Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Trip to the Country ~ Lakeview Farms

I recently took a drive North-East of Toronto to the small town of Little Britain. I've mentioned it in previous posts - it has an infamous little "antique shop" at the main intersection that I climb (literally) through every time I'm in the area. It's the perfect little day trip away. It's only about 2 1/2 hours away, just beyond the big city of Toronto (which is still visible from the rolling hills of the area), but far enough into the country to feel like you're escaping.
The winding roads are lined with big old trees that are just breathtaking this time of year as their leaves are changing colours. Every now and then, the highway takes you through a small little town, cozy and quaint with their century homes and small town charm. Every few minutes a little farm stand pops up, especially bright and orange with all the harvested pumpkins.
The trip up always feels homey since it's where my sisters and I grew up, so it was nice to spend the trip with just us girls. We were headed up for a ladies conference - my sisters as the entertainment and myself as one of the guest speakers. We spent the night at my aunts, a sort of second home to us when we were younger. My mom and her sister (my Aunt Lori) lived a couple hours from the rest of their family, but only minutes from each other. My aunt had four boys to my mom's four girls, meaning my cousins, the Batty boys, as they're so appropriately named, might as well have been brothers. The next morning, before heading home, we sat in our usual Saturday morning booth, at our usual breakfast spot in town. Once we were back on the road, we made one quick stop at my aunt work to say goodbye. She runs the kitchen at an educational forest centre for grade 6 kids who get to spend the night camping for a class trip. They had just finished breakfast when we got there so she popped out with us to show us one of the best farm stands down the road.
It was called Hy Hope Farm and it wasn't exactly just down the road, but it was worth the quick jaunt in the wrong direction. The minute you pull in the driveway, surrounded by orchards, you're welcomed with the sweet smells of freshly baked pies. The little shop is surrounded by huge crates overflowing with apples of every variety and bins of pumpkins, gourds and squash. Inside, which is really more of a store, the stand is divided into a produce section and a bakery. You can find just about any produce your heart desires including some interesting varieties I hadn't seen. The bakery walls are lined with canning and preserves and the old showcases are filled with all kinds of pies and tarts. I picked out a pretty, rusty orange Cinderella-style pumpkin for my front step. My aunt, who was making the most of her impromptu break, had filled our trunk with cider, apples, squash, honey and of course, lots of baking. We dropped her off and continued on our trip, which was rather peaceful as the entire car (aside from me, the driver) napped the rest of the way home.
Although we didn't make a stop here on this quick trip up, when we do journey out there, this is normally where we stay. It's a farm in the area that belongs to my dad's brother. It's called Lake View Farms and it's the quintessential Ontario farm. I love it - as does my father and I've wanted to show it off for a while now! These were from our trip back in September.
Enjoy the little photo tour!

As you can see from the sign, the farm is 135 years old!

I just love this little side outdoor dining area off of their kitchen. I would host many dinner parties here!

The old farmhouse - classic Ontario style.

The hand carved plaque to the side of the entrance to the barn - written by the owner and his sons, it adds a lot of charm to the already gorgeous barn.

A newcomer on the farm, little chicks arrived just before we got their. By the time went back the next month, they were full size chickens in every variety!

Their laying hens that supply them with fresh eggs each day, perfect for big country breakfasts!

How much do you love these rabbits?? They all just sit up on their hind legs, ears pointed, patiently waiting for you to feed them. My favourite was the one little tan coloured one.
The barn and resident goats. They have about 25 of them. The kids can name each one, their siblings, who their mother is and tell you one funny thing about each one. I thought that was pretty impressive, especially since they all kind of look similar!

The tour of the farm isn't complete without the tour of their huge back garden. It also comes with a rather funny story about some naughty little goats who broke into it and ate all the berry plants and grape leaves - I don't think it was as funny just after it had happened!
One of the many HUGE watermelons growing... we just ate this one this past weekend for Thanksgiving - it was 50.5 pounds!! (For those of you in the US, that's about 30 kgs.)
He had three different varieties of pumpkins growing in his pumpkin patch, including giant ones that you can barely put your arms around!

Some squash escaping the garden along the fence.

And of course, their gorgeous, long farm driveway, lined with mature old maple trees - something every farm should have!


  1. I really enjoyed these photos with your explanations under them. I grew up on a farm and have very fond memories as a child. Thanks for posting your adventures, Maria. It's great!!

  2. I've been to that antique store in Little Britain! That's one of my favourite things to do - hop in the car on a little road trip somewhere and look in little shops and have lunch in a greasy spoon.
    Just stumbled upon your blog and love it :)

  3. The pic of that chick is pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen! Seriously. Adorable. :)

  4. I love the black and white rabbits they are so cute.


Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria