It’s beginning to look a lot like berry season! All over the province, pick-your-own berry farms are starting to open up their fields for folks eager to bake pies, replenish their jam supplies, or just chow down on fresh, warm-from-the-field fruit.
It’s strawberry season now, but raspberry and blueberry season aren’t far away. If you’re hoping to spend some time down on the berry farm, we’ve found some great spots to try.
If you have a favourite farm we missed, we’d love to know about it. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Note: COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions are subject to change. Make sure to check with the farm you’re planning to visit to see their most up-to-date information.)
Leisure Farms in Sturgeon Falls
Looking for strawberries and raspberries? Leisure Farms in Sturgeon Falls, west of North Bay, is planning for their fields to be open by the end of June for strawberries. They’re well known in the area for their fall activities, including live music, tractor rides and a pumpkin patch—plus, they have a bakery on-site with delicious treats. If you’re in North Bay and don’t want to travel west, the folks from Leisure Farms are regulars at the North Bay Farmers’ Market, which runs Saturdays and Wednesdays.
Austin’s Pick Your Own and Farmers’ Market in Waterford
Along with pick-your-own strawberries, Austin’s also boasts a delicious array of baked goods, including a mouth-watering lineup of sweet and savoury loaves at their farm stand. (The strawberry breakfast loaf is particularly tempting.) If you don’t feel like picking your own strawberries, you can call ahead to the farm and order pre-picked berries—perfect for folks who don’t want to spend an afternoon bent over strawberry plants!
Bayfield Berry Farm in Bayfield
Throughout the summer, Bayfield Berry Farm offers an array of pick-your-own berries, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and—something you don’t find everywhere—saskatoon berries. If you work up a thirst after you’ve been picking, check out their selection of fruit-based ciders, wines, coolers and schnapps to enjoy. And if you’re hungry (once indoor dining is allowed again), they’ve got a cafe that features a widely renowned breakfast buffet, complete with fluffy, fluffy pancakes.
Tichgelaar Berry Farm in Niagara
In the heart of Niagara’s fruit-friendly microclimate, Tichgelaar’s Berry Farm has large fields of strawberries, and a farmers’ market just up the road. The market sells pre-picked berries as well as a variety of other produce, baked goods, and preserves. Even better? The Upper Canada Cheese Company is close by—the perfect addition to a Niagara picnic. Be aware, though: strawberry season is short—about three weeks—so make sure to get to Tichgelaar’s before it’s over!
Fruition Berry Farm in Kingston
Fruition Berry Farm has an abundant amount of fresh pickings straight through the growing season: strawberries, peas, blueberries, pumpkins, and squash. Taking a page from the Book of Tim’s (Hortons, that is), they also offer a drive-thru pick-up strawberry service: simply drive up, grab some ready-picked strawberries, and drive away. If you’re hankering to get outside, though, there’s no substitute for picking in the field. Fruition’s hours can vary, so check out their blog for their most up-to-date information.
Downey’s Strawberry and Apple Farm in Caledon
Downey’s offers pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries at their farm in Caledon, and, as fall gets closer, apples in both Caledon and at their new location in Breslau, close to Kitchener. Their Caledon location also features delicious treats like cider, honey, farm-fresh produce, and seasonal candy apples. In non-COVID times, they also offer tractor and wagon rides—one more reason to hope things get back to normal sooner rather than later.
Miller’s Farm, Market and Garden Centre in Ottawa
Pick-your-own strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, pumpkins, squash, and gourds are all on offer at Miller’s. Of course, not all at once (just an excuse to go back over and over again). Along with their pick-your-own fields and a well-stocked farm stand, there’s also a full garden centre on site, with everything you need to do some planting after your picking. While you’re at Miller’s, which is a family farm that’s been in the berry business since 1981, make sure to visit Petunia the rabbit and Vinny, their yellow lab.
Taylor Farms in Windermere
This Muskoka farm’s pick-your-own season generally starts in late June or early July, depending on when those elusive strawberries make an appearance. Along with pick-your-own strawberries, Taylor Farms has a farm shop that features local produce, home-made jams and jellies, fresh flowers, baked goods, and a cottage-country must-have: products from Kawartha Lakes Dairy.
Andrews Farm Market and Winery in Milton
With 165 acres on the Niagara Escarpment in Milton, Andrews Farm Market and Winery is a full-on destination wrapped in a farm. Featuring walking trails, wagon rides, animals, a straw mountain, and a playground, the farm also has a winery on site with a selection of fruit wines. If you’re dedicated to picking, you can pick strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, flowers, pumpkins, and apples throughout the season—but no one would blame you if you just wanted to dedicate your attention to the wine. New for Andrews this year: 300 free-range chickens.