When it comes to perfect pairings, it’s hard to imagine a better match than fall and apples. Imagine the sweet, satisfying first crunch of a cold, juicy Macintosh on a sunny autumn day… or that melt-in-your-mouth taste of oats and brown sugar perfectly baked on top of a piping hot apple crisp accompanied by vanilla ice cream. These beautiful, versatile fruits are definitely one of the highlights of our gorgeous end-of-summer season in Ontario.
Top ten reasons you should pick local this fall:
- It encourages healthy eating. Picking local, in-season fruit means you’re getting more nutrients because the produce has to travel a shorter distance from where it’s grown.
- It’s environmentally friendly. Locally picked fruit requires less processing, less packaging and no long-distance refrigerated transportation.
- It helps promote our local agricultural industry. Connecting with and supporting local businesses helps us all in the long run.
- It allows us to reinvest in our local economy. By visiting and spending money at a local farm, you help maintain local jobs for local residents.
- It encourages kids to grow their own food. Taking your family apple picking helps teach children to be sustainable and understand where their food comes from.
- It gets you connected with other local residents. You may meet your neighbor or the owner of a local business while roaming the aisles of your local orchard.
- It preserves our green spaces. We should all be doing our part to keep local farmland intact.
- It’s fun, and physical. Get out, enjoy the fresh air, and try something new.
- Local farmers can tell and show you how food is grown and harvested. It also improves our knowledge about what we eat.
- Fresh fruit tastes better—and knowing you picked it yourself makes it even sweeter!
Where to Pick Local
14800 Innis Lake Rd., Caledon East | albionorchards.com
Apple season at Albion Orchards starts in late summer with the harvest of their famous Paula Reds. In October, you can find a special jack-o-lantern from the pumpkin patch and browse through their Country Market for preserves, local honey, and fresh baked pies. And then come back in December to cut down your own Christmas tree!
Andrews’ Scenic Acres
9365 10 Side Rd., Milton | andrewsscenicacres.com
Established in 1980, Andrews Scenic Acres truly has something for everyone—fields full of pick-your-own fruit, veggies and flowers as well as an onsite winery, Farm Market, toddler programs, and an Education Garden that partners with local school boards. Their website has a great online calendar showing what is in season for picking at different times of the year.
9528 Regional Rd. 25, Milton | chudleighs.com
A quote from the Chudleigh’s website says, “It’s funny how a sunny fall day on the farm just seems to turn everybody into a kid”, and that’s so true for the many visitors that flock to this location each year. In their 50+ years of operation, they have grown to have a large children’s play area, market, the Farm Kitchen, which prepares fresh pizzas, and The Silo Bar serving both non-alcoholic beverages as well as beer and wine.
14309 Dixie Rd., Inglewood | dixieorchards.com
Open from the end of August through Halloween, Dixie Orchards is a pick-your-own orchard offering apples, pumpkins, pears, plums, squash and hazelnuts. Make your way to the market for baked goods, maple syrup and candy apples, then let your little ones enjoy the straw jump or play in the large sandbox. The whole family can have fun winding through the corn maze and watching the farm animals.
Downey’s Farm Market
13682 Heart Lake Rd., Inglewood | downeysfarm.com
With a 10-km long corn maze spread over 8 acres, you will have hours of fun at Downey’s Farm Market. After surviving the maze, head for the Family Fun play area or browse the Farm Market and taste the delicious homemade fudge. Check out the online produce calendar to see when your favourite fruits and veggies are ready to pick!
8277 10 Side Rd., Milton | harvestgoodies.com
Do the words Macintosh, Ginger Gold and Sunrise make you excited for autumn to arrive? If so, you can head over to Wheelbarrow Orchards to do a little apple picking. Starting with 200 apple trees in 2006, this family-run farm now has over 2000 apple trees—and you won’t be charged admission to pick your own apples at this farm. Visit the farm shop to pick up delicious butter tarts, fresh pressed cider and other homemade products sold under their own “Harvest Goodies” label.
by Ilana Clamp