While Derek and I motor down a dirt trail in his Kubota RTV, he points toward what I take to be a group of neatly-appointed campsites – each replete with picnic table and grilling pit. ‘Those are our daytime sites,’ he explains, ‘for families or groups of friends who want to make their Christmas tree shopping experience a full-day excursion.’ What a great concept, I think to myself, already imagining cooking hot dogs under falling snow after chopping down this year’s tree with my brood.
Derek is full of awesome ideas. Since taking over the one-hundred acre Elliott Tree Farm from his dad almost a decade ago, he has transformed this plot of land situated in the peaceful hills of Headwaters Region into a destination for exploration and adventure. There are the Christmas trees and campsites, of course. But there’s more. A Christmas market is located inside the farm’s restored heritage barn (also available as a site for weddings and events). Walking trails run through the property. And there are even two Airbnb cabins – including a pioneer cabin built in 1850 where I could readily imagine spending at least a couple nights come winter.
Derek tells me that sharing his farm brings him pleasure and happiness – positive feelings he sees reflected in the faces of visitors who come to see what this uniquely-outfitted place has to offer.
Like so many other remarkable farms and food businesses that dot Guelph and Wellington County, Elliott Tree Farm is a partner of Taste Real – a County of Wellington program that promotes local food and facilitates valuable connections among food businesses, consumers,
and farmers alike. Farmers like Derek, whose enterprise contributes beauty and adventure to our lives. Learn more at elliotttreefarm.ca and tastereal.ca