As the summer comes to an end, we are snatching up the last of the seasonal bounty and getting in as many sun-soaked road trips as we can. Recently, we hit the highway and headed to Owen Sound for a simply magical visit to Marvellous Edibles for their annual open house.
Located on a century farm along the Niagara Escarpment (the Bruce Trail runs right through the property), Marvellous Edibles is a stunning family operated organic farm specializing in…well, everything! From growing handsome heirloom vegetables and fruit to raising all sorts of four-legged and fine feathered friends, the Eller family and their team of intrepid interns embody a truly holistic approach to food and farming.
After a quick pit stop at neighbouring Buschbeck Farms to meet their happy herd of sheep, we headed over to the sprawling Marvellous property for a delicious BBQ. Ever the consummate hosts, Ayse Akoner and Jens Eller treated guests to a long table, continually replenished with fantastic food. Sourced entirely from their farm, we were treated to perfect pulled pork, pulled goose (that’s a first!), sausages, grilled vegetables, fresh feta and the most incredible french fries made from potatoes unearthed that morning. We’re still having flashbacks to those french fries at the OCTA office…
From their certified kitchen, Ayse and her team of baking bandits brought out simple sweet treats, including a zippy zucchini cake that we “sampled” several times over the course of the afternoon. Ayse is something of a kitchen wizard – her pickles, jams and preserves are award-winning and her sweet and savory pies are crowd-pleasers. For us, it’s all about her seasonal rhubarb custard tarts, whose annual appearance unofficially signals the start of summer.
With autumn’s impending arrival comes the end of the internship program at Marvellous Edibles. As members of CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), the Eller family welcomes several interns each year for invaluable training on all manner of farm-related topics, including seed starting, planting, weed management, harvesting, greenhouse management, making value added products and even marketing.
After the hearty hyper-local lunch, we were lucky enough to snag departing intern Dave for a tour of the farm. Starting with the chickens, including Buff Orpingtons and Ameracaunas (the latter famous for their pastel eggs), we worked our way through the pasture to meet their cows, Berkshire pigs and horses.
We then headed over to the gorgeous gardens to tour their sprawling vegetable plots, snagging a few ground cherries and the last of the golden raspberries in the process (tours make us hungry!).
Aside from the stunning, scenic views that the property affords its visitors, what really stands out on a visit to Marvellous Edibles is how heart-warmingly happy their animals are. There is plenty of room for roaming and they reside outdoors from spring to fall, enjoying the ample space and sunshine. The admiration and respect that the family and interns have for these creatures is palpable. Needless to say, we were charmed.