While we all have our opinions on the best weather and the best season, I think that you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would completely disagree with the fact that autumn is a particularly unique and beautiful time here in southern Ontario. With the Niagara escarpment, slicing through the landscape, its hills and ridges aflame with orange and red leaves, it is a spectacle that cannot be properly described to those who have not had the real delight to see it for themselves.
It is, however, more than just the autumnal change of the trees that brings something to the mind and heart when we think of fall. There are few times of the year that are quite as bountiful as those weeks that surround the last harvests of the year, drawing in fresh crops of crisp apples, sweet squash, and bright orange pumpkins. When the weather begins to cool, and you start grabbing your plaid and denim jackets, you know that there’s something in your heart calling out to you to go and explore, which is the reason why so many people flock to country markets, just like Gerrie’s Garden Centre and Farm Market, located on Colborne Street at the edge of Elora.
Open all year round, and stocked with products grown in their own fields, as well as from other local farms, Gerrie’s is ready and waiting to offer you everything you could need, at any time, although perhaps, there is a particular excitement in the fall, when their store is filled with all of the wonderful things that Ontario has to offer.
In recent months, there has been a particular push towards supporting your local businesses, in an effort to help them thrive. While this is always an important reason to buy local, there is an added advantage to supporting local farms and produce growers. Buying from local farms run by families that you can get to know and learn to trust means that you are able to know exactly where your food is coming from, and exactly how it is grown.
At Gerrie’s this is taken one step further with the “Gerrie Grown” logo; unveiled a few years ago now, it is used to mark all of their own products, guaranteeing the buyer that these products are organically grown, without the use of any chemical fertilizers or sprays. This is important to Gerrie’s as it allows them to sell their products with the pride and confidence that it is the best that they are able to offer.
When it comes to fall, Gerrie Grown produce includes tomatoes, squash, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and more; while apples, pears and some pumpkins are often brought in from other local farms, they are still proud of the quality of the foods they offer.
One specialty potato that Gerrie’s offer with quite a bit of pride is their Huckleberry Gold variety. Something that they have been growing for the last few years, and sell out of every time, the Huckleberry Gold is a specific kind of potato that ranks lower than others on the glycemic index, meaning it has a lower sugar content than other varieties of potato. This makes it ideal for anyone who is on a low sugar diet for any reason. Perfect for making everyone feel welcome at the Thanksgiving table, no?
When it comes to Thanksgiving, it might surprise you to find out that Gerrie’s has you covered for more than just the delicious produce. They’re ready to fill your whole table with fresh turkeys, delicious handmade pies in any flavour you could be looking for, and garnishing with gourds or other fall décor to make your home feel festive and warm.
While they do raise their own turkeys for Christmas, their Thanksgiving turkeys are brought in from other local farms, drug and antibiotic free. They do carry a few extras for sale each year, but the best way to ensure that you get one is to call and reserve your turkey ahead of time.
Fresh baked pies are something they carry all year around, along with their preserves. Their pies and preserves are both locally made, with a focus on traditional; they cover the full spectrum of fruit pies, as well as pumpkin and pecan, meaning you should probably pick up one of each just to be sure that everyone in the family has their favourites!
Autumn is the time of year in which we are drawn back to nature, marvelling at the wonders that the earth has to offer, from colourful trees, to fresh produce, getting our last fill before the winter. Gerrie’s Garden Centre and Farm Market will offer you that crisp autumn taste, with the best quality that their family values can offer. So, grab your plaid, bundle up and head out to see it for yourself.
Written by: Jillian Kent | Photography: Cory Bruyea