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HAVEN OF HOPE

 

ClubWest

(Our September/October edition will be available online soon)

A place to just be

By Joanne McDonald

The mindful kindness of Daphne and Dave Bakker lifts many weary hearts that find their way to the tranquility and respite of the Haven of Hope Farm Bed and Breakfast in Lincoln.

For the past six years it’s been a soft landing for so many – families supporting loved ones in the hospital located five minutes away, individuals undergoing cancer and other medical treatments, people living with disabilities, and those seeking respite from the stresses of everyday life.

“Sometimes people need a place to just be,” says Daphne who with Dave has walked her own journey caring for family members and welcomes guests exactly where they are in that journey.

They know the importance and power of being there unconditionally. They have a depth of understanding that is intuitive to the needs of their guests – from understanding their need for privacy to welcoming them around the kitchen table for a big country breakfast.

Daphne leads a tour through the immaculately clean and fully accessible private guest apartment that opens onto a porch that wraps around the house for a spectacular view of the idyllic rural setting.

There is an easygoing gentleness about the farm – fluffy sheep grazing, doting alpacas minding the chickens – and the absolute majesty of the green hills that roll across the horizon to meet the old growth Carolinian forest of the Rockway Conservation Area.

The beauty of nature all around is life affirming.

The setting is picture perfect but it’s the sensitive and intuitive care from hosts Daphne and Dave that give support to guests wherever they are on their journey.

“We felt this was something we were really called to do,” said Daphne. “We feel incredibly blessed to be able to give back.”

“Dave and I work together as a team and having experienced family members with health concerns it was very familiar to us to be able to enter into the lives of our guests.”

The Bakkers moved to the farm property 22 years ago and raised a family – Nicolette, Annalise and Jake – which has grown to include two son-in-laws, – “Jon and Phil are two of the greatest guys you could ask for,” – and four grandchildren.

“My mom as I was growing up had severe rheumatoid arthritis. I knew what it was like to live with a family member with a severe disability. Our daughter Nicolette was diagnosed with Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) a platelet disorder.”

“As a result of spending a lot of time at McMaster we came to understand what it was like to have a child with a medical condition,” Daphne said.

In 2012 the family spent the whole summer painting fence posts on the 12-acre farm. “We had a blast.” They renovated the barn and Daphne and Dave got a blessing from all their kids to begin the new chapter in their lives. They opened Haven of Hope Farm in October, 2013.

Life is precious and can be fraught with difficulties. The Bakkers and all their rural B&B has to offer give their guests rest for the journey. They are a profoundly caring couple.

“Having gone through a lot of these experiences ourselves we actually can understand their journey in a deeper way. Our desire is to give them a place to just be.”

“When we started the Haven of Hope Farm as a family we felt so blessed by what we had been given and we wanted to give back to our community in this way. We want to show them the warmth and hospitality and be able to meet them where they’re at with what they’re going through.”

“When guests come here there is a peace and stillness and the hospitality they receive, they often say, gives them renewed strength for their journey.”

“We have one apartment suite. We focus on one set of guests at a time so the hospitality they receive is very personal. We try to meet their needs. We allow them to come to us and we respect their privacy.”

“We do enjoy getting to know each guest. We talk together, cry together. They time they spend with us, they are allowing us into their world and we consider it such a privilege.”

“There are guests who come for rest between cancer treatments. We have family members from the hospice who come while they’re visiting their loved ones. There are people with disabilities and the suite is set up for all their needs.”

Haven of Hope also hosts day retreats for groups such as Grief Share which supports people who have lost loved ones.

It’s a lot of work and Daphne credits the “amazing help” that keeps everything right and running. “We have people who help us on the farm and we have a student helper. We have a great church family and friends.”

And the guests, Daphne says, give back to them in so many awesome ways. “We have a phrase, ‘enter as a guest, leave as a friend.”

Guests have called Haven of Hope “a wonderful place run by wonderful people.” They write about enjoying the Bakker’s company during “delightful country breakfasts” and remark that the private apartment is immaculately clean and the food amazing. They call it “a warm and welcoming home and a much-needed retreat.”

The reviews are heartfelt. Guests call the Haven of Hope Farm B&B “Five-plus Star” accommodation with full barrier-free accessibility in a quiet, rural setting.

“If you or anyone in your family is on a medical journey, your stay can be like a retreat where your strength is renewed and your soul restored.”

Another guest writes: “During my stay, Daphne ministered to me many times in many ways, from healing, lovingly prepared meals and juices; to kind, encouraging words; to prayers from the heart and more. She and Dave are a great team.”

The guest apartment is a private, fully accessible and tastefully decorated suite with a master bedroom, and private bathroom. The sitting room is equipped with recliners, dining table and chairs, fridge, microwave oven, kitchen amenities, electric fireplace and a closet with clothes washer and dryer.

Guests have exclusive use of the adjacent cozy fireplace room with comfortable furniture, Wifi, television, films, games and books.

The breakfast menu is changed each day and posted at the family dining table in the host kitchen.

“Chef Daphne offers numerous options including gluten and dairy-free dishes. The food is, well, simply delicious.” While the full farm style healthy breakfast can be served in the privacy of the suite, guests recommend partaking in the company of the most hospitable hosts.”

There are trails to walk, gardens to enjoy, a whimsical treehouse and play area, and a viewing deck into the conservation area to spot deer and wild turkeys. The animals, Suffolk sheep, alpacas and chickens are an important and special part of Haven of Hope Farm. They love visitors and the alpacas are a hit with their comical expressions.

It’s 12 acres of beauty and tranquility on a working sheep farm nestled in the Niagara Escarpment surrounded by lush vineyards and fruit orchards. It’s a place to retreat and savour the privacy in a time of stress and crisis.

Haven of Hope Farm B&B is located at 3315 Ninth St. Louth, Lincoln.

Phone 905-682-0059 or email info@havenofhopefarm.ca

FROM THE PUBLISHER MAY/JUNE 2019

ClubWest

(To view our May/June 2019 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

If nothing else, this edition of ClubWest Magazine presents two stellar examples of persistence – very different, I grant you, but both make very strong cases for pushing through adversity and never giving up.

First, we’ve got Jeff Tiessen.

We’ve all been kids at one time or another. We’ve done silly things, taken risks (some more risky than others). The vast majority of silly adventures end up as amusing anecdotes for us to tell when we are older.

For the most part, these missives don’t end in tragedy or serious accidents, however, some do.

Case in point is Mr. Tiessen’s tobogganing accident after a much-larger than-normal snow storm. The added precipitation made it possible for his ride to clear a fence sending him into a hydro transformer compound.

The rest, as they say, is history.

But Jeff has not allowed history to dictate to him. He has made his own history and, simply, made history with world record times in his paralympic track and field exploits.

He must have thought “why me?” at some point in his life, but those days have long passed by. Today he is a relentless advocate for those who face a wide variety of challenges and a beacon of hope for those same folks.

Good on him!

With Jeffery’s Greenhouse, no business survives more than a couple of years without peaks and valleys along the way. To survive three generations? That is a whole other matter.

Continued to success to both! Enjoy their stories.

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

NEW ZEALAND / TRAVEL FEATURE

ClubWest

(To view our May/June 2019 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Fresh food and fine wine essential ingredients to a New Zealand recipe

By Lorraine Simpson

New Zealand is a dream destination. From the crystal waters of the Abel Tasman, to the expanse of Northland’s Ninety Mile Beach, to the mountains surrounding Queenstown — the country knows no shortage of breathtaking scenery.

Visitors can experience the best of it by hiking, lazing at the beach, or soaking up views from a vineyard with a glass of local pinot noir in hand.

As our long winter has come to an end is it time to consider a warmer place to spend next winter?

There’s no bad time to travel to New Zealand, but unless you’re a snow bunny and planning to spend time on the slopes, it’s generally wise to avoid visiting in their winter which is perfect for us Canadians as their summer is our coldest time.

As seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere, travelers end up leaving the snow to head into beautiful sunny weather.

Though the summers have beautiful weather, early January is also not the best time to visit. It’s common for New Zealanders to take three or four weeks off around the holidays, meaning cities empty out while everyone heads to the beach, and many restaurants and cafes shut down, limiting options for dining, and crowding the beaches. We suggest February and March.

Your New Zealand experience starts the moment you step aboard your flight. Air New Zealand international flights feature New Zealand wines and cuisine. And their friendly, professional crew will make sure you’re comfortable throughout your flight. Experience award-winning service and warm Kiwi hospitality.

New Zealand’s wine and food is amongst the best in the world. Taste is paramount. Talented and innovative chefs combine ingredients freshly harvested from garden, land and sea while Pacific influences, organics and indigenous foods create a unique experience – whether that’s fine dining or casual outdoor meals, cellar door tasting, mingling with the locals at farmers’ markets, or an authentic Māori hangi experience.

Spectacular scenery is just the beginning of the New Zealand experience – aside from the landscape, some of New Zealand’s best kept secrets are of the culinary kind.

For an authentic taste of New Zealand, the intrepid explorer should also be prepared to engage the tastebuds and discover the unique flavours and quirky treats – from chocolate fish to golden kumara – that Kiwis love to come home to.

Of course you’d also expect to taste great wine in NZ and a new batch of luxury hospitality offerings lifts the country’s wine experiences to a new level.

New Zealand is best known for its rugged mountain peaks, deeply carved fiords and sweeping white sand beaches. Now this land of natural contrasts is home to luxury wine experiences in locations as diverse as the sides of cliffs and beside picture-perfect lakes.

Our first stop is Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay – famed for its distinctive art deco architecture – has buckets of sunshine and a fertile coastal landscape that infuses award-winning wines and gourmet food.

The two-day Craggy Range Ultimate Wine Tour begins with a helicopter tour over Craggy Range vineyards with head winemaker Matt Stafford, who guides the small group as they view vines and the region’s natural landmarks from the air, including Tuki Tuki Valley, the Te Awanga coast and Cape Kidnappers.

Then it’s back to the winery for a personalized tasting and blending session to create your own wine to take home.

The experience can be mixed and matched with a bespoke food and wine event, which begins in the garden and culminates in a personalized three-course meal at Craggy Range’s Terrôir Restaurant.

Food is prepared from a guided food gathering with chef Andrew Saxon. Guests stay in the luxurious four-bedroom lodge and can also fly-fish, walk up Te Mata Peak and play a few rounds of golf. Its warm maritime climate makes Hawke’s Bay comfortable to visit year-round, even on chilly winter mornings when the sun is shining and the cool air has chilled the air temperatures.

Next stop on our wine lovers’ adventure is The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.

It is a 30-minute drive from Napier on the North Island’s east coast but a world away, with its dedication to high-end luxury experience. This is a special place, not only because it reveals panoramic views of New Zealand’s wild east coast at its best, but also because it’s home to just a handful of individual private cottages, so few people can stay at once.

There’s a particular focus on food and wine here. Wine experiences range from wine tastings and appreciation classes in The Farm’s own cellars to full-day excursions exploring the cellars of some of Hawke’s Bay’s best wineries.

If eating freshly harvested oysters, taking a private helicopter tour over the Marlborough Sounds and foraging for your own food appeals, then the Cloudy Bay Winery’s Forage experience is for you.

In between food foraging, there are private vineyard tours, wine tastings, sashimi tastings of local salmon and lunch on the Marlborough Sounds on the way to Tio Point oyster farm to harvest shellfish fresh from the sea. It also includes a private barrel tasting and blending session at the globally renowned Cloudy Bay Winery – one of the first in New Zealand to make sauvignon blanc. We finish with The Forage dinner, created from the produce collected.

We stay at Dog Point Vineyard’s The Bell Tower, which offers boutique accommodation with outstanding views across Marlborough’s Wairau Valley.

Next we travel to Brancott Estate Heritage Centre overlooking the country’s largest wine region, Marleborough which has vistas to the North Island. With one of the most outstanding vineyard restaurants in the country, Brancott specializes in fresh regional produce and wine tastings including wines only available at the cellar door.

There is an exclusive bespoke private dining room catering for up to 18 guests, or a wine tasting tailored to your tastes. Take a vineyard cycling tour or up the splendour with a helicopter flight over the vineyards followed by a wine tasting.

A premium wine tasting experience features Brancott’s top-flight wines, led by one of the estate’s experts. We stay nearby in the newly opened five-star Marlborough Lodge, a stately residence set in expansive heritage gardens.

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For more info and to join one of our hosted group trips to Portugal check out the following website, www.conciergetravelgroup.ca, or call ClubWest’s travel guru, Lorraine Simpson, for all your travel need 289-273-8095.