Preserved Goodness

There are a number of ways to carry the tastes and sunshine of summer into the colder months. Preserving fruit and vegetables must be one of the best ways to spice up the season with some delicious harvest produce.

Here are some tips to help guide you:

  1. Buy Local! If you don't grow your own produce in your backyard or at a community plot, consider purchasing from your local Farmers' Market or neighbouring farm.
  2. You don’t need to make massive quantities of in order to can pickles, or jams. There are lots of small batch recipes that can be found online with a simple search.
  3. A lot of the nutrients in produce are located in the peels. When making applesauce or other similar products, consider using a blender to make the sauce from the skins along with the pulp.
  4. Make your own pickling spices. Get creative and experiment with combinations including coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds, allspice, ginger, chilies or cloves.
  5. Remember to sterilize your jars and lids. You can do this in boiling water.

Here are some of the best locally made preserves you may want to look out for. (Pssst.... they make great gifts, too!)

The Barrel House

Not only barrel makers recycling barrels, woods and other pieces into furniture, gift and decor items, they also offer fresh baked goods and pickles locally sourced and using barrel aged food ingredients. Pre-order by Wednesday for a Friday or Saturday pickup time.

The Breadalbane Gourmet

The Breadalbane boasts two award-winning restaurants, each with their own distinct flare for locally sourced food, as well as an Inn featuring eleven charming suites and a four-suite Carriage house, right in downtown Fergus. The Breadalbane Gourmet was created when they developed their famous Apple Cider Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette, which is gluten, dairy, nut and preservative free. They recently released a line of Breadalbane Ketchup in regular or spicy, and their Secret Burger Sauce. They are branded as "a must-have farm to table experience"! All are available for purchase at the restaurant and select local retailers.

Chef Scott Yates

One of the most exciting recent collaborations of two unique local businesses: Chef Scott Yates created this incredibly delicious BBQ sauce using Dixon's Distilled Spirits Oatshine. A wonderful gift for the smoke BBQ lover in your family. You can pick up the sauce (and locally crafted spirits) at the distillery. Scott has as also teamed up with Wellington Brewery to create a Kickin' BBQ Sauce. It features the unique aroma and bright flavours of locally grown hops. Combined with freshly shredded horseradish, maple syrup and the other local ingredients, this BBQ Sauce is perfect on any meat or fish. Kick back and enjoy!  |  |

Country Flavours

This local company out of Ariss prepares a large selections of fruit, vegetable preserves as well as pickled eggs. Our favourites are their 'hot' jams, a unique twist on traditional flavours such as cherry, strawberry  and apple. Look out for their products at Taste RealOM retailers and country markets, including Mosborough Country Market, Strom's Farm and Bakery, Dar's Country Market, Market Fresh, Rowe Farms and Wellington Country Market Place.

Cox Creek Cellars

Famous for their fruit and grape wines, Wellington County's only winery also offers a fantastic line up of home made wine jellies, including spiced russet, apple raspberry, country sunrise (black currant) and cranberry wine jelly. A perfect as a stocking stuffer, hostess gift for the wine lover in your family! Also, check out their beautiful gift baskets, prepared on site.

Green Table Foods

If you're looking for different - go Green Table Foods. Their 'living' wild fermented vegetables are completely vegan, gluten free, pro-biotic and enzyme rich. (A great treat for your gut during holiday feasts!) Our favourite: Kale Kimchi - just the right level of spice, to be enjoyed as a condiment with a meat and cheese board, or best - just by itself! their products are available locally at Fraberts Fresh Food, Market Fresh, Planet Bean, The Stone Store and more.

Magpie's Bakery and Gourmet Doughnuts

Not just fresh, handmade gourmet doughnuts and other sweet treats - Magpie's Bakery also offers local preserves including jams, jellies and relish, as well as locally roasted coffee beans available for purchase and utilized in their baking!

Pressed for Time Paninis

Made from scratch, Pressed for Time Paninis serves creative, homemade food, fast and efficiently with a flair for exotic flavours. They curate small batches of Whiskey mustard, vinaigrette or be sure to try their Really Really Hot Sauce located in store or available on their online shop.

Rootham Gourmet Preserves

Wellington's best known preserve company has a huge line up of excellent jams, jellies, relishes, chutneys, antipasti, mustard, salad dressings and salsas. Our favourite has to be be their award-winning tangy red peppery jelly - a classic, best enjoyed with baked brie or other cheeses. Speaking of cheeses , check out the gift idea section on their website for brie bakers, cheese boards and gift boxes. Locally available at Market Fresh and other locations. See website for full list.

Sorry Sauce

Mapleton's own Sorry Sauce is an award winning, farm to table, craft batch hot sauce made the Canadian way with a free apology in every bottle. They've won a Canadian Hot Sauce Award for the Best New Sauce of 2021. Their "Curry Curry Hard" Sauce won the top spot this year, while their “Fresh Cents” sauce won the award for Best Jalapeno Sauce in 2020. Sorry Sauce is primarily sold at farmers' markets within the county, including Rockwood and Mapleton Township. This upcoming season, they will have a permanent spot at the Guelph Farmers' Market.

Strom's Farm and Bakery

Strom's Farm and Bakery is second generation farm started in 1978, and are known for their quality produce and  exceptional fall experiences. They grow their own haskap berries right on the farm, and make haskap syrup, jam, sauces, along with the new addition of haskap vinaigrette! Grab yours in their retail store located at the farm.

Top Market Meats

As 5th generation local family farmers, they believe in local food products and the value in their worth. As part of such, they have created a line of delicious sweet and smokey BBQ sauces - perfect for sausage on a bun! Try a "Farmers daughter" with orange undertones or a "Farmers son", a honey sweet start with a kick of heat finish!

For more preserves, check out Wellington County's wonderful Farmers' Markets.

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909