The clouds cleared and the rain stopped just in time today for Barrie Hill Farms first Canada Day event in more than two years.
Morris Gervais, owner of the popular farm market and “pick your own” farm located just outside of Barrie, told BarrieToday that despite having to cancel the live music they’d had planned due to the rain that occurred in the morning - and had been forecasted to continue until mid-afternoon, Canada Day at the farm has turned out to be a pretty great event.
“It turned out to be a really nice day,” he said, adding they were excited to be able to host an in-person event to celebrate Canada Day this year.
“It’s fantastic. People are really excited to be able to come to the farm, visit and hang around a little bit. During COVID, we encouraged people to just pick their berries and go home, but now we are encouraging them to stick around,” he said, noting the new silo cafe - which offers fresh waffles with berries on top and the farm’s famous frozen yogurt has been a very popular new attraction this summer.
With a number of live music events planned throughout the summer, Gervais told BarrieToday it’s been great to get back to welcoming people to the property.
‘It’s fantastic to have a sense of normalcy again.”
Scott and Leah Nyenhuis came to Barrie Hill Farms on Friday with their five kids - ages six to 15 - to pick strawberries and enjoy the Canada Day activities planned at the local farm.
“I am just new to Barrie, so we were looking for something to do and thought it would be great and are going to take advantage of the day. The weather cleared enough so there were tons of picking,” said Leah Nyenhuis, adding they spent about 45 minutes out in the field. “I am going to go home and make some jam…I have lots of helpers.”
Utopia residents Lindsay Hikele and Ryan Sherwood came out with the family to enjoy the fresh frozen yogurt being offered at the new silo cafe, they told BarrieToday
“We went strawberry picking on Monday, so we just came for the events and the Canada Day festivities,” said Hikele.
About to dig into their fresh waffles with strawberries right from the farm, Sam Noble - along with her sons Daniel, four and Xander, two - were having a great time exploring the farm .
“We are having lots of fun. We haven’t been here in about five years, so when we heard they had a bit of entertainment and the new cafe we thought it would be a lot of fun to come out,” said Noble, who drove from Wasaga Beach, adding she was actually pretty happy with the morning rained as it likely made it a little quieter and it made it a little safer for young son - who she joked likes to run.
“We really enjoyed doing the strawberry picking. The berries looked fantastic today and we were very happy there were also raspberries, so we got some of each, and now we are enjoying lunch and being outside,” she said, adding she plans to do use what they picked today for baking, freeze some for smoothies, and of course, eat some right away.
Looking at the upcoming forecast, Gervais told BarrieToday there will still be lots of time for people to come out and either pick their own berries - or grab some from the market.
“We’ve got really nice berry picking days coming ahead,” he said. “(It’s going to be) not too hot, sunny and cool - and the berries are fantastic. Other than this little hiccup with a little bit of rain on Canada Day everything looks great,” he said. “There are still lots of berries left. If the weather was going to be 30 degrees, it would be over shortly, but there’s a really nice forecast so it’s wonderful.”