One for the basket, one for me. It’s a time honoured tradition, one that affords many delicious opportunities to explore Ontario’s rural places at your own pace.
We’ve gathered up some of our favorite pick-your-own spots into a nice little list for all you berry-loving jammers, bakers and preservers. Take an afternoon, visit a farm and pick your own this season!
In Season Now: Peaches
There are two most commonly picked types of peaches: Freestone and Clingstone. You will know that the peaches are ripe for the picking when the fruit has turned entirely yellow – some varietals will have a tinge of red – and are hanging slightly lower on the tree. If they do not pull easily from the tree, they are not ready!
Fun Fact: Peaches and apricots share the same growing season! While you’re out there picking peaches, fill your basket (or your mouth) with some apricots as well. Both fruits are part of the same family and are often referred to as stone fruits due to the large seed. August is national peach month, so there’s no better time to explore than now!
Keyzer’s Fruit Farm
Known for the quality of their fruit and the enthusiasm of the family who runs the farm, Keyzer’s is ready to welcome you with open arms (and a ton of peaches to pick)!
Cherry Avenue Farms
Located in the beautiful Niagara Peninsula, this farm has been in operation for 218 years, so you can rest assured they know what they’re doing! There are over 126 acres of orchards on the property with more than 18,000 trees and vines with dozens of different fruits to pick.
If you’re looking to pick some peaches at a bargain price, look no further than Cherry Farms as peaches (and apricots) are less expensive this year. This is because of the hail marks left on the fruit; so they may not be perfect on the outside, but they will still make a mean pie.
Great Lakes Farms
Farmer Joe is in charge here, and this is another farm that has been around for decades. You will find three peach varieties including Harrow Dawn, Red Heaven and Harrow Fair, so whether they’re for eating or baking, Great Lakes Farms has you covered.
Come for the peaches, stay for the freshly baked pies – and the gift shop, and the ice-cream stand, and the stunning view, need we go on? Parkway Orchards is located right on the Niagara parkway and makes for a great family day-trip!
Pardo’s Berrie Farm
Located on the shores of lake Erie, Pardo’s is a family run farm that specializes in small fruit production. Their peaches are sold by the 11 quart basket and containers are provided for you. There is also a small retail store selling cold beverages, and a shaded picnic area for you to kick-back and enjoy some of your hard-earned peaches.
Pick your own peaches on this peaceful, 200 year old family farm! A great place to bring the whole family! Bridgman’s is known by locals to offer some of the sweetest peaches around.
Can’t get enough peaches?
Then The Niagara-on-the-Lake Peach Celebration is for you. A whole celebration dedicated entirely to peaches, so named The Niagara-on-the-Lake Peach Celebration! Taking place on August 12th and 13th the festival offers live music, entertainment, shopping and of course, all things peaches! Local farmers will be bringing their best peach dishes to the table, literally. You will find peach pies, jams, tarts, and ice-cream.