10.11.2013

Foodie Friday: Farm Tour at From the Meadow

What a glorious Autumn day!  Nothing but blue sky and and that leafy, earthy scent on the breeze.  The perfect day to tour a farm. I recently had the pleasure of taking a tour at From the Meadow, a small but mighty farm in Avon, OntarioFrom the Meadow is local farm specializing  in the creation of natural healing products made from the highest quality ingredients without using chemicals, preservatives, dyes or petroleum products. The herbs contained in their personal care products are personally hand picked and produced right on the farm.

At the helm of this amazing natural operation is Brenda Daniel.  A trained Reflexologist, Brenda became interested in the healing and therapeutic properties of earth's bounty.  At first she started creating her own products, but soon the word spread and clients and strangers were requesting her all natural creations. So in 1999 she started From the Meadow on her farm just outside of Aylmer, ON.

We started off in the barn where you can find the 'Farmacy' and this is also where all the products are made.  In the back I saw one of the gals mixing up a batch of Raspberry Sugar scrub that looked like a fantastic dessert.  Brenda was happy to point out that you could eat it if you wanted too!  And trust me, I was tempted!

I was in love with this barn and it's history.  Brenda told me that years ago the community used to have barn dances upstairs.  She snuck us up the back stairs to take a peak at the old wood floors and how, even now they are still sturdy and gorgeous.  The space is now primarily used for drying the herbs and plants, but it was easy to picture teenagers dancing away on the cool fall evenings, stomping and singing on those old wood floors.  After our mini tour of the barn and production area it was off to the fields.

Calendula drying on the racks in the barn
Alice and I hopped in the golf cart and off we went to check out the  property.  The farm itself is about 110 acres on the edge of the Kettle Creek.  Brenda has a 5 acre plot near the front that she uses to grow all her ingredients for her products.  She has over 125 types of herbs, plants and veggies that she grows, harvests and mixes into all types of amazing products.  All of this flora is grown naturally, without any chemicals or pesticides.  We travelled up and down the rows, discussing buckwheat and unearthing carrots; harvesting Kale and cutting Swiss Chard as big as Alice.  There was Chickweed and Lavender, Nettles and Pumpkins, Eggplant and Corn, Witch Hazel and Peppermint, Raspberries and Apples, Radishes and Jerusalem Artichokes and just about anything else you could imagine.  Brenda was eager to share her knowledge of herbs and plants and healing with us. She is a friendly and bubbly farm gal with a wealth of knowledge that is truly incredible.  If you have an issue or ailment, she could rhyme off a handful of natural remedies to help you feel better.  I could have picked her brain for a week.
We took a tour through the woods to check out the old cabin that her husband had built from the wood from an old barn.  Inside it was cool and calming and smelled like a wood stove had just been burning.  It was welcoming and simple and I could have stayed there for hours enjoying the smells and sounds of the country.

Having Brenda as a tour guide was informative and entertaining and I found myself completely wrapped up in each tale and story she shared.  She is unbelievably passionate about what she does.  She's a mother, a farmer, an herbal guru, an entrepreneur and  a dedicated woman trying to share her knowledge about the healing properties plants and herbs.

By the end we were nearly buried with fresh fruits and veggies from her garden.  Kale, Swiss chard, Carrots, Corn, Apples, Pears and Eggplant....and all local and organic! Needless to say, I was uplifted and refreshed from our afternoon on the farm.  I will definitely be going back for another farm fix and to pick a little more of Brenda's brain.  
So if you're out her way, stop by From the Meadow.  Brenda would  be more than happy to show you all the products she creates and what they are best used for. She may even take you on a tour if she's not too busy in the field or creating a new healing product!  
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