Learn about 13 of Tastet’s favourite farms
Visit to discover our home-grown products
Although the last few months have not been easy, they have had their upsides; for one, they have reminded us of the importance of consuming locally and have rekindled our interest in discovering the splendid regions of Quebec. In order to support us in our future gourmet tours in “la belle province”, or to promote more direct consumption – from the producer to our plate – the Union des Producteurs Agricoles has just launched the application Mangeons local plus que jamais! This superb App, presented by Desjardins, makes it easy to find farms, markets and transformers in Quebec to buy fresh local products! You can find fruit and vegetable farms, cheese factories, vineyards, maple groves and even small producers of nuts, spices, honey and products from the Boreal region. You can register your favourite farms, create discovery tours by bike or by car and discover all the beautiful products that can be found nearby! There is even a harvest calendar to help us respect the seasonality of food in our purchases and thus move towards food autonomy.
Since the application already features more than 500 farms across the province, we have prepared a small list of our favourite producers to guide you in your back-to-school discoveries. We hope that this will both inspire and encourage you to go meet our producers this fall and to consume local more than ever!
Voila! All of the gems below will really give you the urge to discover the treasures that are hidden everywhere in the province, as well as the exceptional people who contribute to the success of our terroir. We invite you to explore the Mangeons local plus que jamais application to find the farms in your area or those you might plan to visit.
- Located in Lac-Saint-Jean, Ferme des Moutaines grows quality fruits and vegetables in an environmentally responsible manner. The farm is worth visiting for two reasons. First, the undeniable quality of their products, but secondly, their affordability; organic produce at low prices! You will find something to complete your summer and winter market garden basket through a vast catalog of products ranging from freshly picked Jerusalem artichokes to honey from the region’s beehives. During the summer season, Les Moutaines offers the general public the opportunity to come and pick raspberries themselves, an activity that whets the appetite of young and old alike!
- “Sauvage” – wild – is the word to remember about these artisans. Indeed, the family of Belgian origin behind Gaspésie Sauvage harvests and picks, in their natural environment, various forest products, mushrooms, edible plants, flowers, small fruits, seeds, seaweeds and berries. “We do not live off the land, we live with the land” is the philosophy that accompanies the artisans of Gaspésie Sauvage. Their forest products are always delivered within twenty-four hours of being picked. It is easy to understand why they are among the preferred suppliers of restaurants such as Candide and Mon Lapin. If you are planning a gourmet tour in Gaspésie, the farm offers an agro-forestry lodge; otherwise, you can easily locate the sales points near you right here. Not to be missed!
- This list could not be complete without mentioning a sugar bush. And not just any sugar bush! The Érablière Tem-Sucre was previously known as Érablière LÉCO and later became a family business run by Simon Lévesque, renamed Érablière Tem-Sucre. Today, the sugar bush is a delicious meeting between tradition and modernity. Maple vinaigrette, maple butter, granulated sugar, maple taffy, candies… the house offers a multitude of quality products with local flavours. Tem-Sucre’s mission is to go beyond the limits of creation to make the maple tree shine in all its splendour.
- The Turcot-Vaillancourt family grows its fruits and vegetables in a way that respects biodiversity and natural cycles, so they are organic and delicious, as the farm’s name indicates: Ferme aux pleines saveurs! They offer a farm basket subscription for the growing season, so you can receive their freshest harvests as soon as they are available. In addition, in light of recent events, their boutique, which was previously at the farm, has taken the technological turn and you can now order your seasonal fruits and vegetables online, as well as beautiful homemade products made from their harvests such as jams, salsas, pickled vegetables and gourmet pies.
- If you are visiting the Mauricie region, we recommend a stop at the Campanipol Organic Gardens kiosk. Here, you can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables as well as many other local products, including microbrewery beers and dishes prepared with love. It is also possible to sign up to receive baskets of fruits and vegetables that change with the seasons. Each year, the Campanipol Organic Gardens feed over 500 families in the region. To try them is to adopt them!
- “When you buy organic products from Quebec like Ferme de la Colline’s lamb and chicken, you recognize that behind every food item are men and women who have chosen to become your family farmer. Every day, rain or shine, they know you’re counting on them to deliver the healthy food you deserve. What’s more, your action supports food sovereignty, the protection of farmland, and the settlement of Quebec’s territory.” No need to say more to be convinced to buy chickens and lambs at La Ferme de la Colline.
- LeBel Strawberry Farm is a fifth generation fruit farm that has been growing strawberries for over 50 years. They started with garden strawberries and now offer blueberries, raspberries and some vegetables. The lovely farm has a sales booth on site and pick-your-own is also available until the end of September.
- Oliméga is a local family business that focuses on the production and processing of camelina. What is camelina? It is a plant whose seeds from its small yellow flowers are harvested and cold pressed to obtain oil. Recently rediscovered by scientists, it has incredible nutritional properties and its oil has a subtle taste of hazelnut and sesame, as well as an aroma of asparagus; try it in your salads, tartares and pastas!
- In 2013, after 10 years in Switzerland, Jean-François Clerson and Julie Labrecque came back home with the project of producing their own milk in order to make their own cheese, all in biodynamic agriculture. With a herd of about thirty horned alpine goats, the Fromagerie des Broussailles offers, since 2015, a beautiful range of cheeses, all certified organic, among which is the delicious Tomme des Broussailles, Le Brousaillon, a soft cheese, and the Cru Berger, a firm cheese.
- It was in 2016 that Audrey Boulet and Olivier Beaurivage decided to change their lifestyle and move to the Beaurivage family farm. There, they have a herd of 60 dairy ewes and, since the birth of the first lambs in 2017 in their brand new nursery, they have started milking the ewes. This young couple wants to showcase everything their animals have to offer: milk, meat, skins, wool products, soaps… All this in an effort to respect the environment and the animals, while reducing waste and the number of animals slaughtered by ensuring their well-being in all stages of production.
- Le Jardin des Noix is a magnificent Québécois orchard of about 4,000 nut trees! Here you”ll find black walnut, Japanese, hickory, chestnut, hazelnut, and hybrid trees. The fine nuts of all these trees are for sale on site, in the boutique next to the orchard. If you don’t want to wait until you get home, you can go to the cafe-boutique to enjoy a treat.
- This is the story of a dairy farm that decided to buy the abandoned Presbytery across the street and turn it into a cheese factory; and we thank God for that! In Warwick, the Fromagerie du Presbytère produces eight types of cheese, including Bleu d’Élizabeth and Louis d’Or, two award-winning cheeses from here. In normal times, the cheese factory welcomed visitors every Friday for picnics on the lawn of the presbytery. Nowadays, they offer their splendid products, their fresh cheeses of the day and their cheese and charcuterie platters at their general store as well as by car order. There is no doubt that they know how to entertain and that the stop is worth it. And if you don’t make the detour, they have an online store right here.
- Did you know that saffron is grown in Quebec? Oh yeah! Right here at Safran Nordique de Charlevoix! This purple gold is one of the most laborious spices in the world to cultivate; it does not exist in the wild and each saffron flower produces a single pistil that must be picked by hand. That hasn’t slowed Renald Lepage and Geneviève Tremblay, who have been growing it since 2016. They sell it in its pure state, in pistils, and also offer some processed products, such as syrups and jams made from it. With a reservation, you can visit the farm, and even harvest your own saffron!
Photography by Jacky Blisson