Tag Archives: farm life

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JAMS AND HORSIES AND BUTTERFLIES, OH MY!

Thanks to the great tour group SHORTTRIPS.CA I enjoyed a day of coach touring around London & Cambridge, a couple of hours West of Toronto this past Saturday and oh what fabulous things I did!!

Departing Toronto at the crack o’ dawn, our “cruise director” Chris advised us that our first stop was the historic Banting House in London. Frederick Banting (with his partner Charles Best) discovered the insulin treatment for diabetes and this was a home he lived in for about a year during the 1920’s when he worked on the cure. 20200307_103806 20200307_103923Unfortunately all the beautiful glass windows had been removed for repair and restoration so all the window spaces were boarded up and the interior was quite dark. I managed to grab a few photos, esp. of his own artwork with was influenced by his friendship with A.Y. Jackson & the Group of Seven….20200307_10462620200307_104653 20200307_105047 20200307_105024 We were given about and hour and a half here, so after I finished my house tour, I headed out into the sunshine and took a walk down the street to check out the local stores. I discovered the “food incubator”, a warehouse full of delicious locally made foods, coffee, packaged goods, and discovered the booth of Glen Farms Herbs & Preserves, run by David Glen. He was busy making all sorts of tasty treats as I browsed the shelves….20200307_112308 20200307_112323 20200307_112342 20200307_112418I picked up local honey, blackcurrant jam (yummmmm) some Apple Mango chutney as well as a few more pots of  goodies. David is hoping to bring his hand-crafted wares to Toronto so check the website for news…  https://www.instagram.com/glenfarmsgourmet

Back on the bus, we then headed off for lunch at the McLachlan Family Farm & Pancake House, about an hour or so away. Our tummies were rumbling so we all encouraged our driver, Roxanne, to step on it!20200307_135124As everyone piled out and was escorted over to the campfire and sugaring off educational exhibits, I spied something a little more exciting so off I went…..

How exciting – I sat right up front for a great view….er, well, they did have cute furry butts!  Here’s maybe a nicer view…20200307_124340There was so much to see around the camp….lots of activities for the kids and those of us oldies who just wanna walk thru the forest…info about the farm and all they offer can be found at: www.mclachlansyrup.ca 20200307_124242 20200307_132616 20200307_134918 20200307_135205(0)The yummy lunch buffet included as many pancakes as I wanted (3), sausage, ham, baked beans, home fries and I had the biggest jug of fresh maple syrup all to myself!20200307_130131Burp! After about 2hrs of sweet fun, we all piled back onto the bus to go visit our 3rd and final destination – the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. As Roxanne guided our bus through country backroads and highways, we all dozed off, digesting all the sugar we consumed…LOL. 20200307_163924Suddenly, out of the countryside and farmland, the big buildings of the conservatory appeared and we hastened off the bus in desperate need of bathrooms (all that  coffee, hot chocolate & syrup had taken its toll!) then into the hot steamy conservatory to visit the fluttering fairy-like creatures.

It brought back memories of my visit to the big butterfly world in Phoenix, Arizona, a year ago.  Just look at all the pretty b.flies…20200307_162302 20200307_162647 20200307_163312This giant owl moth even decided to hitch-hike on my butt!20200307_162529There were cute quails and lots of pretty little birds (finches, I think) flying around – they eat all the dead bugs, grubs, etc, keeping the enclosure clean for the butterflies.20200307_162857 20200307_162604

Our tour group was given coffee, tea and snacks … then time for one last pit stop before heading home to Toronto. OMG, this (below) was on the back of the loo doors; how about going to the upcoming “Bug Fest” to nibble on real insects? No thank you!! I’ll stick to admiring the wee beasties as they fly around…LOL But if you want to visit yourself, directions and hours can be found here: www.cambridgebutterfly.com20200307_172432Thanks again to the wonderful folks at www.ShortTrips.ca for such an exciting, fun-filled day. Check out all their upcoming excursions that include meals and admissions to all the venues -I highly recommend their big blue bus.20200307_133415

 

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GOATS AND HORSIES AND MODELS, OH MY!

Several weeks ago, my friends Carcia and Telly Campbell of ItsMusicFashionLife.com web-magazine asked me to suggest a rustic, farm location for their upcoming fashion shoot and without missing a beat, I suggested the new Haute Goat farm in Newtonville, just ouside of Port Hope. So yesterday, we packed the clothes, accessories and photographer/creative director Aleyah Solomon (co-founder of the brand new HereandThere magazine) into the car and headed east through the the glorious fall colours to meet the models, and the goats and horses owned by Debbie and Shain of hautegoat.com20151017_111333 20151017_111241As soon as we pulled into the farm driveway, we realized the shoot would be stunning – the farm house was perched high overlooking the rolling hills and woodlands around Clarington County (see below).20151017_121311 20151017_132815We were soon joined by gorgeous models Tara and Taylor, along with make-up and hairstylist Alexandre and photo assistant Candace….and set to work rounding up the 4-legged livestock  who turned out to be fabulous models, too.20151017_134930 20151017_135046 20151017_121618The wee goats (above) were such hams! Many tried to pull focus from Tara’s posing…bleating and bah’ing making us all laugh so hard.  When Taylor came out in his winter fashions (below), the goats fell in love with him, following him around, nuzzling and begging his attention. We now call him the “goat whisperer”!20151017_150532 20151017_150640 20151017_145955Above, Aleyah was laughing so hard at the goats swarming Taylor sometimes it was difficult to shoot. Debbie (the goat mum) joined in the hilarity. Carcia (below with Taylor) enjoyed a cuddle with one of the baby goats while sister Telly (centre, 2nd pic) quickly snapped shots between pats.20151017_150721 20151017_150749Carcia’s and Telly’s bestest selfie ever!20151017_150238

20151017_150804…and above, Eden, one of the wranglers at Haute Goat, posed with one of our favourite goats, Yoda, as the models went inside to change for their next look. Below, Jack the farm’s guard dog got into the modelling act, too, and loved Aleyah’s impromptu ukulele concert on the lawn!20151017_135738 20151017_135806Next, it was time to cowboy-up. Tara and Taylor got their city-meets-country looks on and Shain and Debbie’s Icelandic horses got into the act, too.20151017_155315 20151017_155634 20151017_155653Alexandre and Taylor had fun taking horsie selfies!20151017_155007And I had quite the “Legends of the Fall” moment snapping this shot of Taylor (below) who looked so like Brad Pitt as “Tristan” dontcha think?20151017_160205I was thrilled to be invited on an ATV ride through the woods behind the farm while more photos were being taken so I jumped at that opportunity…have you ever tried taking photos while riding on an ATV? Naaah, too shaky, but when I got back to the farmhouse, I relaxed in the huge kitchen and snapped a few pics of the decor as well as the awesome goats milk treats Haute Goat produces and sells: soaps, body creams, lip balm, caramel corn, fudge….you can guess what came home with me!20151017_143337 20151017_162821 20151017_162847 20151017_162851 20151017_162857 20151017_162902None of us wanted to leave the Haute Goat farm last night but the big city lights beckoned us home.  Here are a few more parting shots of the lovely farm and wee beasties.20151017_150055 20151017_181851 20151017_142200

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20151017_121610 20151017_150259Don’t forget to check out ItsMusicFashionLife.com for the upcoming photo essay, as well as HauteGoat.com for more product info and sales of their handcrafted skin care and edible treats, esp. now you’ve met the goat workers who make it all!