This past Tuesday we decided to play hooky for the first time since opening and treat ourselves to a full day of farming and eating (to excess). We met at an ungodly, early morning hour, left a quick note explaining why we’d be gone for the day, and then set out to the Kawarthas — our destination being the farm of Mark Trealout and Laura Boyd.

After a few hours on the open road, fueled in part by coffee and largely by gas station energy drinks, we arrived at the picturesque farm ready for labour. Considering the heights of caffeine, gaurine, taurine, and panax ginseng extract in our bloodstreams, we probably could have run a marathon too, but that’s hardly the point. Back to Mark and Laura.

The farm was beautiful and though clouds had been looming over us earlier, the sun began to peak out just as we finished a tour of the property. After saying hello to the Cornish hens, chickens, and turkeys (Luke’s son named one “Fight” and the other “Bagel”), we got to work in the fields digging for sweet potatoes and picking black beans.

A few of us attacked the skids of onions, peeling and cutting them until they were ready to be boxed up. Inevitably we pulled out a couple of growlers, some Roman Candle IPA and the last of the White Picket Fence Belgian wheat beer, while the designated drivers in the group cursed their luck.

With the guidance of Mark and Laura we prepared a big lunch full of the most delicious and fresh ingredients, straight from the farm. Chickens were halved and cooked over an open fire, salads of wild dandelion greens and heirloom tomatoes were chopped up, and Luke learned how to press tortillas from a masa dough that Mark had whipped up. Fab threw some baby eggplants on the grill and when all was ready we sat in the grass, silently, rapidly scarfing down the simply impressive meal.

It was a great experience participating in the harvesting that helps make the brewery’s delicious local meals possible. We’d like to say a big thank you to Mark and Laura for welcoming us into their home, but also reprimand them for making us all want to live in an idyllic country setting!

Sadly, since returning to the city, our lives have involved decidedly less gourds.