The iconic Meadow Lynn Farms sign came into view, and after turning into the laneway, I got in line for my very first Berry Drive-Thru experience. Don, a tartan-masked gentleman welcomed me, and after being asked a few COVID related questions, around I drove through the grass to get my berry-fix. I paid debit with ease (thank U, WiFi) and Claire loaded 2 flats of berries into my vehicle in a socially-distant way. Done!
I next had the pleasure of meeting Sharon Judd, who graciously shared a few moments of her busy day with me. As a farming Mutual, we so value our interactions with our agriculture Members and love having the chance to visit their operations and listen to what they have to say. Sharon and I chatted about Meadow Lynn’s long history in Norfolk County- the berry farm is in its 36th season this year! It’s no wonder it’s a favourite Norfolk County tradition. She mentioned that the farm dates back to the 40s and then painted the most amazing picture of Simcoe during that time. She explained that the farm grew tomatoes, raspberries, and other produce (in addition to the dairy production) and since the cannery was downtown Simcoe, it was just a matter of loading up the wagon and heading to Peel street with the fresh produce for production. Though things have changed now, Sharon mentioned that many farmers are working to bring processing back to the farm and that there are entrepreneurial-minded farmers in Norfolk County starting to do just that.
Sharon and her family are as resilient as the strawberries they grow. This year they got creative and came up with The Berry Drive-Thru, and so far so good! Picking up some socially-distant strawberries is one way to support Meadow Lynn and another is through their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Membership program. This year, their veggie box Memberships are SOLD OUT! But some lucky folks who time it right will be able to pick up any veggies harvested over-and-above the quantities for the boxes in the Berry Drive-Thru.
I thanked Sharon for her time and went on my way with two flats of Wendy (the varietal of strawberry on today’s menu) in the passenger’s seat, and in no time, it became a bit less than two flats. Make sure you get to Meadow Lynn farms before the strawberries all disappear like mine did on the drive home ?
Written by G. Field, CBO, Nova Mutual