Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Twelve Days of Springridge

To the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the first day of Christmas Springridge gave to me a rooster in a fir tree.

On the second day of Christmas Springridge gave to me two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the third day of Christmas Springridge gave to me three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas Springridge gave to me four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas Springridge gave to me five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas Springridge gave to me six chickens laying, five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas Springridge gave to me seven bees a buzzing, six chickens laying, five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas Springridge gave to me eight schools a touring, seven bees a buzzing, six chickens laying, five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas Springridge gave to me nine ladies shopping, eight schools a touring, seven bees a buzzing, six chickens laying, five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas Springridge gave to me ten lords a-quing, nine ladies shopping, eight schools a touring, seven bees a buzzing, six chickens laying, five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas Springridge gave to me eleven bakers baking, ten lords a-quing, nine ladies shopping, eight schools a touring, seven bees a buzzing, six chickens laying, five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas Springridge gave to me twelve farmers farming, eleven bakers baking, ten lords a-quing, nine ladies shopping, eight schools a touring, seven bees a buzzing, six chickens laying, five wagon rides, four cherry jams, three fruit pies, two sandbox lunches and a rooster in a fir tree.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Santa Can You Hear Me?

November 1st signifies the ultimate switch of seasons for us at the farm. As we’re packing away all things pumpkin, we’re preparing for parties and presents and everything North Pole!

It’s also the first day of gingerbread cookies in our bakery! Did you know the first recorded trade of gingerbread cookies dates back to monasteries, pharmacies and town square farmers’ markets in the 16th century? The tradition of baking gingerbread is simple, but adds a certain whimsy to the season.  We are honoured to bring Grandma Hughes’ recipe to our on-farm market every November.

This year, Santa Claus is taking time out of his hectic schedule to spend FOUR weekends with us at the farm! Mingle and jingle with the big man at our Christmas Open House with Santa on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18 from 10am-4pm. This is a wonderful photo opportunity as you can take photos with Santa in our party room.

Beginning the weekend of Christmas Open House and continuing every weekend until December 9, Mr. Claus will be at Springridge to spread his jolly holiday spirit!

Christmas activities during these weekends include:
Make a Springridge Farm memory painting a glass ornament - $5
Decorate a freshly baked gingerbread cookie - $5

Bring your Christmas shopping list too! Our fantastic and festive selection of ornaments, decorations, giftware, gourmet items, baking and gift baskets await you. This month we’re also introducing our brand new Springridge Farm gift card…just in time for gift-giving season!

Ho Ho Hope to see you soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Turkey Time

It’s just about time to snap the turkey wishbone and reflect on all the things you’re grateful for this year. At our farm table, we often give thanks to things like the weather, harvest, staff and all the visitors we’ve shared memories with.

As we move toward Thanksgiving weekend we hope that we can help you and your family celebrate in some small way. Here’s a list of Springridge Thanksgiving must-haves that will make your turkey dinner go down just a little more smoothly!

1. Cranberry Orange Sauce – This homemade sauce is the perfect accompaniment to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Equally sweet and tart, this sauce will make turkey time all the more tasty! Farmer John says it tastes just as good on a left-over turkey sandwich the next day.

2. Pumpkin Butter – Turn ordinary turnip and squash into a festive side dish. This spread has hints of warm, seasonal flavours like maple syrup, vanilla and brown sugar. Try it on toast, bagels, English muffins or ice cream too!

3. Cookbooks – Find a new recipe to indulge in this fall. Our cookbook selection is ever-expanding and we recommend hunkering down and learning the art of using a slow cooker or making pasta sauce from scratch.

4. Seasonal Décor – Romance the season with rich colours and unique decorative accents for your Thanksgiving table. Fill your cornucopia with vibrant gourds available in our Barn Market. Create your own centre piece by hollowing out a pie pumpkin and placing a bouquet of fresh flowers or a small mum plant inside. Bring all the scents of autumn inside your home with cranberry or pumpkin candles.

5. Homemade Pie - What makes the perfect pie? We think it’s using fresh, local ingredients, a golden crust, a little sugar and the love of baking. For some people, “making the perfect pie” involves a visit to our bakery!

We’re delighted to be a part of so many Thanksgiving dinners.

Gobble gobble.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fallridge Farm

Give your front porch a blast of fall colour with Springridge Farm’s harvest season garden mums. When selecting the perfect pot of mums to take home, make sure you choose one with tiny buds so you can enjoy the explosion of colour in your garden…plus they’ll last longer too! Keep your mum plants watered and they’ll surely last right through the season.

Our hardy mums are a great size for filling a large outdoor urn, especially if you include some tall grasses for height. We also have purple fountain grass, corn stalks and straw bales available for turning your porch into an autumn oasis.

As the month of October approaches, it’s fun to start adding some gourds and pumpkins into your outdoor décor. Springridge harvests a wide variety of pumpkins including the ghost, tomato, goosebump, pie, Cinderella and the traditional orange jack-o-lantern.

Celebrate the pumpkin crop at our annual Harvest Festival taking place every weekend beginning September 22 through to October 28, including Thanksgiving Monday.

Harvest Festival provides fun for the whole family with wagon rides to a giant corn trail, professional puppet show, spooky Boo Barn and the Fun Farm Yard. Admission is $10 per person, ages 2-92.

This year’s festival is kicking off with a special event with Food Network Canada celebrity chef, Michael Smith. On Saturday, September 22 from 2-4pm Michael Smith will be at the farm for an exclusive book talk and signing and to celebrate the release of his brand new cookbook, Fast Flavours: 110 Simple Speedy Recipes. RSVP as space is limited.

Romance the season with rich colours and unique decorative accents for inside your home. Springridge Farm has a fantastic fall selection of new wall art, wreaths, candles, botanicals, lanterns, throws, pillows, giftware and more. You can always count on Springridge for ideas about dressing up your Thanksgiving table too!

Gobble Gobble...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Join the Springridge Farm Team

Springridge Farm is recruiting for the Fall Season!

We are searching for outstanding people to become a part of our dynamic team.
Have you always dreamed about working with us?
Do you know someone that’s a perfect fit for the farm?
Apply today to join the Springridge family!

We are now accepting applications in the following areas:

Harvest Festival Event Staff – you have a passion for pumpkins, excellent customer service skills and are available to work weekends

School Tour Guides – you are a natural leader, enjoy working with children and are available to work weekdays

Food Service – you are excited about local food, have excellent customer service skills and are available full time weekdays/weekends, part time weekdays/weekends or weekends

Retail Sales – you love the Springridge Farm brand and home décor, have excellent customer service skills and are available to work weekends

Wondering what it's like to work at the farm? Here are some words our staff use to describe their experience here:

Wordle: FarmWordle

If you think this sounds like an exciting opportunity, fill out an online application now!
Feel free to share our information with friends, family and neighbours.

Adult Application

Student Application

We thank all applicants for their interest. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

School's Out for Summer

The end of a school year signals so many fun things: vacations, staycations, swimming pools, keeping cool, fresh fruit pies and wagon rides.

If you're planning on spending your summer days in the Springridge Fun Farm are the top 5 reasons why a season pass is a great option:

-you visit the Fun Farm Yard more than 5 times a season (you will save $!)
-you live close by
-you have small children or a busy family that can only stay for short visits
-you love fresh air and exploring outside
-you are looking for a fun, educational, safe place to spend an afternoon

An individual season pass is $20 and a family pass for 4 is $70. See Judy, Donna or June at our admission booth for more information.

The month of July also means that summer fruit is in season! Freshly picked raspberries, blueberries and sweet peas are available in the Barn Market.

Did you know that 1.3 million pounds of raspberries are harvested in Ontario each year? According to our friends at Foodland Ontario, that's enough raspberries to make 1.7 million tarts! Both raspberries and blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C and fibre.

Sweet peas are best eaten as soon as they are picked! Grab a bag and shell them on your patio on a hot summer evening. Try them in our light, flavourful recipe for Summer Sweet Pea Quiche:

1 9-inch single crust pastry shell
3/4 cup Ontario sweet peas (shelled)
1 cup grated Ontario swiss cheese
2 tbsp Ontario chives or 1 green onion, chopped
4 Ontario eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
2 tbsp Springridge Farm Lemon Dill Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium-sized pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add peas and cook for just 30 seconds. Drain immediately into a colander and transfer peas to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set their colour. Once cool, drain peas thoroughly. Spread mustard over bottom of pie shell. Add grated swiss cheese, peas, and sprinkle with chives or green onions. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper. Pour over quiche (you may not need all of the egg mixture – don’t worry). Set quiche on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake in preheated 375F oven for about 40-50 minutes or until puffed and set in the centre. Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Berry Blog III

The most anticipated, mouthwatering, magical season at Springridge Farm is just around the corner!

Strawberries will be available freshly picked and ready to go in the Barn Market beginning the weekend of June 2, 2012.

Our kitchen team loves to bake with strawberries too! They are making our traditional strawberry custard pies and tarts as well as sweet strawberry muffins.

And boy do we love the smell of strawberry muffins in the oven! We have two options for making fresh strawberry muffins at home. For the culinary armatures among us, pick-up a package of Springridge Farm Strawberry Muffin Mix! The only kitchen skills required are adding chopped Springridge strawberries, mixing by hand and baking!

For the more adventurous, we suggest our delicious yet simple Strawberry Muffin recipe:

1 cup fresh Springridge Strawberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup melted butter or margarine
1 egg
1 cup milk

Stir dry ingredients together. Add melted butter and beaten egg to milk. Add liquid ingredients to dry, stirring only to moisten. Cut up strawberries into small pieces and gently fold into batter. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 375F for 15 minutes. Makes 12.

The coolest place to hang out during Strawberry Season is the new 'Chill Barn' in the Fun Farm Yard. Too hot from hiking up to the Lookout? Visit the Chill Barn and keep your temperature down with a refreshing mist of natural spring water!

After more than 30 years of offering pick-your-own strawberries, we are discontinuing strawberry picking at the farm. We've experienced a major shift in our strawberry harvest with more and more visitors choosing to purchase freshly picked berries and  fewer choosing pick-your-own. We are still growing and harvesting the most delicious strawberries in town!  We appreciate your support as we grow forward and begin another delicious strawberry season.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book it!

Springridge is your local destination for cookbook shopping and rubbing elbows with celebrity chefs! With a variety of cookbooks from beginner to advanced, on a variety of topics such as BBQ, vegetarian, world foods. family meal prep and healthy eating, we have a cookbook that appeals to every palette.

Sometimes even the most experienced cook in the kitchen needs a little inspiration to try a new recipe. For that, we turn to our cookbook author friends! Every book event at the farm includes an exclusive talk, where authors reveal their baking secrets, cooking tips and culinary thoughts. If David Rocco says you can make a gourmet pasta sauce in less than five minutes using his recipe, you whip those tomatoes into a sauce! If Lynn Ogryzlo describes the most delicious blueberry crumble she’s ever made, you go pick those blueberries at a local farm! You're inspired to try something new.

When authors visit the farm, they also stay for a personal meet and greet book signing session. This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase a signed cookbook for a hostess, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday, Christmas, wedding shower, house-warming, anniversary or graduation gift.

On the Springridge website, you will find information about author events past and present. We’ve also created a photo gallery with delicious highlights from our events with Anna Olson, Elizabeth Baird and Mairlyn Smith to name a few.

Springridge Farm Presents: An Evening with Frankie Flowers
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 5:30pm-8:00pm
Join Springridge for an evening of gourmet food sampling, exclusive giveaways, great Mother's Day shopping, book talk and the opportunity to purchase Frankie Flowers' new book, Pot it Up, for an exclusive signing. RSVP required:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Patio Season at Springridge

Springridge is opening for the 2012 season with all the latest merchandise for throwing an unforgettable patio party! If you love patio weather as much as we do, you won't want to miss these items...

The RedNek Wine Glass is perfect for your favourite pinot grigio, champagne, martini or margarita. Each mason jar glass comes with a lid to keep you from spilling on your plaid shirt! This trendy stemware has been a bestseller on and made headlines across North America. Ideal for adding a little something to talk about at family barbeques. You might be a redneck if...

The Corkcicle keeps your bottle of wine at just the right temperature. When you're entertaining guests outside, it's such a hassle to go back and forth to the kitchen every time someone needs a refill. Ice buckets chill wine at too cold of a temperature (plus the ice melts quickly on a hot day!). The Corkcicle is a clever, reusable chiller that's been tried and tested by Springridge staff!

Invite the Queen to your garden party! Kikkerland Design has a figurine of Her Majesty that has a solar activated twist of the wrist. The waving Queen is a wonderful accessory for high tea parties and pairs well with Springridge Farm Diamond Jubilee Jam. The Solar Waving Queen is available from our British display, honouring the Queen during her Jubilee Year!

Replace the boring old toothpick for serving fruits and cheeses with a smart bamboo pick by cobistyle! The loop at the top of the stick makes for easy pick-up and empty platters. Each set contains 50 sticks.

Fresh from our gourmet department, we have Belvoir Raspberry Lemonade. Belvoir Fruit Farms in the UK use pressed raspberries and lemon juices to create this refreshing alternative to traditional lemonade.

Time for tapas? Springridge's Grandpa's Pickled Eggs are new in our farm market and will add an interesting element to cheese and crackers. We are also featuring a selection of Belazu olives. Taste the Mediterranean in your own backyard with Harlequin (pitted green and purple olives with red pepper and herbs de Provence), Pompeii (cracked green olives with chilli dressing) or Pistou (cracked green olives with basil and garlic).

Bella Cucina Tradizionale Pizza and Foccacia Mix and Pomodoro Pizza Sauce are a thoughtful hostess gift this season. Just as good as pizza in the vineyard as long as you have a RedNek Wine Glass in hand!

Springridge Farm is opening for the season on Thursday, April 5.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

News from the Jam Team

Over the winter, our dream team is our jam team! If you follow us on Twitter, we are always updating about what flavour the #JamTeam is making as well as sharing photos of the ingredients. Jam production is a long-standing tradition at Springridge. All of our jams are made in our farm kitchen and are stirred, poured, lidded and labeled by hand.

One of the best things about working in the barn during jam production is the sensational smell of citrus and berries. On many days, we all go home perfumed with oranges from cooking marmalade. Other days we experience Eau de Garden Fresh Chili Sauce, which is slightly more fragrant than the fruit jams!

Every year, we add the excitement of creating a new, limited edition jam! Two years ago we developed 50th Anniversary Jam and last year we made our infamous, Royal Wedding Marmalade. This year, we are honouring Queen Elizabeth II with a special Diamond Jubilee Jam. This majestic strawberry jam features a splash of celebratory champagne and will be available when we open for the season on April 5, 2012!

Royal Watchers will find that Diamond Jubilee Jam is the perfect accompaniment to tea parties, brunches and special occasions throughout the year as well as an extraordinary treat to enjoy during the Queen’s Jubilee Weekend in June.

Other jams our team is making include Blueberry, Summerberry, Chocolate Raspberry, Cherry Brandy and Strawberry to name a few!

And…drum roll please…we are delighted to announce that Royal Wedding Marmalade is back by popular demand! Now you can relive the memories of the Royal Wedding on your toast every morning!

Look for new sauces, brie toppers and pickled products on the shelves this spring too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Retail Department

The Springridge staff is still busy preparing for the 2012 season, even though the farm is closed for the winter! Aside from cleaning and setting up the farm market, we’re hard at work making jams, chutneys, sauces and pastry from scratch. One of our favourite events during the winter is the Canadian Gift and Tableware Association Show. The annual show is a fantastic opportunity for our retail team to meet with existing suppliers, scout out new merchandising ideas and most of all go shopping for our store! So, if you’re curious about what it’s like to be a Springridge merchandise scout at a trade show with more than one million square feet of exhibition space, we present you with…

A Day in the Life of a Springridge Scout

We start our day at 8am, carpooling to the Congress Centre in Toronto. When we arrive, we obtain our Gift Show ID badges and begin sifting through the guidebook. As we walk the aisles of the show, we pass by complimentary massage stations, tearooms and concessions. There’s no time to stop for these luxuries, but we do make note of a delicious food court with taco salads…we’ll be back for lunch!

We’re searching for the latest trends in home décor like bright colours, Reallite candles, rustic wood pieces and interesting wall art. We’re also combing through the exhibits for Canadian-made merchandise because we are always looking to further our commitment to the ‘buy local’ movement.

While visiting some companies we already work with and checking out their new merchandise for spring, we constantly make notes about interesting items we could introduce to Springridge customers.

“What about cast iron teapots? They’re beautiful, functional and last a lifetime!”

“Rustic paddle wall hanging – great for the cottage.”

“New distressed white framing option for pictures at art company…nice for light, neutral decorating.”

Just before lunch, we step into the Abbott Giftware booth – a company we know well! In fact, there are nine skids of Abbott merchandise waiting for us to unpack back at the barn! This exhibit is where everyone wants to be: pop music, doughnuts, strawberry infused water and sparkly Abbott swag.

In the afternoon, we are on a mission to find new Canadian-made merchandise. We head over to the International Centre and discover an exciting new company from the Waterloo region. We collect the product details and a catalogue for future reference. The company makes colourful metal wall art and planter stakes – perfect for gardening season!

We say hello to an exhibitor who make hats out of Canadian wool socks and visit with another vendor who refashions barn board into furniture. We’ve gathered information from jewellery suppliers and forecasted the trends for Halloween and Christmas. We are armed with new business cards, catalogues, DVDs and ideas to take back to the buyers at the farm!

At 6pm, we depart the show, buzzing about our favourite findings from the day. Next up on the agenda is to present our Gift Show “hot list” to the Springridge buyers: Farmer Laura, Amy and Susan!

We can’t wait to re-open in April with the 19th century barn all decked out for spring!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Year in Review, Part Two

We made some wonderful memories at the farm in 2011 and we’re happy we could share so many of them with you. From our Royal Wedding Marmalade campaign to rubbing elbows with celebrity cookbook authors to whizzing down the new 40 ft pipe slide, we enjoyed every minute of life on the farm! Even our resident rooster Rocky had fun this year shaking his tail feathers in the barnyard!

Without further adieu, here’s our end of year ‘round up of our favourite farm moments!

Best use of a Chuck Wagon
Randy & Sandy at Harvest Festival

Favourite Literary Work Available at the Farm
How to Survive a Gnome Attack by Chuck Sambuchino

Hottest Jar on the Shelf
Royal Wedding Marmalade

Favourite Twilight Shopping Night
Town & Country Christmas House Tour

Most Photographed Farm Guest
David Rocco

Best Early Morning
6am with Lori De Angelis from CHCH

Best Farm Word Coined by Springridge
Jampaign, noun: a series of organized actions done for a purpose (with jam)

Most Likely to be your Best Friend
Tie between Hudson and Rocky

Favourite Local Foodies
Tourism Burlington

Best Kept Secret in Town
The Gift Loft

Best Twitter Connection
@VGonzee for taking our Royal Wedding Marmalade to London!

Fan Favourites
@HeartofOntario loves the food, the staff, the book evenings, the Easter & Harvest Festival!
@jesselauzon loves the cover of YFM magazine, December 2011!