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 d├ęcor 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!