Food is important. It’s one of the major forces that’s driven humans for millennia, and it continues to drive us today at Viamede Resort. Food is, in many ways, the key to health, happiness, and preserving the land we love.
As you explore Viamede, you will come across a happy looking pig depicted on walls, stationary, and signs. That’s Pete the Pig, and he represents the great meaning food holds for us.
Pete is named after Peter Robinson, the Canadian politician who arranged for the settlement of thousands of Irish immigrants on Scott’s Plains, now Peterborough. These settlers lived off the land, 150 years before the 100 mile diet began trending on Instagram. They ate what they could farm, forage, or fish, and didn’t waste much. They ate the Whole Hog.
But Pete is more than a symbol of our pioneer roots. A pig’s diet is a great philosophy for humans – eat a bit of everything when the mood strikes you. Don’t waste food, eat it all, and enjoy what’s put in front of you. Take your time with the foods you love – just like pigs do.
Pete influences the way we think about food at every step. We think about buying local and growing our own, but also when it makes sense to buy off the Big Truck. Mount Julian is a place to experience the immediate time and place of food, but in many cases, our guests want what they want – not everyone is okay with only eating apples and pears in January. We still need to keep fresh fruit on hand, even if it comes from California.
We like to know where our food comes from, and sometimes, that means making it from scratch. We raise pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys and quail, plant veggies and herbs, and even have an indoor garden for greens in the winter. Our gardener, Bob, loves to talk about this, and does garden tours throughout the summer. We also host a farm tour daily at 3:30 from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving, where you can help feed the animals.
There’s something magical about eating something that grows wild around us, and once you know where to look there’s plenty of that around. We harvest cat tails, spruce tips, wild leeks, sumac, many types of mint, dandelion, clover, and more. Chef Alexander and Ben are our chief foragers, and always happy to share what they know.
Pickles ‘n Preserves
One of the ways we make our local supplies last longer is through pickles, preserves, and syrupy deliciousness. When we can get the best produce, we boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew, and most importantly, do things that will make them last longer. Sometimes we have enough for the year, and sometimes we only make 3 jars. Some of this is even available for sale for guests to take home, although supplies are always limited.