Shopping local in Huron County

The summertime bounty of Huron County, Ontario is on full display in August. You’ll find plenty of fresh, local produce, meats, lake fish and more. Ignoring the virus for a moment, this summer has truly been glorious along the Lake Huron shore. July brought many warm, sunny days perfect for enjoying the beaches and extra-warm water.

I’m happy to say you can now buy Bluewater Pepper Farm products at 3 awesome local vendors too. Visit Masse Fruit and Vegetable Farm, Out of the Blue Fish and Seafood Market and The Bad Apple Brewing Company. All 3 are located along Highway 21, between Bayfield and the tiny hamlet of St. Joseph.

Masse Fruit and Vegetable Farm

Visit Masse’s Farm market to buy the freshest produce you can find, much of it harvested from the fields right next to the store. Right now, you’ll find sweet corn in full swing, all the summer vegetables and fruits including peaches, melons and strawberries. Choose from their selection of meats and baked goods while you’re there.

Masse’s grows the peppers we use to make Bluewater Pepper Farm’s Hot Smokey Chipotle and Hellfire Habanero hot sauce. Look for our spices and hot sauce on the table by the checkout.

Masse store and peppers growing in the field
The staff are always friendly and helpful. This year’s pepper crop is looking great too!

Out of the Blue Fish and Seafood Market

If you love seafood, you’ll love Out of the Blue. Get the best fresh lake fish around. Pickerel, yellow perch, rainbow trout and whitefish are available (depending on the catch) and replenished daily. In addition, you’ll find a great selection of smoked fish (done on site), and fresh and frozen ocean seafood.

If you prefer to leave the cooking to Sue, you can choose from a great menu of fish and chips, chowder, fish burgers and more. The fresh cut fries are absolutely awesome too. Enjoy your meal at a picnic table in the beautiful Clan Gregor Square, right across the road from Out of the Blue.

Pick up some Bluewater Pepper Farm spices and sauce at Out of the Blue in Bayfield

Bad Apple Brewing Company

Over the last few years, the team at Bad Apple have transformed their small apple orchard into an all-round family friendly destination. Enjoy the patio bar and beer garden. With picnic tables scattered throughout the orchard, and a giant marquee tent in case of rain, it’s a perfect place to social-distance. They also host local food trucks, live music, yoga and more throughout the summer. Check out their Facebook page for the latest.

Inside the renovated century barn, pick up some Bad Apple swag and buy some beer to take home. Choose from a selection of local products and crafts including our own Bluewater Pepper Farm spices, hot sauce and Mexican chilies.

Bad Apple provides a beautiful orchard setting where you can sample their craft beers.

If you don’t have the good fortune to visit Huron County this summer, you can still order Bluewater Pepper Farm products direct from our store.

Mid summer update

As always, August brings a rich harvest in Huron County – everything seems to peak at the same time. Our vegetable garden has been slow to start, but is now producing a surplus of beans, cabbage, carrots and onions. Fortunately I’m not reliant on my own peppers as they’re somewhat of a disappointment this year. More about that in a later post. Meantime, I’ve been busy with a few other projects.

Apple and cherry slabs for smoke

I picked up some nice slabs of apple and cherry wood for the smoker. I felt kinda bad about cutting the big apple piece up for chips as it would have made a beautiful tabletop. However, I think these are better than buying the bags of chips and definitely cheaper. Tested them with a hunk of brisket on the smoker.

Fruit wood chips deliver a sweet smoke flavour

My Bluewater Pepper Farm Chipotle powder is for sale at Masse’s Fruit and Vegetable Market during the summer months. It sold well this past year, so be sure to drop by Masse’s when they re-open in late May. While you’re there, pick up outstanding sweet corn, strawberries, peaches and all kinds of other fresh local fruits and vegetables. If you can’t wait, I’m now pleased to offer an online shop too.

Raised beds

Looking pretty sad

It was time to rebuild a couple of my raised beds. They served well for a decade, but I confess they weren’t very well built to begin with

I used some salvaged 2×8 lumber from the deck we replaced last year. I know many will tell you to avoid pressure treated lumber for garden boxes, but these are well aged. They do not contain arsenic which hasn’t been used in a few decades. Best of all, it was already stacked behind the shed, looking for a purpose.

Cut for a box 7′ long x 30″ wide
These should last me a long time!

A couple of hours later, I’m happy with the end result. I decided to build it up higher this time – the 2×8’s made that easy to do. I prefer the height because it allows me to add more soil, plus it’s just plain easier to reach. Another option would be to use it as a cold frame. I could add a hinged plastic window on top to grow greens and such in early Spring.