If you like gardening and food, this is the weekend for you,” according to Dave Dobbie, Manager of Upper Canada Village. With colourful heirloom plants in full bloom and vegetables growing in abundance, Upper Canada Village is in peak form for an exploration of two closely related subjects: gardens and food.
This special weekend from Saturday, August 18 to Sunday, August 19 includes garden tours, special presentations, taste testing and sampling of locally produced foods.
Modern and 1860s cooking demonstrations will be featured and there will be a number of food vendors on site throughout the weekend as well. By promoting food and gardening traditions, visitors will experience the deep connections between plants and people.
Tour the Gardens
Gardening enthusiasts can accompany the knowledgeable Village horticultural staff on a variety of leisurely tours within the Village’s beautiful grounds. Ornamental and vegetable gardens are on the agenda at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both days.
If you love tomatoes, you will have the opportunity to explore Heirloom Tomato Culture, also at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both days.
Those visitors wishing to tempt their taste buds will have an opportunity to sample the produce straight out of the garden during the taste-testing of Heirloom Vegetables on the program at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
From 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., visitors are invited to gather behind at Loucks Garden and find out more about horseradish, one of the most widely used condiments in the 19th century.
Sampling and Cooking
Visitors will also be interested to see how the herbs, fruits and vegetables produced in Village gardens enjoy a second life in Village kitchens.
Culinary history interpreters at Loucks Farm, Cook’s Tavern and Tenant Farm will cook period dishes, using heirloom plant varieties and share traditional recipes and preservation techniques to awaken the senses to new understandings of the past. On the menu are jams and jellies, boiled puddings and summer drinks.
At the Physician’s House, Linden tea will be served. The tea is made from a plant that has been used in folk medicine and in various remedies for centuries.
Throughout the weekend, Shaun Funk, local chef and owner of Redhead Pantry Premium Condiments, will present a workshop on preserving methods old and new at the Upper Canada Village Discovery Centre. He will talk about curing, drying, smoking, vinegar making and more.
Temple’s Sugar Bush will have taffy on snow for sale as well as other maple products and will feature a display of old-fashioned sugar making equipment.
Several local vendors will be setting up in the Village fairgrounds, including Connaught Farms, Trudy’s Fresh Home-Style Bakery and Glengarry Fine Cheese (on Saturday).
Leslie Johnson from the Dundas County Milk Committee will be on site on Sunday with a large variety of locally produced cheeses and recipes.
Barley Days Brewery from Prince Edward County will have samples of their micro-brewed beer at Cook’s Tavern.
Village interpreter Wayne Prunner will demonstrate meat and cheese smoking and provide delicious samples.
The mouth-watering experience continues at the Village Store throughout the festival with a sampling of Village-made cheese and fudge.
Ticket prices are Adult (13 to -64 years of age) $17, Senior (65+ years of age) $14 and Youth (6 to 12 years of age) $14. Children 5 years of age and under are free.
“Upper Canada Village boasts an impressive collection and collective knowledge of heirloom plants and the Village Store carries a large variety of locally-made specialty food products. This is your chance to come and enjoy both experiences and have a relaxing outing on the beautiful grounds of the Village,” says Dobbie.