Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stratford Culinary Tour: Soiled Reputation

After visiting Monforte Dairy, we headed over to Soiled ReputationSoiled Reputation is a farm owned and run by Antony John and his wife Tina VandenHeuval, where they had their farm showcased as hosts of "The Manic Organic" on Canada's Food Network and House and Garden TV (the show was subsequently sold to over 50 countries around the world). Soiled Reputation is a certified organic farm and greenhouses, growing custom sald mixes, seedlings, and leafy greens all year round. They have been supplying top restaurants, markets, retail locations, and homes in Toronto, Stratford, and Niagara for 15 years. Below are pictures of one of their many greenhouses.

When we got to Antony John's farm, the first thing we saw were some free-range chickens.

They look like they were enjoying the good weather as well!

We were then led to the barn at the back.

And what do we have here? Lets take a closer look...

Little chicks! 

Aren't they so cute and adorable?!

And here is Antony John. He spoke to us about his farm, and his passion about growing and producing gourmet-quality, organic produce. Antony indicated that there is no where better for farming than Perth County - "If this was a wine region, this would be Bordeaux". Antony is also a painter! Check out his beautiful paintings here.

Antony than led us on a tour of his farm. 

Seasonally they grow 50 different gourmet and heirloom vegetables. Soiled Reputation practices ecologically sound, certified organic growing techniques that enrich, rather than deplete the soil. Today, half of his 80 acre farm is certified organic. 

Turkey manure, an excellent source of nutrients, is used to fertilize the farm.

Antony's cat. I think my cat would give anything to be able to roam around freely like this!

As we ventured deeper and deeper into Soiled Reputation, we knew it was time to....

...forage for our own lunch! Antony showed us where the parsley is grown.

My small handful of parsley, which will be incorporated in our salad at lunch. Can't get any fresher than this!

Antony found a bird's nest nearby, but sadly, only one of the four eggs hatched.

Back near the barn, our lunch was roastin' away.

Antony stirring the coals.

This deserves a closer look! Wild boar roasting away, courtesy of Perth Pork Products. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMY!

This is Jesus, Soiled Reputation's donkey. 

After our tour of the farm, Danielle kindly brought us some freshly baked croissants from Rundles, a renown restaurant in Stratford. 

These croissants are probably the best croissants I've ever had. They were sooo soft and buttery! I hear that they sell out by 8am every morning. Somehow I am not surprised.

My next post will be about our third destination: Fred de Martines' farm - Perth Pork Products.