eggcellent Easter Show’ professional puppet show, bunny ears to colour and wear, wagon ride and farm tour and access to the Fun Farm Yard.

We are also delighted to announce our new limited edition preserve, Royal Wedding Marmalade. The traditional orange marmalade includes a celebratory splash of champagne to toast the Royal Couple! We know the GTA has lots of Royal observers and we’ve gathered a list of must-have Springridge items for hosting your own Royal Wedding Par-tea on the big day:

Scone mix – A freshly baked scone is the staple to every proper tea party. This traditional British bread is a key component in Cream Tea (scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream). We offer a variety of scone mixes fit for a Queen!

Loyal Royal Biscuits – We are featuring an exclusive, hand-decorated Union Jack cookie! We’re pretty sure they serve these at Buckingham Palace…

Royal Tea – Why not invite William, Kate, Harry, Charles and Camilla to your event? We have tea bags featuring the Royal Family and other British icons available in our gift shop!

Regal China – Serve your partygoers on the finest china with our collection of Royal Wedding inspired mugs, plates and teapots!

Princess Tiara – Channel your best Kate Middleton and feel like a princess in your very own tiara. This is the perfect accessory to wear to a Royal Wedding Party and we have a beautiful selection in our Gift Loft.

Coffee Table Book – While you’re watching the wedding live on television, your guests can flip through the romantic book, “William & Kate: A Royal Love Story”. It’s better than a harlequin romance…it’s the greatest love story of the century!

Par-tea Favours – A jar of Royal Wedding Marmalade makes a wonderful parting gift. Your guests can re-live the memories of the wedding on their toast every morning.

The Fun Farm Yard welcomes royalty and commoners. See you soon!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday

If your little farmer or farmette has a birthday coming up you might want to consider joining us for a big barnyard bash! We’re already taking bookings for the upcoming season's farm birthday parties!

With all the different party choices out there, what makes Springridge an ideal place for your child’s celebration?

Spend the day outside without ruining your own lawn! Partygoers will play in and explore the Fun Farm Yard, which features corn trails, straw bale jumping, pipe slides, web climber and giant sandbox. Hike up to the Lookout and learn about local landmarks.

Have a blast mastering the pedal tractor track! This exciting activity has everyone smiling as they zoom around straw bales on mini-tractors!

We’ll take everyone on a farm tour wagon ride! Enjoy scenic views of the Niagara Escarpment while the children find out how we grow strawberries and pumpkins.

Save your own pet from being poked by a roomful of kids, as we will pay a visit to the Animal Barn! Everyone can observe the chickens, rabbits, pigeons, turkeys, peacocks and goats. Children even get to collect a real egg from the chicken coop.

The kids will get creative with decorating their own basket for collecting chicken eggs. They will also make a birthday mural for the birthday child.

Party hosts will lead the pack so you get to enjoy the party too! Each party is hosted by an enthusiastic and experienced high-school student who will make sure everything runs smoothly for you.

When you book a birthday at the farm your package includes a pizza party! Lunch is a personal size cheese pizza, apple juice and delicious birthday cupcake!

So what are you going to encounter at the farm that’s not listed in our birthday party rundown?

1. You could have the chance for a meet and greet with Farmer John! John is like a celebrity at Springridge and he'd love to chat with you about growing the perfect strawberry.

2. On a clear day you can Eye Spy the CN Tower from the Lookout!

3. Get the real farm experience by practicing milking Bessie the Plywood Cow!

Watch an overview of Springridge Farm Birthday Parties!

For more information or to book your farm birthday party call Kim (905) 878-4908 M-F, 8:30-4:30.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter Wonderment

Do you ever wonder what is happening when we are closed for the winter? Here’s your inside look at what we’re up to from January-April!

While we have no customers visiting us right now, we have plenty of wildlife stopping by because it’s so quiet in the Fun Farm Yard. Almost like a page out of Matthew and the Midnight Turkeys, Farmer John spied 15 wild turkeys wandering the land last week! He has also seen coyotes catching mice, foxes with beautiful coats, deer nibbling on strawberry leaves and a variety of birds at the feeders.

All of our resident animals from the Animal Barn have moved away from the farm and into a warm winter barn. We just received a postcard from Rocky and he is under good care, enjoying his all-inclusive vacation!

Our bees are covered with insulation blankets for winter protection. They have a low level of activity over the winter but lots of honey from which they get their energy. With 100,000 bees in a hive, they are certainly keeping warm!

Even the strawberries get special attention in the winter! They are in their “senesce” stage (deep sleep) and covered with 6” of loosely packed straw to reduce temperature fluctuation. We will start to roll the straw off in early April.

Our buying team is off to the Spring 2011 CGTA Show in Toronto this week. They are searching for new home décor items in the latest trends! We’re looking forward to accenting in pink, expanding our Canadian-made products and emphasizing our nautical section!

The first spring merchandise has already arrived in our receiving department. We have wonderful garden items including cast iron hooks and acrylic patio dishes as well as some festive Easter treasures.

The Springridge kitchen is busy with traditional jam production. Our 3-person team makes jam the old fashioned way with no preservatives. They use a stainless steel kettle and a wooden jam paddle. At the end of the winter, the jam team autographs the paddle and we keep it as a memory of the labor that went into this year’s batch.

Our home-made jam is poured, lidded and labeled by hand. Springridge jam is truly a craft to create.

We have just announced our special, limited edition ROYAL WEDDING MARMALDE. This celebratory orange marmalade has a splash of champagne to salute the Royal couple and will be available when we reopen in April.

In the meantime, we are setting out on a mission to deliver the marmalade to Prince William and Kate Middleton in time for the wedding! We are rallying for our community to become involved and help us. If you know a friend of a friend of Prince Harry or can make sure Stephen Harper takes a jar on the big day, we need your help with sending along this token of Canadian well-wishes!

Our farm office is now taking bookings for School Tours and Birthday Parties. Call Kim (905) 878-4908 to get your first choice of dates!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year in Review

2010 marked the celebration of 50 Years on the Farm for Springridge! Our special year was filled with wonderful memories. We became connected on social media, began a new author event series and rejoiced in every season with our visitors! Last spring, the weather had Farmer John harvesting one of our earliest crops of strawberries ever; yet the fields were still producing beautiful day-neutral berries into the wee hours of autumn.

We hope you enjoyed your year with us! Now let’s reminisce about our farm favourites from the past year!

Best Use of a Musical Instrument at the Farm:
Bagpiper at our first annual Halloween Parade during Harvest Festival

Favourite Addition to the Fun Farm Yard:
The ultra-cool double pipe slide

Most Fun with Local Moms:
Girls Night Out on the Farm with Kathy Buckworth

Best Introduction of a Canadian Product:
Wine Planks

Hottest Hostess Gift:
The Brie Baker by Wildly Delicious

Most Honorable Farm Guest:
Elizabeth Baird at Springridge Farm Presents: An Evening with Elizabeth Baird

Best Creation to come out of the Springridge Kitchen:
Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Jam

Favourite Farm Partnership on Twitter:
Our summer contest with @HerrlesMarket

Best Question Asked in the Strawberry Fields:
Are these Ontario grown strawberries?

Spookiest Specialty Pumpkin of the Year:
The Peanut

Most Likely to Rustle some Feathers in 2011:
Rocky the Rooster

Customer Favourites:
@rlr2 on Twitter votes for our granola!
@Kelly_Balance on Twitter votes for anything baked with our strawberries!
Melissa on Facebook loves our famous pumpkin-face cookies!

From the Springridge Family to yours, Happy New Year and all the best for 2011!