While one can find all varieties of fruits, vegetables and bakery items at conventional grocery stores, there is nothing like buying farm-fresh produce from local farmers.
In the summer months, a Farmer’s Market is an ideal place to visit if you like to fill your basket with organic and local produce. I love the vibe, colours and conversations at local markets. But there is something very special about visiting a farm itself. After all, each farm has its unique feel, composed of its people, its culture and its produce.
Hy Hope Farm at Ashburn, Ontario features in my article on the Top Farms to Visit with Family in Durham. If you would like to know more about this great place, read on.
Located at 5450 Lake Ridge Rd, Ashburn, Hy Hope Farm is easily accessible from anywhere in Durham and even from Toronto. One of the things I love the best about Hy Hope is the drive to it. Nestled on a raised hill, Hy Hope is surrounded by fields and farms. In the summer that means a drive through lush greenery, in fall it is a chance to see some beautiful colours and in the winter, it looks like a wonderland. On a clear day, you can see Lake Ontario stretched out at the horizon when you stand at the flagpole at Hy Hope, facing south.
While many farms in the area close for the winter, Hy Hope is open all year round. Each season has its unique attractions and if you are anything like me, you will try to go at least once every season to experience the various facets Hy Hope has to offer. The farm is open all days of the week from 6.30 am to 6 pm, except on Sundays, when they close at 5.30 pm.
Through the summer months, you will find the freshest of fruits and vegetables at Hy Hope, all grown locally. I also love their collection of colourful hanging baskets with the prettiest of flowers.
In the fall, you can get a huge variety of apples grown in their very own orchards! Winter doesn’t mean only potatoes- you can get an assortment of squashes as well as root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic.
Apart from this, Hy Hope is known for its variety of jams and preserves. You name it and they have it! They also offer homemade soups and cereals. Their chocolate milk is a must-try- thick and creamy, it is way better than anything you will get at the supermarket. Fresh eggs and a variety of cheese, bakery items, cakes, cookies and even fresh apple cider or coffee. If you are looking for a mini-meal, they often offer hot grilled cheese sandwiches made from their very own bread. You can even buy chopped wood for your fireplace during those chilly winter months.
Apart from produce, Hy Hope offers a number of experiences. In the fall, you can go apple picking in their orchards. In the winter, you can toboggan down their snow-filled hills. If golf interests you, Hy Hope has an 18-course sprawling green. In the summer months, my little one loves to watch the chickens in their coop and roll down the beautiful hills.
Hy Hope is a lovely place to visit in the winter. Unlike many other farms, it is open and well-stocked. Be prepared to see a lot of snow. Stock up on their warm loaves of bread and bakery items, as well as root vegetables during the winter. Enjoy a drive through the surrounding hills and cozy up to a cup of coffee or warm apple cider. If tobogganing season is on, you can enjoy a day at the farm with your family. Make sure to call ahead and confirm if they are offering tobogganing.
Unfortunately, Hy Hope doesn’t offer access to a washroom, nor is it wheelchair-friendly.
If you are heading to Hy Hope, you can expect warm and friendly staff, fresh produce, lovely baked goods, a beautiful drive and a free parking spot.
If you have not yet been to Hy Hope, make sure to visit. And if you did go there and loved it, you may also like:
Willowtree Farm, Port Perry
White Feather Farm, Raglan
In Search of Love... a sweet love story!
Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.