There's a surprising lot of interesting stuff going on around here, and this space is devoted to discovering and sharing it. We'll post regular updates on merchants, activities and events. Look in often and soon you'll see why Meaford calls itself "The other Big Apple".

posted December 27th, 2014
New Meaford restaurant building a popular reputation

For the last few months, George’s on Main Brasserie has been quietly drawing attention from area epicures. The new restaurant on Sykes Street opened fully in August after a long and extensive renovation of a heritage building, long hidden by the circa 1940s façade of Peter’s Restaurant. And now, owner and chef Steve Lumree is back in front of the burners.

Chef Steve LumreeAfter years of honing his skills, working under a number of noted chefs and serving as head chef himself, Steve opened the Ruffed Grouse Bistro in Thornbury to much acclaim. And now, Meaford welcomes him to town after a brief hiatus.

Highlighting the bounty of local ingredients from around Grey-Bruce County, George’s menu evolves with the seasons and reflects the best that our area has to offer. Thoughtful, delicious and seasonal tasting menus, vegetarian options and drink specials are available. Don’t miss the raw oysters and check out the live music every Thursday.

posted December 20th, 2014
Holiday reading from local writers

The Remnants by WP OsbornThe perfect contrast to the hustle and bustle of Christmas is the opportunity to nestle down by the fire with a good book (on paper or on your tablet). Here are three recent releases from local authors for your holiday reading list.

Meaford’s Paul Osborn’s debut novel, the Remnants, tells the tale of two lovers and their tumultuous experiences during the Great War and beyond, in a story that spans four continents and a dramatic emotional landscape.

Danny Pulbrook is a handsome and rebellious young man. Born the bastard son of a minor royal and orphaned at birth he is determined to find a new life far beyond his “pre-ordained oblivion”. His only way out – a forced enlistment into the army brings him to an inevitable confrontation with his own demons in the cauldron of the first world war.

Rose Quayle is a beautiful and confident hazel-eyed housemaid who, like her mother and her mother’s mother is employed in service at Meaford House – an expansive vice-regal estate near Tunbridge Wells. Like Danny she longs for a life beyond the tyranny of the rigid class system that defines her humble destiny.

The Remnants is currently available as an e-book through, Apple’s iBookstore,, Google Play and KOBO. A portion of the proceeds of ‘The Remnants’ will be donated to True Patriot Love Foundation– a charity in support of Canadian Military Families. A print edition of the book is planned for release sometime in the new year.

Another Manitoulin Island murder mystery from the pen of Meaford’s Jake Doherty has hit the shelves. Bearwalker Alibi, which noted mystery writer Barbara Fradkin calls “powerful and intelligent”, begins with the death on Manitoulin Island of a young German man sought by Interpol.

The only witness is Dr. Mary Fraser, Canada’s ranking expert on native symbols and an Ojibwa herself. She bloodied her hands when she failed to stop the murder. Drawn back to Manitoulin to recover her childhood identity, she ends up in a forensic psych hospital, unable to recall who’s responsible.

A first volume of poetry from Owen Sound writer Richard-Yves Sitoski draws its inspiration from brownfield sites – contaminated former industrial lots that are often too costly to remediate and so remain undeveloped. Sitoski sets out to explore why it is that Owen Sound evolved the way it did: “Why did some of his town’s most vital and celebrated industries wither and die, leaving vast, unsightly scars on the landscape?” His investigations led him back to the mythical past and pointed to an unsettled future.

Brownfields is published by Owen Sound’s Ginger Press.

posted December 10th, 2014
Fill your Meaford Christmas wish list with gifts from these local businesses

On Thursday, the Meaford Hall and Culture Foundation kicks off its Christmas Silent Auction, packed with dozens of unique and interesting gift ideas from local merchants and businesses.

Add these locally produced gifts or locally available gifts to your list, and you’ll truly enjoy a Merry Meaford Christmas.

Outdoor adventure with a gift certificate from Ride On Bikes, who will be offering snowshoe rentals this winter.

Peace of mind, available from Homebuttons in many shapes and sizes, including the Care Link Advantage system to help your family members live longer in their own homes.

A shot of adrenaline from AM Wood Skateboards.

A gift of the warm and fuzzies, with a sock or scarf or accessory from Spring Haven Farm.

Meaford Candle FactoryThe warm glow of the season with a locally made candle from Country Affair Custom Candles (the Candle Factory).

A promise of spring with a locally crafted clayware from Scott Clay Products.

A dash of spice to your life with a bottle of Meredith’s Ginger Syrup.

A heritage turkey or goose for your Christmas table from Cirrus Hill Farm.

posted December 6th, 2014
Your link to local Meaford (and Grey Bruce) farm fresh food

If you’re looking for healthy, delicious food straight from the farm, here’s a hint. We Farm launched a few years ago as a newsletter to help connect small farmers and consumers, and now there’s a website, too.

We Farm is the brainchild of Jennifer Pittet, and she devotes each issue to introducing readers to local farms, their operations and practices, and offering food-buying, preparation and storage tips.

Jennifer Pittet We Farm OntarioJennifer was born in Halifax and grew up in Toronto and Montreal. But since those early urban days, she has spent the intervening years focussed on the needs of small farms. At college, she got involved with agricultural organizations on campus, and after graduation, she became a writer with the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network (now Farm Radio International) – a clearing house of information for small-scale farmers around the world. “I’ve never actually farmed,” says Jennifer, who does garden and keeps a few chickens. “But I’ve visited a lot of farms all over the world.”

She moved to this area a few years back to be closer to her parents, and she began writing for the
Grey Bruce Agriculture & Culinary Association and Foodlink Grey Bruce. Jennifer quickly recognized the frustration many farmers experienced in trying to reach consumers, combined with a lack of awareness among consumers of the many opportunities to buy local food. An important link was missing. Small farms and farm-gate operations didn’t always have the expertise to market directly to consumers, and consumers had no central resource to learn about local farms selling direct to table. She decided to provide the link.

“It’s a tool to connect farmers and their customers,” says Jennifer. “The focus is on how people are growing food and how they’re actually managing their land. I’m trying to get people to think about where their food comes from – what does it really mean when someone says they’re farming organically, for example – and providing tips on things like storage, to make it more feasible to buy more locally.”

We Farm began in 2011, with an email newsletter directed at consumers in Grey and Bruce counties. The newsletter met with great interest, and she quickly expanded to Simcoe County and Waterloo/Wellington counties.

If you’re interested in getting your fill of information on local farm-fresh food, subscribe here.