At the height of summer in Niagara on the Lake and surrounding areas, there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables being displayed in the many colourful fruit stalls along the roadside. Just another reason why I love working with Niagara Homes.
Often, dozens of people are milling around the displays, poking and prodding, inspecting and ultimately purchasing punnets and trays of fresh, locally harvested produce. As you drive through the area, the fields and orchards are full of workers who migrate to the area for the summer, busy collecting the crops and loading up trucks and trailers, ready for distribution.
One of the big crops in the area, apart from the obvious grape harvest, is peaches! In fact, it is such a prominent fruit in the area that Niagara-on-the-Lake even has an annual ‘Peach Festival’. This weekend (Aug 10th and 11th) was the date and the festival was in full swing.
On Saturday the ‘Heritage District’, Queen Street between King and Victoria Streets were closed to vehicles as we celebrated the peach harvest with a day of live music, historic displays, entertainment, fun and lots of Greenbelt-grown peaches. There was no charge to attend the event but lots of opportunities to buy goods. -Various peach items were for sale, including peach punch, peach crepes, peach jam, peach pies, and peach sundaes!
Later on in the evening, the Peach Celebration continued, as Queen Street turned into a Night Market, with local merchants showcasing products from tents. There was live music from the five piece band, Il Poco Latino and yet more wonderful food samples from the Signature Kitchen restaurants of Escabeche (Prince of Wales Hotel); Cannery (Pillar and Post); Tiara (Queens Landing), and Peller Estate Winery Restaurant, accompanied with wines from Reif Estate Winery, Jackson-Triggs, Inniskillin, Peller and Trius and local beer from Oast Brewers. Defintely an event worth attending!
On Sunday, the Peach Festival continued but you can only take so much fruit so my wife and I decided to head out of town and along the Niagara Escarpment to Pelham to visit Hernder Estates Winery. We had not been to this one before – there are so many, it will takes us quite a while to visit them all! As luck would have it, they had a big promotional event there and the place was full of people. There were barbecues everywhere and freshly cooked burgers, sausages, hot dogs and a huge Porchetta – seemingly the speciality of the place! There was, of course, plently of wine available, beer, and lots of other food items – too many to list. After having our fill of food and wine tasting, we headed off towards Grimsby. We were actually going to Rona to buy floor tiles but you do not want to be bored with the details of that – got a great deal though!
Grimsby Beach is a nice area with a great little marina, townhomes, a park on the lake shore and a good place to walk your dog. We wandered around and collected a few small pieces of driftwood. It was a perfect day weatherwise and Toronto could be seen very clearly across the lake. We made our way back along the Lake to Charles Daly Park on the edge of St Catharines and had some tea and biscuits (purchased from Tims just before). There were loads of people here too. Large picnics set up with the aromas of different nationalities of foods being barbecued. It was driving Pippin (our dog) mad so we decided it was time to head home.
Another active weekend in the NOTL area. Just get in touch with me, Kevin Stokes, at my Niagara Homes office when you decide you would like to be a part of this great community.