Summer is the season to indulge in the diverse, fresh produce grown right here in Ontario. What better way to celebrate surviving another Canadian winter than by picking, tasting and sipping your way through three of the province’s most fruitful regions? As you head out on your journey to Simcoe County, the Halton Hills area or Elgin County, be sure to check the hours and picking conditions at each farm before you hit the road – and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Fernwood Farms and Market
7865 Hwy. 26, Stayner
Start your day with a scenic drive through Caledon Village, Creemore and up towards Collingwood where you’ll find Fernwood Farms and Market in Stayner. Its summer “u-pick” offerings include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, currants, pears and beans. Stop by the market for a cinnamon scone or strawberry cream cheese strudel, both of which make for an indulgent breakfast, not to mention other local delicacies, including honey, sweet corn and delicious farm-fresh eggs.
Barrie Hill Farms
2935 Barrie Hill Rd., Springwater
Next, head 30 minutes southeast to Barrie Hill Farms. They’ve been welcoming local-produce lovers to their fields for more than 40 years, offering a variety of pick-your-own and ready-to-buy produce. Fresh veg, including peas, beans, pickling cucumbers and asparagus are all on offer, plus strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.
McArthur’s Berry Farm
441 Line 5 South, Oro-Medonte
Make your way 25 minutes north for your last stop – more berry-picking fun at McArthur’s Berry Farm, an Oro-Medonte staple since 1842. In addition to scoring your $2.50-per-litre strawberries, consider picking up some fresh rhubarb stalks, perfect for pie-making.
Halton Hills and surrounding area
6202 Walkers Line, Burlington
Start your morning off at Hutchinson Farm, a Burlington favourite offering everything from herbs to plants, flowers and more. Hutchinson’s pick-your-own crops include raspberries (the raspberry patch is only open in the mornings), as well as red and black currants.
Andrews Scenic Acres
9365 10th Side Road, Milton
Just 20 minutes north of Hutchinson, you’ll find Andrews Scenic Acres, a 165-acre local farm full of pick-your-own fruits, along with an on-farm fruit winery, farm experiences and petting zoo. From June to August, visitors can pick rhubarb, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries and more. Complete your visit with a wagon ride and a stop by the BBQ for lunch or ice cream. We also highly recommend picking up a pie from the farm store for dessert.
7388 Guelph Line, Campbellville
At Stonehaven Farms, strawberries are the name of the game this summer. They provide the baskets – all you have to do is show up ready to pick. Be sure to visit the farm’s market, too, where you can pick up ready-picked strawberries and other produce, fresh-baked treats, cheese, maple syrup, honey, eggs and gourmet frozen foods and preserves by local artisans.
Great Lakes Farms
511 Union Road, Port Stanley
Stop by the family-owned Great Lakes Farms in the summer to pick your own strawberries and peaches, and stock up on the latest baked goods, preserves and local products at their store and café. Stay tuned for the announcement of their annual Peach Fest, when you can pick your own peaches, and pick up some peach crisp and pie to take home with you.
53768 Vienna Line, Port Burwell
Open mid-July through August, this family-owned and operated farm is the place to go for fresh, local, mouth-watering blueberries, as well as blackberries, cherries, cranberries, green beans, pears, strawberries and more. Past visitors say they have the best blueberries ever, and a relaxing atmosphere to boot. Pro-tip: check out their Facebook page for the most up-to-date picking hours.
25503 Talbot Line, Eagle
Finally, head west to Bluegroves Farms, a 62-acre property founded by the Hatch family in 1983. The Hatch family plan? To grow the best local blueberries; and though the farm has since passed to several other families, including the Pierinellis, the Innes family and now Mike St. Germain and Victoria Spencer, it continues to deliver. Bluegroves is an Eagle go-to for fresh, local, mouth-watering blueberries that visitors call “fantastic.”
Snap a selfie at an Ontario lavender farm
Even refreshing summer drinks can benefit from an infusion of lavender.LAVENDER-BLU
The Lavender Farm
Located in lovely Ayr, just outside Waterloo, this one-time working farm was converted into a lavender farm in 2011 when owners Bob and Barb Gillies planted their first 600 plants. Now, visitors can stroll through abundant lavender fields and pick up a souvenir from the store, which is stocked with the farm’s own products, including lavender-scented soap and room spray.
This Wellington County farm grows several varieties of lavender, including Gros Bleu, Phenomenal, Folgate, Melissa and Royal Velvet – and not just for their good looks. The fragrant blooms are used to make everything from maple syrup to body butter to tea, all of which are for sale on-site. Visitors can also take yoga classes among the plants, and even opt to stay at the property’s three-bedroom guest house.
This three-acre farm sits on the shores of Lake Scugog near Port Perry and includes an orchard, vegetable garden and lavender fields stocked with upwards of 3,000 plants. Guests can take yoga classes in the field, or just hang out in the artisan studio and garden, where they can also pick their own bundle of lavender for $12.
At this Benchlands lavender farm, which bills itself as the first of its kind in the Niagara region, sustainability is the most important value. The lavender here is organically grown, tended using ecological farming practices and hand-harvested for minimal environmental impact.
Part small business producing essential oils, soaps, lotions and candles, part floral farm, this Niagara-on-the-Lake destination has all your wellness needs covered. Opt to wander through the property’s beautiful lavender fields solo, or sign up for a guided tour that includes stops throughout the farm and greenhouse.
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