In a region that is abundant with farm land; a drive down a country road could lead you to a farmer’s market or roadside stand. Pull over and you’ll find delicious and fresh picked seasonal fruit and vegetables. Look for restaurants using local produce and enjoy the satisfying crunch of garden-fresh corn and juicy tomatoes straight from the vine. Foodies will love the seasonal bounty and the year round staples, like squeaky cheese curd and locally raised meats and fresh bread. Some of the fruit and vegetables this area is known for are apples, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and kale.
The satisfying crunch of garden-fresh corn, juicy plump tomatoes straight from the vine and the riotously bold colours of sunflowers and gladiolas… these are just a few reasons why you should visit a farmers’ market or roadside garden stand in The Great Waterway. Markets offer foodies not only seasonal bounty like garlic, apples and potatoes, but also year-round staples like squeaky cheese curds, locally raised meats and fresh bread.
It all started more than 200 years ago, in 1780, when Kingston became home to the first Farmers’ Market in Ontario. Today, the Limestone City is still famous for its open markets, operating most days of the week. Check out the Memorial Centre Market, the Kingston Public Market, the Kingston Market at Queens or the Kingston Veterans Market for a wide variety of quality offerings.
It is possible to do most of your grocery shopping while wandering the stalls of farmers’ markets spread throughout The Great Waterway region. We are lucky to have such an interesting variety of producers and farmers in this area, providing us with fresh produce, meats, cheeses, vegetables, honey, jams, eggs, an array of alcoholic beverages and so much more. Farmer’s Markets can be found weekly in the warmer months in Belleville, Kingston, Brockville, Lansdowne, Athens, Cornwall, Prince Edward County and in Frontenac Township.
For locals and travelers alike, Feast On celebrates restaurants across the region showcasing our unique taste of place. From food trucks to fine dining, these chefs and restaurateurs champion our local food and drink, creating a stronger economy and a more vibrant food culture. Restaurants like Tomasso’s Italian Grill in Trenton or the County Cider Company in Picton work with local farmers, cooking with the seasons and preserving our ever changing food identity. Kingston locations include Atomica Pizza & Wine Bar, Dianne’s, Harper’s Burger Bar, Le Chien Noir, and Olivea which will all cater to your taste experience. To discover more on the Feast On restaurants involved visit www.feaston.ontarioculinary.com
Food on the Move: Gourmet Food Trucks in the Great Waterway
It’s been at least five years since the gourmet food truck craze hit Ontario’s biggest cities. Today, you’ll find slow-smoked pulled pork or goat cheese salad being served from a truck window in our region as easily as you would in Toronto. There is also an amazing array of food trucks popping up in our smaller communities as well. This is great news for anyone wanting more than the usual chip truck; the only problem is choosing which restaurant on wheels to head to.
From the Farm Cooking School: From the Fields of PEC to Your Plate
When visiting Prince Edward County – one of Ontario’s premier food and wine regions – it only makes sense to take home some culinary souvenirs. You can pick up locally grown organic veggies, a wedge of sheep’s milk cheese, or a jar of sweet preserves to savour at home. But why not indulge in a culinary experience that will equip you with skills and recipes with a limitless shelf life?
One of the few dedicated cooking schools in the County, From the Farm Cooking School offers year-round private, group, and public courses with themes ranging from the seasonal, such as Maple Madness, to popular and recurring offerings, such as Tuscan Farmhouse.
Love Apples – Pick Your Own!
The Great Waterway grows more than grapes – it’s also a great region to pick your own apples for a satisfying late summer or fall crunch. Events like the Apples and Art Studio Tour in the Cornwall area give art lovers the rare opportunity to visit studios and experience demos and exhibits while enjoying some delicious apple treats along the way. Visit any one of our picturesque orchards, which offer many varieties of fine pick your own apples including Marlin Orchards in Cornwall, Waddell Apples just outside of Kingston and Loughborough Heritage Orchard in Inverary. The ‘Pick Your Own’ apple season generally runs from the last week of August through to the middle of October. Bring the whole family for a great farm fresh outing.
Authentic Canadian Maple Syrup Experiences in Abundance
The warm late winter and early spring temperatures bring one of our most favourite times of the year – the maple syrup season. Headlining maple season in The Great Waterway are three family-friendly events – Maple in the County in Prince Edward County; Maple Madness in Kingston and an open house event at Gibbons Maple Sugar House in Frankville, near Brockville. Amazing experiences include eating pancakes in a sugar shack, hiking through a sugar bush, dashing through the snow on a horse drawn wagon, snowshoeing in a vineyard and eating taffy off of fresh snow. This back to the land family outing is not to be missed!
Experience Food Festivals in the Great Waterway Region
There is no better way to experience a destination like The Great Waterway than through its various food and wine festivals. We dare you not to salivate at the many exciting choices where you get the best of the best of the home grown food from our area! Your culinary journey will lead you to incredible food, delightful venues and entertaining hosts. Our extraordinary culinary culture awaits you!
For the Love of Wine – Half Day Tour – $478 to $532 +HST
The County Unveiled Tour – $490 to $542 +HST
Maple Syrup Tour – $350 +HST
Prince Edward County Wine Tours – Starting at $180 +HST