A’Head’ of the Game!
Valerie and her husband, owners of Head Acre Farms, get right down to business when it comes to Valerie’s unique lineupof jams, jellies and preserves. As this week’s feature vendor of the week, we take a look at what keeps Head Acre Farms stay a’head’ of the game!
Head Acre Farms is located northwest of Thunder Bay, out in the countryside of Lappe. Valerie and her husband have resided there for a number of years, where they’ve maintained a hobby farm, home to an assortment of animals including chickens, bees and, in the past, a herd of pigs. This is also home to many of the gardens and fruit trees they maintain, where they are able to grow plenty of fresh veggies (which her husband maintains) and fruits (Valerie’s specialty) for use in Valerie’s preserves.
Valerie has been in the business of preserving for most of her life. One could say it has become like second nature to her. Summertime sees her busy in her kitchen, cooking up different ingredients (sourced locally whenever possible!) for the many different types of jams, jellies and preserves she brings with her to the market. However, it’s only been in the last three years that she has put her talents towards more of a business venture. This past February, Valerie joined our lineup of vendors at the market, providing shoppers with a vast assortment of new and unique types of preserves.
Perhaps the reason that Valerie’s preserves have become so well accepted, is the fact that she strives for “something a little different”. After a little trial-and-error, Valerie has come up with a few truly unique recipes, including peach-blueberry and apricot-raspberry. For those who enjoy appetizer jellies, why not try one of her newest combinations, Dilly-Garlic, a pungent, yet flavourful blend of dill and crushed garlic, similar to the ever popular red-pepper jelly, and great for pairing with cream cheese and crackers as an amazing appetizer. For those who enjoy a little more zest, Valerie has teamed up with local brewery, Sleeping Giant Brewery, for a few signature beer jellies. These have become increasingly popular, and include about 10 different flavours, which team up the local beer flavours with things like horseradish, ginger, hot pepper, coffee and even different fruits. Surprised? You should be! It’s how Head Acre Farms has managed to stay ahead of the game, proving that just about any type of blend is possible when it comes to jams and jellies! Though some might take a little convincing to try, Valerie states that people tend to come back for those same flavours. Currently, her signature beer jellies are her most popular types! Of course, for those who enjoy their traditional jams for their morning toast, Head Acre Farms serves up traditional flavours like blueberry, strawberry and raspberry. All her blends are available in a convenient 250mL jar.
Besides her preserves, Valerie enjoys experimenting with other types of fruit treats, including her newest product, homemade fruit roll-up. She puts a spin on this sticky childhood treat, ensuring her variety is a little more nutritious. Through mashing and drying fruit, she is able to create thin strips of fruit-flavoured goodness. Currently she offers an aprium flavour (plum and apricot).
Though the market may be your best bet to sample all she has to offer, you’ll also find her products at the stands of Valley Fresh and on the shelves of The Sleeping Giant Brewery. Recently, Valerie has also been asked to provide some of her products for a small retail outlet all the way in Atikokan!
Valerie of Head Acre Farms warmly welcomes you to sample some of her unique blends. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how Valerie seems to have a knack for blending some truly unique flavours! You’ll find her on the second floor of the market, on the west side of the building, ready and waiting to convince you in what flavour to bring home next!