By Danielle French

Hints of Summer

Like everyone else, I am complaining about the weather. It seems to be the first thing anyone says: “Hello, how are you? Is this winter ever going to go away?” Honestly, it is true, and so hard not to just keep talking about it because we are so desperate for warmth. I personally am desperate for no more fire-making. I’m done, fed up, had it. Like everyone, I’m ready to just move on into the next glorious season.

The seeds I ordered have arrived but it’s just no use in rushing; it was -9 in the greenhouse this morning. One Sunday morning, I perused the Cottage Gardener site for heirloom flowers. I try to grow as many heirloom vegetables as possible, so why would flowers be any different? After reading the descriptions, it was hard to resist. “Sneezewort: pre-1500, cultivated since medieval times as a medicinal herb but also popular in brides’ bouquets for pretty sprays of white flowers” or “Sweet William: sweetly scented, found in virtually every cottage garden of old.” When I went to put my order in (a much larger order than I need but who can resist?), I realized the Cottage Gardener is actually located just 25 minutes from South Pond. A company producing beautifully packeted, carefully described seeds, virtually in my backyard! I can’t wait… but I will have to. The temperature is not supposed to rise much for a week.

Instead, I’ll mix cocktails, in preparation of the summer that must come eventually. Amy and I were testing my newest concoction over the weekend and have decided on a name: Marmalade Gin Fizz . It was delicious! I made up a batch of blood orange marmalade as the oranges now are in season and. I put one teaspoon of the marmalade in a shaker with a splash of gin, a similar splash of lemon juice and a touch of soda, a shake of orange bitters and ice. Yum. I could drink it all summer! But I won’t… or shouldn’t. It will, however, definitely be a feature on the South Pond cocktail menu. Stay tuned for more feature libations, because if this weather doesn’t change soon, I’ll certainly be forced to try out more concoctions…

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Danielle French - Ash Naylor Photography

About Danielle

Looking for a simpler way of life for her four daughters and herself, Danielle moved from Toronto to this farm in the Bethany Hills of Southern Ontario, and over time together with her family and her partner Shawn, restored the barn, the iconic heritage silo and the land.

Danielle loves to create unique settings and menus for the many events she offers at South Pond Farms, such as authentic farm-to-table gatherings, bread-making workshops, culinary classes, and weddings. Danielle’s vision is to inspire others to share her vision of a traditional life and way of cooking and to feel the sense of history on this beautiful land.  

Danielle was also the host of a television series called Taste of the Country

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