When October rolls around, there’s no better place to take in the beauty of autumn than at a gorgeous orchard or family-run farm. Luckily, Ontario is home to a plethora of breathtaking destinations where you can take in the changing leaves and crisp air while picking all the apples and pumpkins you can carry. Whether you’re eager to bake an award-winning pie or are in search of the perfect jack-o-lantern for your stoop, we’ve got the right farm to visit.
The details: Located in Brighton, Ont., head to Cricklewood Farm for your pick of apples, raspberries (until the first frost), squash and pumpkins a-plenty. Here you pay for your produce by the pound: Visit any day of the week from Sunday to Friday (including Thanksgiving Monday) between 9:30am-5:30pm, and on Saturdays between 9:30am and 6pm.
Why this farm: Get lost in Cricklewood’s eccentric corn mazes. Proceeds from the cost of admission go towards helping charitable organizations – this year they’re helping the Foster Forest Wildlife Orphanage.
Barrie Hill Farm
The details: In Springwater, Ont., you can walk away with a peck basket of apples for just $20, including varieties like Sunrise, Zestar!, McIntosh and Honeycrisp. Or, stop in for a bag of strawberries and raspberries. The farm is open Monday through Friday between 9am-6pm, and weekends and holidays (including Thanksgiving Monday) between 9am-5pm.
Why this farm: Be sure to stop by the farm’s market for your fill of sustainable fruits and veggies along with milk and free-run eggs. We recommend picking up a two-dollar pumpkin pie for dessert.
Apple Land Station
The details: Crops of apples and pumpkins are just waiting to be picked here in Thorndale, Ont. Pay a weekday admission of $4 Monday through Friday between 9am-5pm, or an admission of $7 between 9am-6pm on Saturdays, and 10am-5pm on Sundays and holidays. Apples start at $15 for a 10lb bag, with pumpkins starting at just 50 cents.
Why this farm: Don’t worry if the kids get bored during the pick-your-own portion of the day. Admission to Apple Land Station also gets you access to train and wagon rides, farm animals and even a massive sand mountain to really tire the kiddos out.
Pine Farm Orchards
The details: Come October, this King City, Ont. orchard is host to Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Russet, Northern Spy, Mutsu/Crispin and Ambrosia apple varieties, costing $1.99/lb. Visit Monday and Tuesday between 10am–5pm, or Wednesday through Sunday 9am–5pm in October, or come to the farm between 10am-5pm Tuesday through Sunday in November and December. Admission is $5 per person.
Why this farm: An assortment of delicious baked goods are available at this farm’s bakeshop, their café and through their curbside pickup menu.
The details: Around this time of year, Campbell’s Orchard in Carrying Place, Ont. is overrun with apples, field tomatoes and pumpkins. Visit Monday through Saturday between 10am-4pm and Sundays (including Thanksgiving Monday) between 11am-4pm to pick your own. Apples start from $25 per 10lb bag (for up to four people, $5 per additional person). Tomatoes are $10 per half bushel and pumpkins are $1/kg.
Why this orchard: Campbell’s Orchard also makes Apple Falls Cider, so you might as well swing by their tasting room and try a flight (or two!).
The details: If you care about your apple history, this Kemptville, Ont. orchard is a must-visit. Located 45 minutes outside of Ottawa, it has apple trees dating back to 1932. Even better, they were from the original McIntosh trees in nearby Dundela, Ont. Visit Monday through Friday between 10am-7pm and Saturdays and Sundays between 9am-5pm to pick your own. Apples are $19.25 for an 11lb bag or $31.50 for an 18lb bag.
Why this orchard: Beyond picking, there are abundant family-friendly activities, including wagon rides, two corn mazes, forest trails and a straw jump. And it’s dog-friendly, so it’s truly fun for the whole family.
Explore The Great Taste of Ontario at ontarioculinary.com/great-taste
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