Official Liaison College Blog

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Farm Gate - an unapologetic celebration of local food

FARM GATE is an annual celebration of the harvest in Norfolk County.  Under the watchful eye of Chef Tracy Winkworth from Liaison College SouthCoast, the pastures and trails of the YU Ranch in Tillsonburg are transformed into a gourmet's delight.

When you arrive at the Ranch, you are invited to enjoy the cheese board (supplied by Sam's Cheese in Hamilton) and a glass of wine.  This year's winery partner was Burning Kiln Winery - the winery was built on a former tobacco farm in the SouthCoast Region and still uses the tobacco drying shacks. The wine is awesome.

Shortly after arriving you are starting on the "trail tour"
Through the meadows, around the bend into the Carolinian forest, over the babbling (and very clear, I might add) brook and up the hill and dale to the first station.  Luckily this was a wine tasting stop and we sampled a red and white from Burning Kiln.  My favourite was the Riesling - and I'm not a white person per se usually.
My friend Gail was a willing participant in the wine tasting and even went back for seconds.  Actually, we all did!
We continued on the walking journey through the open field flanked by cow pastures and we were told that there are strategically placed thickets and grasses that attract birds.  Birds help the cows stay free of pests.  And happy cows taste better.  These cows enjoyed a leisurely life of eating and relaxing in the open fields.

and this lead us to our next stop where we were invited to taste a beef tongue sandwich.  The burst of flavours from the beef accompanied by pickles and onions and a host of condiments was delicious.

After relishing the sustenance, we continued on the hike and meandered to another station en route and then finally back to the ranch where 22 (yes, that's not a typo) food stations were waiting for us.
To our new friends and others who travelled this culinary journey with us we say "cheese" - see you next time!!

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