You know the debate…. “Glass half full…. Glass half empty…??”

There’s a lot of talk these days about … well, EVERYTHING really!!

Right off the top, let’s get one thing straight:  We’re NOT candy-coating anything or standing around with our heads in the proverbial sand.  We KNOW that a lot of people are in a really tough spot right now, for a multitude of different reasons…and this ‘new normal’ is difficult in SOME way for every single one of us.

At the same time….

There’s a lot of good in the world.

As a family, we have been consciously working on taking our thoughts captive and choosing to see the good in things, as the sign suggests.   Not gonna lie….some days it’s a lot easier than others!!

 

It’s one thing to ‘think’ good thoughts, but what do we do with them then?

I have a confession.

Often, that’s where it stops for me.  I have all of these good thoughts about things, situations, the people in my life…. and I just let them ramble around in my head and never go anywhere!

Imagine if I were to SPEAK those thoughts to those people, as a word of encouragement – or a compliment?

What a difference it would make…

…in someone’s day

…to their outlook on life

…for their business!!

 

So, I’ve set myself a challenge – to start doing just that.

In fact, I’ve already begun!  Earlier today, I took a couple of minutes and posted a Google 5-Star review of a local business.  (See it HERE if you’re curious…) It’s so easy.  Why don’t I do that more often?

Why don’t any of us do it more often?

Ok, just a minute.  Hold the phone!! 

This is NOT the Miller’s asking you to scoot over and post a glowing review of Miller’s Bay Farm…

NOT

AT

ALL!

(Please know that we FULLY appreciate those reviews that you’ve already put up, but that’s not what this is about.)

Here’s the thing.

  • Most of us could list several businesses whose products or services we love and appreciate.

 

  • Many of those businesses are having a tough go of it right now – either because they’ve had to close…or DRASTICALLY alter the way that they operate, for the time being.

 

  • Many of us find ourselves with some extra time on our hands right now….and truly – is scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for ANOTHER 30 minutes REALLY to anyone’s benefit?? (NOT judging here….I have spent more time at this lately than I’d even like to consider!!)

 

  • And did you know…that up to 90% of customers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision?  Reviews matter!

 

So…WHAT IF…. each one of us, each day, for just a few days – maybe a week – took the time to post a review of one of our personal favourites?  When you added them up, that would be a whole plethora of positivity!!!

Oh man,   I’m getting pumped just thinking about it!!!

Could we do that?

Would you join us?

Just tell the world what you think!  Share how that business, or their product, or a member of their team has solved a particular problem for you.  Or let us know why you are a ‘customer for life’ at a particular spot.  Think about what you would want to know if you were looking for that product or service…and then answer those questions for the reader!

(Google reviews are great, because they are most visible when someone searches for a business or service.  Of course there are also Facebook recommendations, TripAdvisor reviews – depending on the type of business, and many others too. )

If you need a little help navigating the HOW of getting your review online, just ask!  We’re no experts, but we’d be glad to give you some pointers or walk you through your first one.

And if that just seems like it’s going to take too much and you’re already mentally exhausted…never underestimate the power of a quick email, phone call, or handwritten note to tell somebody that you appreciate them.

However you want to – Just Say It!

We’re pretty sure that nobody has ever regretted passing along a kind word!

 

 

She Did It!!

We are really excited for her!

We are so proud of her!

We think she’s just amazing!

….. and she’s not even ours!!

WELL – she is…kind of…

You know them, and you love them too!  Each summer, we are blessed with a pretty incredible team of Freshness Fanatics who are the face of Miller’s Bay Farm to the world.

This is a ‘first job’ for many.  We consider it an honour to start these enthusiastic young people off on their journey into the world of work.  And to be completely honest…we usually learn as much from them as they do from us along the way!

Do you ever wonder where they soar off to once they leave us?
It is pretty neat to keep track of ‘our kids’ and their adventures…and after 20 years of summers…as you might imagine, there are quite a few ‘adventures’ to hear about!!

This post is about one such adventure…

The year was 2013.

A lovely young woman by the name of Erin MacDonald dropped by ‘just to see if we were needing any help at the stand.’

 

(We didn’t do a very good job of getting photos way back then…so I stole this one from her Linkedin profile…hope you don’t mind, Erin!)

 

 

 

The rest – they say – is history.  Erin worked with us for a couple of years, and then she was off to the University of Guelph (an excellent choice of school, if I DO say so myself!) for a Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management degree.

Of course…she ‘nailed it.’
(And I don’t mean in the way that the Netflix series means it.  I mean she really DID Nail It!!)

After graduation….some pretty cool work experiences…and then Baking and Pastry Arts, to really round out her skill set…

We arrive at 2020….and the source of our excitement, pride and awe…as we touched on in the opening lines of this blog.

As of just last week, Erin has realized her dream.

 

The newest cafe in town.  Harvest Social !! 

 

It’s located in the Davidson Courtyard Shops, on Russell Street West, and it’s WONDERFUL!!

Don’t take our word for it though…. go check it out for yourself, say ‘hi’ to Erin and share a memory from her “Miller’s Bay Farm” days when you’re there!! 

Bon Appetit!

 

Hey folks…can we talk?

Any day now, the sides of the streets will be dotted with a familiar – and welcome – sign of summer … Roadside fruit and vegetable stands.

  • They are most often operated by the farmers themselves, or members of their summer staff team – but not always.
  • They usually sell produce which has been grown at their home farm – but not always.
  • The farms represented are often within just a few kilometers of the town they’ve sprung up in – but not always.

Yes, we happen to operate one of these Roadside fruit and vegetable stands.  It’s located in the parking lot at Penny’s Place Restaurant  on Hwy 7, East of Perth.

 We’re heading into our 9th year there.

 

The point of this ‘chat’ we’re having today though, is NOT to convince you to come and buy from us. Surprised? Don’t be. If you would give us just one more minute of your time, we’ll help you to understand what we’re driving at here.

More often every year, we are hearing from folks who honestly think that they have been buying OUR products…but they haven’t.  We know this because they’ll tell us something like…

“We stopped in at your stand on the corner and bought strawberries….or corn….or….fill in the blank.”

Oh yes, there IS a stand on the corner…but it’s not ours.

And that’s perfectly ok!

Let’s be clear.

The other thing we are NOT doing here is suggesting that you avoid supporting our farming colleagues at the other stands in town.  We know them personally.  Great folks! They do a terrific job of growing fresh, quality produce for your table.

We’re all just making a living, and there’s room for everyone in the world of local food.

As shoppers, each one of us is absolutely free to choose where we spend our food dollars.  That may be at the farm gate, the farmers’ market, the local grocer, or even the big box stores.

As consumers ourselves though, we do find it disheartening to learn that the money we had intended to end up in one pocket actually went in a different direction.

Perhaps we could liken it to the times in a grocery store when we’ve purposely chosen fruit from under the sign that said ‘Ontario-grown’.

 

Upon closer examination though, the sticker on that fruit revealed that the country of origin was actually Chile.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Chile.  Farmers there have to make a living too…but we didn’t intend for our money to go there.

 

You work hard to earn your paycheque, and groceries make up a significant portion of your household budget. It just seemed that this was worth mentioning, having heard from a number of people who weren’t quite sure “who’s who” under the tent…. or in our case, beside the wagon!

 

The shopper is in the driver’s seat.   What can a person do to find clarity?

By Ontario law, baskets over a certain size must be labelled with the packer’s name and where the product was grown.

Read labels.

 

When in doubt, ask… Ask where it was grown …and don’t settle for the stat answer of ‘locally’.  (‘Local’ can mean ANYWHERE in Ontario)

Ask about our farms.

Ask about our families…

…And our teams…

 

Ask us anything!

We’ll look forward to continuing the dialogue when we see you in person.

And – regardless of where you choose to fill up your grocery bags, we say ‘thank you’ for reading, and for your interest in local food.  We’re all in this together!

 

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