Load the fam-jam in the car and take a drive out to the country side to soak up the crispy fall air at a local Pick-Your-Own-Farm and let the adventure begin.
Think outside the fruit basket:
Double duty the trip, and capture the best fall foliage and snap a few family photos! If this is your first time visiting a pick your own farm with your little ones, you might want to capture those precious moments of them climbing a ladder (with assistance of course) and picking the apple right off the tree. Or, running through the pumpkin patch trying to find that perfectly round one for carving.
That was a piece of pie
Have plan for your fresh picked fruit or vegetables that keeps the family time rolling. Once you leave the farm, swing by the grocery store pick up a few items to make a tart, cobbler, cake, muffins, smoothies or jams! Since apples and pumpkins are in season, make a pie or roasted pumpkin with cinnamon and pork chops, the possibilities are endless.
A learning experience
Take this as an opportunity to educate your kids on where their food comes from so they can develop a greater sense of connection to their food and to reinforce healthy eating habits.
Enjoy the company and weather
If nothing else, have some good old fashioned family time to soak up the las little bit of Vitamin D before winter sets in.
Be prepared for the elements
Like all activities it is recommended to have the appropriate supplies since your family will be outdoors, such as: sunscreen and bug spray, hats, hand sanitizer, and water.
We have scouted out some great pick your own locations around the province that go a little extra on the extras! Why not plan a whole day out, fall drives in Ontario are just beautiful. Be sure to tag #lovelocalfood so we can share in the fun!
Pringles Farm Market
Location: 1805 Taunton Road East, Hampton, Ontario
Pick Your Own: Strawberries, apples, fall raspberries, and pumpkins.
Make it a Family Affair: At the Pingle’s Farm they provide free wagon rides to the strawberry patch and pumpkin patch – Save your energy for carrying a big pumpkin home! They also offer a play area, straw maze, trike track, farm animals, bunnyville, mini-golf, giant slide and sandbox, pedal cart track, an animated farm show, and giant games (checkers, connect 4).
The Little Extras: November and December offer fresh cut Christmas trees, seasonal decorations, gift baskets, christmas baked goodies and a visit with Santa (Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 2017).
Andrews Scenic Acres
Location: 9365 10th Sideroad, Halton Hills, Ontario
Pick Your Own: Apples and pumpkins.
Make it a Family Affair: Andrews Scenic Acres grows 165 acres of fresh fruit and vegetables. The Farm has a picnic area, large playground, farm animal corral (goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys and rabbits), wagon rides, and a haunted forest and straw mountain.
The Little Extras: From May to October, Andrews’ Scenic Acres offers curriculum-based programs to schools including a guided farm tour. As well as modified tours for pre-school, daycares and nursery schools. All tours include a field to table explanation of farming and seasonal crops — strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and corn. Students will learn about the contribution of honey bees to fruit farming and how they make delicious honey.
Specializing in fruit wines made from the berries and fruit on their farm, the winery offers a wide selection of in-house made wines. Visitors (of legal drinking age of course) are welcome to come try a free sample when enjoying their day on the farm.
Location: 3250 Hessen Strasse R.R. #1, St. Clements, Ontario
Pick Your Own: Pumpkins.
Make it a Family Affair: At Nauman’s Farm they grow more than 20 different varieties of pumpkins — tall, fat, skinny, bumpy, gnarly, and even pumpkins in many different colours, including red, green, white, blue and beige.
There are a variety of different activities to take part in while visiting the farm. Challenge your family members to a race through the corn maze. Or, for a nominal fee, Slingshot pumpkins and compete against friends for accuracy. Other fun activities include rope maze, spider web, straw mountain, beam swing, sandpit, and a giant tube slide.
The Little Extras: It doesn’t stop there, satisfy your fall comfort cravings at our snack bar with delicious farm favourites, as well as Canada’s largest variety of squash.
Location: 11302 Imperial Road, Aylmer, Ontario
Pick your Own: Apples and Pumpkin.
Make it a Family Affair: The fourth generation of the Heimstraw family invite you to experience the love and efforts their family and staff have poured into Clovermead. From the corn maze, wagon rides, jumping pillow, mazes, pedal cart track, and farm animals they believe these multi-generational experiences are essential to healthy relationships. Celebrate the world of pumpkins this fall and pick your own pumpkin from the field.
The Little Extras: The more the merrier! CloverMead also offers an October Pumpkin Tour, exclusively for students. “How pumpkins grow from seed to fruit,” is what students will learn on the tour, as well as discuss the stages of the pumpkin growth, and uses. Students will experience a trip to the pumpkin field and will take home their own boo boo (small) pumpkin.
Location: 426 McCluskey Drive, Slate River, Ontario
Pick your Own: Pumpkins
Make it a Family Affair: From September 30th – October 29th join Gammondale Farm for their Pumpkinfest. With over 20 attractions to choose from, celebrate the magic of Autumn, rain or shine during this 5 weekend event. Partake in a little friendly competition with the Needle in a Haystack Photo Contest – Find the secret scene, take a photo of your group, post it to Gammondale Farm Family Fun Facebook page to win prizes, plus one grand prize valued at $600.
The Little Extras: Nestled at the base of Candy Mountain in the Slate River Valley, the farm illuminates with warm colour and creates a beautiful backdrop for seasonal outdoor activities and events. Gammondale’s Forest Maze on the mountain is a beautiful place to explore after taking a tractor-pulled wagon ride. Don’t pass up the local treats at the Pumpkin Bakery in the Gammondale Loghouse. Serving delicious treats such as pumpkin and apple pies, cookies and their famous caramel apple sundaes.
Share your on-farm adventures! Tag #lovelocalfood so we can join in the fun!
Pumpkin Artwork courtesy of Debora J.
With a love for all-things-creative, Debora is a high school student who would love to work as a graphic designer. As an intern with Love Local Food, she got her hands dirty in the kitchen, expressed her love for food as a writer, and created some beautiful illustrations that you’ll find right here on the blog!