Food events

[Event] Inside an Ontario cattle and mushroom farm

Yu Ranch, Cattle, Farm Tour

With a bus load of food bloggers on May 23rd, 2017, I had a an opportunity to visit 2 Ontario farms as part of the #blendandextend campaign from Mushrooms Canada and Beef Farmers of Ontario. The #blendandextend concept is to combine mushrooms and beef in recipes. I will highlight the benefits of the blend in my post.

Our tour was strategically planned where we visited a cattle farm first, followed by a mushroom farm. The tour wrapped up with a “blend and extend” themed dinner at Borealis Grille and Bar where local ingredients were used including the beef from YU Ranch we had visited.

I love farm tours as most times I get to meet the farmers that produce our food, and I get a glimpse of the hard work that goes into the production. The best part of blogging is to be able to share what I learned with you.

Info about where we visited:

  • Yu Ranch in Tilsonburg, Ontario. They raise grass-fed Texas longhorn cattle. Owned by Bryan and Cathy Gilvesy and family.
  • Whitecrest Mushrooms Ltd. in Putnum, Ontario. Owned by Murray Good, his wife Chantelle, and two sons. They grow brown agaricus (aka Portabella and cremini/crimini mushrooms).
  • Dinner at Borealis Grille and Bar in Kitchener, Ontario.
  • The farm tour organized was by Mushrooms of Canada.

Watch a short video to see the inside scoop of the farms, and a snapshot of our day:

Beef Facts:

  • Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) represents 19,000 beef farmers in Ontario
  • All beef cattle spend the majority of their lives eating fresh and dried grasses
  • There are many breeds of beef cattle in Canada. Common breeds in Ontario include Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental and Shorthorn
  • Each serving of beef contains 14 essential nutrients and is a protein powerhouse. A person would need to eat 104 almonds (728 calories) to get the same amount of protein found in 75g (184 calories) of cooked beef
Yu Ranch, Cattle, Farm Tour

Yu Ranch

Mushroom Facts:

  • Mushrooms Canada represents mushroom growers from across the country, including 20 commercial mushroom farms in Ontario
  • Agaricus mushrooms (Brown and White) are grown in a pasteurized substrate, which is 100% bacteria free dirt
  • Mushrooms are harvested by hand. The harvesters treat the mushrooms tenderly to avoid bruises and scratches
  • The most popular mushroom variety in Canada is the White mushroom (Button) followed the Brown mushroom (Cremini and Portabella)
  • Mushrooms contain B complex vitamins, minerals, fibre, as well as vitamin D
  • Mushrooms are 90% water content and are low in calories, sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat
Whitecrest Mushroom Farm, Brown mushrooms

Whitecrest Mushroom Farm

Blend and Extend Benefits (blending mushrooms with beef):

  • Decreases calories
  • Increases vegetable intake
  • Adds flavour and boosts umami
  • Lowers saturated fat and cholesterol content

(Facts are provided by

Prior to this tour, I did not know that Portobella mushrooms are the mature version of cremini mushrooms. They are the same but just bigger and more mature!

And last thing, Borealis Bar and Grille is launching a Blend and Extend menu from June 12th to July 15th, 2017. Check it out!

Borealis Menu

Borealis #BlendandExtend summer menu

For more information, check out:


Want to learn more about where your food comes from? Read about my Canola Connect and apple farm tour , and the cucumber and dairy farm tour.

*Disclosure: The farm our was sponsored but the post is not. All opinions in the post are my own.

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