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What The Hell Are The Headwaters?

So, the reason there was no Week in Yum last week was because I was off gallivanting in The Headwaters. What the hell are The Headwaters, you may be asking. I will be honest, that is exactly what I said when I was asked if I would be interested in joining a 2 day media tour.

We are big road trip people and there aren't many corners of Southern Ontario that we are not familiar with. As soon as the weather warms up, we spend almost every day off with the top down and the tank full, wandering all over the place from sun up to sun down. It is not out of the ordinary for us to drive to Kingston for lunch or leave in the morning to pick peaches in Niagara and end up in Port Dover instead. When I told Shack about it, he didn't know what I was talking about until I told him I would be staying at the Best Western in Orangeville. We certainly know Orangeville. We know Caledon and Hockley Valley and the towns of Erin and Shelbourne too. What we didn't know was that when you put them all together, you get Headwaters, a 2,534 square km region of Ontario that encompasses Dufferin County, The Town of Caldeon and The Town of Erin.

We have spent years driving the windy, hilly backroads of the Headwaters without even knowing it but, to be honest, we almost never got out of the car and I didn't really know that there was all that much to get out of the car for. The good people of Headwaters Tourism spend two days showing me why that won't happen again and I am going to spend the next little while telling you.

Over two days, I visited farms and met the farmers who shared their stories, I ate home cooked meals under trees and in a traditional Black House after being nibbled alive by 100 baby goats at Landman Gardens and Bakery. I had a cider tasting at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery and learned all about the trials and tribulations of operating a Canadian apple orchard and took a wonderful cooking class at Erin's Friendly Chef run by Pam Fanjoy, a chef who is also a social worker and manages to meld those two unlikely passions together. Some of us (NOT ME) took an arial tour of the area, focusing on the new equestrian facility, host of the horsey events at the upcoming Pan Am Games. Another group got to experience fly fishing, while I visited a beautiful garden centre and then another group took a glass blowing class while others visited a blacksmith shop.

Cabin restaurant at Hockley Resort treated us to a delicious, fancy pants dinner and then we were whisked off to the Theatre Orangeville in time to catch the second act of a play (which was playing to a surprisingly packed house for a week night).

I am already planning to return with a big group to have this exact lunch in the Blackhouse at Landman Gardens

I will be sharing some of the highlights and introducing you to a couple of the people that I met, some of the fun things that you can do when you visit the area and some ideas about planning a great day trip - remember, it's really only 45 minutes north of Toronto, making it much closer than Prince Edward County and less congested than the Niagara Region. I had so much fun on my media tour that I am already planning to return with the boys to revisit a couple of the spots I have already checked out as well as a bunch that I am dying to experience.
what happens when you unleash a gaggle of city people in a barn full of baby goats

So, stay tuned and in the meantime, enjoy a few photos.

goooooaaaaaaats! at Landman Gardens

warm apple pie at Heatherlea Farm Market

An actual Blackhouse at Landman Gardens - we ate lunch in there and you can too

Phil Dewar - Chef/Owner of Soulyve in Orangeville at the press conference for the New and Improved Headwaters Tourism Guide
Baco Noir, currently playing at Theatre Orangeville

To read up for yourself, pop over to Headwaters Tourism

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