When it comes to a day spent behind the bars of my motorcycle, Grey County with its curvy roads, rolling landscape, and water edge cruising is often top of the list. So when a request presents itself to gather the necessities for a family meal, my first thought is Grey County. Fall colours, local produce, wine, dessert, hmmm, moto tour, anyone? Chatsworth, here I come.
Why Chatsworth, you ask? Situated south of Owen Sound in the centre of scenic Grey County and with an assortment of establishments offering fresh local produce, I know I can acquire most of my meal shopping needs here. Plus, getting here by motorcycle is just fun; after all, it is about the ride, you know.
One thing lacking in the Chatsworth area but not in Grey County is locally produced liquid refreshments. A problem that perfectly works into my plan, allowing for a few more kilometres on the odometer. Route set, let's ride.
Leaving the blue waters of the Georgian Bay, I turn for the hills and stop number one for some local apples squeezed into delicious cider at Spy Cider. Stop number two at The Roost Winery takes care of the wine needs and offers a spectacular view to boot. I will now make my way west along curvy country roads towards Chatsworth.
As the saying goes, it's not wise to shop on an empty stomach; the home-style cooking at Kettles Back Home Cookin' makes sure this is not an issue. Lunch was terrific, thank you.
I don't have to go far to continue my shopping spree. Next door, Grandma Lambe's offers baked goods, grocery items, giftware, and in the fall bins of local apples.
A few minutes down the road, old school butcher shop Moore's Meats sources its producers within a 200km radius of the store, minimalizing impact on the environment and maintaining product freshness. Steaks to go, please.
Providing homemade and handmade baking since 2007, stepping into the historic building that housed the Williamsford Pie Company is an exercise in self-control as your senses are teased with an array of tasty treats. The decision is not easy; pumpkin pie, please.
Break time, I Google my need for a coffee fix, and a location pops up just a few hundred meters down the road. A perfect example of a reason to explore, Great Books & Café turns out to be a treat. Located along the North Saugeen River shore, the historic mill houses 70,000 books, baked goods, and a good cup of coffee; your break might take more time than expected.
Back at it, I pick up some honey at Gibson's Pure Honey. A beautiful store right on the highway containing all things honey, so many flavours, cinnamon, ginger, sweet and spicy, cranberry, lemon and more, Beeswax candles, all-natural lip balms and gift baskets. Well worth the stop.
There is one more chance to satisfy your sweet tooth at the family-owned Chatsworth Honey, where the 700 beehives are managed for apple pollination and honey production.
At Farm Queen Organic Foods, you will find a fantastic selection of local grass-fed, pastured and certified organic meat, dry goods, and produce. You can visit with the animals roaming the property, and Cindy, the owner, was a pleasure to chat with.
All good fun takes too long, and time becomes an issue as I make the turn for my final stop. The postcard setting of flowers and vegetables welcomes me at Sideroad Farm. The small family-run farm near Walter's Falls is known for its certified organic vegetables, cut flowers, and pastured chickens. The on-site farm store is fully stocked with products from Sideroad Farm and that of many local farmers.
Potatoes, check; carrots, steak, dessert, wine, check, check, check; a few hundred kilometres on the odometer, check, shopping will never be the same. Hmmm, fall colours, local produce, moto tour, anyone? Absolutely! And Chatsworth, Grey County is the place to do it.