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By Mark Pavilons
The sunflowers continue to bloom at a Caledon landmark.
Campbell's Cross Farm marks its 5th anniversary this year, attracting visitors from far and wide to one of the largest sunflower farms in the GTA.
Run by the husband and wife team of Mike and Josie Gallo, Campbell's Cross Farm has exploded into a must-see destination. It has become a renowned location for day trippers and those celebrating important milestones.
“We are very humbled and excited as we are actually reaching our fifth year. There was no long term business plan when we started the farm. It was more ‘let's just try it out and see how it goes. We had amazing help from our local farmers, our community, friends and family. We originally just moved to the farm for a different lifestyle for our family,” Mike said.
He noted it feels like it was yesterday that they were running around getting things ready for their initial opening.
It was a giant leap of faith and the couple had no idea if the flowers would even grow. They knew little about websites or building a brand. The support of family and friends was key to their success.
“We started with our small watermelon admission hut that has now become a nostalgic piece at our farm for our returning and new guests.”
The farm has grown beyond their expectations.
“Every year the nerves kick in and we hope people will come and enjoy our sunflower fields as much as we do.
“We think the reason for our growth is that the farm has brought immense joy to so many guests when viewing our rolling sunflower hills,” Mike said. “Josie and I put our heart and soul into our farm and truly care about our customers and their experience. People have been so genuine and gracious to us as we have had some challenges along the way, as with any new small business, however, we look at these challenges with opportunity for more growth. A lot of people will comment and see us out there working just like any of our staff to make sure that each families experience is a happy and memorable one.”
The draw is simple. People love the peacefulness and natural beauty found at the farm. It is a way for them to escape the city and gather with friends and family on those warm summer days.
“From walks along our carefully curated paths of endless rows of sunflowers to our forest where we teach guests about forest bathing and grounding, or sitting at the top of our hills enjoying some watermelon ice cream or our famous watermelon sandwich. People come back because they love the fresh energy that we bring to the farm and several repeat customers come back each year looking forward to what we have next.”
Many guests plan their visit ahead of time as proposals and many special occasions are celebrated within the farm's intimate heart-shaped sunflower space and fields. It has become an ideal location to “pop the question,” exchange vows or enjoy a picnic to celebrate a milestone occasion.
From humble beginnings, they have now built a custom food trailer where they serve (only during the sunflower festival) their signature “Watermelon Sandwich,” ice cream, lemonades and specialty items. They also produce their own raw sunflower honey on the farm with help from Toronto Bee Rescue and local bee enthusiasts, which guests can purchase when visiting and view the bees at work in the Bee Apiary.
The Gallos note new and exciting projects are being worked on for this summer.
“We have listened to our guests and agree it's time to open a Barn Market Shop. Local products and artisans will showcase the best Caledon has to offer in our market. Our farm store launch will open during our festival which will be part of our fifth year festivities.”
The Gallos note that in the last four years incredibly talented chefs have served farm to table dinners to many guests.
This year they are looking into offering picnic style dining experiences overlooking the spectacular views.
“We also continue to expand activities related to wellness where people can visit year after year for yoga, mediation, sunflower paint classes outdoor fitness classes and much more.
“We also offer Cut Your Own Sunflowers to those interested in truly immersing themselves in our sunflower fields and taking home flowers to enjoy for days.”
Some of the wellness activities include sunrise meditation, sunset yoga, paint classes and more.
The outdoor natural kids play area will keep families and kids happy when visiting.
Nature's bounty is obvious and the Gallos are driven by sharing the connection with Nature.
“What we love most about what we do is sharing our passion for nature and it's beautiful connection to us. Our farm has become known for our 30 acres of rolling sunflower hills (700,000 sunflowers planted) and its connection to wellness.
“We feel so humbled to share our family story of ‘The Watermelon Sandwich‘ with our visitors and watch as they enter a new territory of taste buds and a piece of our family heritage when eating our signature sandwich made only at our farm.”
The farm, with more than 700,000 sunflowers, is definitely a sight to behold.
The farm will be open seven days a week.
Visit www.campbellscrossfarm.com for updates.
Excerpt: The sunflowers continue to bloom at a Caledon landmark. Campbell’s Cross Farm marks its 5th anniversary this year, attracting visitors from far and wide to one of the largest sunflower farms in the GTA. Run by the husband and wife team of Mike and Josie Gallo, Campbell’s Cross Farm has exploded into a must-see destination. It has become a renowned location for day trippers and those celebrating important milestones.
Post date: 2023-06-14 12:52:26
Post date GMT: 2023-06-14 16:52:26
Post modified date: 2023-06-14 12:52:28
Post modified date GMT: 2023-06-14 16:52:28
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