Fruit and vegetable picking has begun for summer, so take your pick before everyone else does. Grab your friends and check out some of the best pick-your-own farms near Toronto, where you’ll find anything from juicy strawberries to fresh zucchini.
Just a short drive to Markham, Whittamore’s Farms is one of the most popular places to visit during summer for fruit and vegetable picking. The picking opened in mid-June with strawberries, green peas, snow peas, snap peas, and potatoes, and will allow for raspberry and bean picking next month. The farm is situated beside the Rouge River Valley, which is 220 acres of crops just waiting to be chosen, as well as wagon rides, animals, mazes, and trails for the whole family.
Andrews’ Scenic Acres
An award-winning farm in Milton that offers 165 acres of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. The picking began in the beginning of May with asparagus and rhubarb, and will continue through fall with strawberries, cherries, corn, a variety of different berries, and of course, pumpkins. They also offer cut-your-own flowers including sunflowers, peonies, and roses for bouquets when in season. Check the website for information on the best time to pick each crop, and pick up some fresh jam while you’re there!
Family-owned and operated in Burlington, Hutchinson Farm offers strawberry, raspberry, and currant picking as well as beets, peas, tomatoes, and zucchini during the summer months. When fall rolls around, the farm offers home-grown eggplant, garlic, watermelon, and pumpkins! Refer to their website for the perfect time to pick your favourite fruits and vegetables.
The activities are endless at this Mount Albert “growing fun” farm with crop picking from June to October. Visitors can choose from strawberries, a variety of peas, currants and berries, leading up to apple and pumpkin picking in the fall. They also have a barnyard play land, which is acres of rides, animals, shows, mazes, and picnics. The farmer’s market is open daily with the freshest fruits, vegetables, and baked goods and the farm also encourages school tours and birthday parties. You’re never too old to celebrate your birthday on a farm.
Downey’s Farm Market
Strawberry picking just began at Downey’s, so now’s your chance to choose the ripest and plumpest berries at one of the most visited farms in the GTA. It only lasts for two to three weeks making way for raspberry picking in July, so get there while you can. The farm is also very popular in fall for Pumpkinfest with annual activities and shows, as well as the thousands of pumpkins that fill the property.
Applewood Farm Winery
This Stouffville farm offers the best of both worlds with strawberry picking in mid-June and a winery that uses fresh fruits grown on the property. It was one of the first strawberry and apple picking farms in the town, so they’ve been around for quite some time. Wagon rides are offered to and from the picking areas, and wine tasting is available inside for the adventurous type. Be sure to try their famous strawberry cider, then go home and make some of your own.
This family-run farm in Gormley offers bean, tomato, pepper, and eggplant picking when in season, and has a farmer’s market when the sweet corn is ready. They grow 15 varieties of sweet corn over the course of the season, and encourage visitors to stop by and pick some up. The farm opens the first week of August and remains open until Halloween, giving you more than enough time to plan a visit. Don’t miss out!
(Main photo: l.hillesheim)