The last post had me bitchin', so it is only fair that this post be about things that make life just that little bit better. With out further ado, here are my three current faves. These are unsolicited reviews, just my great experiences with all three companies.
The first one is Autoshare. They are a company I have been dealing with for several years. Basically, you have access to cars all over the city and you can rent by the hour. It is a great way have a car without the headache of owning a car in downtown Toronto. No worries about maintenance or parking and the advantage of renting for short periods of time. It worked out perfectly for a trip to my second fave, Whittamores Farm.
Whittamores is located just a bit north of the Toronto zoo. It always amazes me I can be in farm country 45 minutes from downtown. I have been to several PYO farms and never really had a bad experience but I had a great time when I went this morning to this one. The staff were amazing, friendly and polite, even though I was there right at opening. No tired, surly or blurry there, well except for me LOL. Other than having a great selection of produce just waiting to be picked, you can tell they really thought this through.
You can borrow a wheel barrow, a great relief for me as I was picking a bushel of paste tomatoes, there are bathrooms at the picking fields, okay port-a-potties but still and everything is labelled with huge easily seen signs even though they have guides to help steer you in the right direction.
As I was leaving the strawberry field, eight litres of beautiful fresh berries in September in hand, the guide thanked me for my visit, in the middle of a heat alert. Seriously, it was about 35 degrees with the humidex, brutal. The poor guy had been out there all morning walking all of us around the fields, showing us where to pick. The staff didn't miss a beat.
I came home with a bushel of tomatoes, eight litres of strawberries and two huge watermelons. I would have stayed but I was literally dripping wet and couldn't take it any longer. I'll be back, maybe even next weekend. I'll see how much the first bushel of tomatoes make, then decide. All in all a great experience and at great prices, win, win for me. I didn't even make it to their farmers market. Next time.
That brings me to my last but by no means least favourite, Kilmarnock Orchards. This is local to my parents place near Ottawa, not Toronto, but I always try and plan at least one visit home during their picking season.
I would love to tell you more about the operation but I got totally sidetracked talking with woman running the place. She asked me what I was doing with the apples and made a great recommendation on type then we got talking about canning. We covered so much ground, on so many different topics I really should have taken notes. She even helped me identify what type of crab apples I have here that I love so much.
Very knowledgeable and friendly, they don't just have apples, but crab apples, currants and plums as well. I left this year with most of a bushel of Yellow Transparent apples, which true to her word cooked up like a dream and a bunch of extra crab apples for jelly.
It is always nice to go somewhere and be treated well, like they really do value your business. It's too bad it doesn't happen always, everywhere. Wouldn't that be nice?
And that's me, not bitchin'.