[colored_box color=”red”]DID YOU KNOW…. Oxford County is known as “the dairy capital of Canada” and was home to the first cheese factory in Upper Canada. In fact, in the 1800’s there were 98 cheese factories operating here. Visit the Ingersoll Cheese Museum to hear the stories of the “big cheese”….[/colored_box]
At Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, you can purchase award-winning cheese and even book a cheese-making class. Bright Cheese and Butter make delicious cheddars, since the 1800s, and Quality Sheep Milk cheeses are available at the Village Cheese Mill.
Since 1953, Norpac in Norwich has served discerning chefs and families across the province. Their beef products are hormone and antibiotic free, from cattle raised by themselves and their neighbours. Another artisan beef producer near Tillsonburg is YU Ranch with their Longhorn cattle. Check them out on www.oxfordfresh.com
Jakeman’s maple syrup was named the best-tasting in Canada by The National Post. Their ancestors learned how to make maple syrup from local Natives back in the 1800’s. Their gift shop was a former 1800’s general store in the village of Sweaburg and was converted it into a rustic gift shop, where maple syrup making equipment from yesteryear decorates the walls. .
The Canadian pavilion at Disneyworld in Florida carries Jakeman’s syrup. And don’t be surprised to see their distinctive brand in the Canadian Rockies or at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. It’s not uncommon for shoppers to walk the woodland trail beside their Sweaburg area shop and enjoy the trilliums in the spring, or birds year round.
Oak Manor Farms was a pioneer in the organic grains, flours and cereals market in the early 1970’s. Their shop is located near Punkeydoodles Corners in the northern section of the county.
You’ll discover that because we have an abundance of fresh water springs in Oxford, trout farming thrives here, with three major trout farmers who supply chefs and consumers from near and far.
The folks at Godelie’s, Berrylicious, Turner’s Farm Market and Aarden Farm have raised the bar when it comes to growing quality vegetables and fruit. When you visit the southern portion of Oxford you need to slow down and share the road with horse and buggies of our friends in the Amish community. Their produce stands dot the countryside, as do crafts and handmade quilts shops.
The orchards and farm at Birtch Farms have evolved over the years and includes a winery. Most people are pleasantly surprised that Birtch Farms Wines aren’t overly sweet, but crisp and refreshing. They’ve added an autumn bakery, for all things apple, and their gift shop is a fun browse, too. In the fall they host a tastings event with local chefs and live music. Their wagon rides and pumpkin festival are fun family experiences as well.
Leaping Deer is a fun farm entertainment destination, with a bakery onsite, and a visit to Oxford Honey and Supplies is a great place to watch the bees and learn more about honeymaking. Pick up fresh honey and bee pollen products.
And of course you can meet farmers at the two farmers markets in Woodstock. Explore Oxford County on your own or give Jed Lau a ring, to book a guided tour