Tag Archives: Simcoe

Excited to Eat & Drink in Norfolk

Signs of spring have started to tease us which means it won’t be long until we are enjoying longer days and beautiful weather. But, spring isn’t the only exciting thing just around the corner, Eat & Drink Norfolk is now just weeks away!

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If you’ve been to this epic Norfolk County event in the past, then I’m sure you understand the anticipation.  On the chance that you haven’t been then I will recommend that you make this your year!

Eat & Drink Norfolk is a local event hosted by The Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show celebrating many of the amazing restaurants, food producers, wineries and breweries from our beautiful county!

“Eat & Drink Norfolk is now in its 9th year! The event keeps on growing due to the support of the community. We live in Ontario’s Garden, the greatest county in Canada, and that abundance is reflected in what the local restaurants, wineries and breweries produce and offer at the event! That is one of the main reasons we’ve been named one of “Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals and Events” for 3 years in a row!” – Chantal Zorad, Special Events Manager

For three evenings you can taste test, sip and sample the best creations from Norfolk’s favourites vendors. The social atmosphere and live entertainment offer a great time for everyone.  And of course you can partake in a little friendly competition by voting for your favourite restaurant, winery and brewery.

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This year the event will take place April 5-7 at the AUD in Simcoe.  For more details and ticket purchases (which are available online this year!) visit The Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show website.

I am looking forward to getting my hands on some cider samples from Villa Nova Estate Winery or Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery.  Which local restaurants, wineries and breweries are you excited to taste at the show this year?

Eat & Drink Norfolk 2018

5(Norfolk)Things We’re Thankful for This Fall

5 (Norfolk) Things We're Thankful for this Fall

The leaves are changing colour, the air is getting crisp, harvest is in full swing for many crops. Autumn is my favourite season for so many reason’s.  Here are 5 of my favourite things about the Fall season in Norfolk County in no particular order (however I could probably list 30).

Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show

It’s pretty hard to sum up the Norfolk County Fair in a few sentences.  It’s more of a feeling, it’s hard to describe. You know that feeling you used to get when you first woke up Christmas morning before you saw the gifts under the tree?  Yeah, that’s the feeling! The Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show has just kicked off it’s 177th year, I can already smell the fair food and and hear the rides. It isn’t all about the rides, games and food either.  The agriculture and livestock buildings are just as exciting, there is such a sense of local pride. I couldn’t possibly explain it, go see for yourself!

Waterford Heritage Trail

We’re lucky to live in a County filled with an abundance of beautiful walking trails and outdoor spaces to enjoy. The Waterford Heritage Trail is a must-see in the fall, particularly at Black Bridge.  The bridge over looks the Waterford ponds and it is a stunning view when the leaves are changing in to their autumn colours.  You may spend more time stopped to enjoy the views and wildlife then hiking or biking but, either way, you’ll enjoy the experience. Make sure to add this to your to do list this fall.

Frank E’s Country Store

If you haven’t had a chance to visit Frank E’s in Vanessa, you must make the trip.  They are proud 3rd generation apple farmers producing quality products. I guess it’s obvious, you can stop by and pick up some farm fresh quality apples (in an abundance of varieties) and their incredible apple cider. But Frank E’s is more than a one stop shop.  Customer’s are raving about their mustards and other preserves.  You will also find mother-watering baked goods, soups and frozen entree’s. It gets better, depending on the time of year, they are serving delicious homemade breakfast and lunch. Not to mention how incredibly friendly and kind they are. Seriously, make sure you pay them a visit before their season ends to grab a bite to eat and to stock up on goods for the winter.

Waterford Pumpkinfest

No, Pumpkinfest is not a festival of pumpkins spice latte’s. Pumpkinfest is a classic Norfolk County festival celebrating the season and the community!  From the iconic towering pumpkin tower and the creepy Spookhouse, to the epic parade and the Friday night fireworks, Pumpkinfest is a perfect family fall event.  On the schedule this year is SUP racing, soapbox derby, live entertainment and carnival rides and games.  Of course, there is much more than that happening at this 4-day festival. Mark your calendar for Oct 12-15 this year!

The Apple Place (Apple Cider Donuts)

You may have enjoyed an apple cider donut before.  But if you have not had one from The Apple Place in Simcoe, then you’ve been missing out. If you’re stopping by my place this thanksgiving weekend then hold the bottle of wine and pie, I’ll take a box of freshly baked apple cider donuts please. While you’re at The Apple Place, check out all of the other goodies and treats they have to offer including apples, cider, honey, and other baked goods!

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There you have it, five truly Norfolk things that I am thankful for this Fall! What are your favourite things about Norfolk County in the Fall?

 

View From the Top | Inasphere Wines

We spent the beginning hours of another hot summer Saturday evening sipping on local wine and looking out over 105 acres of thriving farmland only ending at the vivid bank of Lake Erie.

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It’s not hard to believe that this view is found in the heart of Norfolk’s increasingly popular tourist scene between Turkey Point and Long Point at Norfolk’s newest winery to open their retail doors, Inasphere Wines. Southwestern Ontario is quickly becoming a destination known for offering incredible wines and unforgettable experiences and a stop at Inasphere Wines on Front Road lives up to the claim.

We rolled up the driveway shortly before closing time, taking note as we passed the fully stocked produce stand not wanting to forget to stock up on farm fresh veggies on our way out. The aforementioned stunning views are the first thing you’ll notice as you approach the charming winery set visibly in a colourful barn. The warm breeze dressed in floral from the surrounding greenery and inviting patio didn’t go unnoticed.

“Inasphere Wines is making an outstanding contribution to the growing wine and brew scene in Norfolk County with their authentic flavours and genuine character”

Making our way into the amiable retail shop, it was time to enjoy some wine! I usually shy away from Rieslings but the heat of this July day was calling for one. The Riesling was crisp and light and perfectly sweet, I knew instantly I would be coming back for another. My fiancé chose the rustic Cabernet Franc.  He enjoyed the dry red wine’s earthy notes, we were off to a great start with this visit.

The staff was sincere and down to earth, we certainly felt that local, small-town vibe. The winery is set on the owner’s 3rd generation family farm.  Husband and wife, Ryan & Shantel Bosgoed, own and operate the vegetable farm and vineyard where the retail shop and sipping area is established. It’s clear by the well-kept farm and shop and the flourishing fields that the pair take great pride in their families work.

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After a chat with the staff about all things Norfolk and wine, we made our way outside to enjoy our wine, and the view. The patio already had a few seats full so we made our way over the adirondack chairs which were set up over-looking the fields derived from reclaimed Long Point marshlands with Lake Erie waters in the distance, perfection.

It goes without saying that we popped back inside to purchase a few bottles to take home with us before departing. We also made sure we filled up on some tomatoes and sweet corn from their produce stand. Inasphere Wines offered us an exceptional experience and we cannot wait to go back for another tasting.

Small but mighty, Inasphere Wines is making an outstanding contribution to the growing wine and brew scene in Norfolk County with their authentic flavours and genuine character. I would highly suggest you stop by and visit Ryan & Shantel at 1454 Front Rd, St. Williams.

10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Preparing Your Home For Winter

Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to prepare your home for cold weather. These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.

Tune Up Your Heating System

A technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.

If you act soon, you’ll minimize the chance of being 200th in line for repairs on the coldest day of the year.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).

This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings. It might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.

Hit The Roof

roofMake sure the roof is in good shape. Inspect for missing and loose shingles. Ice, rain, snow and wind combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity wreak havoc on roofs. Your roof is your first defence in protecting your home. Without it functioning properly, water damage can occur. This causes deterioration to insulation, wood and drywall, making electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems vulnerable. It’s better to proactively deal with repairs in the fall than to discover a leaky roof during a snowstorm. For safety’s sake, have a roofing professional check the condition of your roof.

After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.

Caulk Around Windows and Doors

caulkingIf the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Add weatherstripping as needed around doors, making  sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.

Divert Water

Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the  foundation.

Turn Off Outdoor Taps

Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets.

If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.

Prepare to Store Away Your Mower

lawnmowerAs the mower sits through the winter, fuel remaining in its engine will decompose, “varnishing” the carburetor and causing difficulty when you try to start the engine in the spring.
John Deere offers these preventive steps: If you’ve added stabilizer to your fuel to keep it fresh longer, then fill the gas tank to the top with more stabilized fuel and run the engine briefly to allow it to circulate. If not, wait until the tank is nearly empty from use and run the engine (outdoors) to use up the remaining fuel. Check  your mower’s manual for other cold-weather storage steps.

Test Your Sump Pump

sumpSlowly pour several litres of water into the sump pit to see whether the pump turns on. You should do this every few months, but especially after a long dry season or before a rainy one.

For more complete instructions for testing and maintenance, check your owner’s manual. Most smp pumps last about ten years, according to Chubb Personal  Insurance.

Call A Chimney Sweep

Before you burn the Yule log, make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from  creeping into your home.essentials

Restock Winter Essentials

Don’t wait for the first winter storm to restock cold-weather essentials, such as salt or ice melt. Stock up on windshield washer fluid, too.