East Hawkesbury Mayor Robert Kirby was present for the inauguration of the new commercial kitchen. Here, we see Mayor Kirby (left) shaking hands with Robert Poirier (right). (Photo: Cedrik Bertrand)

Les fruits du Poirier – East Hawkesbury’s one-stop shop for berry picking, cooking and baking

Summer 2018 is a special one for the Poirier family’s farm, Les fruits du Poirier, marking the realization of a dream seven years in the growing.

While the fruit-lover’s paradise has been a well-known spot for quality berry picking for some time now, the Poirier family has brought the DIY concept a step further with the addition of a commercial kitchen (and all the certification that comes along with it).

Chef Marlana Carnett will be your host in Les fruits du Poirier’s new kitchen. (Photo: Cedrik Bertrand)

This great idea now allows Les fruits du Poirier to not only sell their products, berries to baked goods, to local shops, but also to offer cooking classes to those who wish to bring their berry-picking excursion to the next level.

Also known as haskap berry, the honeyberry, or camerise, is part of the honeysuckle family. It takes a few years for the plant to bear fruit and it is praised for its low maintenance and capacity to withstand cold. The Poirier farm has over 7,000 honeyberry plants. (Photo: Cedrik Bertrand)

“We want to be able to prepare our fruit here,” said Robert Poirier, the farm’s owner.

“We sell our produce fresh, frozen, juiced, as jam… But what we want is for people to be able to cook what they picked right here. We’ll host cooking sessions with a chef in our new commercial kitchen.”

The new commercial kitchen allows the family to prepare baked goods, such as camerise pie, for resale at the farm. (Photo: Cedrik Bertrand)

Those interested in trying out this authentic culinary experience can have it all for a flat rate: $120 for 12 jars or $200 for 24. This includes everything from berry picking to kitchen access and the chef’s supervision.

The Poirier family will also benefit from the kitchen. A variety of fresh-baked goods using the farm’s fruit is already in the works.

Speaking of which, one of Poirier’s star products right is undoubtedly the honeyberry, or camerise.

“There are over ten varieties of honeyberry now. We have nine here. The taste is like a mix of blueberry, raspberry, cranberry and pure bliss.”

The season is off to a great start for the family farm, with the business quickly becoming a great spot for curious tourists.

“More and more tourists are looking for this kind of experience. Les Fruits du Poirier offers something unique,” said Prescott-Russell Tourism Executive Director Marie-Ève Desmarais, who was also present for the inauguration.

Anyone who wants to learn more about everything Les fruits du Poirier has to offer (it’s a lot!) can visit the farm’s website, lesfruitsdupoirier.com, or their Facebook page (La ferme Les fruits du Poirier).

Those interested in purchasing the farm’s produce or products can do so on site or through some local businesses like Le marché d’ici in Hawkesbury, The Pantry in Vankleek Hill or Mariposa Farm in Plantagenet.

Part of the Poirier family. From left to right, daughter Anne-Geneviève, Robert and wife Lorraine. (Photo: Cedrik Bertrand)

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